Block changing

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Re: Block changing

Postby Horse » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:51 pm

tfdodo wrote:
Horse wrote:I've always understood a 'lifesaver' to be a last check into a blindspot, nothing more, and definately not a full, I ain't got no mirrors, 'rear observation'.


We tend to use 'Shoulder check' as you are quoted above (= blind-spot check , [assuming you dont have Massive blind-spots] ;) ) ; and 'lifesaver' for the "whole kit'n'kaboodle' Exorcist-stylee "lets have a relaxed panoramic look at what's happening behind us* ".


Having a couple of spare moments, I dragged a couple of books out of the cupboard, including PYAMT & the '96 R/c rewrite.

PYAMT's wording is very similar to yours.

R/c, however, Page 31:
"The lifesaver is a last check over the shoulder into the blind spots"
ie your 'shoulder check'.

Anyone have the new IAM book to hand? It was in stock when I went to check at the local bookshop.
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Re: Block changing

Postby ozzzie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:11 pm

Horse wrote:R/c, however, Page 31:
"The lifesaver is a last check over the shoulder into the blind spots"
ie your 'shoulder check'.


You've not watched 'Top Rider' (Exorcist 2) recently then?

Horse wrote:Anyone have the new IAM book to hand? It was in stock when I went to check at the local bookshop.


Not right here next to me. It is very good though. Lots of pretty pictures.

Because we've ordered it from IAM central, it's probably en route via canal barge. Actually Sue, our sec, may have them now and just be waiting for the next club night to distribute them. I'll ask for those that asked me.
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Re: Block changing

Postby tfdodo » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:54 pm

Horse wrote:Having a couple of spare moments, I dragged a couple of books out of the cupboard, including PYAMT & the '96 R/c rewrite.

PYAMT's wording is very similar to yours.

R/c, however, Page 31:
"The lifesaver is a last check over the shoulder into the blind spots"
ie your 'shoulder check'.

Anyone have the new IAM book to hand? It was in stock when I went to check at the local bookshop.


Ho hum, well if [pending arrival of the new one] the two references we're meant to use don't agree, no wonder nobody knows what's happening ;). But I take some solace from at least having been consistent with one of them (even if it was the rubbish one :D )

The new one obviously deflects this criticism by refusing entirely to refer to one of the options under discussion :/

Give it a few years and with technology trickle-down from Iraq and Afghanistan we'll all have in-eye implants displaying the view from cameras on roving micro-drones that position themselves not just for best view behind, but to best warn us of any impending dangers from any direction :D (oh no, thread gravitating back towards Volvo white vans again :( )

[note to self - less strong coffee at lunchtime :shock: ]
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Re: Block changing

Postby ozzzie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:57 pm

tfdodo wrote:Give it a few years and with technology trickle-down from Iraq and Afghanistan we'll all have in-eye implants displaying the view from cameras on roving micro-drones that position themselves not just for best view behind, but to best warn us of any impending dangers from any direction :D (oh no, thread gravitating back towards Volvo white vans again :( )

[note to self - less strong coffee at lunchtime :shock: ]


Now you're being silly. It makes more sense to ride everywhere at full throttle, constantly weaving from side to side. Nothing is going to come past you then (apart from the Police helicopter).
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Re: Block changing

Postby tfdodo » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:02 pm

you mean rilysi ?
Not sure if that ("ride everywhere at full throttle, constantly weaving from side to side") would include much requirement for block changing though...
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Re: Block changing

Postby ozzzie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:15 pm

tfdodo wrote:you mean rilysi ?


Did you just insult me in Welsh?
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Re: Block changing

Postby jogler » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:32 pm

Horse wrote:When you say 'we', is that a 'local' BAM thing?

PYAMT's wording is very similar to yours.

My copy of the "not the latest" IAM tome page 24 has some very explicit pictures showing mirror check, shoulder check and lifesaver. Quite clear really especially as the bike has an IAM sticker! So "we" obviously means "IAM".
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Re: Block changing

Postby ozzzie » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:39 pm

jogler wrote:My copy of the "not the latest" IAM tome page 24 has some very explicit pictures showing mirror check, shoulder check and lifesaver. Quite clear really especially as the bike has an IAM sticker! So "we" obviously means "IAM".


Typical right turn in the new version:

I: ...good all round observation...
P: Check your mirrors and/or carry out a 'Blind spot check'...
S: ...
G: ...consider making a final mirror check and/or carrying out a 'Blind Spot Check'
A: ...

The blindpsot check is 'not meant to be a thorough 180 degree look to the rear, more a quick glance to fill the blanks...

'Avoid blindspot checks in the overtaking position'

'Only do an Exorcist stylee check if you have a rubber neck'

OK, I added that last one, but it gives you a flavour of the slight change in emphasis.
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Re: Block changing

Postby Horse » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:19 pm

ozzzie wrote:
jogler wrote:My copy of the "not the latest" IAM tome page 24 has some very explicit pictures showing mirror check, shoulder check and lifesaver. Quite clear really especially as the bike has an IAM sticker! So "we" obviously means "IAM".


'Avoid blindspot checks in the overtaking position'


Indeed!

Which leads to another innocent question ;) of how close the 'contact' position is, and why is it some riders almost feel the need to take the term literally? :)

However, re: rear obs / lifesaver prior to overtaking:
I recommend 'the guillotine'.
Use the final oncoming vehicle to 'sweep'/chop the posibility of any bike overtaking from behind before moving out.
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Re: Block changing

Postby wunwinglow » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:52 pm

I'm not sure I can add anything to this, but for myself, block changing is done when I have allowed the revs to drop significantly below the point when I would otherwise normally change gear, as described above when slowing to a probable full stop. Most bikes have gear ratios that are fairly close, and changing just one gear at that point would result in the bike still being out, below, of its useful power band; the middle third of the rev range or thereabouts. If my plan is to stop at the lights, and all other observations having been Seen, Thought about and Understood, I can Decide that I am unlikely to need serious acceleration in the next few seconds and allow the bike to slow right down under engine braking. The bike isn't coasting until I finally pull the clutch in ONCE, and snick-snick down to first gear, and then stop. I would suggest the bike is going to be coasting (ie clutch pulled in) for at least three times longer if I change gears individually, in the same period of time.

It is a special case, and if there was any reason to think I might need to pull away smartly I would be more inclined to change gears more frequently and keep the engine revs more into the mid third, but it is certainly more effort and the bike is likely to be a bit more unsettled, more frequently and for a longer total period of time. You just have to weigh up the situation as it arrises.

On a PTA, it would be good to see that a rider understood the different methods, and could apply them smoothly and appropriately. At the other end of the scale, what would give real cause for concern would be a rider smashing down the gearbox and skipping the back wheel as the clutch went in; Getting the S and the G in IPSGA the wrong way round, in other words. And yes, I have seen it; last time was while the rider was tipping into the fearsome right-hander below Whiteshill Common in Hambrook; No names, no pack drill, but it was quite spectacular!

As with all things, there is no absolute in all of this, bikes, riders, road surfaces, traffic and weather conditions would all have a bearing on what was the sensible thing to do. I'd definitely suggest any rider have a go at both techniques, practise them so they can be done smoothly, and then see which is best for them.

Rear Observations? Rememember they should always be 'considered'. Think about doing them, balance the risks against the gains. Don't do them by habit! Your mirrors, your riding position, even the amount of clothing you are wearing might have a serious impact on your ability to safely do a full-blown lifesaver, so you might just have to be even more diligent about getting the information on the situation behind you with your mirrors and shoulder checks. I think the "below 30 yes, above probably not" is a good guide, but again, not a rule to be applied rigidly and without thought. I would suggest that if you find yourself in a situation where you REALLY need to know what is going on behind you, but you CANNOT afford to look, you probably lost control of that situation a hundred yards further back!!

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