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-   -   Close call (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/advanced-riding/6013-close-call.html)

ccd3 07-24-2007 12:23 PM

Close call
 
Today was almost my day. I came too close to eating it in traffic. It's a common situation, one as riders we are exposed to everyday- Guy turning left out of a business going across 4 lanes of traffic and a median. He never saw me- until I was stopped inches from his door.

I've been a rider for over 20 years. I've taken all the MSF courses, basic and advanced. So- I fancied myself a pretty-cool rider in all situations. I've made a few good runs on track day, I've competed in hare scrambles, and once when younger cleared a triple. As much as i'd like to say "hurray for me for not eating this morning" I recognize what saved me from a hospital visit was more luck than skill.

What I did right:

I was going the speed limit- about 50.
I was scanning far enough ahead to see that the knucklehead never saw me.
I was ready to take action.
i was fully bunkered-up with gear.

What I did wrong:

Object fixated... I just stared at the truck. Never tried to swerve.

For some reason I was more worried about low-siding/high siding than I was about t-boning the truck. The street was wet and I remember thinking "don;t panic brake"

I flipped the guy off even though he was clearly apologetic. i might have yelled at him too.

All-in-all, not very good performance on my part. If I was going just a little faster, I'd be dealing with insurance forms right now.

Folks- I just had a real wake-up call this morning. I've been a lazy rider. All those things I learned in MSF I need to re-visit. I'm sure some of you are ninja's when it comes to riding- so this doesn;t apply to you. But- if you're like me, let this be a reminder.. we really are invisible and everybody wants to kill us.

Ride Safe

pushrod 07-24-2007 12:43 PM

I'd say you did everything right!

You didn't hit anyone, no one hit you and you didn't lose control of the bike.

Sure, there could have been a better outcome, but I'd say you did OK!

Every time I start thinking, "What could I have done to avoid that head-on with that car on the Dragon?"; I force myself to think of something else. I ended up with a shattered forearm and a couple of bruises; a totaled Sprint ST and he totaled his Subaru.

If I'd done anything different, odds are I'd not be typing this.

So, don't get "eat up" with the "coulda-woulda's" and ride!

And, Congratulations!

longride 07-24-2007 01:11 PM

I try to get my head on straight before each ride, and just when you think you can relax a little, a wonderful 'oh shyt' moment kicks you into reality. Glad you made it through, but nothing like seeing your life flash before your eyes to keep you awake at night.

DataDan 07-27-2007 11:50 AM

I'd say you did it just right. Was there some luck involved? Maybe, but it was luck that you made.

Your regret seems to be focused on the fact that you braked rather than swerved. Was swerving even an option? In that situation, you'd have to be able to swerve to the right to go behind him (you wouldn't want to cross ahead of him). But then you'd have to know absolutely for sure that the lane(s) to your right were clear. If you didn't already know that--and you certainly didn't have time to check--braking was your only option.

You also seem to have second thoughts about your mental braking technique. Once you decided to brake, your main concern should have been effective braking. After that decision was made, the biggest controllable danger you faced was brake lockup. At that point you shouldn't worry about T-boning the truck, because it would just distract you. You need to concentrate every neuron on braking well.

Give yourself more credit for what you did right. Speed, awareness, expecting the incursion, and being ready to act are what saved you.

seruzawa 07-27-2007 01:00 PM

I always keep in mind...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DataDan (Post 166574)
I'd say you did it just right. Was there some luck involved? Maybe, but it was luck that you made.

Your regret seems to be focused on the fact that you braked rather than swerved. Was swerving even an option? In that situation, you'd have to be able to swerve to the right to go behind him (you wouldn't want to cross ahead of him). But then you'd have to know absolutely for sure that the lane(s) to your right were clear. If you didn't already know that--and you certainly didn't have time to check--braking was your only option.

You also seem to have second thoughts about your mental braking technique. Once you decided to brake, your main concern should have been effective braking. After that decision was made, the biggest controllable danger you faced was brake lockup. At that point you shouldn't worry about T-boning the truck, because it would just distract you. You need to concentrate every neuron on braking well.

Give yourself more credit for what you did right. Speed, awareness, expecting the incursion, and being ready to act are what saved you.

... that hauling yourself down to the lowest velocity is most important. You can't brake while swerving. So if you've only got a split second to decide than brake as hard as you can. It's better to hit him at 15 mph than to swerve and get clipped at 45 mph.

tripleripple 07-27-2007 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longride (Post 166153)
I try to get my head on straight before each ride, and just when you think you can relax a little, a wonderful 'oh shyt' moment kicks you into reality. Glad you made it through, but nothing like seeing your life flash before your eyes to keep you awake at night.

My biggest problem. I constantly find my mind wandering and have to physically force it back to concentrate on the task at hand. Maybe I need some Addy or something but I swear, two seconds, that's all it takes.

blade5 11-05-2007 03:41 PM

thats luck its the presences of mind

orcyclist 11-13-2007 01:48 PM

I am sorry but you are wrong. You CAN brake and swerve at the same time. No, it is not simple. You just have to have practiced it. I practice it all the time, it's called trail braking on the racetrack where you brake AND change direction at the same time. I advocate track days on your street bike to teach you what that old gray mare can really do. Track days and their higher speeds are a great way to learn to deal with those "UH-OH" moments. Better to run off into the dirt when nothing is there to hit than to do it on the street where there are oh-so-many things to hit - none of which are soft and padded. Oh Yeah ATGATT! so if you do impact you have a better chance. Keep you eyes up and your brain engaged and don't override your abilities. (We all do it one time or another! Me included!)

By the way to quote an aviation axiom - Any landing you can walk away from is a successful one. I say the guy did good.

seruzawa 11-13-2007 04:15 PM

Wouldn't be....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by orcyclist (Post 173318)
I am sorry but you are wrong.

... the first time. Depending on the situation you can swerve but to brake at maximum you need to be going straight. So I guess it comes down to the specific situation and how many options you have available. How much room, etc. I still take reducing velocity as much as possible to be the most important thing you can do.

But you are right. Everyone should practice these sorts of manuvers.

Kenneth_Moore 11-13-2007 05:51 PM

I have wonder what it must be like to ride in a place where this type of incident is unusual enough to take note of. Some sort of two-wheeled paradise, I guess. Maybe someday...


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