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Discussion Starter #1
You’ve seen them on the roads driving their cars, trucks, and SUVs. Talking on the phone, eating, making a grocery list, checking their Palm Pilot, reading their GPS, yelling at the kids, and maybe all of the above! How much of their attention is left for driving? I call this their ‘Bubble of Awareness’ – how large is the area that they are aware of and paying attention to? Maybe just to their front bumper…
Now, how about us? How big is OUR Bubble of Awareness? We have distractions, too. Two-way radios, keeping an eye on the other riders in the group behind us, the argument we just had with the boss/spouse/friend/etc., the distracting effects of heat, cold, wind, bugs, debris, etc. How much of OUR attention is being spent on the business of riding?
Research has shown that in an emergency situation, we have between 2 and 3 seconds to react before something bad happens. The problem is that is takes about 3 seconds to judge, decide what to do, and then take that action. Now, I’m not a math whiz, but that seems like a problem to me…
What makes the difference is what happens during the 5-10 seconds BEFORE the emergency situation. If we can train our Bubble of Awareness to extend to 20 seconds ahead of where we are now, we can start to make some predictions and take actions that reduce our risk:
Truck with uncovered load – predict debris – back off and be ready to slow/swerve/stop
Driver up ahead going slowly and looking side to side – predict they are looking for an address and may turn suddenly – back off and don’t pass (they may turn left when you are trying to pass!)
Road curves out of sight – predict that beyond the bend is debris, a stalled car, deer, and/or a tighter turn – slow and select a lane position that allows you to see farthest around the turn
There are dozens and maybe hundreds more. The trick is for us to get our eyes up and look well ahead. Identify those potential hazards, make predictions, and take action early. The best way to handle an emergency situation is to identify it and take action BEFORE it becomes an emergency.
Enjoy the summer riding – be alert, ride within your limits, and increase your Bubble of Awareness.
 
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very true. I complete found out that after a winter in a cage, that bubble shrinks right up. Bout a week ago I gave myself a good scare. I was crusing down the 4 lane, not paying real good attention. Saw the cars starting to brake, but not thinking much of it. (cuz cagers brake sometimes just to move their feet i think) Then I suddenly realized that this was for real, they were actually stopping, not just slowing. Now luckily for me I had plenty of room, like 10 car lenghts. But I kinda panic'd, right hand grabbed the brake, left hand pulled in the clutch, feet flew off the highway pegs, slammed down on the rear brake. And the rear end proceeded to sling around to my right at about a 45 degree line from my intended path, let off the rear brake and rearend went to 45 line from my intended path the other direction. I let off the front brake and continued my forward momentum and she straightened right out. Then I proceeded to roll on the brakes evenly and came to a stop.

Now if my bubble had been thinking better I would have know that those people were actually stopping, and would have starting slowing earlier. Instead of locking them up. I know that you are not supposed to let off the rear brake if it locks up, you are supposed to just ride it out. Cuz that coulda been bad. That woulda been quite the foolish accident to have. 100% avoidable to.
 

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Good reminder Cruizer!

Thanx!
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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There's an old saying in the military: "Be Nice, Be Polite, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."

Same goes for riding a bike. Have a plan for every car you "meet" on the road (whether oncoming, or going your way) and constantly update it in your head.

That's what I do.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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I purchased David Hough`s book "Proficient Riding 2", (just updated in 2008), and have read it completely through twice, and some parts of it several times. He promotes the practice of scanning ahead for a distance of 12 seconds, which is about 700 feet at average city street speeds. If you can`t process the incoming info that far ahead, you need to slow down to a speed where you can process info 12 seconds ahead and react appropriately.

If we don`t see danger until only 2 or 3 seconds away from impact, then 99% of the time, we were not paying sufficient attention to clues 10 seconds earlier, and slowing or moving to a safer position, before it becomes an emergency. This is an excellent book, and should be required reading for every rider who is serious about being as skillful and aware as possible when riding.
 
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I purchased David Hough`s book "Proficient Riding 2", (just updated in 2008), and have read it completely through twice, and some parts of it several times. He promotes the practice of scanning ahead for a distance of 12 seconds, which is about 700 feet at average city street speeds. If you can`t process the incoming info that far ahead, you need to slow down to a speed where you can process info 12 seconds ahead and react appropriately.

If we don`t see danger until only 2 or 3 seconds away from impact, then 99% of the time, we were not paying sufficient attention to clues 10 seconds earlier, and slowing or moving to a safer position, before it becomes an emergency. This is an excellent book, and should be required reading for every rider who is serious about being as skillful and aware as possible when riding.
Thanx for sharing, OlHoss! :smiley_th
 

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We had an intersection back where we used to live that was innocent looking but turned out to be deadly for at least two drivers over the years we lived out there, and many more accidents happened there where people were lucky to have lived. Picture a 4 lane farm to market road going north and south. No turn lane. Coming from the east was a 2 lane county road that dead ended or T'd into the 4 lane. The 2 lane road had a stop sign. Around 5pm there was always several cars and trucks waiting on the 2 lane road to turn left or south onto the 4 lane, and there was usually a few vehicles going north on the 4 lane that were slowing down to turn right (east) on the 2 lane road. So there was limited sight of the inside lane going north to the folks on the 2 lane road wanting to turn left. Two times I witnessed someone whip into the inside lane to go around the group of cars slowing down to turn right onto the 2 lane road and they TBoned a car turning onto the 4 lane road. Neither time did I see anyone get killed there, but there were a couple of crosses that someone had placed at the intersection in honor of someone who lost their life there. I saw crushed glass and turn signals, radiator spills etc, on probably 10 different occasions when I went through there over the years. You just have to remember that if you are the one that pulls into the inside lane to get past cars that are turning right, someone is probably not going to see you and if you broadside a car on a bike, the bike loses every time. I found myself on the county road waiting to turn left several times, and I'd wait til no one was coming every time to turn onto the 4 lane road, despite getting honked at from behind a few times. Taking chances when you "can" see everything is one thing, but taking blind chances is a death wish in my opinion!
 

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GREAT post Fergy! :smiley_th

Thanx! :beerchug:

We had an intersection back where we used to live that was innocent looking but turned out to be deadly for at least two drivers over the years we lived out there, and many more accidents happened there where people were lucky to have lived. Picture a 4 lane farm to market road going north and south. No turn lane. Coming from the east was a 2 lane county road that dead ended or T'd into the 4 lane. The 2 lane road had a stop sign. Around 5pm there was always several cars and trucks waiting on the 2 lane road to turn left or south onto the 4 lane, and there was usually a few vehicles going north on the 4 lane that were slowing down to turn right (east) on the 2 lane road. So there was limited sight of the inside lane going north to the folks on the 2 lane road wanting to turn left. Two times I witnessed someone whip into the inside lane to go around the group of cars slowing down to turn right onto the 2 lane road and they TBoned a car turning onto the 4 lane road. Neither time did I see anyone get killed there, but there were a couple of crosses that someone had placed at the intersection in honor of someone who lost their life there. I saw crushed glass and turn signals, radiator spills etc, on probably 10 different occasions when I went through there over the years. You just have to remember that if you are the one that pulls into the inside lane to get past cars that are turning right, someone is probably not going to see you and if you broadside a car on a bike, the bike loses every time. I found myself on the county road waiting to turn left several times, and I'd wait til no one was coming every time to turn onto the 4 lane road, despite getting honked at from behind a few times. Taking chances when you "can" see everything is one thing, but taking blind chances is a death wish in my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found myself on the county road waiting to turn left several times, and I'd wait til no one was coming every time to turn onto the 4 lane road, despite getting honked at from behind a few times. Taking chances when you "can" see everything is one thing, but taking blind chances is a death wish in my opinion!
I live where there are many intersections like this. Everyone around here is impatient. I never go around any cars that are turning with my bike, nor do I pull out into a main road even if there is a person turning and waving me that they will let me go. I agree with fergy, wait until you can clearly see both ways. As an FYI, I practice the fouronethousand rule or I stay 3 telephone pole lengths behind the car ahead of me. Then again, some idiots just pull out in front of me because there is such a huge gap...
 
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