Motorman’s Tips Tricks and Techniques
The Best Offense is a Good Defense:
It’s been said that the best offense is a good defense. Well, when riding a motorcycle, a good defense is exactly what you need, if you want to live to be a ripe old biker.
Here’s scenario #1. You’re cruising down the left land of the highway, the vehicle in front of you signals a left hand turn. Of course, you are looking way ahead, as you should be, and you can see the left turn lane approaching. The vehicle starts to move into the left turn lane and now the question is, where should you be? I would say, if you’re like me and you like to ride in the left portion of your lane, you should now move as far right in your lane as you can. The reason I say this, is because so many times I’ve seen the driver decide at the last second to change his mind and suddenly pull back into the left lane.
You can almost bet he neither knows you are there, or cares. If you move to the right part of your lane, start covering your brakes and get prepared for him to move back into the left hand lane, you will at least have half a chance of being able to squeeze by him and the car to your right. Always plan for the worse and be prepared for it.
Here’s scenario #2. You are on a 3 lane highway heading north, there’s an island which separates the roadway from the southbound 3 lanes and there is a break in the island which allows cars to cross from one side to the other. You see an SUV in the island waiting to make a left hand turn. What you can’t see is the vehicle to the north of the SUV which is trying to pull into your side of the roadway. If you can’t see that vehicle, you can bet he can’t see you. About 50% of the time, especially if it is a busy roadway, you can bet that vehicle you can’t see is going to pull right out in front of you. You should always be prepared for a situation like this. Remember, he might end up with a dented fender, but you would be lucky to survive such a situation.
What should you do? Well, it’s just common sense. Slow down as you approach the break in the road, cover your brakes, check your right side rear view mirror and prepare to either brake or swerve. Remember, you can’t do both at the same time. Plan ahead in your mind what you are going to do. The same thing applies if a vehicle to your right is attempting to pull onto the highway in your path from a side road. If you always plan for the worse, you’ll be ready when it happens, because after all, you’ve got a plan.
Remember, when you are riding a motorcycle, you need to be defensive. It could mean your life.
Copyright ⓒ 2009 Jerry “Motorman” Palladino