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Discussion Starter #1
I can't help but judge the riders I come across......

If they're in my field of view, I'm critiquing their riding, and comparing that to what I would do in that position. The number of miscues I see has a lot to do with the proximity I will allow.

What kind of gear, material condition of the bike, lane placement, following distance, low speed maneuvering..... All play a part. Behavior on board is orders of magnitude more important to me.

Too many down checks, and I will depart the scene. Usually by slowing down. No matter where, or with who, how much risk I will accept is solely my choice. Same as it is for Racer X.
 

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As is your right and the dedication to your own safety, this is the way every situtation should be treated!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I never win the drag race across the intersection when the light goes green....

I place my bike for greatest visibility as I approach merge points

Underway, I place the bike to maximize my sightlines

I do not linger in blind spots

I avoid startling other road users.

I never, ever encroach into oncoming lanes with limited sightlines.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A rider's gear is far less important in my assessment, than behavior. A conscientious rider in shorts and sneakers, riding within their capabilities faces very little additional risk; increased damage is obviously going to occur in the event of any sort of spill..... I know my perspective has changed with every single crash I have had.

Accounting for typical day to day threats, assessing that risk, and accounting for it as any rider sees fit is one of the greatest liberties we have. Highly individual choice. Own it.
 

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Even when the intersection light turns green I wait and look both ways before crossing- even in my 4 wheeled vehicles...... but if it is truly clear, I am always the first one across the intersection and football fields ahead of traffic that was waiting there too... (unless some Tesla driver decides to jump to the electric go pedal...... ;( been seeing more and more and more of those around lately)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I normally want to have a large 'blocking vehicle' run the gauntlet ahead of me..... I can typically easily afford to let the other vehicle get to the middle of the intersection before I have to launch, and routinely beat them over the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I go so far as to evaluate how long a rider can stay on their pegs, coming to a stop in traffic -- and how many times they put their foot down when they do stop.

A planned event, pretty much don't have to put your foot down at all..... can keep moving enough to maintain balance up to the time the traffic begins to flow. If that's the normal mode, then you've come to a complete stop before you ever need to put your foot down, and have had the time to decide which foot it is you intend to use.

Watching how much of a paddle someone does at a light, is very informative.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Where a rider chooses to operate their bike -- lane placement..... realizing this is different when lane splitting, using the scrubbed tire tracks of other vehicles to keep your tires clear of debris, avoiding the 'edge traps' on the extreme boundaries of the lanes, particularly the shoulder and fast lanes --- situating your bike to point towards an escape route should the unexpected occur, creating the most visibility by which other operators on the road have the greatest likelihood of seeing you before they paste into the space you're occupying.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Case in point, driving my wife to a medical appointment 2.5 hours from our home.... Charlottesville is in the foothills bearing West Virginia. Two lane, rolling country roads, decent elevation changes and fairly good scenery. 45-55 posted limit typical.

Came across a rider on a fairly new Goldwing, who was riding less than a bike length behind a full sized, windowless van. High vis tee shirt, flags fluttering.... And no sightlines at all. Being caught in a situation like that occurs to us all on occasion....... This guy maintained that distance for more than 20 miles. Just. A. Bad. Idea.

I stopped tailgating when I was forced to run over a piece of lumber, way back in 1986.
 

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I go so far as to evaluate how long a rider can stay on their pegs, coming to a stop in traffic -- and how many times they put their foot down when they do stop.

A planned event, pretty much don't have to put your foot down at all..... can keep moving enough to maintain balance up to the time the traffic begins to flow. If that's the normal mode, then you've come to a complete stop before you ever need to put your foot down, and have had the time to decide which foot it is you intend to use.

Watching how much of a paddle someone does at a light, is very informative.
The paddling thing drives me completely nutters. It demonstrates a lack of low speed practice. Especially during mundane street riding stops.

As I’m coming up to a light, I check my mirrors to ensure no one is tailgating me, and if clear, start dropping gears and downshifting to come to a stop, and lightly ride the rear brake to engage the brake light, and help settle the suspension. When I get into first gear, I grab the front brake I’ve been covering during the whole time, and drag the bike down to 0 mph. I brake hard enough at the very end to compress the front forks. Feet still on the pegs, at this point. When the front end compresses, I get a feel for the balance, and as the front forks uncompress, I finally put a foot down. Often, I have several seconds where my feet are on the pegs, but the bike is 100% stopped.

It’s incredibly satisfying.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^ A big part of that balancing, has to do with how far away you are looking. Clear out to the horizon, if at all possible.
 

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i never win the drag race across the intersection when the light goes green....

I place my bike for greatest visibility as i approach merge points

underway, i place the bike to maximize my sightlines

i do not linger in blind spots

i avoid startling other road users.

I never, ever encroach into oncoming lanes with limited sightlines.
wuuuuuuuurd-
 

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I don't get it dude.. Life is about JUDGEMENT and constant RISK ASSEMENT when you ride! -Sometimes I don't wave "hi" to peeps riding scooters..<shrug>
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't get it dude.. Life is about JUDGEMENT and constant RISK ASSEMENT when you ride! -Sometimes I don't wave "hi" to peeps riding scooters..<shrug>
I think this expresses the most fundamental truth, of what riding means to me. It's my choice, and I am solely responsible for the outcome. :hail: The more I comprehend what that really, truly means....... The more of a statement it makes. To me. Right, wrong, or indifferent. MY choice. Freedom, in it's most vital form.

Get the sums right, and it's a fundamental poetry of motion. F up enough of the indicators, and the cartwheel of catastrophe will come calling:coocoo
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Another of those behaviors that increases risk far more than any perceived benefit is riding two or more abreast. Looks cool, demonstrates a mutual trust and some degree of competence.......

Cuts down on options drastically when things begin to unravel. More often than not, the required vigilance required to off set the compromise is lacking. One bike can fit through a very narrow space - two abreast have precious few options beyond what any other road user may have. Unless a breakaway maneuver has already been agreed to and practiced, the situation will become chaotic at the very moment it is most needed.

At least in a staggered formation, a rider has the full width of their lane to work with, a better line of sight, and a few more moments to decide what to do. The odds of one rider taking out many, is markedly reduced by that simple increase in spacing. One second apart staggered left to right, means the 'even' and 'odd' bikes are following the bike on their side of the lane with a 2 second gap.

At 60 MPH, a bike covers 120'/second. Most bikes can stop from 60 in 120' in a max performance stop. Adding space to allow for reaction time, and potentially sub par conditions seems prudent.

Four bikes, one second apart (2 pairs riding abreast) can run out of options very quickly....
 
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