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Two types of Riding City and Country

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by fightingtiger, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Hi Guys

    Just wanted to share some experience. Been riding now for a year, spent most of that time in the city riding around and to work etc.

    Quite confident in the city, i ride carefully, ride the bike like i drive a car, I ALWAYS wear my HART safety vest, and love it.

    I went for one ride previous on "country" roads up to Waland then across to Romsey and back down to Sunbury etc.

    Yesterday i took my old Ducati on our first Club run. It was from Port Melbourne through Anakie, Meredith and up to Ballarat and back.

    Once we hit the open roads, i had a bit of a scare coming into a left hander a little hot and this was enough to settle me down well.

    You can read, you can listen, but until you get out and DO, you don't really understand.

    Long story short, later in the day came in a little hot again but this time into a right angle turn, with an added bonus of some gravel on the edge of the corner. Paniced a little, looked at the gravel instead of where I wanted to go, and chose the exit which was a gravel driveway (church or something like that). Probably doing 20-30k's when i hit the gravel and over the Duke went.

    Minor damage to me and the bike, but lesson given and lesson learnt.

    What did I learn from my first Ride Day

    1. Riding on the open road is very different from riding in the city
    2. You need to practice both - different skills are required for each
    3. Country roads generally mean gravel - gravel sucks :-(
    4. Riding with a group is great fun
    5. My Ducati hates gravel :-(
    6. Set your speed before the corner, slow in means more fun on the way out
    7. Did I mention gravel sucks

    So find a group and get some practice on the open roads.

    I always heard it's all about the twisty bits and riding with a group (in my opinion) makes it safer and much more fun.

    Safe riding

  2. Sorry to hear you scratched up the old Duc, Shane, but glad that you understand a bit better the different disciplines of city and country riding. I reckon it would be great if rider training included a mix of both styles of riding, but that's probably a bit unrealistic..
  3. Shane

    Although I never like hearing about an off, always good when the post comes across as something learnt with no major damage to rider rather than the fault of the road, gravel (yep it can be a bugger), tyre pressure, suspension, etc...

    There's a lot to learn out there regardless how long you've been riding.
    The day a rider believes he knows it all makes it one day closer to his next off...

    Hope you're back riding in the country soon enjoying what it has to offer....
    Ride safe..
  4. Depends where you are. I know when I did mine at the Majura Rd training centre (ACT) we were taken through a part of the city involving double lanes, lights, turnoffs, merging etc. and were then taken out a bit to some nice, flowing turns through the (and I use this term loosely) 'country'. Coming from somone with a bit of experience, I thought it was a pretty good mix.

    Obviously, though, not all training centres can do this as they aren't all localted on the fringes of urbanisation.

    Meanwhile, Shane, sorry to hear about the off but good to ehar it didn't overly affect eithe you or the bike. I'd say you learnt that lesson pretty cheap - you often hear similar stories with much worse results.

    Out of interest, what kind of Ducati do you ride?

    - boingk
  5. I have never had to deal with severe gravel, apart from some light off road trecking I did in tassie on the little vtr. (went flying in the air over a huge pot hole sideways, landed, locked up the rear and fishtailed to an impressive stop! was all VERY exciting, but I limited myself to 20-40 kph after that)

    Those evil squiggly black lines in the middle of the some corners nearly caused me some grief on one of the netrider rides a while back however (I think there was oil on the road too as others wobbled on the corner too)..
  6. Thanks for the kind comments Guys.

    Yes experience is a good teacher.

    My Ducati is an old Pantah which I have decided to call Blackie. If you check out Projects and Mods and lookup Project Pantah you will see Blackie's life story.

    The yarra ranges was one of the ones I was thinking of. I'll need to wait until the new Vic club permit system kicks in before I can do one though - it's not a club run.

    I don't even feel sore this morning which is a clear indication to me that my damage was limited and the mirror on Blackie is fixed so she is ready for the club barby next week :)

    Catch ya

  7. They also mean potholes, extremely uneven surfaces, animals (both live and dead), slow-moving farm machinery, and old farmers in utes - who make city taxi drivers seem like competent and considerate drivers.

    Riding in a group with riders used to such conditions is a good idea, but if you're riding alone you just need to remember to make sure you can always stop in the distance you can see in front of you on roads you're not familiar with (of course ideally you should also do this on roads you know well, but most people don't).
  8. I was on the same ride... And yes, yes, yes and yes, we saw all of those things. Was still a good day out though, glad to hear both you and the pantah are in good shape Shane. See you at the BBQ.
  9. You missed to two most important rules you should have learned.
    1. Look where you want to go.
    2. Never give up.

    If you look at the gravel, you will hit it. However, if you look through the turn to the exit of the turn then you will go through the turn. The bike goes where you look. Sound's too god to be true but it's not. :)

    When you find you've entered a corner too hot, the best thing to do it maintain your speed, increase pressue on your inside handelbar (countersteer) to increase lean angle and keep your chin up to look through the turn. You might think you're going too fast but your bike can ride much better than you (and even despite you) so put your confidence in it. Your potential for increased lean angle and grip will be much more than you think it is. If you choose to look for a way out by leaving the road or braking, then you will more than likely crash (as you found) where'as if you suck it up and give it a go, most times it will turn out for the best. And hell, if the alternative is to ditch it on a gravel driveway, you've got nothing to loose by having a go. :)

    I'm glad to see you're not seriously hurt and I hope the bike isn't too expensive to fix. Most of us crash at some stage and the fact that you're using it as a learning experience suggests you should minimise the oopsies in the future. I hope those tips are handy for you and good luck. :)
  10. Yes Seany - look where you want to go. It's one of those things that will become part of the dna eventually.

    I suppose my prob was that panic response to the gravel on the corner and the quick decision that if i do look through and lean more the gravel would take me out on the road.

    I thought the gravel driveway was a safe option and it was a real shock when the bike went over - but hey you live and learn.

    More ks means more experience and more confidence in both the bike and myself.

    So i suppose that means I just have to spend more time on the Pantah on club runs - bugger :)
  11. Good to hear you are alright. I got out in the country a week after getting my new bike. I've spent the last couple of months riding the twisties pretty well every weekend. Its been awesome and i've learnt alot. As a rider, i'm massively better than what I was and what I would have become without the experience i've gained in the hills.

    Just had a ride on monday. For all the experience i've gained, it still doesn't stop somethings. We were on this nice open sweeping bit of road with 95k/hr corners. I was tootling along nicely, hunched down on the bike because of the wind and suddenly the wind kicks up even more. Despite being already leant into the wind, the bike begins to be forced towards the gravel on the side of the road. I hate gravel too. I haven't had an off or a down yet, but gravel scares me.

    What did I do wrong?

    SR #1: I tightened on the bars. Baaaad. You lose most of your steering.
    SR #2: I target fixated on the gravel the wind was forcing me towards.
    SR #3: I started to think, shit i'm going to crash.

    What did I do to get out of it?

    Said to myself "f#$% off we're going in the gravel", backed off the throttle and leant into it as hard as I could. It was a really bad moment, I ended getting back on course with plenty of room to spare, but I was seriously shaken up.

    What I should have done?

    Leant the bike over further, ignored the gravel and remained relaxed.

    Why I didn't do it?

    Lack of experience Dr. Watson.

    Learn as much as you can. Listen and watch riders more experienced than yourself and ask questions. Stay Upright and love life on two wheels :D
  12. Your point is exactly right. They are two separate domains each requiring a completely different mind set and approach.
    Sorry you decked it.