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Rider Judgement

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by raven, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Ok...I posted the following in a thread at the beginning of summer...
    Read below...

    So how did everyone get on over summer...see some improvements, improved your judgement...did you even think about it?? oR rely on blind luck, more often than not...??

    --------------- <snip>

    Often our bike craft and skills can improve quite a bit faster than ones sense of judgement, and that lulls riders into a false sense of security and confidence. It's true...you ARE a decent rider, with good bike control, and road sense, but the simple act of trying to judge where to brake for a corner, has failed you, because you have'nt yet developed your levels of judgment to match your bike craft.

    Good judgement just takes longer....

    "Good" riders are'nt just good because they can ride with competence, faster, with more commitment and skill...they also have a more highly developed sense of judgement, at their respective levels, which keeps them out of trouble more often, in the first place.

    Assuming that you consider yourself to be a "good" rider, ask yourself what you base that on, but now, include your "levels of judgment" in the thoughts that first came to mind, and you may come up with a slightly different feeling.

    Said all that just to raise the issue of judgement into the minds of you newer/newish/noob riders, with summer coming on. (and it won't hurt us more seasoned riders to think about it either)

    ---------------------------- <snip>
  2. Good judgment:

    "sh1t! i shouldnt have done that"
    then proceed to not to it, or do it lesser each time you go "sh1t! i shouldnt have done that"
  3. One thing I can tell you - judgement is a thing that atrophies when you don't exercise it regularly!
    Until last long weekend I hadn't been for a proper ride for months, and I couldn't believe the crap decisions I was making. Nothing dangerous really, but just poor attention to detail and preparation. I'm glad I took lesser travelled roads because at times it was just plain embarrassing. By the third day it was all coming together, though.
  4. Quite right Titus!. And you're experienced enough to recognize it for what it is...inexperienced riders don't see it happening quite so easily.

    I commute most of the time, which is a completely different way of riding than in the twisties....If I don't get out and about and have a bit of a play, at least for a day every two weeks or so, I am unsatisfactorily "stale", and I need to work myself back up to speed.

    Takes me most of the summer to get really SHARP, after trolling around on the wet roads over winter to. (shits me to tears) :mad:

  5. I've noticed my level of effective rider judgement varies a lot depending on my familiarity with the road. New roads see me all over the place, bad lines, wrong speed and gear, basically I can't read roads I haven't travelled before very well.
    Something else I have found is I can very quickly out of my comfort range, and all the practice I have done to avoid SR's goes right out the window and I'm grabbing the front brake around corners :oops:. I would say my judgement skill have probably become worse or not improved since the beginning of summer :(
  6. It's not just the sort of stuff that Titus was talking about regarding longer rides either. I find that even if I haven't ridden for only a few days then the first couple of kilometes still require that bit more care and attention. It's not that you lose skills as such but it does take a little while for that "situational awareness" to get back up to full strength.

    It's the things that we all know almost by instinct, like being aware that that idiot up ahead is going to change lanes without indicating or that the pedestrian on the left will step off the kerb against the red light. These are what I find I consciously need to make myself aware of.
  7. I'm a 5 day a week commuter...

    In some respects the summer has seen my riding improve in leaps and bounds - my JUDGEMENT of when to fliter to the front I believe is well honed, my reading of fellow road-users in peak-hour conditions is very good and my knowledge of my particular 8km stretch of road is brilliant ( I *know* there's gonna be a parked car just over the brow of that hill - so I dont get lulled into a false sense of security by the empty T2 lane!)

    Having said that I've rarely got out onto into the hills - so last night when I decided to overshoot my commute and cruise up Mt Nebo and back I noticed a few shortcomings (empty road and BEAUT conditions \:D/ ). Some of my corners were a bit too twitchy. Nothing drastic - but not as smooth as I'd like. I was clearly far from losing control of the bike, but my judgement of lines and when to tip in and how far to lean was not right.

    I may be becoming a maestro of particular road conditions on a particular road - but as far as general riding out of the suburban environment goes theres a lot of room for improvement and that improvement I'd agree is not so much technical - but judgement. Its my *decisions* that let me down - not my ability to control the machine.
  8. TonyE...another good point...yes...off the bike for a week, and I'm fumbling around for a few k's till my brain gets back into sync with the rest of the body, and I start to actually ride properly. Good idea to take it a little easy until things wake up.

    Dadsagain!...well done, mate - you spotted the problem well. :) So you can take steps to counter it.

    JP...don't worry...it takes time...and you just have to be patient, mate. The good thing is, you to recognize what's wrong, so you can take some corrective action, that will eventually make all the difference...meantime, you just ride within your limits, and look for incremental improvements.

  9. I used good judgement today!

    Pulled out behind a van full of old tourist. So I gave them a bit more gap than usual, say about 3 seconds. Then some cager decides to make camp on my arse end. I increased gap to about 4/5 seconds (80kmh zone).

    Come up to the first main intersection (uncontrolled) van throws out the anchors thinking it missed the turn - making me the potential meat for a metal sandwich (concrete median strips either side etc). I go steady on the brakes while eyeing off my 4 wheeled TEC wannabie, tossing down gears in preparation to lurch forward as soon as safely possible.

    I think I avoided a possible situation simply because I used good judgement.
  10. Just read that, good effort man, sounds like you had nowhere else to go. Best thing to do is make room in front of yourself when you have nowhere else to go.
  11. I have to say it is kind of comforting to know some of you seasoned riders still re-evaluate your skills and keep working on them. This forum is an absolute treasure trove of good info.
  12. I'm a (mid-aged) Provisional rider of just six weeks, and lucky to get out on the bike twice a week, once on Tues' L ride, at worst :(

    ("my" bike is borrowed from my guy, as it's his commuter, until mid next month ... even though the weather from now on will be less and less amiable, I hope to be able to ride more often after he gets his upgrade :grin:)

    So, I'm very aware of the fact that as an older new rider, my reaction skills are not going to be as sharp as a seasoned rider of some/many years, or that of a 20 year old ... as such, I certainly ride with all due care, create plenty of safety space, choose to filter when I feel safe to do so (otherwise I'm happy to sit and wait more often than not) and ride within my comfort/skill level ... in this regard, I guess I'm riding with good judgement :)

    ... though I DO lurrrrrrve a good fang out of a corner when I get the chance to :p
  13. I find sometimes the more familiar i am with a road the more i am likely to make a bad judgement call, like familiarity breeding contempt, on a unfamiliar road i am a lot more cautious as i should be, and looking more at the signals the road and signs are sending, whereas on a familiar road out on a twisties ride i am more likely to then exercise poor judgement and push harder in a corner get and get myself in a oh shit situation, it's something i have consciously worked to reverse, complacency is a big danger to judgement in my mind