Author Topic: Practice your avoidance skills!  (Read 2214 times)

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Offline 2linby

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Practice your avoidance skills!
« on: May 11, 2011, 11:37:10 pm »
My new tires needed to be "scrubbed" in, so I took a little ride yesterday evening and cutting into my first tight blind twisty (almost a 90 degree bend to the right) a ratty assed pickup truck off on the shoulder pulled straight out to the left across my entire lane. With no where to go I quickly and almost simultaneously tapped the horn, (the truck thankfully stopped but it was now blocking the entire right lane and just over the double yellow line), picked my escape route, straighted the bike, scrubbed off enough speed so I would not slam into the guardrail on the otherside of the road and swerved to the left to avoid then back to the right to straighten up the bike and missed the trucks bumper by about 2 feet and the guardrail on the left by about 5 feet. Lucky for me there was no other approaching vehicle, but that is why the pickup pulled out in the first place! The driver apparently checked both directions but did not then face and turn towards the direction they were heading otherwise they would have seen me coming around the bend. (high beams, running lights on, Hi-Viz stich too!)

All this took about 2.5 seconds or even less.  So for this I say, you always have to prepare for the best by practicing for the worst.
"2linby" Get it? "Tooling by" "Everything is simple, but nothing is easy".
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Offline Greg Habel

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 12:27:12 am »
Nice moves!
I couldn't agree with you more - practice, practice, practice.
Greg H from Mass -  MA/ME/NH/VT co-AAD 2012+ with wife Tracey
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Offline Froggz

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 10:20:27 pm »
WOW!!! Now that is serious "pucker" control...........happy to hear you made it safely to the other side buddy :)
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 10:41:45 pm »
Your reactions and choice of escape path saved your life, so great job!

Are you absolutely certain your horn had the affect of stopping the truck?

I ask this for two reasons, and it might matter.

First, many times (based on accident scenarios the CHP amassed in the 70s and 80s for motorcycles) a cage driver will not see a bike oncoming when they pull out, until they are part the way out into the road, and then they freeze like a deer in headlights.

I saw this first hand and up close when my mc was on a ride, and the lady in front of me was a bit slow, and there was a gap between her and the front of the ride. A van on the shoulder pulled a u-turn from the right shoulder, across our lane, and when he finally looked at her, he slammed on the brakes. With oncoming traffic, she had to lock 'em up, and that and maintaining handlebar control saved her life and the bike. We almost killed the idiot in the van.

I was not far behind her, but my braking power is light years above a HD and I was two-fingering the front lever thinking about three when I realized I could put my feet down and just stop. I also knew there was nothing behind me except a staggered bike and he was on top of the situation, I could tell by the fact he was falling back.

Second, your horn is unlikely to have the desired, if any, effect. Based on the same studies. Granted, a good set of air horns will be heard. But CHP found that often, drivers will look around for the horn and you don't want that. You want the idiot looking right at YOU. Horns are overrated as far as effectiveness on a motorcycle.

HID headlamps are greatly more effective, and switching between low and high beams (light sets for me) a couple times at cages sitting on the shoulder or on side roads has far more effect. And is proactive,  instead of reactive. When I approach a car or truck which may pull out in front of me, I do that, and try to make eye contact (I'm serious, you can tell when they see you), and watch for front wheels turning, and rolling.

I'm not diminishing your excellant save, just exploring the scenario. I think some riders think their horns work like they do in a car.

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Offline 2linby

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 01:18:17 am »
I'm pretty sure my horn did not have any major affect on stopping the truck. It is however a reaction that I have practiced over and over again and it has become part of my automatic response to these situations.  I teach MC safety and we tell students to use the horn but not to rely on it.   Most likely before the driver moved they looked to the left, then to the right and then moved across the road without facing their new path of travel. In the second(s) it took for them to look left then right and then move out into my path of travel I was only a couple seconds away from moving into their line of sight.

I also agree that a HID and or a pulsing headlamp is far more effective in getting motorists attention than any horn could. I always have my high beam on during the day and my running lights are always on day and night. The three light pattern definitely makes your presence easier to visually pick up by other motorists.  However regardless of your ability to "command attention" we have to routinely practice the skills of swerving and braking and become proficient in these skills.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 11:18:29 am »
Yes, I agree 100%. I do MSF at least every other year, just to remind myself.

My big problem is reaction time. Take my age, my long-term injuries, and PTSD, and my reaction time sometimes sucks.

So I have to actively scan constantly in traffic and on farm roads, for example. I need to get out in front of the event, so if it happens, I have already decided what my escape path is. I could get knocked down and killed at any time. Too much is beyond my control. But what little is, I hope I do as well as you did.

I just think putting even one microsecond of motor (muscle) control into thumbing the horn is one microsecond you could start a counter-steer maneuver sooner.

Since the horn isn't going to help anyway.
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 10:41:30 pm »
The use the horn or not is irrelevant. His use of the horn did not slow his performance of the manuevers because it was an action he'd planned and practiced frequently and was done in concurrence with other actions (e.g. straightening up, slowing, picking the excape route, etc.).

The "take away" point here is that he successfully used a system that he'd PRACTICED a lot.  Additionally, he was prepared to perform these avoidance maneuvers because he was (subconciously perhaps) expecting to need them; e.g. he had a STRATEGY.

Unfortunately the vast majority of riders NEVER practice emergency maneuvers and have no plan to deal with any unexpected occurance.
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No one is a TOTAL failure; they can always be used as a bad example.

Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 12:14:37 pm »
The use the horn or not is irrelevant. His use of the horn did not slow his performance of the manuevers because it was an action he'd planned and practiced frequently and was done in concurrence with other actions (e.g. straightening up, slowing, picking the excape route, etc.).

The "take away" point here is that he successfully used a system that he'd PRACTICED a lot.  Additionally, he was prepared to perform these avoidance maneuvers because he was (subconciously perhaps) expecting to need them; e.g. he had a STRATEGY.

Unfortunately the vast majority of riders NEVER practice emergency maneuvers and have no plan to deal with any unexpected occurance.

I agree most never do anything to practice / prepare to execute escape maneuvers and emergency braking and counter-steering. Many find false security in technology which may help but will not prevent accidents where the rider is unprepared.

I disagree that thumbing the horn cost nothing in reaction time, based on 40+ years of reading about, and talking about, motorcycle accidents. As well as dozens of track days, MSF Experience Rider course at least a dozen times, Total Control twice, and years of automobile autocross racing. But you may assume he was operating at racer level attention levels if you wish. :)
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Offline AngryBaby

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 04:14:58 am »
The more you practice the safer you will be able to ride.  So any chance you might have at all to practice might just save your life.  When an emergency maneuver is needed the muscle memory will kick if you already have thought out plans of action in your head. This all equals the fastest reaction you can make.  Ride safe out there!

Offline 2linby

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Re: Practice your avoidance skills!
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 03:44:00 am »
But you may assume he was operating at racer level attention levels if you wish. :)

No assumption required as although the pace is certainly much different and there is mush more to be aware of when riding this is the way I ride every single time, every single time....
"2linby" Get it? "Tooling by" "Everything is simple, but nothing is easy".
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