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General Chat/Anything Goes

How to Stay Alive !!!

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How to Stay Alive !!!

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There are lots of people on here with years of riding and driving experience......
Maybe a good idea to share some Top Tips to new bikers on this site ?
Like when travelling on the motorway and passing HGV s take a quick glance at the number plate....if its on a foreign plate then its a Left Hand Drive so as you get nearer to the cab when overtaking ....you then enter into the drivers large blind spot ...
so give them some extra room in case they decide to start an overtaking too... without seeing you there at all ....

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intobikes5 @ 16/06/2019 11:06  

Trust no-one,think for them,always be ready to brake or avoid...easy

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jinx57 @ 16/06/2019 22:01  

Hi guys .. good thread for a nervous 125 scooter rider !
I was advised to ride like everyone is out to kill me ... which actually scared me quite badly and affected my confidence when first on the road .
I'm a year riding on a CBT now and only just starting to get a little braver.
I don't drive a car so am learning roadcraft as well , on the congested roads of Kent.
Are all motorists out to kill me ? ?
On an A road .. at a slip road .. I'm in the slow lane with no power to move over .. top speed 65 with a tail wind ! ... do I slow to let cars enter ? Or do I keep going and hope they slow to enter the road behind me ??
Don't even start me on roundabouts .... !!
Advice would be much
appreciated!

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Bikercat1967 @ 18/06/2019 11:34  

Only advice I would give bikercat is try not to focus straight ahead, keep checking all round and regular checks in the mirrors so you know what is behind you. Dont be intimidated by idiots tailgating to ride faster than you are comfortable with either. Hope that helps.

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double six @ 18/06/2019 12:46  

And if you see a car waiting to pull out of a side road into your path look at the drivers face to see if they are looking your way, if not just get ready to brake, slow down or stop. Sounding the horn to get their attention also helps along with headlights on and some bright clothing gets you noticed. Practice swearing and obscene hand gestures too.

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yarg @ 18/06/2019 19:15  

Thanks Yarg and double six , any advice on the slip road scenario?
Must admit , the drivers dictionary is expanding ... but I try to remember I'm a lady .. sometimes !

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Bikercat1967 @ 18/06/2019 19:53  

Going past the slip road, I wouldn't advise moving over into faster traffic, just look what the car is doing and either slow down a bit to let them enter or if you are going fast enough which I doubt you will be just carry on, like D6 says its all round observation and act accordingly to the traffic.

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yarg @ 18/06/2019 19:59  

When you have the right of way and you see a car waiting at a junction ...cover your break but look at what the wheels are doing.... that way you will see if the driver is pulling out on you ...if the wheels are turning

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intobikes5 @ 18/06/2019 21:18  

Thanks guys ... I need to master roundabouts as well ... so many cars with no indication ! I find I'm hesitating and peeing off those behind me .. especially white van man !! But it's getting better with practice.

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Bikercat1967 @ 19/06/2019 09:08  

When it comes to no indication on roundabouts, generally you can ''read'' what a driver is going to do, but that takes experience and cannot always be relied upon. Road positioning can tell you which exit a vehicle is going to take, but then crap drivers can also deceive experienced road users too. I have been on the road for over 40 years, starting with a moped, (more if you count bicycles, but we'll concentrate on powered transport), and progressing with time onto bigger bikes, cars and trucks, but even now, I get caught out by other road users bad driving skills occasionally. It is simply a matter of learning how to read positioning and being able to act when someone does it wrong. Be aware of white van man, but he doesn't want his insurance premium going up because he has collided with you, nor does he want to end up in court facing serious charges either. Make sure your lane discipline is good and don't be bullied into making a move you are not sure of, or one that will put in harms way. Have a chat with your instructor and tell him of your concerns. He is there to have his brains picked. Alternatively, send a pm to Ragnar on here, he is a riding instructor and is always willing to offer advice to those who want to learn properly. Laymen such as myself might be giving the wrong advice that is only good for them.
Bit long winded this post but prevarication is a bad habit to break sometimes.

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double six @ 19/06/2019 09:54  

For those with a full license... Advanced rider training. I did mine with the IAM ... er... a fair few years ago. What follows are just a few things that I learned from them that have helped to keep me upright, alive and actually a bit quicker:

Cornering/roundabouts: Look where you want to go... because we tend to go where we're looking. This will also make you more stable if you're not looking at the tarmac in front of the wheel on a roundabout. The same also applies to escape routes - overcooked it on a corner? Dont look at the tree / truck you think you're going to hit (because if you do that you probably will). Look for your escape route.

Protocol for turning off a road... IPSGA: the acronym that's so bad its memorable. Information (what's going on around you?) Position (are you in the right place in the road?) Speed (do I really need to explain this?) Gear (a slow corner doesnt work well in 5th gear) and Acceleration (keep it smooth and appropriate)

Road position. This really has saved my life. Twice. By positioning myself away from perceived hazards ( the european truck I was overtaking on a dual carriageway) when he pulled out for no readily apparent reason *as* I overtook him, I was not immediately flattened under his wheels and it gave me time to find my escape route, formulate a very quick plan and get the hell out of there.

A note on European trucks: when subsequently driving in portugal I noticed that when a slip road lets onto a dual carriageway, *everyone* already on that dual carriageway moves into the fast lane, even if nothing is coming up the slip. Which explains why that truck driver nearly splattered me against the armco. Use caution around them at all times.

EDIT: Slip road scenario... if your bike is limited on speed, just roll off the throttle slightly if you want to let them in front. Every instance is different and you'll need to develop your judgement but that will come with experience. Be aware of what's in the lane to right at all times, use shoulder checks etc., in case you do need to move out.

Ride safe people 😊. For further details... have a chat with your local IAM.

Extra edit... apologies for the novel length post.

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MM850 @ 19/06/2019 21:29  

Another...you are next at a T junction and want to turn right ...very heavy traffic and just to make matters worse there is a van parked on your right hand side near blocking your view .... so look across the street into the shop or house window s reflections to get a better view of the traffic ( also it maybe an idea to turn left ...go 20 yards and find another junction on your right to turn into... turn round come out then turn left and carry on ) so using the reflection gauge speed and distance of oncoming traffic...

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intobikes5 @ 23/06/2019 15:45  

Thanks again guys , really good advice.
I'm very wary of foreign lorries to my right on the A road , I hope they will have seen me before changing lanes to the left ! I'm always prepared to throw myself into the hard shoulder if I have to .
T junctions and a blocked right view .. coming out of home every morning ! If it's heavy traffic , I do a left and turn back . I'm not quick enough and don't want to risk an accident or at the very least antagonize anyone . I'd rather be safe .

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Bikercat1967 @ 23/06/2019 19:54  

When approaching a T-junction with limited view because of a van to your right, here are 3 steps which should help you, First take any advantage of any view that you may get up the inside of the van across the pavement by getting in to your slow control earlier giving you more time to assess the traffic.
If no joy there, stop at the give way line to control the traffic behind you by making them stop too.
Then you use O.U.T. can you see Over, Under or Though the van some vans windows in the back doors which makes it easy to do this.
If you still unable to see it's then onto step 3, Peep and Creep, You've stopped at the give way line to control the traffic behind to may sure that they don't follow you out thinking that you are not going to stop again.
So with the traffic stopped behind you you make a new give way line in line with the outside of the van that is blocking your view and slow creeping forward to a place where you can safely see that it is clear and safe to go.

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Ragnar @ 24/06/2019 10:06  

Many thanks !
Another question ....
Can you experienced riders explain the learning and licence process please ?
I'm thinking that I'll stick to automatic as that's where I feel safest . I've had geared lessons but it really wasn't for me in a lesson scenario ... maybe off road in my own time ... but my CBT is up next January and feel I need to get the wheels in motion . My riding school only has 125 scoots and no access to bigger cc's. I was thinking A1 , but that's really limiting ?

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Bikercat1967 @ 26/06/2019 08:35  

It's only worth doing A1 due to age or you never want to ride anything bigger

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Ragnar @ 26/06/2019 16:02  

Okay so you have now passed your test and are out on your new bigger bike ...you glance in your mirror and see another bike behind you ...Don't be tempted to start racing ! ! as the other biker has caught up to you for 2 reasons
A) They are willing to take more risks
B) They are a faster rider than you with more experience
So move over to your left and wave them past , then become the instructor in your own mind ...what is there road positioning like ? Do they look over their shoulder before a manoeuvre ? Indicate in plenty of time ? Do they observe the speed limits ? Or are they just plain nuts ? and lucky to still be alive ?

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intobikes5 @ 19/08/2019 22:59  


Lots of good advice on here, would just like to add that you keep to the outer edge of cars or vans so they can see you in there door mirrors and watch them in there mirrors as you pass for sudden movement that my tell you what they are going to do, it also worth looking for movement of the front wheels which may let you know they are turning, it's also handy if you're at the side of them to bale out in a emergency and helps you to see the road in front of them for hazards.
Drive safe and enjoy

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Bikeabill @ 26/09/2019 13:39  

Alternatively, stand under an oak tree and you won’t have to worry too much about anything, maybe a bit of lightening but that’s all.

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Tezza1958 @ 27/09/2019 21:13  

Always do the life saver look over your shoulder, seen a couple of friends nearly get wiped out because they didn't use it but they do now 👍

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Jollyrambler @ 28/09/2019 09:47  

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