Over the Hill

Note the tertiary road to the right at the crest of the hill. What should you do?

Note the tertiary road to the right at the crest of the hill. What should you do?

Here’s the scene. You’re approaching a rise in the road. Being the astute type, you notice the side road on your right just at the crest of the hill. So … what are your expectations? Is there any potential threat? What steps do you take as you get closer?

Now, just as you get close, this becomes the scene. Now what would you expect? What should you do as this car approaches and slows? Would you adjust speed? Lane position? What about what’s behind you?

The plot thickens as this car appears and slows. Now what?

The plot thickens as this car appears and slows. Now what?

As riders, we have three primary tactics we can utilize. We can adjust speed, adjust position and communicate. Think about how you might create more time and space as you enter this situation. Slowing creates time and space. Shifting to the right 1/3 portion of the lane creates an additional space cushion. Communication is okay, but remember that it can be misinterpreted (does a headlight flash mean “don’t go” or does it mean “go ahead”?) or ignored altogether.

We also must retain a full 360-degree awareness of the riding environment. Consider any vehicles behind you early while you still have time to check mirrors. You’ve recognized the potential of the turning car, but has the driver or rider behind you picked up on it? Will they slow in time if you have to stop quickly? Recognizing potential threats early gives you time to adjust calmly and provides sufficient opportunity to manage traffic behind you.¬† You’ve probably experienced this riding scenario dozens and dozens of times before. What would you do?

This is just one of the common scenarios we address in the Stayin’ Safe on-street training program. For more information, visit http://www.stayinsafe.com

ET

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One Response to “Over the Hill”

  1. FXD-Tim Says:

    I replay these instructions every time I approach a crest of a hill. I slow and put the bike in the middle of my lane to be equi-distant from a potential car in the opposing lane and a potential car on the side street. However, I usually forget to check my mirrors as I’m concentrating on what’s in front of me. Thanks for the reminder.

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