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Well I finally have something to contribute..

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by screwball, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. 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.
  2. Don't we all. Glad to see your ok mate
  3. Well done. I've had real trouble explaining to people after something how you can evaluate several options and make a decision in the blink of an eye. They don't believe me. But I believe you.
  4. QFT.

    Similar situation happened when I was on my old bike, 3 options weighed up in my head and a correct choice made and acted upon in a split instant. It's crazy how the brain can work so quick like that.
  5. instinct, spidie senses, motorbikers mojo, experience, don't kow what they call it, but it sure good to know you got it.. well done that man.
  6. I had a similar one yesterday that i was going to post but decided to get a turkey and cola, got a phone call from the USA, and forgot about it in the meantime...

    I had been accelerating past a 4WD (me left lane him right lane) with the intention of not sitting in a blind spot. It was on a reasonably sharp right hand corner with a hedge in the middle so visibility wasnt great and i had slowed down and dropped back a little, doing maybe 45 (50 zone). Id have to guess i was 20 metres off his left ass corner at the time this happened.

    Suddenly 4WD dude swerved and hit anchors, stopping sideways across my lane enough to block it, with his ass sticking out into the other lane. My only option was to sneak across his lane and around the back of him which left me unexpectedly facing a huge boulder sitting in the middle of the right lane.
    Fortunately i had chosen to brake heavily to run a little wider around his ass, which slowed me and stood the bike up enough to quickly shift my ass right over the seat and dive for the gap between rock and 4wd. If i had stayed narrow to the 4WD id have met the rock as id have had no room to turn in.

    Pulled over, did an atheists version of crossing myself, got off the bike and checked the panicing 4WD dude, then raced up the road to warn traffic to slow. Happily a tradie was in the midst of them who used his beat up work ute to push the boulder off the road.

    Funny part of the whole thing was the 4WD driver said to me 'sorry mate, i was busy keeping an eye on you and never saw the rock until the last second, and then i paniced!'
    Does that qualify as a SMID(id)SY!? Cant hardly blame his reaction, in his place id likely have done the same.

  7. Brilliant! This bloke deserves an award.

    Goes to show how dangerous a bike can be even when other drivers are paying attention and that the only thing keeping us safe on our bikes are our own attitudes and decisions.

    It also amazing how a little care and LUCK can mean the difference between the need to do some laundry and disaster.
  8. You're telling me! If i had just gone for a quick swerve, keeping close around him id have found that big ass rock at about 40kph and had no time, if indeed space, to do anything other than cringe and close my eyes.
    Just a lucky small thought that crept into that 'oh shit' survival reaction swerve that made me hit the anchors in turn. Thanks to NR (raven :p) for getting me to practice that about 18 months ago - paid off yesterday.
  9. Man that sounds hairy. Glad you are alright. That's exactly why I carry emergency undies. :)

    Do you think there's any cred to the thinking that our brains can operate at different levels in crisis? Sure sounds like something kicked in for you. I guess we can call it instinct but I'm wondering if it's something more than that.

    I had a very serious car accident as a kid. To this day I can remember seeing everything happen in slow motion and in very clear detail. I swear that I saw the bonnet of the car folding back over and even individual shards of glass flying by as the front end of the car exploded. Just like in a slow motion film.

    Very freaky.
  10. Yup. You know it's bad when everything goes into slow motion. I suspect there are physiological reasons for it, like possibly your brain perceiving time as a function of your heartbeat. Heartbeat goes through the roof so your perception of time slows down 'cos your brain only expects maybe 100 bpm or so. Something like that anyway.

    Regardless, although the thought processes can go lightning fast under the circumstances, I've always been disappointed that my (and my bike's) physical responses can't keep up.

    Besides, once the crash has actually happened, I'd really rather get all the sliding, screaming and hitting other vehicles over with as soon as possible so adrenalin induced time dilation becomes something of a negative :D.
  11. Op, you should be proud of yourself. Seems your instincts, and situational awareness, allowed you to study the situation, make the right choice and execute it. (which I'm pleased wasn't just to brake like a cager, but to look for better options). And do it all to what would have appeared to a 3rd party, as instantaneously.

    You stayed in charge, did what you had to do, and made it! :)

    There are never any guarantees, but for this incident, you made the right choices, and must have had your head in the game.
    Well done! :)
  12. Well done mate!... You rode the bike proactively all the way through...and because you were focussed and alert, you gave yourself time, AND used your brakes skilfully to help save your bike and you from being munched. (by what I would have to say, was about as unexpected as anything ever could be.)

    Being able to use the brakes while turning is a very very good tool. (noobs ignore that last comment, as it is more of an advanced skill, for a rider with decent experience.)

    No mess, Mr Messy! :)
  13. That kind of thing goes on all the time, but only sports people who's sport involves alot of risk accessment/management, actually get to have the experience. Regular folks can't relate at all, as they've never experienced it.