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Thread: Urban Riding

  1. #33
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    I'm going to keep links to all these threads to pass to my girlfriend when she's a bit further along with her learning to ride. A bit much to throw at her at this stage, but I do add bits of it as and when I think they'll be useful to her.

    Thanks again.

  2. #34
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    Great series of threads - thank you.

    Police biker chum "informs" the driver in front he wishes to pass by moving his bike side to side in the lane so his headlight appears first in one wing-mirror then in the other. Works, apparently

    Re fingers - I absolutely cannot get out of the habit (first picked up when dispatch riding in London) of 2 fingers on the front brake. I can't remember the last time I did an emergency stop - they should be very rare if forward observation is good enough.

    Re front wheel skid - the off road Brecon school is brilliant at giving you experience of feeling the front giving way and saving it in time. Very useful skill to acquire.

    cheers

  3. #35
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    some good advice for sure

    i generally just stick on cruise control, relax and listen to the stereo blissfully unaware of all around me but then im on a superior HD motor-cycle
    I've gone orange 1290 SA

  4. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS TRV View Post
    some good advice for sure

    i generally just stick on cruise control, relax and listen to the stereo blissfully unaware of all around me but then im on a superior HD motor-cycle
    snigger
    Dont Bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me

  5. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBoxer View Post
    If you want to learn urban riding.........................ask a courier
    He was a courier before becoming traffic plod if i read the start of this correctly

    I also was a courier in a former life, but i was 21 at the time, invulnerable and fearless so although i was very fast through heavy city traffic on a big bike i am not sure how much of my survival was down to skills and ability as opposed to "spidey sense", divine intervention and blind luck

    Being twice that age now i have learned that riding like that has a fairly short survival span (at my company out of 15-20 regular riders i was one of 2 who didnt actually hit the deck while i was there)

    I can still make progress through heavy traffic fairly well but do so with more of an eye to "whats going to try to kill me next" as opposed to "how long will it take to my next job to earn" although i am having to adapt to the width of the GS after years of carving through traffic on skinny 600 sports bikes

    I do already follow with pretty much most of the points above that Giles has put above but as others have said i cover the brake with 2 fingers in urban/heavy traffic/motorways to give me that extra half second to avoid the possible impact.

  6. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigyin View Post
    He was a courier before becoming traffic plod if i read the start of this correctly

    I also was a courier in a former life, but i was 21 at the time, invulnerable and fearless so although i was very fast through heavy city traffic on a big bike i am not sure how much of my survival was down to skills and ability as opposed to "spidey sense", divine intervention and blind luck

    Being twice that age now i have learned that riding like that has a fairly short survival span (at my company out of 15-20 regular riders i was one of 2 who didnt actually hit the deck while i was there)

    I can still make progress through heavy traffic fairly well but do so with more of an eye to "whats going to try to kill me next" as opposed to "how long will it take to my next job to earn" although i am having to adapt to the width of the GS after years of carving through traffic on skinny 600 sports bikes

    I do already follow with pretty much most of the points above that Giles has put above but as others have said i cover the brake with 2 fingers in urban/heavy traffic/motorways to give me that extra half second to avoid the possible impact.
    Ha, ha... Same as you, early 20's, not quite invincible but pretty quick. Still like traffic but with a bit less speed difference between me and cars I'm passing and I no longer do 50 in a 30 all the time

    We were in and around urban London and we thought a minor scrape every month for the 1st 6 months and then once or twice a year thereafter...

    Gotta say i learnt much of what i do now as a courier even if i didn't know it then and also learnt quickly to be very confident in my riding especially on the pegs around a bumpy roundabout/one way with a load of buses, taxis and the odd poor 'umble sports bike poser in my sights...

    All fun and never forgotten. Once took my girlie for an unforgettable jaunt round London on a K12LT. The mirrors are wider than the panniers

  7. #39
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    I also started the courier way and it was a steep learning curve but at that age I couldn't have started in a better way Kill or cure.

    Looking back I find I practice most of what the OP suggests and will work on not getting rusty/lazy on what I don't.
    Many thanks indeed for doing this and taking the trouble to post it..

  8. #40
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    I always find its not lack of speed of braking that has you off, it tends to be lack of thought before braking.

  9. #41
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    Well Giles has stirred up some debate over the 'Fingers versus no fingers over the levers' approach. Debate is good

    Living in central London I will always hit busy traffic or challenging scenarios, no matter where I go. That 99 journeys out of 100 result in nothing untoward does not mean that the 100th will do too.

    Whilst it's difficult to guess what anyone means, I can only assume that what Giles is putting forward is as follows:

    Riding in dense traffic, whether it be a motorway or a busy town (by 'busy' I mean lots going on, but not necessary fast moving*) is different to hooning down the open road.

    People, instead of taking off more speed or altering their position (the great mantra starts, Position, Speed.....) increase their speed / adopt a less satisfactory position but substitute covering their levers for the extra fraction of a second it might bring. Maybe what Giles is suggesting is that by sacrificing some more speed and / or adopting alternative positions based on looking ahead and - to some degree or another - using some imagination as to what might happen, the rider may be able to build in the extra gap that reduces the need to cover the levers..... in that you WILL be able to stop.

    Keith Code's 'Twist of the wrist' book talks about a rider having a number of credits that they can use up, substituting comfort aids to replace a lack of credits when things get tough. Code's belief is that, when racing, the substitution of comfort aids - rather than the rider working on better employing (or increasing) the number of credits available - makes for a worse racer. The same should apply to normal road riding.

    Maybe Giles is suggesting that by increasing the number of credits (less Speed, better Position, more use of Information) an over reliance -or an over confidence in - the comfort of covering levers might be reduced? That, in his view, makes for a better over all rider.


    Maybe it is something worth considering and / or trying?
    Who knows, it may work and cost nothing.

    ======


    *There again, 20 miles an hour might suddenly seem very fast when it's the wheels of att's articulated lorry heading for you.... or Mrs Miggins and her pram stepping out, just as that black Volvo closes your escape route and the lights on the the three-way junction have just gone green....

  10. #42
    Mmmmmmmmm Interesting!!!!

    Ok, first off, I stand by what I say!! I believe that there's nothing wrong with having an opinion, and I agree with Wapping - it's good to boot a few ideas about.
    I choose not to cover my levers. Schtum writes about 'lowest common denominator' and 'the abilities of others on the basis of your own limitations' !!!!!!!!!! I had a good chuckle if I'm honest. A vip escort working bike (as opposed to the easy rider) will arrive in a junction, finding neutral on the move whilst braking with his foot and stopping the traffic with a hand in the air, from 50, 60, 70mph? Brake with your foot? brake with your hand? neutral at 30mph without looking? You simply won't cope unless you have excellent machine control. (Infact if yer having to think bike control, you're no good for the team...)

    If I'm honest (wapping) I don't think people ride around covering brakes because they're concerned somebody's going to run out in front of them, I think its a habbit they've just picked up and have got used to. I think it was Johnny Boxer ? who said he learned off road riding first and then transfered it to the road, carrying over some of those skills. I understand that completely, and sometimes it's i/ hard to undo what you know and what you're comfortable with, and ii/ perceived as unnecessary because you're now skilled and able to control a bike in a certain way. Is that about right? I'd be interested if people said I do in town but don't out in the rural. (which would make me wrong and wapping right!! ).

    But I do agree with Wapping's theory on speed / positioning / covering levers.

    I know you all barf at the mention of Roadcraft.. (Me too mostly ..) but some of it is very relevant. There's a line in there somewhere that says something like 'using the horn does not justify excessive speed for the circumstances' (something like that..). And this is basically what Wapping is saying. Quite right!

    So yes, one of the reasons I don't cover my levers is that I don't feel the urban need to, because I'll think and deal with my hazzards in my positioning and speed rather than just cover my brakes and hope for the best. But I stand by the original thread too, which is, I see some right clangers going on in heavy traffic with dragging feet, walking the bike, crap control and all often accompanied by a thumb controling the throttle while fingers are on brake levers. (If you can do it, great! relax!!!).

    (I'll often cover my horn passing a dodgy 'what can't I see' scenario contradicting everything above, You could equally argue, 'well slow down a bit more then'..)

    I can't stress enough, that (IMHO!!!!) there is a place for this sort of thinking and 'soft science' (See what we did there Rasher..)

    Yer think I'm not a lunatic when I get the chance??!! Of course I am!!
    Roadcraft, advanced riding (don't like that! sounds very pretentious..!), call it what you like, I do think about it, all the time. Does it mean I'm a stuffed shirt with no natural ability, over trained, over schooled, no character, no identity, ride around thinking position speed gear all the time........ NO!!!!!!!
    Does it mean I think about it, I'm fluid, flexible, adaptable, ride with passion, have fun..... YES!!!!!

  11. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by giles lamb View Post
    I choose not to cover my levers. Schtum writes about 'lowest common denominator' and 'the abilities of others on the basis of your own limitations' !!!!!!!!!! I had a good chuckle if I'm honest. A vip escort working bike (as opposed to the easy rider) will arrive in a junction, finding neutral on the move whilst braking with his foot and stopping the traffic with a hand in the air, from 50, 60, 70mph? Brake with your foot? brake with your hand? neutral at 30mph without looking? You simply won't cope unless you have excellent machine control. (Infact if yer having to think bike control, you're no good for the team...)
    You choose what you will - that's fine by me. What's not is prescribing doom and destruction for anyone who chooses to do something different.

    The rest smacks of some of the arrogance I encountered from members of my local force on their Bikesafe scheme who clearly thought that because they were trained to the nth degree they were automatically "better" riders. That wasn't borne out in practice and some of them were less than receptive to having mistakes in their riding pointed out.

    We're all fallible, we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, that's part of the human condition. I applaud what you're doing in terms of offering advice which might just help to keep people safe on the road but that doesn't mean that there's just one way to do it; especially in respect of machine control.

  12. #44
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    Having rode for forty odd years and still in one piece i must be doing something right i filter with caution if i dont like the look of it i hold back if someone is held up tough titty i might be doing them a favor i prefer filtering through stationary/slow moving traffic if it is moving close to the posted speed limit then go with the flow i drive in london every day and see filtering from the sublime usually couriers to the ridiculus mostly twats on scooters
    having done two ridesafe days over time they are worth doing for a refresher as it is easy to slip into bad habits
    ride safe g.s.john
    Born to ride now retired
    Now mortgage free YEEHAAA
    Einstein said two things are infinate human stupidity and the universe but i am not too sure about the universe
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  13. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schtum View Post
    You choose what you will - that's fine by me. What's not is prescribing doom and destruction for anyone who chooses to do something different.

    The rest smacks of some of the arrogance I encountered from members of my local force on their Bikesafe scheme who clearly thought that because they were trained to the nth degree they were automatically "better" riders. That wasn't borne out in practice and some of them were less than receptive to having mistakes in their riding pointed out.

    We're all fallible, we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, that's part of the human condition. I applaud what you're doing in terms of offering advice which might just help to keep people safe on the road but that doesn't mean that there's just one way to do it; especially in respect of machine control.
    Nice one... couldn't agree more. Some members of the force seem to be normal guys aka OP Giles and some have a stick stuck up their backside re "the way". In fact that will apply to quite a few who have done the Police training for plebs also who can bore you shitless by what their "mantra mentor" has said.

    I have known bike coppers who have had far more spectacular and twattish accidents than me and also I see quite a few ex police/nearly ex bikes with heavy frontals etc for sale on sites like M/works etc We are all thankfully human....

    That is the main thing about these threads.... Anyone can learn something from anyone so keep the debate rolling

    As for couriers... they have never earnt much from having crashes so the skills curve is usually steep and lasting. I bought a bike from a bloke in Catford last year and was still able to mix it easily and safely on the South Circ/Friday PM on my way out west. Was a little narrower than a GS though...

  14. #46
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    motorway cops beeb tonight - accident where foreign truck hit car with mum and kid in blind spot - exactly like the man said !

  15. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by davnjud View Post
    motorway cops beeb tonight - accident where foreign truck hit car with mum and kid in blind spot - exactly like the man said !
    We all "should" spot a foreign plate if we are experienced. After all when in Europe we usually stand out ourselves...

    I have had an EU car pull out on me looking the other way a couple of times. As for trucks.... a wide berth for normal, wider when foreign... very, very wide if they look like they are on the phone or watching Star Trek...

  16. #48
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    average 15k a year rider here in various countries n all traffic conditions


    A small point which might be worth making and its so obvious and we all know it which is NEVER EVER forget to check the space that you are heading for when you change lane it is SO easy to get complacent and occasionally forget which is defo not a good idea as the lane discipline in this country seems to me to be disintigrating
    wonder what prompted this wee post
    still no deid

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