Creating a Safe Space

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Roadcraft Forum' started by Kiwi Cruiser, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp Staff Member

    When I'm riding, I think its important to control the space around me as much as is possible;
    - I constantly scan my mirrors
    - I carefully watch every vehicle entering an opposing U-Turn lane
    - I look at every vehicle I'm gaining on and consider what they could do that might ruin my day
    - I look at stationary vehicles on the left verge and assess their potential intentions
    - In built-up areas, I ride with my thumb hovering between the horn button and the hi-beam switch, and quickly use either
    - I will hold my ground if someone looks like they might overtake into my lane, especially to protect a rider behind me...

    I think of it as riding with an aggressive awareness of impending danger and am proactive whenever possible.

    How do YOU approach the issue of self-preservation? :?:
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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    I do almost exactly what you are doing, but I would probably not have been able to describe it as well as you have, with one exception,
    I do not try and stop cars coming toward me from making an overtake if I can safely move left and give them room. I behave the same in the car, I believe in give and take on the road and I believe in making progress and allowing other vehicles to do so if I can. I will also sometimes expect the same courtesy to allow me to overtake, I put on full beam, indicate and move out strongly to overtake, if the oncoming car is not too close and has room to move to its left. Of course I do not need as much room as a car, I watch carefully and if as usually happens it moves over for me, I make the overtake. If he is not watching or unwilling to move, I wait until its clear.
  4. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ben Kemp Staff Member

    The item regarding "holding your ground in the face of overtaking manouvers into your lane" deserved a more detailed explanation and qualification, rather than the previous one-liner. There's a big difference between;

    1 - The car coming towards you and about to be impeded by a slow farm vehicle, heavily laden truck on an uphill grade, stopping bus or songthiew etc. By all means, be courteous and facilitate the other guy's overtaking move.

    2 - In SHARP CONTRAST is the arrogant Mercedes or Fortuner driver in a hurry, with no qualms about pushing YOU off the carriageway so he can shave a few seconds off his journey by a reckless passing manouver. This guy is a bully and a menace...

    On a recent 3000 km trip with my wife, a novice highway rider, both of us always riding staggered with headlights on, we encountered several a-holes determined to shove us off onto the verge. Sometimes there's a thick lip of seal to traverse, a pitted surface or grit in the cycle lane. At a 90 - 100 kph, you don't want the novice wife shoved off the road into that degree of risk... Holding your line but easing off the throttle, flicking the lights onto hi-beam etc will often persuade the offender to re-think his options.

    The section of highway that was worst for this dangerous behaviour was the last 80 kms of Highway 317 heading south towards Chantaburi. Scary stuff happened so many times, we had to stop for a 30 minute sanity break midway through it! :wtf:
  5. Not on a Yamaha

    Not on a Yamaha Ol'Timer

    Again on Thai roads, you have to be aware all the time & some more.
    To create space on Thai roads, you would need to take control of your surroundings. That mean travelling at faster pace than the general flow of traffic. Your space changes all the time. You need to be on the lookout for better surroundings.

    Unless in a large group, if riding at a constant speed. You will become invisible to other road users. Being a little naughty attracts attention to you and thus an aid in one of your arsenal of tactics in reaching your destination in one piece.
  6. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    My licensing tester/instructor, me at the tender and dumb age of 16, constantly stressed creating a safety area around me. What sticks with me was the discussion after my road test, he quizzed me about different situations and asked what my escape route was in each situation. At 16 I found the my escape routes were often impractical or dangerous (look out, dog in the road, I can just ride over that VW beetle), but this recklessness only enforced constantly looking for escape routes while keeping a clear area around me.

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