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Pre-emptive thinking & avoiding collisions

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Meags, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Heading up to Hotham last weekend I was in a group of 4 riders. I ended up on my own (not through choice - just got separated - heading up the mountain). Anyway, it was on a section of the road with a sweeping right hand bend - river on one side, rock wall on the other. I was on the beginning of a straight section of the road (before it hit the bend) and I could look across the river and through the bend and see a car and caravan with a sedan sitting right on the caravan's backside. First thought was 'he's going to pass as soon as he gets to the straight'. I was coming to the end of the straight as they were heading into it and I'd slowed down to about 80 and moved right over to the left of the road (about as far as I could go without hitting gravel). Sure enough he pulled out when he was right on me and all I could see was the front of the car heading towards me. Surprisingly I didn't panic, I just thought 'you knew this was going to happen'. The guy driving did panic as he'd accelerated flat out and was already slightly past the back of the van. He braked and yanked it back into his lane and then I was past ([-o<). It was one of those moments where it almost seemed like everything stood still.

    I guess what I'm hoping to find out from other experienced riders is a few things. Did I put myself in a bad position? Especially since I 'knew' it was going to happen. Should I have slowed down much more? In the few seconds that it happened, I was trying to work out whether I could get past him (if he was past the point of no return), stay on the bitumen and miss the rock face - is that just a ridiculous thing to think?

    It was a great ride and I loved it. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't freaked out and it didn't affect my riding. Any constructive criticism that I could take with me on my next ride would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. Think you did well...
    You did what your gut feeling was telling you to do and you avoided any collision...

    It's what I call driving the vehicles around you as well as riding your bike...
    You took the initiative and backed off the throttle which in turn may have given you more space and him more time to do what he did..
    Thinking ahead and expecting other to do what they shouldn't will go a long way to keep you riding for a long time..

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  3. Not at all - if he hadn't braked and swerved back your realistic options would have been to split between the car and the rock-face/split between the car and the other car with the caravan. The other choices were to ride into the wall, the river or the oncoming car!

    Good that you were thinking about what seems to be about the best option at the time, whether it was do-able or not I'm not sure! (y) from me as well.
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  4. Without actually being there myself, I'd say you did well.
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  5. Thanks for the feedback. It seems as a new rider I'm always second guessing how I'm riding and trying to work out how I can do it better. I think it also makes you look at yourself in a different way - I would've thought that I'd be a dribbling mess after something like that but I was calm and didn't stress at all. A sense of achievement in one thing that spills over into other aspects of your life. I'm starting to get the feeling that this is what riding is to me. Thanks again.
  6. No injury to you, no cost to you and a cager who needs to change their underwear. I'd say you did alright.

    You moved to the left which made you visable as early as possible and gave you a possible out if the worst happens. I would also be weaving a little bit just so you are mving in front of your background.

    It's really hard to say if you got the controlling your speed right. Sometimes it might be appropriate to speed up and get past him before the straight. You just don't want to come past right at the start of the straight. Given he had time to come out and in I would say you avoided the nasty spot quite well.
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  7. Meags, you just demonstrated one of the aspects of the Ridecraft system (that MA (in their foolish wisdom mwaahahaha) have accredited me to coach) that in addition to the risks you can see, there's also another layer of risks, the ones you can reasonably anticipate. You demonstrated that in droves. And it seemed that your plan to deal with the risk -IF it was to eventuate - was to slow down and it paid off.

    Given how it went down and the benefit of hindsight, what else do you think you could have done?

    It was fortunate the driver saw you - what if he hadn't spotted the single head light?

    I recently marshalled the 3 peaks cycling event up around there and I was surprised at the number of drivers willing to overtake the slower moving packs on blind corners - noting that was something that saved my bacon twice when I saw a pack rounding a bend and I slowed just incase there was some numpty overtaking them... and the universe provided two great examples of numpties which my unfortunately corrupted SD card has ensured I can't shared with the SMIDSY thread. :/
  8. You did well.
    A Cage sitting up the rear of another or a Van is going to have very restricted vision and is likely to just pull out for a look and possible pass or continue to sit there when an opportunity to pass exists because they don't have the vision to see it. I sometimes enjoy passing both of them at once after sitting back and getting good vision.

    With your predictive abilities do ou happen to have any gut feelings about next weeks Lotto numbers?
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  9. could have done a wheelie.
    but you did everything smart instead.
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  10. You did the right thing, great job!!!=D>
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  11. probably the only thing you might not have considered, being a bit green behind those big ears,
    what was behind you when you slowed down and how close.
    if shit looks like it might go down up ahead, can try draw attention to the vehicle behind you, flash your brakes. you don't need him arriving behind you into the upcomming carnage
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  12. I'm not sure Rob. Perhaps I should've slowed more....? In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have met them at the beginning of their straight section? In all honesty I was probably going a little quick prior to seeing them - I was enjoying the ride and not so much watching the posted cornering speeds as I was concentrating on my cornering and gear changes going into corners and trying to get that right so I was accelerating along the straights fairly quickly. But I know I'd slowed before I got to the van because I glanced down at the speedo, saw that I was doing nearly 100 and backed right off.

    If he hadn't seen me, then I guess he would've ended up at the point of no return and I would've been left with trying to find a way out. I don't know whether I could steer the bike through the eye of a needle in that situation at that speed and with my level of experience (or lack thereof).

    In the 650 odd ks we covered over the weekend I saw some pretty hairy driving - and the roads were reasonably quiet.
  13. No MT it was just me on the road at that stage, no vehicles at all behind me.

    Thanks for the crack about the big ears though......:D
  14. Splitting the needle is rarely the best option, you don't want to second guess someone panicing. Take the outside. The only time where it is better to pass on the wrongside is if they have over shot a corner as you know the reason they are there is they can't steer in any further in.
  15. With your name, I was going to ask you:D
  16. Give me a clue Watson.
  17. When I was a new driver I did a road trip from Townsville to Mackay. I watched some idiot pull out and overtake 4 cars around a blind bend in a white 4x4. I was thinking at the time, 'holy crap someones gonna die...'

    He made it around to the front with no oncoming and I was amazed at the risks some people will take. Anyway, 20 minutes later I passed him as he was on the side of the road with a cop and justice served.

    Put a great big smile on the dial
  18. The lesson to take from this is looking as far along the road as you can see can save you grief, even if it's a glimpse through the trees. I might of flicked the headlight on high beam in the same scenario but I think you've done an outstanding job. It's good to think but don't over think it or think about it for too long. The discipline is to deal with it at the time and as soon as it's over get your head back into the game, there is always another corner or another car never far away.


    You did it you win :)
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  19. Why not set up the front brake and stay on the throttle too?
  20. I was talking about this to a cop today. Anticipation.
    We spent nearly 2 hours going over the issues riders face and how to coach exactly what Chef mentions above. Prediction only comes from experience behind the wheel/bars and I guess the OP has been on the road a bit.
    Well done on the observation skills, it's what helps keep us alive.
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