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Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Gypsy, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. As y'all know I've been riding around practicing and getting my confidence levels up. One of the things I have to pay particular attention to is roundabouts. When I drive the car and I approach the roundabout, I slow down and look at the traffic in the roundabout and on my right and if it's clear I will enter the roundabout and go about my business. But I still keep an eye on the traffic to my right, if you know what I mean. On the bike, however, I find myself doing a similar thing but, as we know, you need to look at where you want to go in the turn, not over your shoulder at traffic that may or may not be approaching the roundabout. I have to constantly remind myself to watch where I'm going while turning, and not look at the traffic. Don't know if I explained myself properly but I hope you all understand what I mean.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if others have had similar corrections to make and how you have fixed or altered your cage driving habits to suit your riding.....


  2. Hey Gypsy,

    Roundabouts are one of two things for riders:
    1). A great place to play
    2). An accident waiting to happen

    As you are uilding confidence, take your time, watch for traffic. Keep doing what you are doing as it is better to go through slowly and survive rather than flat out and "miss" the car that is about to plough into you.

    When confidence and ride time improves, you will be better and judging and reading the environment, until then, just cruise.
  3. interesting problem.

    The key is never to commit yourself so far that you can't make a change. If you can't see clearly that there is no risk to your right, then approach at a speed and angle that will allow you to stop safely.

    If you can clearly see that there is no risk, then that should influence how and at what speed you approach. But these situations in most suburban environment are pretty rare.

    Remember that you should be doing head checks frequently and quick glance to the right and left should give you warning of approaching danger.

    When I was learning (in the UK) they were called 'Lifesavers' and were a compulsory item to perform on the open road test.

    It's a confidenece thing, being able to do a headcheck and maintain a chosen path without veering off or hitting something. But it's an important skill to learn.

    My problem from cars to bikes is remembering that quick stops in a car and fast corners aren't all that much fun for passengers! I used to always have the windows open as well, just to feel the air in my hair!
  4. You may also need to utilise your peripheral vision to keep a check on the potential for other vehicles entering the roundabout.
  5. You're right....I'm trying to make all these little adjustments. Use my peripheral vision, slow right down to a crawl or even stop to make absolutely certain the way is clear, approach at an angle instead of front on, etc. I'm trying to make sure it is clear before I move off and look into and thru the turn. But even saying all that, I still find myself trying to glance back over my shoulder and therefore taking my eyes off the corner. It's just something I need to get used to and practice. Was just wondering and also highlighting that this is another aspect that needs to be practiced and concentrated on.; Take nothing for granted....

  6. Beware entering a two lane round about at the same time as a car on your left, i.e., you inside lane, them outside lane.

    Many outside lane drivers drive straight through roundabouts - meaning they will cross into your lane... If they SMIDSY, then you're cactus! OUCH!

    I see the lane cross all the time - I've even been almost collected in the cage several times because of it.



  7. guys

    I am having a problem with roundabouts. What happens is I try and enter wide to the left so I can take it like a corner. But I am ending up running out of road when I turn. So I guess I keep exiting wider than I want and nearly up on the kerb.

    what should I do?
  8. Mmmm....

    Maybe you are just going too fast for you and your bikes turning ability?
  9. Thing is. I am not going in that fast. When I exit I am quite slow and starting to wobble. I think I am taking the wrong line or something.
  10. you'll get used to look around like you do in the car.

    I tend to keep my head parallel to the horizon and in the direction I want to go, but use my eyes to look around for cars, road surface condition, etc.

  11. I'd say some combination of slow down (preferbly not), lean over more as you start cornering and power out, accelerate less out of the corner

    most importantly, don't look at the curb - know where it is, but don't expect yourself to run out of space - and look down the exit road
  12. How do you power out and accelerate less at the same time? Not sure what you mean.

    I have been looking at the kerb. Will stop that cheers.
  13. Here is something to think about people.....

    Go for a run through a forest, but dont look ahead.... look at the ground infront on you.... Guess what, you will head-butt a tree.

    Riding is the same, look where you are going and your bike and body will follow.
  14. And just to complicate matters a bit more, the actual rule for roundabouts is that you are supposed to give way to anyone already on the roundabout, not vehicles approaching the roundabout. This means that you have to give way to vehicles on your left if they enter before you. Trouble is, a lot of people don't know the rule, so expect people on your right approaching the intersection, but further away than you, to assume (incorrectly) they have right of way. Let them go. Be aware that people on your left who are able to enter the roundabout before you to barge on in. They are allowed to. This isn't a problem on big roundabouts, but it can create some tight moments on small ones if you don't tread carefully.

    Be careful.
  15. good point there.

    same issue here in Perth. the rule is you give way to any traffic already in the roundabout. as you say, that includes those on the left of you. the problem comes up because the roundabout rule is different to the basic "give way to the right at an intersection" rule that we were all taught when learning to drive/ride.
  16. if they enter before you.. they'll be in front of you not on your left - kinda hard to miss :p
  17. Roundabout rule is to give way to somebody on or approaching the roundabout. If two people approach at the same time then you should give way to your right.
  18. One thing I learnt the hard way is to have your speed sorted before you get to the round about.

    After a couple of hours out fanging hard with a few mates, I came up to turn right at a fairly large roundabout, just around the corner from my house, (one that I'd been through dozens of times before).

    I can remember entering the roundabout and thinking, "hmmm, I may have come into this a little hot..."

    What I think I did next (but can't remember because I blacked out for a brief moment shortly after) was grab the front brake.

    The next thing I remember is being on my side on the ground, watching the bike also on its side, sliding away from me, with that horrible plastic scraping sound that bikes make when they don't have the black side down. I quickly got to my feet and got the bike back up. After a quick inspection for leaking vital fluids (none, thankfully) I started it in two goes and off I went.

    My mate, who was following, reckoned I did a complete roll after my head hit the ground first. I don't remember the roll, I can only remember the standing up. Thats the only reason I knew that I must have blacked out for half a second.

    Anyway, I was very lucky that I was far enough around the roundabout when it happened that my bike (and I) slid out of the path of traffic and onto the painted extension of the islands that surrounded the roundabout. It is quite a busy roundabout, and there were heaps of cars that day, but it was funny when it happened, I didn't think at all about cars or traffic or myself, I was only worried about the possible damage to the bike!

    Bike suffered a badly scratched (but not cracked) right fairing and a few scrapes on the exhaust. The indicator popped out, but thanks to good design, it went right back in.
    I suffered a fifty cent coin and ten cent coin sized couple of scrapes to my knee (road rash). And a bit of a headache for that afternoon. Oh and a bit of hurt pride.

    But most of all I learnt the all important lesson of: Leave your front brakes the hell alone when you have the bike leaned over!
  19. Trouble is, here in Melb we have ordinary little suburban back street intersections with a roundabout in the middle, which means that if you are approaching the intersection, say 10 ft away, a driver on your left is allowed to enter the intersection before you. If you don't give way, you'll T-bone the other vehicle. A lot of drivers/riders expect a vehicle about to enter from their left to give way.
  20. Get a BMX bike and sit on it backwards, you have to sit on the handle bars.

    Ride around like that in a park or somewhere not too dangerous and once you have it mastered turning your head to look at something while riding your motorbike will be np.