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I notice a lot of people, including myself, talking about how we will ride slower on a road that we don't know. I would have to assume that this is brought on by the fact that we can't see through every corner so we go slower to allow for surprises like a blind hard decreasing radius turn, or an unannounced stop sign just around the bend. Well last week I was riding a road that I am very familiar with and can just about ride with my eyes closed. It has a lot of elevation changes so you are blind coming over the crests of hills leading into corners. As I was briskly riding along this road I crested a hill and found a pickup truck stopped in my lane at a spot where there is no drive-way or side street. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to be stopped there. At this point the throttle was firmly against the stop in fourth gear at about 7000RPM and climbing (you do the math). The truck wasn't immediately in front of me or I would be dead. I had a reasonable amount of room to maneouver but not nearly enough room to stop. So I slowed as much as I could and moved into the oncoming lane which was clear and went around him yelling and waving like a lunatic. So I got to thinking that the reason we ride harder on roads we "know" is because we think we know what is around the corner and can anticipate the road and therefore go faster. We always say "you never know what is around the bend, or over the hill" but it seems we consistently anticipate roads we know and turn up the pace. I'm not sure what my point is other than at times it would appear that we are kidding ourselves if we think we can ever "know" a road. And I think that is obvious to anyone that rides with any common sense. But the evidence suggests that maybe we think otherwise.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
fotobw said:
I guess that's the point I am trying to make. For most of us the answer to this question is an obvious "NO". It's a no-brainer. But it seems that a lot of the same people that preach this, again myself included, will consistently ride harder on roads that we are familiar with. The only reason I can think of is that we anticipate and assume based on or familiarity. Sooner or later it will bite us.
 

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Deep

Really good question, Rouge. I would have said that there are a few roads that I know like the back of my hand but you've made me think. Sure, familiarity is one thing, but I also think that in the back of my mind I'm always hoping to be ready for the un-expected round the next bend or over the next hill. I guess it's what keeps us alive as when the shit hits the fan it's experiance, skill and a lot of luck that can decide the outcome.
Joey Dunlop had to ride the Isle of Mann course by going from one section to the next. This was the way he memorized the whole circut. I guess we do the same but with all the hazzards that are there to trip us up.
Not sure if this makes a whole lot of sense, but as I said, you've got me thinking.

A wee tribute to the King of the roads.
 

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What Uncanny timing!

You have hit my biggest problem right on the head! I went riding today, alone, to practice and figure out why I can get the tire to the edge, but still get beat by my friends. I realized that my BIGGEST problem is not my skill level but rather my apprehension of what might be around the next turn! I noticed that as soon as I could see clearly all the way through the turn, I relaxed and leaned harder and accelerated.
I thought, maybe Im just a puss, but maybe Im just smart :D :D

Its time for another track day!

Great post BM!
 

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The only place that's really predictable enough to push the edge is the racetrack. Any time you are on a public road, all bets are off. There are people who feel that they are immune to the unpredictability of the street and try to ride close to 100% all the time. There is a name for what these people can eventually become...cadavers.

The answer is no. You can know the terrain and you can know the elevation changes and the camber and rate of every corner on the road. You can have you brake markers and turn in points memorized for the entire road, but you can't know the road.
 

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Birdman said:
it seems we consistently anticipate roads we know and turn up the pace.
Personally, when I say that I "know" a road, I mean precisely this: I know the ROAD, and that's it. I know where the turns are, the elevation changes, the "hidden" drives, etc., but nothing beyond that. I am not willing to risk another bad accident based on an assumption.

I am willing to pick the pace up a bit on roads I know, but only when I can clearly see a good distance ahead of me. As soon as I come upon a turn and I can't see to the other side, I take it easy in anticipation of what COULD be at the end of the turn. I mean, knowing the road does not mean that you know what is coming up in the road or what is ON the road at any given time. I may know that there's a nice right-hander coming up, but I may not know that 10 minutes ago a redneck in a '71 GMC Pickup broke down and dropped 2 quarts of oil in the middle of the turn.

That to me is the difference between knowing the road and knowing what's in/on the road. Big difference in my mind.

Illustration: Kind of like your friend who dates the hottest girl in school even though she's a skank. You never know what she'll be wearing, but you always go to school in the hopes that she'll be wearing nothing at all and willing to be ridden all day long. :D
 

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Re: What Uncanny timing!

HondaNut! said:
You have hit my biggest problem right on the head! I went riding today, alone, to practice and figure out why I can get the tire to the edge, but still get beat by my friends. I realized that my BIGGEST problem is not my skill level but rather my apprehension of what might be around the next turn! I noticed that as soon as I could see clearly all the way through the turn, I relaxed and leaned harder and accelerated.
I thought, maybe Im just a puss, but maybe Im just smart :D :D

Its time for another track day!
Bingo, We have a winner who has IT figured out. Keep riding the pace on the street and tearin' it up on the track where it belongs.
 

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Dude, the ironic fact is the absolute perfect timing of this post! Just the day-before-yesterday my bud and I were riding a road that we have ridden, oh, countless times. As we came around this small curve (one that we normally take slow due to the over abundance of gravel in this area of roadway) we come across the outside wall of an exploded tire. We get past it and I feel pretty safe that is the only piece we are going to come across....well this [email protected]$ must have blown his tire and decided, "Hey, why don't I just drag it with me until my rim disintegrates and my car catches fire!" Dude, there were pieces of this thing around what seemed like every corner for most of the road! Point..........your post couldn't be more true! Here, here!!! :eek:
 

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I confess. I'm guilty of being stupid and irresponsible about 60-70% of the time on two roads in particular, that I claim to "know like the back of my hand."

Thanks for the wake-up James. Sometimes a person needs to be reminded of their carelessness.
 

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It ain't the 99 times you get away with it, that causes problems. It's the one time that you don't that can kill ya'.

I'd rather be a live chicken than a dead one. Better a fat squid than a flat squid.

And yes, I am quilty of the same thing.
 

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Good post BM. You may recall that a similar thing happened to me a few weeks ago with sheep covering the entire road.

I don't know about everyone here, but going around a corner slowly just doesn't do it for me. I ride to ride fast and ride corners faster. In the Road Code over here it says that you should be able to stop within half of the viewable distance ahead of you at all times. In many a corner you have got to be going damn slow to be able to achieve this. The kinda slow that you would derive little enjoyment from.

Now we all know that riding is dangerous and we accept that danger right? We do as much as we can to minimise this danger, but most of the time we stop short of keeping the bike in the garage and taking the cage. I think that if you're riding on the road, the speed at which to you take decide to take a corner is very much the level of risk that you are willing to subject yourself to. When you're carving twisties at a decent pace you're never going to be 100% safe, and there are going to be situations that if they arise you are going to have an accident. I think that is part of the risk that we all must accept when we ride out of our driveways.

Now I'm not saying that if there is an obstacle around a corner that it is inevitable (sp?) that you will hit it, so you may as well ride at full pace all the time and don't give this matter a second thought. One of the rules of riding is to "always leave yourself an out", and in preparing yourself for a corner this should always be prevailant on your mind. In essence don't ride the corners at 100%, leave yourself a margin where you can change your line, lean angle etc so as to avoid a potential hazard. BUT accept that in some situations (however unlikely) there is not going to be an out unless you were travelling at the speed at which your granny would take that corner.

Many people aren't prepared to take that risk, and the only riding for them is on the track. Fair enough. Personally I'm prepared to take the risk to an extent.

Thoughts?
 

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The honesty in this thread is outstanding.

I too am guilty of this... but I have been aware of this too. A friend of mine came around a blind corner that we both know very well and lost both his legs. They were severed by a flat bed tow truck that had the bead almost all the way lowered, parked on the side of the road in his lane.

If I can't see a clear line through the turn I don't push it. That means going a lot slower than I'd like to much of the time. It's a survival discipline.
 

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fotobw said:
HA !

That reminds of truemeaningoflife.com

"U CAPITALIZIN' : BAD"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
jonathan said:


HA !

That reminds of truemeaningoflife.com

"U CAPITALIZIN' : BAD"
Were your other 42 posts as insightfull as this one?
 

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Christ, I've gone so far as to rationalize it to the point that "hey with leathers on, as long as I can slow it to 20MPH in the distance that is visable I'll be okay." Truth is I TRY to not ride faster than I can stop but with leathers on I let myself get away with a little too much sometimes (mostly in the very tight lower speed corners). Hope it doesn't bite me some day but I'm addicted to the lean angle. I have REALLY been practicing braking lately since I moved to SoCal and gotten on the mountains. Some of this sh!t is so tight you just can't see through the corner very well though and that's where the margins get a little thin sometimes. So every once in a while on a ride I'll check the mirrors to make sure it's clear and just grab the sh!t out of the brakes. Try it sometime. If you'll ride at 140mph try braking from it once in a while, it'll open your eyes. If you ride hard in the corners you better practice braking hard in those too. Best get good at managing traction though when mixing cornering and braking together. I use the MSF technique for the corners, stand it up as you brake progressively harder untill you're upright and at that point you better be approaching a stoppie. Then it's a matter of deciding to run off the road at the lowest speed possible or letting off the brakes to dive hard back into the corner.
Ride safe
 

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Birdman said:


Were your other 42 posts as insightfull as this one?
YES !

In all honesty I giggled like a schoolgirl when I read that post up there.
 
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