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I know not all of us have taken training but what are the rules you have learned just through experience?

For example one lesson I learned once was when I was on my bicycle (this question is for motorcycles but I learned a lesson from this) when someone was J-walking on my left hand side and I sped up to pass this person and someone walked off the curb on the right side and right into me. Knocked me right off my bicycle. They where even crossing on a red.

So my lesson from this is that whenever I am avoiding something on one side I make sure I check the other side. I think this helps avoid target fixation as well.

Another example would be that I make sure I am going extra slow when I am ever passing any line of vehicles that are waiting for something (i.e. light, entrance, etc). I have seen enough people make u-turns, or pull out because they are impatient. I realize this one is obvious to some but I sometimes forget.

OK while I am rambling I got another question, how do you get focused or clear your mind before getting on your bike? Right now I take a moment while the bike is warming up to meditate and relax and when I am in a hurry to go somewhere I purposely go slower than normal, screw it if I'm late. Can't rush anymore.
 

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BlueThunder said:
OK while I am rambling I got another question, how do you get focused or clear your mind before getting on your bike? Right now I take a moment while the bike is warming up to meditate and relax and when I am in a hurry to go somewhere I purposely go slower than normal, screw it if I'm late. Can't rush anymore.

You've brought up a good point. You don't want to get on the bike if you head isn't clear and focused. I will catch myself in a rush or too worried about one thing or another and will force myself to 'calm down' before riding off.

I know this may sound...lame..but, if I need to calm down and focus I will get the bike started and while it warms up I will slowly count to 7 out loud. After each number or every other number I will remind myself, out loud, to "ONE" "you are focused" "TWO" "you are calm""THREE" "you are balanced""FOUR" "you are aware" etc etc. Usually when I count to 5 I take a deep breath and let it out. By the time I get to 7 I'm usually clear headed and ready to ride.

Kinda silly? Perhaps. Does it work? Yep!
 

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People who drive saturns cannot be trusted. Same goes with rice burners that feel the need to switch multiple lanes at a time.
 

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lkm said:
People who drive saturns cannot be trusted.  Same goes with rice burners that feel the need to switch multiple lanes at a time.
Hell ya, and they always seem like they wanna race you too.

Also clearing you mind is always good, I pray before I ride. Another thing I have learned from my brother is when at a stop and you see a car pulling up behind you flash your brake light a few times.
 

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The following gleaned over the last 20 years:

Survival on the street requires street smarts. The problem being that street smarts are usually gained through hard and often painful experience. This article contains wisdom won through many years of street riding and at least three trips to the pavement. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.

The numero uno rule of street riding is never, and I do mean NEVER, trust a car driver further than you could throw them still strapped in their 5000 pound, four wheeled death machine. Just to be clear, I?ll say it again, NEVER EVER trust a car driver to see or look before they try to drive over, across or in front of your path ? NEVER.

As a undertone to the first rule, treat all car drivers as homicidal, motorcycle hating maniacs, waiting to snap at any instant and attempt to kill you at the most unexpected time. Are you starting to get an idea of what constitutes the greatest danger to riders?

Look where you want to go because the bike will always go where you look. Don?t focus on the stopped car in your path or the ditch outside the corner you entered too fast. Look through the corner or past the hazard as far as you can. If worst comes to worst, forget the brakes, gas and everything except steering yourself to safety.

Look far enough ahead to be prepared to deal with hazards, corners, a stop or traffic as you come upon it. Don?t get taken by surprise by something you should have seen coming.

Don?t give up and never try to stop in a corner. This is the one place I deviate from the motorcycle safety school curriculum. Trying to stop in a corner is a waste of time and a potential hazard in itself. The single largest cause of motorcycle accidents is panic induced braking entering a corner. The catch-22 being that if you are going slow enough to stop then you are certainly going slow enough to make the corner. Decide to make the corner and make it.

Practice emergency braking and know what it feels like to lock the front tire. Practice this skill on a straight road with no traffic. Do it at at least 50 kms/hr or faster to ensure the bike doesn?t fall down as soon as the front wheel stops turning. The gyroscopic precession of the spinning wheels will keep the bike upright even with a locked front wheel. Once the front wheel locks you have approximately a second to a second and a half to release the brakes before the bike will fall over.

Forget the back brake in an emergency situation. One of the largest causes of single vehicle motorcycle accidents is the misapplication of the brakes. The back brake will lock up with little provocation and distract you from the real braking force on a motorcycle, the front brake.

DO NOT cover the front brake when you ride. An emergency will cause an involuntarily clenching up causing the application of way too much front brake. Braking must be a deliberate act and it takes skill to do it properly.

When riding in traffic, always have an escape route. Constantly be thinking of where you would go if a vehicle gets in your way. Thinking several steps ahead will allow you to plan a way out of a bad situation should it arise.

Do NOT ride in a car?s blind spot. More often than not, drivers don?t look before they move so make sure you are in a location where they cannot help but see you.

Claim your piece of road or traffic lane. Do not allow vehicles to encroach into your space. Keeping a buffer of open space around you allows a split second more time to avoid a potential accident.

Ride slightly faster than the traffic around you. Then you only have to deal with cars coming from the front where they can more easily be seen.

Use your mirrors ? a lot! Know where you are in relation to cars around you and keep track of where they are moving to.
More often than not, a car driver will telegraph their next move. Watch the front wheel and as that is the first thing that moves.

When approaching a vehicle stopped at a cross street. Watch the front wheel, because that is the easiest way to tell if they are moving/creeping forward into your path. It is also a tell tale sign of the driver?s possible intentions.

Watch side streets for approaching vehicles. Never assume a vehicle will stop where it is supposed to.

Beware of a moving vehicle that pulls off to the side of the road. It may pull back on to the road unexpectedly. I had this happen to me when a numb nuts decided to pull a U-turn right across my path. My exhaust bounced off his bumper as I dodged past.

Beware of an approaching vehicle at an intersection. It may turn left in front of you unexpectedly. I had this happen to me as well. Do not assume the driver can see your bike?s ultra bright headlights, even at night on a deserted dark road.

When stopping at an intersection or traffic light, do not relax or take the bike out of gear until a car has stopped behind you. Too many drivers will not see you or the red light and plow right into the back of your bike. Two biking friends had this happen to them and it almost happened to me.

When riding on a city street with parked cars, ride as far away from the parked cars as possible. A car may unexpectedly pull out in your path having not bothered to look. They will also open doors without bother to look as well.

If you choose to split lanes or creep up the shoulder in heavy stopped traffic beware of self important ?do gooders? who will pull their car across your path or open their door intentionally to block your progress. Apparently moving through traffic is a capitol offence worth threatening the life of a motorcyclist.

When approaching an intersection, beware of grease, oil and antifreeze on the pavement. Cars leak these fluids and they are a serious impediment to stopping a motorcycle.

Beware of unstable loads in pick-ups and larger trucks. Bits of the load may fly out and threaten your continued survival as a biker. I had this happen too when a large cardboard box flew out of a speeding pick-up and almost took two of us out.

Beware of gravel and dirt on the road when riding in spring, in the countryside or near a construction zone. There are no laws to prevent lazy truckers spreading all sorts of slippery substances on the roads.

Beware of a wet or dark stain on the pavement on a sunny day. Anything that doesn?t dry quickly on warm pavement will be slippery.

Watch out for large dark patches on the pavement, especially in corners. The patches signify a bump large enough to shake oil and grease off moving cars. The patches are not usually slippery but a large bump mid corner is something worth knowing about.

Never pass a car approaching an intersection. Way too many drivers will turn suddenly without looking or signaling.

Don?t dodge tar strips or manhole covers. They aren?t that slippery and any slip will be very short lived. Dodging these things can upset the bike and cause you to focus on a minor hazard while missing a major hazard or putting yourself in the wrong place to avoid that major hazard.

These are the sorts of boring, dull, day-to-day things that will keep bikers alive long enough to progress to advanced riding techniques and real speed. The sorts of things that make motorcycling fun.
 

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I have my own lil routine that i go through while driving or riding :-D while the bike is warming up I like to kiss my glove and rub my gas tank...everytime i run a yellow light, I do the same thing (I do this even when i'm in a cage), I even talk to my bike before i get on the highway (Its goes something like this "Be good to me baby") hahahaha call me weird, but its just my way to becoming one with the bike ;) There are lots of things you can learn on the road that you can't learn in school...I'm learning something new pretty much everyday 8) Like today, i accidentally target fixated on a medium sized rock while turning...i ran into it, and almost tipped my bike over to the left side...phew close call...
 
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A mirror will show you what's not there.


A head check will show you what is.
 

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CDNSVS said:
When riding on a city street with parked cars, ride as far away from the parked cars as possible.  A car may unexpectedly pull out in your path having not bothered to look.  They will also open doors without bother to look as well.
+1 to that one, I see it in the city all the time, I bet I've seen 6 or 7 cars have their doors peeled back by an oncoming car. On a bike, that would probably hurt. A lot.

My big thing, which might be strange, is I never set the clock to the right time. Actually, the first day I brought it home, I disconnected the battery so it would go to some random time, cause if I put it at a random time, I'll always look at it and know I set it like 4 hours and 27 minutes ahead. I do it so I won't rush, and its just more relaxing having no clue what time it is.
 

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Instead of riding and assuming that no one sees you, I suggest riding in such a way that it does not MATTER if they see you. Give cars room to do whatever the hell they want and yourself a time/space cushion as much as possible and you'll have very few altercations with cages.

- If you're approaching an intersection assume the other vehicles are going to go about normal driving procedures and prepare for them to do that (slow, watch the tops of their tires, etc).
- If you're on a multiple lane road, ride staggered with the car ahead of you in the OTHER lane, give them somewhere to go if they want to/need to that doesn't involve you getting out of the way first.
- Mentally, keep it in mind that most of these situations are something you have control over and DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. All that does is contribute to the problem. I see posts everywhere all the time (I've done it too) about riders feeling the need to retaliate for someone nearly changing lanes into them, etc. (90% of the time, this is simply not intentional on the cagers' part...they're just oblivious). Why add more fuel to the fire. I know of one rider right now, locally, that got run over last night because he raged on a Civic that initially came across a lane without a headcheck and narrowly missed him. Over this stupid, yet unintentional, encroachment the rider pulled up and kicked off the guy's mirror and ran. Well, the driver chased him and wound up running him down in a construction zone. Rider's fine, bike's *mostly* ok and driver's getting PWNED over it. However, it never needed to go that far....

Again, don't make it a personal matter, just identify what you can change for the future and hopefully there won't be a "next time".
 
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When you're on the road at sunrise/ sunset, pay attention to your position relative to the sun. If it's behind you, there's a good chance oncoming traffic won't see you- if the situation is reversed, you may not see them.

:)
 

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Two rules you should always remember. Friend of mine told me them. I wrote them down on paper and taped them under my windshield for the first month or so after I bought my SV.


1. YOU ARE INVISABLE
2. EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO KILL YOU



Ride like with those two things in mind, and truely believe them.
 

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mrlucky2u said:
Two rules you should always remember. Friend of mine told me them. I wrote them down on paper and taped them under my windshield for the first month or so after I bought my SV.


1. YOU ARE INVISABLE
2. EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO KILL YOU



Ride like with those two things in mind, and truely believe them.
+ 10,000

Never underestimate stupidity and idiocy!
 

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CDNSVS said:
The following gleaned over the last 20 years:

SNIP.
I'm not going to waste space by requoting what you said, and I'm not trying to start a flame war either, while a good share of what you posted is valid, some of it is rubbish and a lot is valid only in certain situations.

avioding manholes? tar snakes,  depends

bumps cause vehicles to drip fluids and are identifiable as dark spots, what have you been smoking, ok maybe it has happened,  but does a dark spot mean anything who knows? is every bump or slippery spot identifiable, as a dark spot? bwaaaaaaa,

the fastest way to stop is not a locked tire, so why practice it, practice braking instead as hard as you can without locking the tire, practice using the rear too, also practice in corners, so you know how to stop without panicing. The only thing dangerous about the rear brake or brakiing in the corner is the ham fisted operator

ride faster than traffic... depends

What have I learned on the ROAD

IDIOT MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS are as dangerous as a cage or a suicidal deer or pitchfork weilding pedstrian, snow is slippery and you need knbobby tires
 

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mrlucky2u said:
1. YOU ARE INVISABLE
2. EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO KILL YOU
Edit

You are mostly invisible
everybody is trying to kill you, especially the ones that can see you.

this addresses those 'do gooders' that want to keep you from moving through traffic, or splitting lanes at the stop light.
 
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RandyO said:
I'm not going to waste space by requoting what you said, and I'm not trying to start a flame war either, while a good share of what you posted is valid, some of it is rubbish and a lot is valid only in certain situations.

avioding manholes? tar snakes, depends

bumps cause vehicles to drip fluids and are identifiable as dark spots, what have you been smoking, ok maybe it has happened, but does a dark spot mean anything who knows? is every bump or slippery spot identifiable, as a dark spot? bwaaaaaaa,

the fastest way to stop is not a locked tire, so why practice it, practice braking instead as hard as you can without locking the tire, practice using the rear too, also practice in corners, so you know how to stop without panicing. The only thing dangerous about the rear brake or brakiing in the corner is the ham fisted operator

ride faster than traffic... depends

What have I learned on the ROAD

IDIOT MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS are as dangerous as a cage or a suicidal deer or pitchfork weilding pedstrian, snow is slippery and you need knbobby tires
+1

Oh, and I've been coverin' the front brake for almost four decades. I'd rather train for the emergency and react properly than add even a few feet to my stopping distance.
 

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1. If you encounter a middle-aged woman weilding a cell phone, a monster SUV, and a van full of kids....pull off the road, take another route, etc.

2. Don't trust people walking dogs. Alot of them use the extendable leashes that they dont choose to lock when Fido goes after Johnny Motorcyclist.

3. Eihter ride faster or slower than traffic....just stay out of packs.

4. Beware of out-of-state plates. These people are generally lost and NOT paying attention to you.

5. Never ride between 2AM and 4AM. Bars are closing and a drunk cage driver is 100x times worse than a sober cage driver
 

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pacoflacotaco said:
1.  If you encounter a middle-aged woman weilding a cell phone, a monster SUV, and a van full of kids....pull off the road, take another route, etc.

2.  Don't trust people walking dogs.  Alot of them use the extendable leashes that they dont choose to lock when Fido goes after Johnny Motorcyclist.

3.  Eihter ride faster or slower than traffic....just stay out of packs.

4.  Beware of out-of-state plates.  These people are generally lost and NOT paying attention to you.

5.  Never ride between 2AM and 4AM.  Bars are closing and a drunk cage driver is 100x times worse than a sober cage driver
+1 on number 3, 4, 5.

Today, i was following some lady with california tags and i immediately noticed by looking at her holding the map and driving that this is one cage not to pass. either way, at an intersection that has a mild curve to it, she went into the next lane in close traffic. the suv next to her nearly got her.
 

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never trust blinker signals as a direction of movement.
 
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