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Highway 95 in Nevada between Beatty and Tonopah is a very long, very straight, very boring, and often very hot stretch of high speed two lane. I imagine that under these circumstances guardian angels must know this highway quite well....


I was on this road a few weeks ago when my guardian angel paid me a well timed visit. Leaving the graveyard of Goldfield (I like visiting graveyards) I encountered a group of five large RV's in a caravan (The huge toy hauler fifth-wheel types) and pulled out into the middle of the group. Naturally I wanted to pass them asap so I peeked my head out into the passing lane, counted three oncoming cars, then pulled back behind the RV to wait for traffic to clear.


Let me explain that my technique for passing is to peek out, count cars, wait for that number of cars to pass, then peek out again. But on this particular day my technique failed me. After the three oncoming cars had passed I assumed that oncoming traffic had cleared and I headed the bike sharply to the left, about to cross the dashed yellow into oncoming traffic.


And that's when my guardian angel stepped in. Just as I was about to cross the yellow stripes somehow the bike corrected itself, straightened out, and did NOT cross into oncoming traffic. Good thing too because just then car #4 whizzed by, a car I did not previously see.


So there I am thanking my lucky stars and wondering how and why I was about to make such a dumb and probably fatal error. I don't remember consciously making a decision to check myself, I don't remember steering the bike back toward my lane, it was almost like the bike steered itself. Thank you, guardian angel!!! :mod2_angel:



Nobody is perfect. On a 3200 mile trip like I just took pretty much anybody is bound to make a mistake at some point, hopefully minor. Ya just gotta hope that when that mistake is made your guardian angel is nearby.



.
 

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I would actually give yourself some more credit instead :yesnod:

It sounds like it was your motorcyclist's intuition that cut in, something that we all develop over the years from dealing with the unpredictable antics & actions of the thousands of moronic car drivers that are out there to get us!
 

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As a new rider, these are the types of stories that make me think twice about getting on a motorcycle. Your life is really in your hands.

I wonder if it would have been possible to position yourself close to the midline while behind the RV, so that you could have a somewhat constant view of what's ahead of you? I would think that if you could see that RV's mirror then you could maybe have a better view of oncoming traffic? IDK.

Regardless, the most important thing is that you lived to ride another day! Maybe someone else's angel was hitching a ride from the graveyard. Glad that you're ok!
 

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Did you ever get around the RV's?
 

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Sounds like you need to change this stupid technique you have. That's a bad habit that you need to get rid of. You are living on borrowed time if you do not safely look before you pull out.

Sounds like you need to take a motorcycle riding safety class in all actuality. Not a personal attack...but one day riding like this is going to get or somebody else seriously hurt or worse.
 

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Did you ever get around the RV's?
passing the RV's became a non sequitor since after that little event, he had to stop to drain the diarrhea out of his pants. RV's were well ahead of 'em
 

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Sounds like you need to change this stupid technique you have. That's a bad habit that you need to get rid of. You are living on borrowed time if you do not safely look before you pull out.

Sounds like you need to take a motorcycle riding safety class in all actuality. Not a personal attack...but one day riding like this is going to get or somebody else seriously hurt or worse.
It seems as normal as any... He just became absent minded and forgot to check for oncoming traffic again as he says he normally does.

peek out, count cars, wait for that number of cars to pass, then peek out again
We're not all infallible, and he corrected himself before he made a fatal mistake. Where he decides to lay the praise is up to him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think my original point was- Even if you drive perfectly 99.9% of the time there will always be that tiny possibility of a brain fart moment, and when that occurs hopefully instinct, the subconscious, or whatever you want to call it (I call it guardian angle... err, angel) kicks in to save your butt.


As a new rider, these are the types of stories that make me think twice about getting on a motorcycle. Your life is really in your hands.

I wonder if it would have been possible to position yourself close to the midline while behind the RV, so that you could have a somewhat constant view of what's ahead of you? I would think that if you could see that RV's mirror then you could maybe have a better view of oncoming traffic? IDK.

Regardless, the most important thing is that you lived to ride another day! Maybe someone else's angel was hitching a ride from the graveyard. Glad that you're ok!
hmm, I think it probably would not matter, if I were in a car I would be just as dead.

as for positioning, straddling the centerline is not a great idea. The guy behind you might decide to occupy your space, the guy in front might freak out and hit the brakes, or a slight miscalculation by the oncoming driver might turn into a real problem.

Did you ever get around the RV's?
but of course!
 

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As a new rider, these are the types of stories that make me think twice about getting on a motorcycle. Your life is really in your hands.

I wonder if it would have been possible to position yourself close to the midline while behind the RV, so that you could have a somewhat constant view of what's ahead of you? I would think that if you could see that RV's mirror then you could maybe have a better view of oncoming traffic? IDK.

Regardless, the most important thing is that you lived to ride another day! Maybe someone else's angel was hitching a ride from the graveyard. Glad that you're ok!
I am a new rider as well, just starting my 2nd riding season with about 10k of riding behind me.

As new riders you really need to make sure not to put yourself into these situations, we do not have the experience or intuition that they talk about.

If it was me, I'd be following further back behind the rvs allowing me a view of oncoming traffic. I would then be able to clearly see when it is safe to pass and that I also have enough room to pass. If that was not possible I just wouldn't pass at all. If it was bothering me being stuck behind them I'd stop for a break until I was no longer frustrated and the RV's long gone. The method described above just isn't a good idea for a new rider.

I am not trying to sound like the OP did anything wrong.. just that as new riders we need to be more cautious at all times. Look at how you drove when first learning to drive a car compared to know. Overtime you develop habits, sometimes not good ones lol. You also gain confidence and techniques like mentioned above that you really shouldn't.. it's just the way it goes. Stay safe!
 

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...I assumed...
and therein lies the problem. Never a good idea on an mc. Glad your instincts kicked in and it worked out to your benefit.
 

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i always ride the center line or a foot either side of it. i don't count cars. i'm old and i often forget little things like how many :)

i've got a guardian angel to...never been around me on the bike but for sure two instances on the Gauley River in West Va.
 

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Sh*t happens. This time Sh*t didn't happen.

This was a situation in which the rider had complete control. If it were a situation where he had no control, and there was an accident, it would have been sad. When you attempt to pass one or more vehicles traveling slower than you would like, you elect to do this. And, you must live with your decision. For whatever reason, this rider was lucky this time, and obviously that is great!Besides getting struck by some little old lady who never saw you, passing cars can put you at risk.

If I am in doubt, I don't. Sometimes it takes a little patience to say to yourself "hey slow down, where are you going, lay back and enjoy the ride" until the traffic in front of you clears. Sometimes, when I want to pass and cannot, I say to myself "the powers that be are keeping me behind these vehicles to slow me down because L.E. are just ahead with radar waiting to tag me". Just my two cents.
 

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I'm with Mastery. Counting oncoming cars and then assuming you counted correctly before pulling out of lane is about the worst strategy I have ever heard. What's so hard about cheating over to the centerline AND ACTUALLY LOOKING TO SEE WHAT'S COMING before starting the pass?:confused:
 

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I was about to cross the yellow stripes somehow the bike corrected itself, straightened out, and did NOT cross into oncoming traffic. Good thing too because just then car #4 whizzed by :mod2_angel
It's amazing how instincts/experience will kick in and save our butts. Besides surviving the important thing is if you learn from an experience. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I'm with Mastery. Counting oncoming cars and then assuming you counted correctly before pulling out of lane is about the worst strategy I have ever heard. What's so hard about cheating over to the centerline AND ACTUALLY LOOKING TO SEE WHAT'S COMING before starting the pass?:confused:
He said that's what he normally does.. he sees 3 cars coming so he moves back over and waits for the 3 cars to pass. He then moves towards the center line looks again and then goes. In this case he had a brain fart and didn't look the last time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
He said that's what he normally does.. he sees 3 cars coming so he moves back over and waits for the 3 cars to pass. He then moves towards the center line looks again and then goes. In this case he had a brain fart and didn't look the last time.
and that's the unanswerable question... how does one prevent brain farts?
 

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hmm, I think it probably would not matter, if I were in a car I would be just as dead.

as for positioning, straddling the centerline is not a great idea. The guy behind you might decide to occupy your space, the guy in front might freak out and hit the brakes, or a slight miscalculation by the oncoming driver might turn into a real problem.
I wasn't referring to literally riding the paint, but getting close would probably help you see better in that scenario.

And any of those events could occur regardless of your lane position. Dude can still slam the brakes, or "occupy your space" no matter where you are (praise the lord for horns and middle fingers :furious:). But I think it would be foolish to worry about someone else's miscalculations BEFORE worrying about my own. Of course awareness of everything and everyone on the road is crucial, but someone else's stupidity is far less controllable than mine.

If it was me, I'd be following further back behind the rvs allowing me a view of oncoming traffic. I would then be able to clearly see when it is safe to pass and that I also have enough room to pass. If that was not possible I just wouldn't pass at all. If it was bothering me being stuck behind them I'd stop for a break until I was no longer frustrated and the RV's long gone. The method described above just isn't a good idea for a any rider.
This is what I was trying to get at.

i always ride the center line or a foot either side of it. i don't count cars. i'm old and i often forget little things like how many :)

i've got a guardian angel to...never been around me on the bike but for sure two instances on the Gauley River in West Va.
Seems there are varying opinions on lane position.
 

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Indeed, stuff can happen. Last Saturday, I was coming back home from a long loop ride and riding a bit aggressively (for me). There was a slow moving truck or camper on a stretch of 65 MPH two-lane. There was a Subaru and an older Porsche in front of me. The Subaru was first and he waited, then pulled around. Next up, the Porsche. I peeked out and the oncoming lane was clear. I hesitated for a couple or more seconds to let the Porsche take his turn to pass. He didn't go. Gut instinct told me to sit back and wait longer, but as you know how it goes, the opportunity to pass was quickly getting less and less. So I flick on the turn signal and go. Sure enough, the Porsche driver decided to do the same. Fortunately, he saw me and pulled back. I would not say it was close, but it could have been because as we know, these things happen in split seconds. I think the more engine one has, the greater and lesser the chance stuff like this happens. On one hand, you have the power to overtake a long line of cars with speed, so you pull out and reach a high rate of speed. If someone does not see you in the mirror coming up fast, they can pull out to pass. If you have a less powerful bike, you'll be more careful where and when you pass.
 
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