View Full Version : My heart just friggin stopped! <--- dramatic lead in
I felt like screaming, crying, crapping my pants and checking my pulse!
I was tooling around the neighbor hood on my KLR 650. It was very nice weather, just ideal riding. I riding in areas where every 3 or 4 streets was a stop sign because this is where I need the practice... clutch control Now keep in mind I've never ridden anything before yesterday and here I am on this monster. I was getting pretty damn good at up and down shifting. The intuitive clutch/brake/downshift was comming to me pretty naturally. I wasn't letting cars pull up behind me (I don't trust anyone while I'm riding). So I come up to a 4 way stop and it's in a school zone. The intersection loads up and each driver is taking their turn proceeding through the 4 way stop. My turn comes up so I ease through, just then this stupid woman to my right in an accord decides to trump me and pull into my path. I stopped on a dime and just thought... FREAKIN STUPID DUMB ASS NO DRIVING PIECE OF %#@& !!! She saw me and stoped her car then waved me through. I was pretty disgusted that she was so careless and how that could have cost me.
Here's where I screwed up! I checked the gear, yup in first, all set, then I let the clutch off some and gave it a little gas (you just about have to gas it a tad on a single cylinder bike). However I did this with 5 gallons of DISGUST! My front wheel goes up 3 feet in the air, I feel gravity pulling at my back, I see sky and I freakin panic. My only thought is I've got to either let go and roll off (I'm only going about 5 mph and be on the road in the middle of the intersection or hold on and MAYBE when I crash the bike won't land on top of me. Making it through this without injury seems fruitlessly optimistic. I just hold on and CLUTCH, BRAKE! The bike SLAMS down hard! My mind is reeling from the moment, then I realize I'm still in the middle of an active intersection. I can't hear anything from the helmet on my head, I only know I've GOT to get out of the intersection fast! I keep the gas where it is and let off the clutch and VROOM! Wheel goes up again CLUTCH BRAKE!! I slam down hard again. I'm just a few feet out of the intersection. I'm not breathing, or am not aware of anything but the overwhelming need to STOP EVERYTHING. I turn the bike to the curb and put it in neutral and just stand there... Nothing matters but regaining my bearing After what seems like 20 minutes I drive the bike to a parking lot and park the bike. I just lay on the asphalt and contemplate why God let me live through that, Was I in any REAL danger? Does this crap happen to every rider at some point? I'm a responsible driver, how had this happened to me?
Road rage. That idiot driver had pissed me off and I engaged 1st gear with anger. I learned I cannot get mad when I ride or I'll suffer. Yesterday I took to heart that fire hydrants, trees, sand in turns etc. can kill me Today I took to heart that I can easily kill myself.
Glen said it in the initial thread and I echoed it. TAKE AN MSF RIDERS COURSE!
You are doing the things I did when I got my first bike. You are teaching yourself but you are not learning from a professional. You wouldn't have gone into your current profession without training, would you?
In most places it is less than $200 and it will only take two days of your time. You will be amazed at how proficient you will be at riding your bike when you finish with this course. Awareness, accident avoidance, obstacle avoidance, swerving, panic stopping are just some of the things you will learn.
Why put it off? Yes, you have a new toy and you want to play with it, but why do you think that the MAJORITY of motorcycle accidents happen in the first six months of ownership?
Do you know where the most dangerous locations for motorcycle riders are located?
Do you know the proper way to disengage from a dog when it approaches you while riding?
Do you know the proper way to brake in a panic situation while negotiating a curve?
Do you know which brakes should be applied for different situations?
Do you know where to position yourself within the lane while on the highway?
Do you know what the "no zones" are around tractor-trailer rigs?
Do you know the best way to deal with tailgating drivers?
Do you know the best way to negotiate curves?
Do you know the best way to ride over/through an obstacle?
Do you know what to do in a front tire skid situation? A rear tire skid situation?
Do you know when the most dangerous time of a rainstorm is for a motorcycle rider?
Do you know what to do in case of a tire failure while at speed?
I think you need some off-road practice......
Everyone really should learn on a small/medium sized dirtbike, on dirt.
Originally posted by Texas T
Do you know when the most dangerous time of a rainstorm is for a motorcycle rider?
Same for any vehicle, the very first few seconds/minutes, because all of the oils and other crap is being washed out of the surface.
More dangerous on two wheels, though, because you arent exactly as stable as a tripod.
Anvil, I'm glad that you're OK. Texas T and Chevrofreak are right. MSF course and a small dirtbike will completely change the way that you look at things. With more seat time, you'll be less likely to panic in a similar situation.
Just know this: Expect more of the same crappy driving from the four wheel group. Some things never change. ;Q
Agree with everyone. Take a course.
And always remember, when you ride you are invisible. No one can see you, even those you make eye contact with.
BTW, the most dangerous time of a rainstorm is when it first starts. It brings oil and other nasty slippery goo up to the road surface.
Yep driving a motorcycle is different. You have to learn to drive it, get lots of practice til it becomes second nature, like driving a stick vs an automatic but even moreso.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY.
Car drivers are looking for cars and they just don't see motorcycles.
You'll get it! Enjoy your new ride.
Glad you're OK. Now go take an MSF Course!
Welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycling. When you are on two wheels you CANNOT be consumed with road rage. As you have just proven, it's too distracting.
I have 13+ years on a motorcycle and average about 10,000 miles per year. Been down 4 times, once my fault. It's a dangerous world out there and every "cage" is out to kill you. You need to learn from the pro's, so go take the course. I took one about three years ago just for the insurance break, and guess what? I even learned a few things that I had forgotten.
I'm not trying to scare you out of riding, just wake you up to reality. I will stop riding when I'm buried, I hope, and not before. The MSF course is a great way to start, then work on getting some miles under your belt before you ride in a group.
If you are riding in a group and you feel it's unsafe, pull off and tell them you will catch up. You have to ride your own ride.
Good luck and stay safe.
The more you ride the more you will get used to it. When I first started and like cutting traffic up to the front of a light and taking off quickly to move in front of the cars I almost wheelied a few times. I was able to keep it down though but it sure was jerky and scary. And the first big jump makes it harder to correct for the second since you are kinda freaked out. As was said, more seat time and you'll get the hang of it, msf is a good learning tool, and just be happy that you made it thru without dumping the bike. I bet it doesn't happen again now as you should have learned a good lesson.
If the careless actions of drivers discuss you, you will be disgusted pretty much all the time you are riding. If a simple foul up at a four way stop aggravates you that much you might want to consider an anger management class or better yet, just sticking to off-road riding.
According to the Hurt Report on motorcycle accidents, riders who started on dirt bikes are "significantly under-represented" in the statistics.
How will you react when a deer suddendly jumps in front of you, when you round a curve just in time to see oncoming traffic in your lane or start to low side into a high speed turn?
In an emergency situation, you don't have time to think, only to react, the most important factor is muscle memory. You have to move like a kung-fu master who has been making that same punch or kick for decades,right now, without conscious effort, and the only way to develop muscle memory is to start young and ride a lot.
IMHO ,I don't think any new rider over thirty should even contemplate starting riding on the streets, and thirty is really pushing it,best to start at ten or twelve, stay on the dirt for a few years.
Getting out on the streets for the first time at forty or fifty is extremely dangerous, as the current injury/death rates for older riders illustrates. There is just no way to develop the muscle-memory at that age.
It's kind of like hockey, and your the puck, watch out for the setups.
I very much agree on the dirt bike riding. I had been street riding for many years, and tried riding off road. I learned more about traction, throttle control and braking during a couple of years of dirt biking then in all the street bike riding years. its fun too!
Markos, I'm not 12, I get angry when stupid people do stupid things that can hurt people, I can't go back and get 20 years of muscle memory and I'm not quiting because you think I'm too old or be cause I don't fit your paradigm of what you think a good rider is.
What I can (will) do is:
... keep trying,
... learn from my mistakes (and mistakes of others that I can relate to)
... be safe
... read and learn as much as I can
... get as much seat time as I can afford
You know it kinda irritates me when some dumbass gets on a soapbox and starts spouting off rhetoric (like Markos) "If you can't do it like me than you have no business trying".
"dumbass", "spouting", "angry at stupid people"
chill out and enjoy your bike; hell,I don't think you should quit riding, it may mellow you out some.
Sounds like you had an awakening. Owning a bike isn't much different from owning a gun. You can hurt yourself and others very easily if you mess up.
Have you signed up for the MSF course yet?
It's amazing how 6" can feel like 3' the first time that wheel comes up :) Don't take it personally, but in a few years you'll agree with me.
Anyway, TAKE THE MSF COURSE. It's fun, very educational, and most insurance companies will give you a discount (10% I think) after you complete the course.
The clutch control (actually all riding skills) should become natural and automatic. It will with time, and the MSF course sure helps with that. Think about driving a car - you don't think about it at all, even though you've got all sorts of things going on.
Anyway, please call 800-446-9227 or visit http://www.msf-usa.org/ and sign up for a course TODAY!
Until then, calm down, cool down, be safe, and have fun!
--Steve ('01 Duc ST4)
I've been riding street and dirt for over twenty years. I have taken the Yamaha Riders Safety School. There is no substitute for the feel of riding a bike, dirt or street. Welcome to the Hammer Lane!!! I think the one lesson that I would impart would be in conjunction with what was referred to earlier that you are invisible. It doesn't matter though as a rider you should never rely on other people's driving ability or judgement. YOUR ONLY ALLY IS SPEED. Nearly all street bikes have a hugh advantage in quickness and agility. These, and situational awareness are the only tools in your bag.
Quick story: I got pinched against a curb by a driver I was passing on the right to make a right turn (was previoulsy behind the car). I went to my lawyers office and explained the situation to her. I informed her that the car in front of me did not use his turn signal or even look in the mirror before changing lanes. She asked me how I new and I told her I looked. This seemed surprising to her. I felt like Master Po asking Grasshopper why he could not hear the grasshopper at his feet.
Rest easy, Anvil. :fallenofficer:
RIP Brother. Ride Easy in the Big Blue Sky.
Rest in peace, Officer Warren
RIP Good Sir.
Been happening way to often, RIP,Sir:fallenofficer:
God bless the family
Thank you for your service, Officer.
RIP LEO Warren, I'm sad to have never chatted with you, but glad to be part of the same community as you. Thank you for your service
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