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Discussion Starter #1
I did a 200 mile ride today in some very high crosswinds. It got me thinking about safety! I was just was wondering if people could share a great piece of advice for riding safe for many years!

I hope a lot of people respond, so I can pick up on something, or others can as well. Even if its protective gear, riding style, traffic situations, bike visibility. The sky is the limit. Lets hear your thoughts!

My piece of advice is constant situational awareness! A rider has to know whats going on in all aspects of the ride. Traffic in front, traffic behind, animals, people on phones, monitoring your bike, trash in the road, wet spots, and even high wind!
 

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Ride until your first concious mistake. You have probably made four or five little mistakes already that you didn't catch. Time to pull over and stop for a while. Take a mandatory break. I'm talking such things as fumbling the kickstand, forgetting some of the gear in the house before a ride, stumbling just a bit getting off the bike, forgetting to fasten the helmet strap, missed a gear or a turn, etc. Mistakes are cumulative and get progressively worse. This one rule about little mistakes has saved me several times. Get some water, a little snack and honestly decide whether or not you can ride safely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ride until your first concious mistake. You have probably made four or five little mistakes already that you didn't catch. Time to pull over and stop for a while. Take a mandatory break. I'm talking such things as fumbling the kickstand, forgetting some of the gear in the house before a ride, stumbling just a bit getting off the bike, forgetting to fasten the helmet strap, missed a gear or a turn, etc. Mistakes are cumulative and get progressively worse. This one rule about little mistakes has saved me several times. Get some water, a little snack and honestly decide whether or not you can ride safely.
I have a few times forgot the one most important thing. Strapping the helmet! Now I run a little check list. Starting with my pre-trip walk around on the bike! Good advice!
 

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Preema
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Go fast.... if anything gets in your way turn...


Seriously, learn to watch drivers and not their vehicles. There’s always a ‘tell’ before a manoeuvre, a glance into the rear view mirror as they start to change lanes and before any indicators come on! Watch for those fixated on the road 20 feet in front of them with no awareness of anytime to their left or right.

Finally, trust your spider sense...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Go fast.... if anything gets in your way turn...


Seriously, learn to watch drivers and not their vehicles. There’s always a ‘tell’ before a manoeuvre, a glance into the rear view mirror as they start to change lanes and before any indicators come on! Watch for those fixated on the road 20 feet in front of them with no awareness of anytime to their left or right.

Finally, trust your spider sense...
Totally agree on spider sense! Great advise :) Keep em coming!
 

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To all the above, can I add: -

1. Learn how to contra-steer your bike, so it becomes second nature.

2. Steering & managing the bike in a full on ABS emergency stop - find a quiet or private road & test yourself. Include luggage weight &/or pillion rider as necessary.

3. Take care with the tech distractions - GPS, phone, music. Even sunglasses & dark visors can lure the brain into a VR world, particularly if you are riding when tired.

4. Watch the disappearing point on winding roads. It helps the natural flow, road positioning & avoids any risk of target fixation.

Otherwise, ride safely, within your own limits - never get yourself involved with a group ride that is quicker than you find comfortable. The 'Tail end Charlie' is always at greatest risk, so Groups should try to use/perfect the second man drop-off system to keep pace under control.
 

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Make yourself visible. For example, allowing yourself to be hidden behind an SUV so a right-turn-on-red driver thinks they can get into your lane and not block the SUV. I constantly think, "Am I in a position where they can they see me?" The safest place you can ride is in the open, away from other cars & trucks.
 

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Ride like half the drivers don’t see you and the half that do are trying to kill you.

If it looks slick it prolly is.

If someone wants your lane, let them have it.

Increasing your speed as the wind speed increases works up to a point.

If you have to slab it, do whatever it takes to stay in the left lane.

A semi truck makes a good blocker when riding through intersections.

Most often, you will power your way out (vs braking) of trouble.

Kickstands up at first light, breakfast after the first tank.

Use the kickstand, it’s there for a reason.

If you ride where there’s cactuses, bring a tweezer.

The first effect from hypothermia is getting stupid(er).
 

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An old friended of mine who used to be a motorcycle cop told me years ago, "Assuming the other guy doesn't see you isn't enough. You need to assume he does see you and wants to hit you."

In most cases that's a little bit extreme, but I have found assuming the other guy believes he has the right of way, to be a life saver.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Great responses so far everyone! Lots of good information! Keep it coming! Heres another simple one! Tires, the things that connect you to the road. When they are new scrub them in before riding spirited. Inspect them for nails before taking off and simply keep up on your tire pressure. Try to keep the tire sheen off of the bottoms. :)
 

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Teach yourself what other drivers are going to do. This is a learned trait which takes time however. As a seasoned Paramedic we have to learn what other drivers are going to do before they do it. We get good at predicting their movements close to 99% of the time. Pay attention to driver's head movements. This is a great indicator that they are going to make a move, which may or may not involve you. Unless they are head bobbin to the cranked music in their cars, then they will have no idea of your presence.
 

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The one tip I give new riders is: When coming to any intersection, especially uncontrolled ones, and there is a vehicle waiting to pull out watch their front tire. You will see it rotate when on the move. Watching the whole car move is hard to decipher because of the back ground changing as you move along and forget about looking at the driver as they can stare at you and still pull out. A simple tip but it has saved me many times by allowing me to do evasive actions quicker.
 

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A good thread thus far and I agree with all of the suggestions for riding safe. To which I will add the following: A) when approaching an intersection where you suspect a potential hazard may exist try slowly weaving left/right within your lane as you approach the intersection in order to get the attention of other drivers who may not 'see' you. A pair of Clearwater lights or similar helps in this situation. B) Stay away at all cost from large commercial trucks. Here's some examples as to why-the laws of physics never take a day off; truck wins every time. If you're following too close to the rear of a large truck at least two problems may/can occur, one-the truck driver cannot see you when you're 15-20 feet behind him/her. Two, if there is an object in the roadway and in your lane of travel the truck can in most cases straddle the object and you the motorcyclist cannot=accident. Truck tire failure/blowout while riding behind or beside (see 'stay away at all cost comment)=accident. When passing a large commercial truck either on the Interstate or a two lane highway/road get as far ahead as possible after completing the pass, particularly if the pass occurs when you and the truck are going downhill. "Why" you ask: a diesel engine unlike a gasoline engine doesn't have any internal engine braking compression, meaning that, and particularly when heavily loaded the truck will 'speed up' on its own and take even longer to slow down or stop should the need arise when descending a hill. Lastly, and this one is for those 'wanna be tough guys' who likes to demonstrate their vast mental acumen by riding almost on the lane divider/white hash markers while passing large trucks on multilane highways-don't if you value life, good health, your family and friends-refer once again to the laws of physics. All this and more has been gained in thirty plus years of commercial truck ownership and management.

As stated by OP's opening remarks, situational awareness, you're own state of mind during the ride, knowledge of the road(s) you're traveling on and current weather conditions all help in keeping you safe. Lastly, and I'm speaking only for myself and in no way do I intend to offend anyone but over many years (40+) I've developed what I call vehicle ID awareness in the blink of an eye: Is the other vehicle that I'm sharing the road with friend or foe? Some examples of foes: old beater type cars/trucks-chances are that in the event of an accident the owner/driver of same has limited assets to pay for any damages (assuming they're at fault), young limited experience drivers, particularly if there are three or more in the vehicle, Dodge Ram pickups ("Yeah its gotta Hemi") appeals to some, not all aggressive drivers, Jeep Grand Cherokee, jacked up four wheel drive pickups, blacked out cars and trucks, old Volvo cars (the square cracker boxes), Subaru's, Toyota Prius (particularly in the Sacramento, Ca. and Washington, DC metro areas), and first generation Saturn's. Many of these types of vehicles that I encounter I do my best to politely stay away from. Friendly vehicles are easy to identify for me-they make me smile without even thinking about it.:)

Happy motoring...
 

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Be mentally prepared to ride. While motorcycling is certainly a great stress reliever, this article is a reminder to keep it in check before mounting up for a ride. Being overly stressed or anxious about ongoing issues in our lives can negatively impact our situational awareness, with potentially devastating consequences. If nothing else, you’ll find yourself not enjoying the ride.

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/riding-tips-get-your-stress-anxiety-in-check-before-you-ride
 
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