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Been riding for over 45 years. When I have a close call I only think of one thing when I pull over......bourbon......
 
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Between close calls while riding and having responded to two fatal motorcycle accidents in the last two years as fire/rescue, I'm riding a lot less on my Indian and a lot more on our side by side. Death by a deer or a left turning 85 year old takes the fun out of riding.
 

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What you experienced unfortunately is a daily occurrence somewhere . I have been riding since 1965 and it has left me to believe that motorcyclist are the best defensive drivers in the world. We are constantly looking to see if someone is trying to kill us. Always ready to brake or down shift. We just get better at it with time. Until we are authorized front and rear rocket launchers , this is the world on two wheels.
 

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Between close calls while riding and having responded to two fatal motorcycle accidents in the last two years as fire/rescue, I'm riding a lot less on my Indian and a lot more on our side by side. Death by a deer or a left turning 85 year old takes the fun out of riding.
Drivers just seem to be getting stupider these days. I have seen so many accidents this year it's not funny.

2014 Indian Chieftain
 

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Wow, amazing how some topics really light a fire that touch all of us, in a good way with this one. Our poster asked two questions:

How do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding?

You don't shake it off and get back on that horse being now one for the wiser. Your release was to post this on the community and have found that what you have experienced is shared by your fellow motorcycle riders and there is tremendous support. You are not alone.

I highly recommend getting a copy of Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough. This book covers real world situations that you face whilst riding, Risk, Motorcycle Dynamics, Cornering Tactics, Urban Traffic Survival (such as someone tuning in front of you), Booby Traps (deer!), Special Situations (weather), Sharing the Ride.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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What I really have to be careful of is my decreased peripheral vision in my right eye. I literally have to turn my head to make up for it. Having had two retina re-attachment surgeries in that eye made it that way for me. I have to wear prism lens eyeglasses to be able to ride or drive due to double vision cause by the surgeries.
Well I have no sight in my left eye due to a fall from a roof. Face planted a driveway from 20' up 9 yrs ago. Pretty much had to learn how to drive and ride all over again. Amazing how many things we take for granted, isn't it?
 

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Folks:

I've been riding about 2.5 years now and had my first near accident yesterday. Country road, clear conditions, two lane road, 55 mph. A pickup truck coming from the other direction suddenly and without signal turned across my lane to go into a private driveway and I almost T-boned him.

It was absurd that he turned at that time. I don't know how I stopped in time without hitting him and without going down. I saw him staring at his cell phone as he completed the turn -- it was in his right hand that was on the steering wheel. The only explanation I have that he would make that turn is that he didn't see me (which is nuts -- I ride a Chieftain (fairly big bike) and always have all three of my front lights on) because he was glued to his phone.

I'm simultaneously angry, shaken, grateful, and more humble and aware.

I'm not saying anything you don't know, but the scary thing is there is nothing any of us can do to prevent idiots like this from driving like this; we just have to be vigilant. (Maybe there are small things I can do to improve visibility; my dad used to ride BMWs for years and wore florescent safety vests). I'm going for a ride this morning to try to prevent getting "afraid of the ball" to use an old little league baseball expression.

I love riding and need it as a release but something like this puts a whole lot of things into focus. I don't know what I expect any of you to write back...how do you shake off something like that? Does it make you consider giving up riding (which I don't want to do)? Would love you hear from some of you folks who have been riding awhile and have perspective on something like this...

Thank you. Ride safely.
ive been riding for years more close calls than i can remember. i hate 2 lane hiways just for that reason. here is what i do to help with the situation. i use my gps, i have my screen up most of the time when i see a car i look at the screen to see if there is an intersection or a drive in the area that such car could turn, if so i slow down. i know we shouldnt have to do this but have lost to many friends from this. if everyone used there turn signal it would help but they dont. your best defense to this is a strong offense 2 lane highway shouldnt be in a hurry should be out enjoying the ride so what if you drop down to 40 mph when you meet a car its better than being dead. everyone makes mistake driving i have i do but when we are on 2 wheels we are the only ones looking out for us. i am usually riding 2 up my beautiful girl friend knows why i do it and understands it i could never live with myself if i didnt look out for her also
 

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Bought my first motorcycle (2001 Gixxer 750) in August of 2001. 3 days after purchase, best friend goes down on his 2001 R6 due to sand in road. I was damn near about to take the bike back. I would visit him in the hospital, see him full of tubes, screws and bloody bandages. I didn't ride for 2 weeks, scared out of my mind. I had a brand new bike still on the first tank of gas that I could not ride. Eventually, I faced my fears and began going on little rides around the house. Over time, I would ride a farther, take longer rides.

20 years and 5 bikes later, I cannot not ride. I don't drink nor do any drugs. Riding is my drug. My wind therapy. If I don't ride for a couple weeks, I can feel myself get a little moody and easily perturbed. Riding is my "reset" button.

To the OP, if you are riding after said incident, you have already started to "get over it". As other have stated, close calls make riders better, more aware riders.

Ride safe everyone. Shiney side up, rubber side down
 

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Lots of good advice on here.
I would say like a few have said, you rationalize it as in they honestly do not see you because they do not care and are idiots.

My dad always said... drive / ride like everyone else on the road is an idot. I never understood that till I came here to the States and experienced it first hand. I hate to say it but most "Americans" are oblivious on the roads.

Another way to rationalize it is that you are doing something you love. Riding a motorcycle. It is worth the risk. Do you want to tip toe quietly into your grave in a padded outfit or live life and go to your grave doing something you love?

Don't get me wrong, I am in no hurry to go to my grave. But I want to do so doing something I love and not in a way that I am too scared to live and move.


Just my opinion
 

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I have to agree, between the stories, there’s some very good advice.

…BritishJim mentioned reading “Proficient Motorcycling” (I never heard of that book … I’m going to read it). One of the best things you can do is educate yourself on proper riding techniques. Also watch Jerry “The Motorman” Paladino’s “Ride Like A Pro” you tube videos. While some folks will say that learning to make a U-turn won’t save your life … it’s part of learning how to be in control of your motorcycle and not just along for the ride. … Learning to brake and swerve will save you. Practicing in an empty parking lot helps.

Dan Dan the Fireman … shows motorcycle accident videos (submitted by riders) and talks about what happened and how to avoid it.

“Twist of the Wrist 2” by Keith Code both a video and book. Good riding techniques (mainly geared to Sport bikes, but a lot of tips transfer to any motorcycle).

… Car Drivers can’t see us. So they probably won’t see you flashing your lights … or react to blowing your horn … yep … they’re deaf too…

… You have to control your bike and know what it can do.

… When you’re coming up on an intersection or driveway, if there’s a car, be ready … to roll off the throttle, cover the brakes to reduce reaction time, always look for an escape…

HiDesert said it best …
“Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. You should be doing this during every yard you ride. Not every mile, every yard.”

Ironbutt70 is absolutely right …
“The #1 thing I can recommend is to ride ATGATT now matter how uncomfortable it may be in summer.”


All the Gear All the Time …

Dress for the slide, not the Ride.

As far as the mental aspect of what happened. Don’t over think it. It happened. Learn from it and ride on.
 

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"Today, we both agree, it is amazing how much detail a rider's brain can process in a matter of milliseconds. At an intersection - how many cars? Are they stopped? Can you see the lug nuts moving? Which way are the wheels pointing? Do you see the driver's eyes? Are those eyes looking at you? Are they focused? Is their a phone present? Is the road wet? Is there a bunch of gravel in the intersection? On, and on."

^^^That right there^^^ That's exactly the way you need to be thinking and looking when riding a MC. The more aware you are of your surroundings the better off you will be. Being aware of your surroundings will eventually be 2nd nature, or should be, kind of like muscle memory for the brain. For me, having been on two wheels on and off for 50ish years it's automatic, even when driving my truck. Be safe...
That was just the FIRST sweep of your head.
 

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Reading about the deer made me think deer often travel in groups so when one crosses the road others may follow. Somewhere on this forum there is a safety thread. It would not hurt for all of us to read it and of course take a safety course.
Then, there are the buzzards munching in the ditch.
 

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Ive been riding a while and close calls occur. Most because “they” just dont see us. The reasons are many and mostly its the in attentive driver. I tell new riders to pretend you are invisible for this reason.
My last ride of the season I actually had the most close calls in my life. I had 3, one car turned right in front of me, then rounding an uphill curve a yellow semi crested the hill across the double yellow lines as I was 3/4 the way up the hill. I saw the driver crank his wheel to the right thats how close we were ! Cant remember the 3rd one right now. Chalk it up to it being late November and in Ohio so maybe they event thinking they’d see a bike ? I’m not sure all I know is that people have the ability to be very distracted these days which isn’t good if they dont see you in the first place.
Keep your head on a swivel and never zone out. I think thats one of the reasons riding allows you to forget your troubles. Because you need to be so focused so present in your surroundings that you tend to let what happened before you saddle up
 

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One other thing I'd like to add from experience is never ever ride in the right lane on multiple lane roads where people can come out of driveways, strip malls, gas stations, whatever or idiots that can slam on their brakes to turn right or make right turns from the left lane. (did I say NEVER) Can't tell you how many times I've seen that chit. It's so bad here now that I will not ride anywhere in town on 2 wheels unless I have absolutely no other choice. Sad to say hardly a week passes here where there isn't a motorcycle accident on the news.
 
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One thing to remember (I have been down twice) is that you have to anticipate wrong moves by another motorist. Covering your brakes is always good especially with someone turning into your lane; Intersections/two lane roads with hidden driveways) or maintaining a visual of the left front wheel of a vehicle that is making a right hand turn into your lane, (opposite in left hand driving), driving like there is not a worry in the world and it will never happen to you, driving over the speed of the cars on the road that you are on, weaving in and out of cars ( common problem with guys here in SoCal), trying to show off, and just basically taking chances. You will learn from this mistake if you analyze it and find out what went wrong and correct for it. Always figure that the other person is going to make a mistake. It is true that some things cannot be avoided but you can learn and you should get over any apprehensions and go back to riding.
 

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A lot of good advice in this thread Miki6. Especially riding like you're invisible. Bright clothing and lights might help, but are not foolproof. Concentration is very important. Riding is like any other sport. You need to concentrate and pay attention or you'll be more prone to making a mistake. Put your ego aside. Failure to avoid a crash is often an avoidable mistake by a rider.

Rather than riding less after a close call, try to ride more. The more you ride the better you'll be in an emergency. Like an athlete who plays a sport for many years everything around you will seem to "slow down". You may actually begin to anticipate when someone is ready to turn in front of you. I've had that feeling a few times where I've said to myself "I knew he was going to pull out in front of me!" Probably just due to that 'time slows down" thing.

Most important in my opinion. Watch your speed. There are times to ride fast. But not over blind hills or through intersections. The chart below shows how long it took one rider on his particular bike to panic stop. This will vary of course, but it does illustrate how stopping distance increases greatly with every 10 mph of speed. 30 Mph = 65 feet, 40 mph = 101 feet! That extra 36 feet can mean you hit the car rather than stopping short.

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This is something that happened to me about 10 years ago and taught me a valuable lesson in anger management.

I posted the following in another forum years ago.

The Grim Reaper smiled at me today.....

I was coming back through the Nasho going north about 5k south Of Audley having a great old time mentally pleased with myself as I was taking the corners smoothly if indeed a tad too fast, when just as I had rolled on through the exit of a corner I looked up to see two cars side by side one trying to overtake the other and on my side of the double lines....... they braked.. I braked... but we were all going much too fast and I managed to squeeze between the car and the gravel by using the last 18 inches of tar available. I think I was still doing about 60k as I went past.

I stopped, did a U-turn and chased him, reaching stupid speeds as I went to remonstrate. I caught up to the first car and overtook him and then caught up to real offender who was trying desperately to get away from me, I memorised his number plate and started to overtake him.... on double lines!

Sanity then returned and I backed off and let him go. I stopped the bike in a side bay and sat and calmed down for about 10 minutes and realised that what I had done after the fact was worse than the original incident. I rode through the corners recklesly and at unsafe speeds to confront someone for driving dangerously..... and I had just done exactly the same thing.

As I said the Grim Reaper winked and smiled at me today.... twice.
 
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