Blind Right-Hander and Knowing Better

So… I had a serious case of the Rocket Crotch. I’ve started a new position at my work, worked devil hours, got the crash-course in corporate non-training (yet again) and my brain was so full of new stuff, and I was tired of studying, I needed to clear my brain and recharge. Time for two-wheeled therapy. Also needed to play around with physics some, I wanted to know if what I read in ‘More Proficient Motorcycling’ and ‘Total Control’ really works. I’m a skeptic, what can I say. LOL So, off we go… I’m following hubby, because leading takes the fun out of the ride. I don’t want to distract myself by picking a course through the country side. He’s going barely speed limit (traffic is somewhat slow today for some reason), and I’m following behind, testing out a few things to understand the application of the theory that I’ve just read about; and of course, the usual stuff I do when I’m forced to motor along at sub-speed limit to form good habits. We finally get to a stretch of road that’s deserted and a bit twisty. Yay! So as I was picking out my cornering lines and consciously practicing all the things you should do, so they become habit and don’t have to be thought of anymore, so I’ll do the right thing when the time comes. I was so preoccupied with going through the motions of reading the curve up ahead, picking my lines, shifting my weight, getting on the front brakes to slow to entry speed before the turn-in, blah blah… that I proceeded to outride my sight distance in a blind right-hander. I get to the apex and what do we have? Sand in the corners. Loads of it! So, here I am, leaned over in a corner, my line goes right through the two piles of sand, there’s a car coming in the opposing lane. I didn’t even freak out. Didn’t have time to. All I thought was: ‘Oh boy!’, then muscle memory and education took over. I straightened the bike up, executed a quick stop with all four paws, favoring the front, clutched it down a gear, pointed my nose away from the oncoming car, leaned the bike back over, and barely squeaked by the sand and my side of the double yellow line. I caught up with my hubby at the Stop sign at the end of the road. Stopped next to him, opened my face shield and told him: ‘Dude I just totally sleazeballed that corner and like a squid was outriding my sight distance, and almost hit that car!’ He turns his head, opens his shield and says: ‘Me too. And what saved my ass was watching that Ride Like A Pro DVD you made me watch. All I could remember was them saying that your bike goes where your nose is pointed.’ Point made. Yeah, we were squids for riding through there like we did, for different reasons, but with similar results. Hubby went over the center line, I stayed in my lane, and I told him during our ‘After Action Review’ (we have one of those after every ride, whether something happened or not), that I believe that David Hough’s teachings coupled with the BRC and consciously practicing counter-steering and cornering on my daily commute kept me from going over. So, I was a sleazeball. Am not proud of that little factoid. But I was able to get myself out of the trouble that I created for myself by educating myself and practicing what I’ve learned on a daily basis. If somebody ever comments negatively on my antics while I’m riding, I have the reply for them lined up: Those antics are the difference between staying alive and becoming an odd stain on the road somewhere.

One Comment on “Blind Right-Hander and Knowing Better”

  1. Trish says:

    Well, unfortunately there is a bit of error in learning. We also learn by our mistakes. Not that we make them on purpose in order to learn, but it there is some element of making a near mistake or full-fledged mistake that rounds out our teaching should we live through it, and most of us do. I think that is where the fear issue in riding MC’s come from. We KNOW that almost losing it is how we learn in the finality how not to lose it. Sometimes we don’t get the chance to learn it because we die-the car was in our lane, we forgot what to do, we target fixated etc. We never know until the moment and ONLY THAT moment what we will really do. AND we know we may NOT get it so good the next time we forget to be careful, or think we have it “down”. Mainly the idea is to avoid putting ourselves into that situation, and when a hazard is intermittent it is VERY HARD to go slow when technically we could go 5-20mph faster, but not safely. Riding within vision IS tricky because in driving a car, it is not quite so serious. we can brake harder easier with 4 down, and we have a cage around us, airbags etc and we are more complacent-then we get on a bike and sometimes forget, that hazard that means nothing in the car-is a killer for a bike! Glad you made it and honed your skill too.

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