we haven't had a "progress" thread of ages...

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we haven't had a "progress" thread of ages...

Postby tfdodo » Mon May 19, 2014 5:42 pm

so I thought I'd fix that, on the back of an interesting thread on Spin Doctor's facebook page.

So, starting points from MCRC.
We should always travel at a speed such that we can stop safely on our side of the road in the distance we can see to be clear.
We should plan based on what we can see, what we can't see and what we can reasonably expect.

In the first, as well as <practicing e-stops allowing us to know what distance we need to stop>, "clear" is key to living forever. For the road to be "clear" means not only that it is free from fridges, tractors and herds of wild kittens, but also that it will remain so by the time we get there. That is easier approaching a road junction in the fens, than approaching a field entrance with high hedges in Zummerzet. Or at least Faster.

And that links into the second line above. Is it "reasonable" to expect a tractor to emerge from a field without looking ? I'd say in many places & times, yes - they do that. One of my family has a shattered arm to prove it, and that was in a 4x4 - if they'd been on a bike it would only have hurt very briefly indeed :-0 .

And so to one of my favourites - "the secret to going fast* is knowing when to go slowly" *[safely] .
On bikes we have huge flexibility to easily and rapidly vary our speed. Yes we need to be aware of getting rear-ended by other vehicles not expecting that, but in general it's straightforward to do speeds on bits of safe, clear road that would give Mrs Miggens a heart-attack, whilst still being willing to lose enough speed approaching potential hazards that they are retrievable, even IF an unusual but reasonable Bad Thing - like an emerging tractor - happens.

The alternative is to blat on, not bother to lose the extra speed, and hope that we are lucky with a narrow interpretation of "what is likely"... and if that luck runs out, become a statistic. "You only get away with it.. until you don't".

If riders wish to make progress I'd much, MUCH rather see them sacrificing some smoothness overall, and using bikes' ability to speed up & slow down quite assertively, to maintain large levels of contingency against what you can "reasonably expect". You can err on that side forever...
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Re: we haven't had a "progress" thread of ages...

Postby Horse » Mon May 19, 2014 9:07 pm

"Do you feel lucky, punk?" Has anyone ever said that? If not, it should be in a film ;)

Out with an advanced trainee one day, we were discussing his attitude to corners, approach and negotiation of.

"I only get it wrong 10% of the time" he said.

So I got out the large-scale map and started counting off the individual bends of the road we were on: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, crash. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, crash . . . " He got the idea.

I use the "terrorist V bomb disposal" simile: you need to get it right every time, but the road (tightening radius, blind crest, etc), other road user (oncoming cutting the corner, emerging from a field, spilling diseasal, etc.) only has to'win' once.

So count the bends, the junctions, the field entrances (don't really, I'm only saying it for dramatic effect), and ask yourself if you feel lucky? Think of ' your' number, the risk you're prepared to accept. If it's anything more than '0' then go ahead, feel invincible, make your day. But don't forget, a 1 in a 1000 chance could come up first or last or somewhere in the middle.

This was a 'boring, but true' production. :)
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