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I was out riding today and I made a realization about my riding style: I basically ride with the assumption that any driver may, at any given time, do the stupidest and most dangerous possible thing to injure or kill me. I've been riding streetbikes for about 7-8 years and I've found that this mindset has really helped me avoid some nasty situations. The one thing that I do that may be considered unusual, though, is to ride through an intersection where, say, there's a car on my right waiting to cross. I keep a close eye on the driver with my hands over the brake and clutch in case the cager decides to pull out and T-bone me, but I also keep my legs tensed so that, if there is no chance for me to avoid being hit, I can jump onto the hood of the car and avoid having my leg crushed. Does anyone else do anything like this? Am I being overly cautious? Or foolish?
 

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I am not that freaked out as you are.

Still back in 1948 an old rider in his late 40s gave me this one---" You are the only sane rider on the steet & all the others are crazy & out to kill you". So from having people drive through STOP lights & take me down, to others from the right suddenly turning left in front of me, etc, etc. I became a very DEFENSIVE rider & soon looked upon ALL drivers to not be trusted, even people walking down the road or to bicyclist. In other words when someone is coming t a STOP sign & about to come on the main road I am prepared for them to go right through it, the car signalling a right turn to turn left, etc.
Of interest I have almost developed an advance feeling about drivers & it has worked on so many occasions.
One simply does NOT trust others!!
NOW that m/cs have such good brakes & easy clutch levers to be pulled in ---- always in town & when I come upon traffic on the hwy two fingers of my left & right hand go over the contol levers for quicker response. Just a few days 4 teen-age kids suddely decide to dash across a busy street & while one actually hit the front wheel & fell down I had gone from doing 50KPH to being fully stopped.
The one we cannot beat is the REAR ENDER & while my mirrors are constantly being used, & shoulder checks I have been hit from behind the most often & basically at stop signs.
No I am not & never have been prepared to leap off the bike & stick with it no matter what----well some 56 of yrs of it anyway.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, Smitty. You're right, you really have to look everywhere. You don't go riding without your safety gear and the most important piece of safety equipment you own just might be that squishy organ between your ears.
 

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I agree about the rear ender thing. Sometimes I think it's those little habits developed during riding that saves you most.

- Dropping an elbow and looking in your rear view when stopping (slow or hard stops)

- "Flashing" your brakes during a slow stop and you have plenty of time to stop in front of you, but you make sure the flashing helps drivers behind you take notice.

- Always keeping the clutch pulled in and in 1st gear when stopped at a light until that first car pulls in behind you so you're sure you won't get rear ended

- Stopping towards the left or right side of the lane so if (when checking your mirrors) you notice the driver behind you is going to hit you, you can quickly escape in betwen lanes more easily than if you were dead-center of the lane with a car ahead of you.

- Head on a swivel. Pretend you're a fighter pilot in WWII. No radar, no nothing. The one that gets you is the one you don't see.

- ALWAYS assume every one wants to kill you.

- ALWAYS assume that no one sees you.

Simple things....

Emrah
 

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emrah: Your two "ALWAYS" are better shortened verstions then the advice I received back in 1948.
Funny thing is even when walking down a sidewalf I stay to the right, do shoulder checks (especially at street crossings) & when I come to the sharp right turn around a building I peek aound JUST in case someone is walkiing on the left (when coming towards me) & will blindly bump into me.
Feel the above came about prior to banning bicycle riders on the walking streets & at times I had teen-aged to younger kids running into me from behind to a clash at a turn.
To-day I noticed a mother on her bicycle with her young boy (just off this traning wheels) at the stop sign (on left side of the road) only two houses down the hill. I stopped the m/c, took off my helmet & ASKED if she would be so kind as to teach her son to stay on the RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD. Pointing out that if I was headed home & coming to a right hand turn up to my home, I simply would NOT see her son on the wrong side of the road due to the shrub fence that was at her head height.
Also pointed out her son might have trouble in judging parked cars on the side of the road for they are parked on either side & often in the wrong direction -------- told her when I was learning to ride a bicycle back in 1934 I could not judge what side of the road I should be on & finally my mother put a piece of ribbon on my right wrist, so I knew THAT was the side of road I should be on.
So there is a guide to early learning for this woman & her son, from a polite m/cist just a few houses from her. Hope it works for back in '87 I banked around that corner only to find a maze of kids on their bicycles charging down the hill & actually knocked one over, for it is hard to hit the brakes hard when bank, as we all know.
 
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