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Riding fast and riding slow.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by loth, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. I have got my P's for a week or so now.

    I'm usually in a rush, either to hand in an assignment at uni, or at work or for a coffee meet... hence me going over the speed limit most of the times, lanesplitting etc. I'm not trying to justify why I'm speeding here, and yes I know the risks, and yes I'm sure there'll be someone reading this saying "Yada yada I hope the cops will catch you soon, you are a danger to the public, I hope you die etc". Flame on if you wish, but this is not why I started this thread.

    Today, whilst coming home from a friend's place, I decided to take it really easy. Going the legal speed everywhere, absolutely no lane splitting, the perfect angel rider. Then I started to ask myself this question - "Hmm... I wonder if going at or below the speed limit will make me live longer?...woops I slighly deviated from my lane, almost drifted to the left!!Hmm I wonder if there are any cops on the road tonight, well they won't be able to catch me fo sure... oh shit, I didn't notice the car in front of me braking! Quick brakes!!!". No I was not tired, not under the influence of alcohol, not on drugs.

    Let me explain more clearly what this post is about. When speeding (i.e above the posted speed limit), I never had this problem of my mind wandering. I was always 100% alert, always on the lookout for cars behind, on my left, on my right, well basically I was riding at my best. Going at the speed limit, my mind tends to wander A LOT, and paying attention to the road gets a lot more difficult. I have to tell myself "refocus,refocus.....".

    I am not saying that speeding = good. I am not saying speeding makes you a better rider. What I'm asking is, have any of you experienced this feeling? Is it the adrenaline keeping my level of alertness high? Am I being too overconfident (as a rider, not as a poster :p )?

    Thank you for reading.

    Edit : Just a minor correction.
  2. I sort of see where your coming from but id say my level of alertness is dependant upon the situation. Sure when im going faster my senses highten more though i never feel my mind is wandering at normal speeds...
  3. It was recently proven in a European country that RAISING the speed limit REDUCED the road toll (France i think) because studies have shown that drivers pay more attention to the road when going faster.

    Australia is extremely draconian when it comes to speed limits. In the UK they generally will let 10MPH over the limit slide when its in motorway conditions. This is very backwards thinking. Speed = death. What about Road conditions = death? How about Lack of driver training = death.

    While yes, speed is a contributing factor in the road toll, it is by no means the ONLY factor accidents/fatalities. There is always another factor. Speeding is largely a revenue raiser for the government. How much of that money REALLY gets put back into our roads? i'd love to see the true figures...

    my $0.02 really...

    found this image on another forum and thought i had to share it.. kinda appropriate here :p

  4. I always tell myself that concentration is the key to survival
  5. You're over-analysing the whole thing, loth; there's no general rule for riding better at speed and worse slower, or vice versa. Just go out and ride and think about what's going on around you, not how you are thinking about what's going on around you...
  6. I speed because i want the adrenaline rush, not because i want to refocus.

    Does speeding increase your alertness? yes..... but it also decreases your time to react to danger.

    I know what u mean but, i find that this happens in a car when i drive. but NEVER boring on a bike.
  7. Hmm... I was not analysing my thoughts and alertness etc on my bike. Those questions about fast and slow went through my head while in the shower :p I knew I rode at my worse today, and I was thinking about the how and why's...:]
  8. there are people that want to get you. so being unpredictable would also break their timing. :grin:
  9. Well I can say I'm more alerted in traffic because I know it puts me a much greater risk than going fast on an open wide road.

    Are you more alert while speeding because you are breaking the law or is it because you believe it takes more skill to ride at higher speeds?
  10. Very interesting question. I would say a mixture of both. I am more on the lookout for cops. And knowing that the slightest mistake could potentially be fatal at higher speeds, I am always scanning, checking the cages on both sides for their indicators, looking through the cars ahead of me to see if there is a need to slow down, always doing head checks in my blind spots before changing lanes.

    Another point I forgot to mention - I often get cars tailgating me, big trucks or some moron behind me. I tend to speed to get far from them... Then another moron behind me, then speed again. Viscious cycle.

  11. i think its more the fact that you dont have the time to react that you do if your travelling at lower speeds so you generally are alot more focus on your actions as there is more danger if something were to happen, when going slower the brain has a tendancy to partically shut down, and you end up having a lapse in concentration, i think this is how i managed to have my first off and also possibly how multiple car pile ups occur in congestted traffic
  12. My mind definitely drifts when crawling along.
  13. plus going slow makes your rossi pose, look like your a posser :p
  14. I consciously speed if I am tired or distracted: it does make you concentrate.

    I've fanged home at times when I KNOW I would have otherwise fallen asleep at the wheel/bars - this is cage and bike.

    When on the bike I usually speed for a couple of reasons:

    1) I can.
    2) It means I am not riding next to retards for more than a couple of seconds.
    3) I always know what's next to me without taking my eyes off what's ahead, because it is what I have just overtaken.

    [3] Saved my butt on Pennant Hills Rd, when a f&%$ing SOB RTA Traffic Control van decided it was important enough to drive on the wrong side of the road to get to an accident [ambulance and fire department were already there].

    Scrambles had to swerve out of the right lane, I was coming up on the Navara behind him when it was forced to do the same by aforesaid f*%$ing SOB RTA traffic control vehicle.
    Knowing there was nothing beside me because I just completed an overtake meant I was able to dodge immediately and with confidence.
    We went on to have a very enjoyable run up the Old Pac Hwy.

    Thank you speeding!
  15. Fascinating, cos I've never felt sleepy on the bike, even on my recent over-1000 km in a day jaunt. Plenty of times in the car, though.....
  16. its your mental awareness at the time. i've setout form hobart to launceston and "slept" through a ride up the midlands boreway on my trumpy and woke up at my parents gate! :shock: i cant remember anything of that ride! Its not that i wasnt concentrating its just that i cant remember any events happening.

    Also adrenaline helps alot going fast and in the city your riding should adapt and be prety hyped up looking for events and problems in all the traffic....
  17. I get the general gist of what you are saying, but what you need to do to correct your logic, is apply that same level of concentration that you have when pushing it, to when you are going along at sedate speeds..

    And it takes a fair bit of work to do it...but that's the art of good riding technique. (boring as it sounds) :grin:
  18. It does make you focus better, I will say that. But only reason that is the case is because you are out of your comfort zone. What will happen is that over time you will get used to riding like this around traffic, it will take less concentration to ride that way, and your mind will start to wander again. But you will be going faster, have less time to react when something happens, and make more of a mess of yourself.

    I don't recommend it as a daily riding style.
  19. Back in the 70's and 80's, the focus was on defensive riding.

    Most on bikes interpreted this as aggressive riding, and I was one of them.

    You can take something from this though, because droning along with the traffic decreases alertness.
    Looking for opportunities and threats makes you more alert.
    You don't spend long near threats, and you make decisions when opportunities arise.

    If you ride like you are driving a car - you (IMHO) are more at risk of others actions.
  20. The slower you ride, the more affect any emergency input will have on youre bike. You swerve easier, brake with more ferocity. Youre bike falls over if you dont go fast (FRED GASSIT, AMCN). However, going faster than other vehicles lets you manipulate a traffic scenario easir. You can overtake quickly, eliminating the time spent in cars blindspots. You can get to the front of a line first. You can adjust youre speed more on a bike.
    When riding, you hae to make so many decisions and calculations, so its easy to say that watching youre speedo is something that has to be considred. Travelling at youre own pace, at a suited speed for the conditions, is most likely safer.

    For example, the rider that takes the same B line through the twisties on the way to work everyday, obeying the 60kph limit, versus the rider who pushes the limits... When the careful one aproaches a hazard at speed, they will react in a completely different way to the other who is used to making quicker decisions. The one who is speeding will be more alert, as they know that they are riding in a more dangerous manner.

    I used to speed alot, everywhere. I lost the liscence, and when I get it back I still will speed, however not in the excess that I used to, and I will choose where to ride silly. You will still get home quicker than anone else at peak hour if youre a good lane splitter, and manipulate traffic. Use speed to get you out of trouble, but not when it is unwarranted.