Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 41

Thread: Its all YOUR fault,.........first.

  1. #1
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352

    Its all YOUR fault,.........first.

    Got your attention perhaps?

    That title is one of my beliefs about riding, "its all MY fault, first." Why? Because really I am the only one capable and responsible for making any changes in my riding attitude, riding habits, riding skills, riding choices, I am the FIRST one to make any headway towards improving my riding situation.

    NOT other road users. NOT car drivers. NOT legislators. NOT laws. NOT ABATE or the AMA. ME FIRST. NOT law firms certainly. All they do is clean up the results and claim big cash prizes (for their clients?). US first as riders must do the most we can to always ride our best ride, first, before we can expect anyone else to really respect us and look out for us.

    Here in Wisconsin, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Wisconsin is fairly aggressive and progressive when it comes to motorcycling. Perhaps because of Harley, Polaris, S&S and numerous other motorcycle companies here in the Badger state. Yet, every May I kinda cringe inside when I see the typical media public awareness "Watch for Motorcycles" announcements. Its become as regular and routine as the trees budding out new leaves in spring. Sure its a nice campaign, no one is offended, no one looks anyone in the eye saying, "yeah but, what are YOU personally doing about it?"

    So I wonder. What's the attitude amongst us largely "sport touring" riders? Do we have a different attitude about riding and rider responsibility than the rest of our riding breathern? Personally, I'd like to see a focus on us the riding public, to challenge ourselves to take on the responsibility of reduced risks of riding FIRST on our selves. I have always felt, the crash itself (there are no "accidents") is WAY too late to do anything about the results. But, its all about what was done, what wasn't done, what could/should have been done, BEFORE the crash that makes all the difference. Avoidance is the goal, NOT expecting someone else to do it for us.

  2. #2
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
    Posts
    447
    Very good point. I agree, in the end we're the only one's who can change anything about our own surviveability while riding. A riding philosophy that expects others to watch out for us makes about as much sense as expecting a deer to look both ways before they cross the road.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  3. #3
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    HA! I like that analogy! Being in a state FULL of deer, and a good many brain dead car drivers, how can any motorcycle rider expect the self serving public attitude to do anything to improve their riding environment?

    I'm not saying we should ever forgive car drivers for their transgressions, unintentional though they may be, against us riders. I know for myself, I have made mistakes in traffic when in my car more so than on my bike. Quite often, when driving my car or pickup, I use it as a training opportunity to "see" myself on my bike out in traffic from the viewpoint of looking through a windshield, around a door post, in the rear view mirrors, over my blind spots, to give myslef the car driver perspective of me on my bike around them.

    No, don't forgive the car drivers. But we need to be realistic about ourselves first. Are we REALLY good at traffic strategies, are we REALLY good in our riding skills, are we REALLY not at fault for putting ourselves in a position of fault, either unintentionally by simple complacence, or by ignorance of the situation. I simply do not accept for myself, the aspect of "suddenly the car turned left, " or "suddenly the car took my lane," or "suddenly the car pulled out." And for myself, I certainly do not accept "there was nothing I could do."

    Oh yes, there are multitudes of things you can do, should have done, before you got to "suddenly."

  4. #4
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    1,124
    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Very good point. I agree, in the end we're the only one's who can change anything about our own surviveability while riding. A riding philosophy that expects others to watch out for us makes about as much sense as expecting a deer to look both ways before they cross the road.
    I found this online.
    You can do someting.

    "From Kearneysville:

    I live near a deer crossing and they keep getting hit. The county should move the deer crossing sign somewhere else. It is too dangerous for the deer to cross where it is now."

  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    between SanAntone & the Weird Place, TX
    Posts
    5,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Very good point. A riding philosophy that expects others to watch out for us makes about as much sense as expecting a deer to look both ways before they cross the road.
    Like that one didn't do last Saturday? Got my attention for sure
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #6
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    2,044
    I believe that those of us (on any brand) that do a considerable amount of riding, are constantly looking out for ourselves, because we have the most to lose when we don't. We are survivors.

    My neighbour, who sometimes rides one or two thousand kilometres a year, has told me that he had to put a loud muffler on his bike because cars were constantly cutting him off. He considers that he has done something proactive to protect himself. I would not be surprised if many riders like him think similarly. Riding courses might help him and others much more than a noisy machine.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Posts
    6,430
    last year's training shirts.....

    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  8. #8
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    3,466

    Thumbs up

    Andy is spot on with where the emphasis must be if we are to reverse the ever-increasing number of motorcycle deaths in this nation.

    While making yourself as personally protected as possible (ATGATT) is essential, and making your motorcycle as conspicous as technology and budgets permit, it's really your attitude that will impact the most.

    Ride aware of your surroundings, get properly trained and keep getting re-trained, and take complete responsibility for your safety when riding.

    Granted, we 'share' the road with other motor vehicles, but we also share the road with potholes, gravel, rain, animals, debris, etc. The fact that out of all of these examples, vehicles are operated by fellow humans perhaps makes them the most dangerous of the bunch.

    Car drivers will make mistakes, do stupid things, and mother nature will always throw in the occasional curve ball, but the task of staying safe and getting home at night without damage or injury belongs to me and me alone.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  9. #9
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    76
    yes one is responsible for being aware of all conditions as you ride. which without question goes a long way at avoiding accidents.

    but there are scenarios where there's really nothing you can do. like the recent rider down that got killed. a car turned left right in front of him. bike smashed into right side of car.

    I can handle cars getting ready to pull out in front of me. by making sure they know I'm there by giving a horn blast.

    amazing how many times drivers getting ready to pull out in traffic are looking the other way with a cell phone glued to their ear. when I give a horn blast, the look of amazement tells me NO way they knew I was coming.

    ingrained from riding bicycles thousands of miles ... assume cars don't see you, unless proven otherwise.

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,778
    Most of the time you can see a potential left-turner-in-front-of-you. I'd think "nothing you can" do seldom applies.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    Thank you Ikris, you said exactly what I wanted to address. Its about attitude, and about what occurs BEFORE the crash. The comment made earlier, "but there are scenarios where there's really nothing you can do. like the recent rider down that got killed. a car turned left right in front of him. bike smashed into right side of car." I don't accept this as a "nothing you can do".

    I agree that there are "some" instances where there is little a rider can do, a bridge suddenly failing, a crazed driver intent on causing harm. But the comment above about nothing to be done about the left turning car speaks to a general attitude of "acceptance" of conditions many riders feel are not in their control.

    I feel, as we ride, we must constantly analyze traffic conditions, patterns, habits, of other road users, so we build an instinct about warnings and dangers. ANY car potentially turning left, even a hint of it, is a danger the rider MUST prepare for! If the rider doesn't prepare for that, it's the fault of the rider first, not the car driver. Watch the tires, they don't lie, if the tires are moving, prepare! Know your options! Know your abilities! Improve your skills! Improve your visibility! Improve your awareness of all the terrain/area factors that make you hard to see in traffic! These are things a rider CAN do before getting into situations. If the rider's attitude is one of acceptance that "things like this happen", or, "there's really nothing you can do", then the rider is eventually doomed to live out that scenario.

    But, if the rider's attitutude is of "I am going to do all I can to avoid situations" and take it upon him/her self to be the best, ride the best, then the scenario is much better. I annually ride over three times the national average mileage for motorcycling, I ride a quiet bike, I ride in the upper midwest from March through November, so I ride in traffic more often than normal, in all conditions, yet I rarely have anything like a close call. Hmm,...I feel that is because of my attitude about my riding. Not the false belief that loud pipes make any difference, when actually that rider should look at HOW he is riding and really analyze WHY he has traffic issues. It takes some hard looks at yourself, to realize you as the rider is the main cause of the traffic issues.

  12. #12
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Most of the time you can see a potential left-turner-in-front-of-you. I'd think "nothing you can" do seldom applies.
    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Thank you Ikris, you said exactly what I wanted to address. Its about attitude, and about what occurs BEFORE the crash. The comment made earlier, "but there are scenarios where there's really nothing you can do. like the recent rider down that got killed. a car turned left right in front of him. bike smashed into right side of car." I don't accept this as a "nothing you can do".

    I agree that there are "some" instances where there is little a rider can do, a bridge suddenly failing, a crazed driver intent on causing harm. But the comment above about nothing to be done about the left turning car speaks to a general attitude of "acceptance" of conditions many riders feel are not in their control.

    I feel, as we ride, we must constantly analyze traffic conditions, patterns, habits, of other road users, so we build an instinct about warnings and dangers. ANY car potentially turning left, even a hint of it, is a danger the rider MUST prepare for! If the rider doesn't prepare for that, it's the fault of the rider first, not the car driver. Watch the tires, they don't lie, if the tires are moving, prepare! Know your options! Know your abilities! Improve your skills! Improve your visibility! Improve your awareness of all the terrain/area factors that make you hard to see in traffic! These are things a rider CAN do before getting into situations. If the rider's attitude is one of acceptance that "things like this happen", or, "there's really nothing you can do", then the rider is eventually doomed to live out that scenario.

    But, if the rider's attitutude is of "I am going to do all I can to avoid situations" and take it upon him/her self to be the best, ride the best, then the scenario is much better. I annually ride over three times the national average mileage for motorcycling, I ride a quiet bike, I ride in the upper midwest from March through November, so I ride in traffic more often than normal, in all conditions, yet I rarely have anything like a close call. Hmm,...I feel that is because of my attitude about my riding. Not the false belief that loud pipes make any difference, when actually that rider should look at HOW he is riding and really analyze WHY he has traffic issues. It takes some hard looks at yourself, to realize you as the rider is the main cause of the traffic issues.
    yes rider awareness can and does prevent getting yourself into situations that could lead to accidents.

    but there are situations where it's not possible to avoid unless one avoids riding completely.

    let's say you are riding along at say 40mph on a two or four lane road. in right lane on left side of lane. watching all angles... giving a horn blast at anyone getting ready to pull out.

    a driver turns left without slowing down by much, immediately in front of you. driver doesn't see you at all. you have next to zero time to react and slam into side of car.

    now tell me how you can see that coming? cars turning left routinely do that exact maneuver.
    don't get me wrong, this is not a routine occurrence and I'm not going to stop riding over it. as a matter of fact. the only reason it came up was reading about the latest rider down.

  13. #13
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    3,466

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by _CY_ View Post
    yes rider awareness can and does prevent getting yourself into situations that could lead to accidents.

    but there are situations where it's not possible to avoid unless one avoids riding completely.

    let's say you are riding along at say 40mph on a two or four lane road. in right lane on left side of lane. watching all angles... giving a horn blast at anyone getting ready to pull out.

    a driver turns left without slowing down by much, immediately in front of you. driver doesn't see you at all. you have next to zero time to react and slam into side of car.

    now tell me how you can see that coming? cars turning left routinely do that exact maneuver.
    don't get me wrong, this is not a routine occurrence and I'm not going to stop riding over it. as a matter of fact. the only reason it came up was reading about the latest rider down.
    You presume that any approaching vehicle, on anything other than a divided highway, may turn left across your path.

    If you operate under that premise, you don't give up riding. What you do is "read the signs." Is the vehicle slowing down or posturing for a left turn? Where is the driver looking? Are you about to pass something that might be a logical destinatin for area motorists?

    All kinds of clues out there, but number one is expect your path of travel to be violated.

    Though I may have to deal with this soon, given that it's riding season again here in the midwest, it better not catch me by surprise - that's on me.

    That's an essential element of what Andy VH is trying to communicate: don't simply ride and hope for the best - ride in such a mindset that you are proactively in tune with your surroundings and staying out of harm's way, rather than simply being reactive and dealing with 'issues.'
    Last edited by Greenwald; 03-28-2012 at 06:42 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  14. #14
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    PROACTIVE ASSERTIVENESS rather than REACTIONARY ACCEPTANCE

    Thanks for the replies and I also appreciate the counterpoints, because it generates discussion and thinking of the riding process. Like Kevin said, don't just ride along expecting all to be great. Presume every other road user is a hazard till proven otherwise.

    I know it sounds like I ride in constant peril, like a caged chicken with foxes all around trying to get in. But actually, in traffic I am very calm, but very aware, always. Always searching for clues leading to driver's actions. Happened last night. I'm in the RH lane after entering the three lane highway. Car just ahead in the left lane, kind of pacing my speed, slightly off center in the lane to the right. I held back to let things develop, sure enough the car moved quickly ahead of me into my lane, no blinker preceding the move.

    For left turners, as you approach from the opposite direction, I also scan on my right for any reason that car may turn left, a driveway, alley, gas station, shop, and I presume (like Kevin said) an approaching car could turn left without notice. If if see a car approaching, signal or not, but kind of hugging the centerline or left side of their lane, ALERT! Get ready, slow maybe, hands/feet in position to act. I also consider the traffic load, heavy traffic means left turners will do it more quickly and aggressively, ALERT! Sun low at my back, shining in the driver's eyes, I'm not more than a shadow, ALERT! All sorts of clues apply.

    The more you train your brain to these clues, the more natural your decision process becomes, you "sense" things that cause you to prepare. Knowing your "enemy" is one of your best defenses. Perfect? No. Never a mistake or miss? No. But I simply don't have close calls, and when I do I know I messed something up. That is the attitude part of riding we can all work at to reduce our risks, because no one else is gonna do it for us!

  15. #15
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    You presume that any approaching vehicle, on anything other than a divided highway, may turn left across your path.

    If you operate under that premise, you don't give up riding. What you do is "read the signs." Is the vehicle slowing down or posturing for a left turn? Where is the driver looking? Are you about to pass something that might be a logical destinatin for area motorists?

    All kinds of clues out there, but number one is expect your path of travel to be violated.

    Though I may have to deal with this soon, given that it's riding season again here in the midwest, it better not catch me by surprise - that's on me.

    That's an essential element of what Andy VH is trying to communicate: don't simply ride and hope for the best - ride in such a mindset that you are proactively in tune with your surroundings and staying out of harm's way, rather than simply being reactive and dealing with 'issues.'
    yes that's correct... my presumption is driver of car doesn't see me and they can turn in front of me.

    there's a point of no return anytime you cross possible paths. just so happens a car traveling at speed directly at you, turning at last moment can put you in a situation where it's not possible to react or foresee it's coming at you.

    same for getting ready to pass someone ready to pull out. they get a horn blast from me. my assumption is driver doesn't see me, until proven otherwise.

    there's a point where your path could cross with an incoming car. where there's no possible way to avoid. most all cars at a stop before they turn can be avoided by simply being aware of surroundings.

    someone turning left in front of you at speed has the potential of giving the least amount of warning. again only reason this came up is latest rider down/killed. who appeared to be a VERY experienced rider.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •