Well! This afternoon I experienced something I very very rarely experience, and it is one of those few situations where I genuinely get caught out. Very simply, I was on a 2 lane road in the right lane stopped behind a car. I was sizing up the filtering space when the light ahead when green. I decided to flow with the traffic as filtering would have been questionable even without the green light 10 odd cars ahead of me. The car in front of me takes off, and I take off behind leaving around 2 car lengths space between us. As I was about to shift into second, the car in front of me slammed on its brakes. I mean SLAMMED on its brakes. Pedal to the floor stuff. The car was only going around 20kph or maybe 30kph so basically stopped dead. Now.. With a car that has braked so fast, I had very little time to react. I saw the car coming fast. I did not consider braking an option as it would have been too abrupt to remain stable, and the stance of the bike at that time would have only worked against me (inertia). I saw that I had room up the right hand side (there was a turning lane just opening up) but I was too far to the left of the car to snap back to the right fast enough. I saw space on the left.. but not a lane. It was the "3rd lane" that us motorcyclists often create when we're sick of slow moving traffic. I went for it by steering the bike that way but I saw that I was not going to have enough room to get the handlebars past the car so I had to lean the bike out to the left, lean my body to the right and try and steer the bike straight. If you'd been looking at me from behind, the bike and my body would have created like a < shape. The bottom slope is the bike, and the perpendicular slope on top is my body countering the bike to stay straight. I must have missed the car and the mirrors by millimetres. It was one of those moments where you wait for the crunch/sound and in the end it never comes. As soon as I'd got past the car and had a few inches of space to straighten up my business, I did so. I couldn't see what it was that caused it, but my heart was racing. A minute or two later and I was out of the traffic and into the open road. As I was cruising by myself with no cars within a bulls roar of me I thought about what had happened and during this thought pattern it occurred to me.. That situation leapt on me at a pace that could only be measured in nanoseconds... yet I managed to weigh up all my options and make a decision in ridiculous time. I don't know how, but I assessed each of my options and took the one I saw as having the highest probability of success in a mere moment. This sort of thing NEVER happens to me because I am rarely stopped in traffic. I'm either at the front after filtering, or behind the pack because the light went green before I could filter. I hate traffic. I really do.