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Discussion Starter #1
Target fixation. Here is another question what it the deal with target fixation? It is such a weird un-natural feeling and I have never experienced ANYTHING like it in all the cage driving and spirited sports car driving I have done. Is it b/c you have the safety, or percieved safety, of a cage? Is it b/c you have your limbs and balls on the line on the bike?
 

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I never understood target fixation until I crashed my snowmobile because of it. It was redilculous, as I was flying thru the air I was still looking at the bloomin thing!
 

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It is really just the fact that the human brain can't perform the body leaning necessary to lead the bike through a turn unless you are looking in the right direction , so that the mind has the right visual frame of reference.

In a car, you don't lean your body to lead the car, so you can stare at something else while steering the car through a turn.

On a bike, stare at something and you won't be able to go anywhere but right in to what you are staring at.
 

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my opinion is that target fixation is caused by the combination of
* the small delay between steering input and actual change of direction
* backward steering (push right go right)

there is probably no definite answer. people will likely have wildly varying plausible explanations.
 

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It's all eye-hand coordination stuff. Car or bike or snowmobile, you look where you want to go. Thousands of years of evolution has made man a visual creature, to be able to throw a spear at a target, or aim a bike through the apex.
 

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As a rule gerneral rule: where the head looks the body follows.

I think we all have felt the effects of TF even if we dont remember the experence. I.e. Remember riding a bicycle and trying to stay on the lines as a kid. It was hard. Every time you looked to the left or right of the line you would drift off but if you looked into the distance it was easyer to stay straight. Same on a balancing beam or when your in your car and you look down at your girls legs, opps im drifting...

now take these effects times speed and add being frozen on a object unable to do anything but stare because of panick.  TREEEEEEEEEEEEE BHAM or DIIIIITCCCHHHH BHAM. use as many variations as you like. Wham a crash because of TF.

You can, after lots of practice, learn to look anywhere you want at speed and maintain your line but most people never get past the ability to look thru a turn let alone be able to do it in a panic situation. Hell, I still struggle with it at times.
 

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When I was working as a volunteer at a mountain bike race, a guy came down the hill and centerpunched a hay bale (behind which there was a ditch) with huge amounts of room on either side of it. He just locked in on it like there was nothing else in the world. Couldn't really ask him about it as the medics were taking him away and all he could ask about was his bike lol.

Now you'd think I'd learn from something like that, and I guess I have to some degree. I have to consciously force myself to look at where I want to go on the mountain bike or for sure I'll hit that rock/root/opossum I was looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To me it feels like a brain lock or brain fade type of thing. Once in college when I was playing baseball a guy threw me a ball kinda side-arm and like the second he let it go I remember thinking God Damn man if I dont catch this ball judgeing by the trajectory, arch, etc it is gonna hit me right in the nuts............then like brain lock set in and the next thing I knew I was on the ground doubled over cupping my crotch. This is kinda what happend in my target fixation situation on my bike except I saved it before a crash listed here: Leaving work and it is just ready to start pouring and there are also calls for hail so I want to get the hail out of here. Enter a 20mph suggested speed full circle on ramp and a huge bolt of lightning strikes directly in front of me about 100 yards away. The flash of it distracts me and causes me to fixate on it and not the on ramp. I find myself driving straight at the bolt just long enough to have me in trouble for this circular of an on ramp. Go to my brakes gently, both evenly, doing just fine. Then I get to the 10 inch gravel ring around the outside of the radius. Fortunate I have just barely taken enough advantage of the good pavement I did have, out of pure luck mind you, and I am now so slowed down the that gravel isn't fatal to my quest to stay upright and I now have my bike pointed in the direction of the on ramp that I wanted to go in so my front and back tires both hit the curb almost flush and I kind of bump and scrape along the curb till I kind of kick myself away from it with my left foot. Steering away wasn't working it was like the curb had magnetism and my tires were made of steel when really  it was that I was playing this little paddy cake game tire vs. curb b/c as I would steer right the back of the tire would hit the curb and push the front of the tire back into the curb. Came away shinny side up.

Problems, riding out my ass to avoid rain and hurrying too much, fixating on a spectacular bolt of lighting, not looking through my turn

Fixes, unless it is Brooke Burk buck naked bending over to pick up a dime on side of the road I am not looking at it, SLOW DOWN, look through turns
 

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Target fixation is hard to explain.  It's most common on vehicles where you are out in the air (motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, small boats, etc.).  It's definitely a mind-freeze condition.  It can occur in corners and it can occur going straight down the interstate.

The only advice I can offer is to keep your eyes moving.  I don't mean googling them all over the place, but get into a comfortable rhythm of checking your mirrors, looking far, looking close, looking to your sides (peripheral vision mostly).  In corners keep looking around the turn.  In turns keep your head more vertical relative to the ground (this also helps overcome conservative lean-o-meters).  Keep your mind relaxed, but on task.

I know this is vague at best, but it's worked for me over the years.

I keep thinking about accidents that my cop friends tell me about.  It amazes them (and me) how common it is to see a rider go smack into something with no evidence of braking and with no obstructions around the object, like the hay bale centerpunch in another thread.  They say that witnesses often report that the rider wasn't speeding or doing anything reckless, they just sort of ride off the road in a straight line into some immovable object.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I may need some kind of help, like mentally, or else I am too stressed. I actually did this with a red light yesterday. Fortunately I was in my car. I just remember looking at the light thinking is red stop or is red go? Then I locked up the brakes. On the bike part of it is the beloved silence of my helmet. I work around noise, walk to and from work in noise, then.......................on goes the helmet and relative silence compared to everyday life. I mean that is why I love to 2 up ride with my wife, no yap yap yap talking for a change just silence. The silence gets my brain off on stupid topics. Usually not as stupid as is red go or is red stop????? I may need a padded room.
 

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Kevin,

I try not to ride when my brain is wandering like that. I like the clarity of focus I get on a hard ride. My mind is always bouncing between topics and I like the signular focus I get, as it lets me get away from the other topics.

Ron
 

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Target Fixation = Panic.

Your brain gets overloaded and just locks up,  
Your brain controls you body,
Your body controls the bike,
Like a missile, your bike locks onto whatever your looking at ... then


Boom
 

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Tre... you can target fixate without panicing. For example you spot a pot hole, you know it won't hurt you but decide to go around it, so you watch it as you ride over it, you target fixated on it, hit it, but didn't ever panic.
 

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So, I guess that the opposite is true also, then.

If we can fixate on a target such that we aren't able to get into a lean enough to turn the opposite should also be true.

It should therefore be possible to look too far into a turn such that we turn too early and need to navigate out of trouble.

True?
 

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Vilrog said:
So, I guess that the opposite is true also, then.

If we can fixate on a target such that we aren't able to get into a lean enough to turn the opposite should also be true.

It should therefore be possible to look too far into a turn such that we turn too early and need to navigate out of trouble.

True?
TRUE! First time on the track, spent so much concentration on hitting the turn-in, apex, and exit marks that I ended up with bad corner speed and funky lines. Lots of n00bs try so hard to find the apex that they tend to dive into a corner early.
 

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I target fixate on hot chicks, sooner or later I'm going to hit one.

Double meaning? Yes? No? Who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
is it just like how I want to hit Brooke Burk from behind......maybe even in the behind...D'oH!
 

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Right about overturning. When turning onto a narrow 1-way street admittedy too fast, I tend to find myself worrying more about hitting the first parked car on the near side than the one on the far side, because I'm so over-concerned in the first place with just clearing the far side. But then again, I'm a noob.
 

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good old coach chester used to say"just keep your eye on the balls kid" then slap my arse and tell me "good game kid" :-Xman i miss that guy...j/k
 
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