Any other "smart" techniques you use? Or, other things you do to anticipate an action or reaction to avoid trouble?
Firstly valpo....let me tell you that I've never had one second's training on a bike. I can only tell you what works for me.....and I learned (like most of us oldies did) the hard way. Back in 71 if you did something wrong you got pain, not professional correction. It's a hard way to learn but you never forget.
Anyway, 35 years later I'm still here....never broken a bone, never trashed a bike (and I've had 54 of them), and never made an insurance claim.
So what I do, and how I ride works for me
.....but I'm not a riding instructor so don't take my word as gospel.
Read on, it's a bit long, but you may find it of interest.
For survival....remember two words....Observation Linking!
Observation links can often be the difference between getting into trouble or having a care free enjoyable blast, and by using O/L you can often pick up clues long before you reach the area of imminent danger.
For example, in the Summer riding along a quiet country road you come across a pile of steaming cow shit. Most people would immidiately think of how to avoid going through the shit, but the switched on rider will think "Where are the cows that just deposited the shit"?
Simply because if it is still steaming it has obviously been left there very recently, and a slow moving cow impacting with a briskly moving motorcycle is not a good mix. Now if it turns out that the cows have simply moved across the road, then great, but they may have a half mile walk to the milking sheds and may be further down the road.
Likewise if you come up behind a Bus and you see a passenger stand up, most people would simply be thinking about how to get past the bus, but with the advanced warning you have the opportunity to make a more in depth assesment
1. Where is the bus stop?
2. Is it likely that another passenger is running from the other side of the road to catch the bus that you are following?
3. Is there a bus in front of the vehicle I am following?
4. You often get another bus stop on the other side of the road, so is it possible that another bus is approaching from the opposite direction?
5. Buses run on Diesel! Where do we often find Diesel and Oil spillage? Around bus stops.....so is the road surface likely to be slippery?
6. Are there vehicles or pedestrians obscured from our vision by the sheer size of the bus?
And so it goes on. The fact that the passenger was seen to stand up maybe a minute or so before reaching the bus stop gives you an additional minute to link what you can see to what may possibly affect your safety.
During the summer, the waft of freshly mown grass reaches your delicate nostrils. Is it someone simply mowing their lawn, or is it a commercial hedge cutter just out of site around the next left hander doing 2MPH right in your line? Early clues may be signs of grass clippings on the verge or carriageway, but by looking it gives you added reaction time, and it won't come as a particular shock to the system.
Stationary vehicles? Is the driver in his seat? Is it possible that he may move off without warning? In the winter, is there any sign that the engine is running? Is there fumes coming from the exhaust?
Around petrol stations, consider the possibility that apart from vehicles pulling in or out, there may be fuel spillage where someone has forgotten to put his filler cap on properly etc, etc, and therefore there is again the possibility of a slippery road surface.
The options are endless, and it would take too long to cover every link on here, hence just a few examples but everything out there can be linked to something that may affect our safety.
So next time someone mentions observation, take it one stage further and relate it not only to how far and how deeply you look at a situation, see if you can read into
the situation by linking what you can
see, to what may
happen as a result of what you see.
Hope this is of some use!