Today's Lesson - Blind Spots

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Dr. Dolittle, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I hadn't done a whole lot of interstate riding before today but I spent about 3 hours on the "super slab" running a long distance errand today. Didn't take long to figure out the less time you spend in a cager's blind spot, the better, big trucks included.

    I was using the cruise control as much as possible but the problem was, if I was just a little slower/faster than other traffic, I was hovering for an uncomfortably long time in the drivers' blind spot. I just started rolling on or off the throttle to zoom out of this zone as quickly as possible. Numerous times I could tell the other vehicle was about to change lanes until I made myself visible, then they stayed put.

    So much to learn but so much fun in the process!
     
  2. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    Whenever I'm in heavy traffic and can't seem to keep a good Saftey zone, I keep my thum on the horn buttun ready to push at any time. And when possible I ride along the center rail so I only have to worry about traffic encroaching from One side instead of Two. Maybe you already practice these procedures. If not, you might want to keep them in mind. Good luck be safe.
     
  3. Twisted Grip

    Twisted Grip Banned

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    Hey Doc, Please tell me you were not running aroud on 285 (Super Slab)?

    Its hell doing it on 4 wheels, let alone 2! I jump on 85 now and then to cruise up to Hartwell, its a little more slack if you know what i mean.
    Be carefull Doc.
     
  4. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Man, I'm glad you posted this. I have been wondering for over a year what the best place to ride on the highway would be. I have at least 3 lanes of traffic once I get to the expressway all the way to work. It isn't as bad in the summer, (less traffic) but during my rush hour commute, here is what I do & why. I generally get on the highway and get to speed (not too quick, usually wave at a trooper), then as soon as possible, I go to the inside, (yes dad, I run the passing lane :s) sorry, that drives my dad nuts. But I do this for a reason, I think that by getting out of the slow lane, I am safer from people trying to enter & exit the highway. I do pass through the entrance/exit for the beltway. I don't like the center lane, because, again, I have traffic changing lanes on 2 sides. So by going to the left lane, I feel 'safer' since I now only have traffic on one side and I also have an escape plan by being ready to move to the left. Now, I will say that I will speed up considerably to make a pass, especially for the truckers. And, I will also adjust my speed according to the traffic flow, that means that some days I will run 75+ to stay with traffic, and if some one gets too close, I will move over and fall in behind them. I just hope the cop will understand my reasoning.

    Also, during the summers, traffic is considerably lighter, so I can sometimes cruise along @ 70 or so comfortably in the center lane. The above practices are mainly for heavy traffic. I never really had much 'coaching' until I found you folks :s, I have talked to hubby about my 'theory' and he tends to agree with me, but I have noticed that if we head down to the city together, I really change my methods so we can stick together. Any thoughts and/or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks for bringing this up Doc.
     
  5. bwalsh22

    bwalsh22 Junior Member

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    Just starting riding now about 2 months ago and this is a great thread. Since I have a 3 yr. old at home and one on the way in Sept. my only time to ride is really running errands or coming to work, so I have been riding into work every chance I get. Ride in is easy since I am in before rush hour, ride home is a little more scary, thankfully I run Jersey 22 most of the way and Interstate 78 for a short period.

    Joy, I tend to agree with what you have said since the middle or left lane is where I feel the safest when traffic is heavy and will keep up with the flow. Generally following Doc's rules as well to keep away from the blind spots, especially when I see a cager weaving, which drives me nuts (had one whip around me this morning, errr). Usually those guys I just steer clear of and let them get ahead of me, unfortunately, they always end up getting stuck ahead at some point, as a result of a bad decision LOL.

    Those are my thoughts from a barely experienced rider, great post and look forward to hearing what others have to say.
     
  6. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree Bwalsh, I let the arrogant jerks go........and I usually end up sitting beside them later in stopped traffic and give them the "yeah, your an idiot" look. :D
     
  7. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Yup, I20 from Villa Rica to I285 to I75 to I575. My wife said the exact same thing about 285! I've done it enough times in the car that I know where most of the trouble spots are so I was just nice and careful!
     
  8. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Joy, Bwalsh,

    I guess you do what makes you the most comfortable. Here in the Atlanta area, the far left lane is occupied by insane people routinely doing 20 over the speed limit. I agree you mainly have to watch for threats from only one side when you're out there but I'm just not comfortable with the speeds and the rapid overtake that occurs out there. I find I can be much more relaxed doing around 5 over in the right lane, adjust my speed and put my "courteous motorcyclist" hat on when traffic approaches from my right to merge, and pass when necessary in the center lane. Still have to observe everything going on to my left and behind because there's always that nut who decides to exit from the center or left lane at the last minute still doing 80 MPH! You better believe all they see is that exit sign - not looking for a motorcyclist to their right at all.
     
  9. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Okay Doc, I'm starting to think that the highways are dangerous.....:s I agree with you a bunch there, but depending on where I am, the bozos in Cinci launch up the entrance ramps like it's the start of the Daytona 500 and usually shoot over a lane or 2 with out looking. (and of course the ones who exit from the center lane) and then if I ride in the Dayton area, those folks tend to stop at the end of the entrance ramp and wait until there's no car in sight.....I am like you in a lot of respects, I drive these roads frequently and I know which lanes move & where the trouble spots are. I think that's the best advantage there. Also, for us newbies, I think that this is the kind of info that we can read, store, and hopefully pull out of our little minds when we need it with out too much time to ponder.

    I remember in my bike racing days, I had always heard that if you are sliding and about to go down sideways, to 'stomp' your outside pedal and that can get you back upright again. Well, it happened to me and another guy riding along about 35 mph and we came up on a blind curve and he being on the outside went off the road and I was destined to become hamburger. I somehow just 'stomped' my outside pedal & the bike popped right back up. I couldn't believe it, and he was thoroughly impressed. I did go back & make sure he was cool & we pretty much road that race together.

    These are the kinds of tidbits that I look for most, things to make me think. :bigsmiley24::cheers:cheers
     
  10. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Joy - hopefully I'll NEVER have the occasion to remember that trick but it does sound pretty cool as a last resort. What the heck, if you're going down you might as well try anything!