ssduc wrote:Not the brightest maneuver, but some of these statements are pretty harsh considering n=1. Would the person that has never made a stupid move on their bike please stand up?
That was one of my points mate, we always look to blame something when we really should be looking at what we could have been doing different to avoid the incident altogether. From my vantage point, I saw him looking ruefully at the gravel and the blame being apportioned was plain when the blame lies fairly upon his reaction to the gravel.
Accidents rarely happen due to a single thing, it's more commonly a chain of events all of which depend upon each other to get the final outcome of somebody off their bike. Any break in this chain usually results in the accident not happening.
It is incumbent upon us as riders to be harsh on ourselves, and I am, but also others when analysing what happened to take a nice ride into an expensive and sometimes painful or fatal event if we're to improve.
I infer nothing personally about this guy, one suspects he'd be a very nice bloke as nearly all I meet on two wheels are, but the simplistic errors are evident as are the lack of training/understanding. My normal response would have been to run over (plainly impossible given the circumstance), check him out and then get to know him if he's ok other than shaken. My purpose would be to impart the understanding that he reacted badly and didn't need to drop the bike. This doesn't mean that you bolt over and berate him for poor riding, it can be done in a subtle manner. I will expand:
About three and a half years ago while doing my morning run into Canberra I was witness to a lowside which could have so very easily been a highside; I had been following by about 100 metres a rider on an RT for a few kilometres on the damp roads when he had the rear wheel step out. This was followed by the regulation throttle chop and regulation grab by the machine. Thankfully, he had not enough yaw to catapult, but rather got the death wobble which ended with the bike lowsiding suprisingly gently and both rider and machine taking a slide to the shoulder.
Rider was fine other than shaken as he had good gear but the bike was bit of a mess with bent bars, snapped foot peg and the ever present massive rash of such events. While awaiting a truck to recover the injured RT, we talked about the incident as I'd had a fairly plain view of it unfolding; he stated that there really wasn't a lot he could do once the rear had let go other than back off and hope, bear in mind that this was not an 18 year old, he'd been about bikes for some time but had just never been taught how to react. My response went along the lines of "Yes it can feel that way if you're not used to it and the shock grabs you, but you can actually ride them out. I guess I'm lucky having dirt bikes which teach you the response at much lower speeds". He showed great interest in this and we went on into a discussion of proper response to rear wheel movement, he was all ears, just had never been told.
He struck me as a very decent kind of bloke, so as we sat there waiting on the truck I invited to come out to my place whenever and have a go on the dirt bikes to put the theory to practise. We exchanged numbers and after the truck came went our ways. I was a little surprised when I got a call a very few days later asking if he could come out; sure he could, drop out this weekend and we'll ride, always nice to have a run round the property. To cut an already long story shorter, it was a great success. Matt almost immediately took on the concepts and was sliding luridly all over the place. Experienced rider who had not been given the tools. He still comes out, we still ride together on the property and the road between barbeques and socialising. I gained a friend. Funny thing is, he's now one of the most tail happy riders I know, taking great joy in having the rear out on exits, all on a "staid" RT. We also criticise each others riding harshly as we both know it's to our own benefit.
Yes we've all been there, I have pulled off some of the most incredible bone headed moves during my almost life long association with bikes and have thus far been lucky enough to stay breathing after them. The cause of my operation was a needless pulling of extended wheelie over a paddock with very long grass which was also known to often have 'roos in it. The outcome was somewhat predictable and I've docketed the lesson; I'm not as likely to bounce and get up as when I was 20 being the main one!
I don't refer to motorcycling as a sport, it's my main form of transport and one of the main joys in life. To refer to it as a sport to my mind lessens it as an enjoyable pastime and it's much more important to me than that. It follows that seeing people practise it skillfully and safely is also very important to me. Yes I'm harsh, but only because I care.
Keep the shiny bits up guys.