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Thread: small rant: vehicular spacing

  1. #1
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    Angry small rant: vehicular spacing

    Earlier this spring I started a thread on "the one riding skill that we can improve on".
    My improvement opportunity is trying to maintain proper space behind the vehicle in front of me or continually positioning one self for "clear air".

    Well, guess what...
    It is very difficult doing this because (expletive deleted) drivers are cutting in, cutting me off, they are not looking for (expletive deleted), they doing this while drinking lattes. talking on the cell phone, smooching, grabbing parts of SO or "friends", reading a book, petting animals, disciplining children, or adjusting Sirius/XM Radio.

    Now I do not mean to rant, but my next purchase is going to be a Steible Horn. I cannot afford the 20mm Gatling Gun.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  2. #2
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    I know what you mean about these unskilled self absorbed drivers seat occupants. I just let them do it. I ride traffic with an icy, calculating, emotionally flat demeanor. I let the cage cluster**** run adequately spaced either behind, or in front, of me. A train of cages 25 feet apart going 70 is no place to ride, or drive, for that matter. And I never ride next to a cage.

    As a teenage punk, my first introduction to and daily motorcycle riding classroom was on the tender streets and freeways of Los Angeles. Your ATGATT doesn't help you before the fact. Your braking equipment and skills are worthless without adequate time and space; ditto handling. Peope still do not see, or just as likely do not care if they do see, your hi viz farkle and gear.

    You have identified possibly the most important factor for safe urban riding. You just have to work it until it is hardwired; you do it without even thinking about it.

  3. #3
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Got behind a giant Buick the other day, no driver visible. Pulling alongside, I spied a 80yr old grandma, TEXTING at 50 mph (traffic was moving about 70)


    There is no hope.
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  4. #4
    Bluenoser
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    Just make sure you have an escape route and always try to ride behind something that you can see through the windows. ( Tinted windows don't help.) Gives you a little more room for human error.

    Yes the 3 second rule for following a vehicle will have other vehicles cutting in front of you. There's not much you can do but as a bike will always come out second best in an arguement with a car.

    When driving in these types of conditions you want to make yourself as visible as you can. ie: Wear a bright coloured and highly reflected vest. Don't dress all in black. You become invisible.
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  5. #5
    Jim Bud
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    In the local SoCal area, there is NO 3 second rule. If you are managing it, you can access a 1-2 second area in front of you and somewhat less behind you. If I have to choose, I will take more room ahead so I can use it as required for what happens ahead and to the side. We have a somewhat unique freeway enviornment populated by mostly everyone driving 10-15 OVER the posted limit; but included are 5% driving at 10 mph under and 1% driving at 25 over and having a grand time weaving in&out of everyone else. Just throw in a few hyper motivated lane splitting bikes and its a great concert to watch from the high seat of my GS.....I really think that having a HIGH view is an advantage when it comes to safety. Talk about situational awareness being important ..... there is no rest in this kind of traffic....
    Jim Bud...

  6. #6
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    88 feet per second

    From the past, when we used to check radar guns with a tuning fork- 60 miles per hour is 88 feet per second. Not much time to realize, think, react. Out here, even at 70 mph any space that a car will fit in, will be filled by a car. It seems that there is a lot of luck involved. I seem to have missed the memo but not the terror/surprise of it being OK to take an exit from the 3rd lane!

  7. #7
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Funny about the tuning fork, I had a colleague who would whistle into the business end of a hand held radar unit & try to get a particular speed to indicate. His brain is probably fried lo these many years later.

    I too like to think of my speed in terms of feet per second. This is a much more practical indication when thinking in terms of spacing ones self in traffic and how quickly one must react. I wonder if a little FPS to MPH calculator (like they have on the Northwestern Traffic Institute template) would be a good discussion point in driver training classes.

    I can remember back in the mid 60's a friend of mine while doing his student driving being criticized by the instructor for not enough following distance. He defended himself by pointing out that whenever he left the prescribed distance someone would cut right in. I think that just about all of us whether in an auto or on a bike do a balancing act between safe following distance and "defending" the space ahead of us.

  8. #8
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    why's it always got to be a latte?

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by ultracyclist View Post
    Earlier this spring I started a thread on "the one riding skill that we can improve on".
    My improvement opportunity is trying to maintain proper space behind the vehicle in front of me or continually positioning one self for "clear air".

    Well, guess what...
    It is very difficult doing this because (expletive deleted) drivers are cutting in, cutting me off, they are not looking for (expletive deleted), they doing this while drinking lattes. talking on the cell phone, smooching, grabbing parts of SO or "friends", reading a book, petting animals, disciplining children, or adjusting Sirius/XM Radio.

    Now I do not mean to rant, but my next purchase is going to be a Steible Horn. I cannot afford the 20mm Gatling Gun.
    I think you may have over-reacted - the cost of gattling guns have come done considerably in the last few years. Worth a look!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.)
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer,THE REF Staff)
    Iron Butt Association Member # 34281

  10. #10
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    K. M. Greenwald

    Sign me up for 2! Will the vendor accept lay-a-way?
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  11. #11
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    Group buy!!!!!

  12. #12
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    I try not to give enough room for someone to cut me off. To some that makes me a tailgater. By relative terms in traffic around Sacramento, that wouldn't be so.

    That rarely leaves a safe stopping distance in front of me, but I always try have an out route available, whether it is an open space in a lane next to you or a shoulder. My most reliable strategy is extra vigilance. Watch for drivers who are exhibiting signs of not paying attention and avoid them or get past them.

    Some prefer to back off and stay back from the clueless. I don't like that strategy because it leaves the clueless in control of my place in traffic. If I can put a few cars between me and the texting granny, the guy paying more attention to his phone than the road, or the mom looking over her shoulder yelling at kids, I do. They are behind me now and less of a worry. If I back off for them, they are still ahead and a constant worry until either I or they exit.

    Once I'm out of town and out of traffic, I can then back off to more comfortable and sane following distances. Usually the only survepises I need to deal with closer to home are the deer, squirrels, and other critters. Much better than traffic.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    Group buy!!!!!
    Bloody tough to handle the "kick" them babies pack though, particularly at speed.

    One of he many things I appreciated about riding in France is that they are very much bike conscious and a) they do not tailgate you, but b) and this gets SOME getting used to, bikes have special dispensation to circulate between the lanes so in traffic, the only people tailgating your case are other bikers!!

  14. #14
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    THE STEBEL HORN WORKS!

    I put one on my R1150R this winter and it really works.

    First use was when a car pulled from the emergency lane onto the interstate as I was occupying "it's" space on the highway while a car was on my left. The driver hit the emergency lane again.

    The second time was a floppy-eared hound pup running down the middle of my lane while chasing a bicycle. The poor thing hit the shoulder and nearly did a summersault trying to see what was about to get it. The pup jumped of the road too

    Be warned: These things are LOUD and there is just no polite way to use them!

  15. #15
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    Exclamation E Page

    Ummmmmm...............

    You must do an awful lot of hard and late braking in order to stay alive?

    Your style of riding would make me a bit nervous.
    But then again, we all ride our own ride.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

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