This month’s clip provides a very clear and jaw-dropping demonstration of the importance of just about every aspect of the system. It also provides a clear example of the need for discipline in group riding, both in terms of riding intelligently as one of a group and also for self-restraint in not riding beyond one’s own abilities or inappropriately for the road conditions and location.
At the start of the footage keep watching the bike in front of the pick-up truck. The bike overshoots the right hand bend and crosses onto the wrong side of the road, straight into the path of an oncoming SUV. Whilst what happens at 40 seconds into the film is a terrifying outcome, it is arguably a (relatively speaking at least) slightly better outcome than a head on collision with the SUV.
Warning: one or two words of bad language can be heard during the footage.
As with many of the past clips of the month, there are two learning points here – the need for group riding discipline as well as the need to read the road ahead, plan position, and ensure the speed going into a corner is appropriate. The clip is a particularly good example of the need for all riders to understand the concept of the “Limit point of vision”.
All of the advanced reading material covers this in detail for very good reason, and these chapters are well worth revisiting on a regular basis.
“How to be a better rider”summarises the key concepts as follows –
Always negotiate corners at a speed that allows you to stop within the distance you can see is clear (Limit Point of vision).
Complete any braking and gear changes before turning into a corner.
lf traffic and road conditions allow, and your speed warrants it, always position your machine for the best view through the corner.
Avoid sudden braking or harsh acceleration in bends.
Whilst it is not possible to know many details of the circumstances behind the crash, the footage acts as a reminder of the need for discipline in group riding. Key tenets of group riding include the following -
Considerate and safe over-taking is a key element of group riding. It is generally best to “overtake by invitation only”, with the usual safe overtaking rules applying
Riding in a staggered formation is good practice
Ride your own ride – you must always ride at a pace you are comfortable with – never beyond your comfort zone or capabilities, even if this means lagging behind
Maintaining safe and appropriate gaps with the rest of the group (as well as, needless to say, other road users), is key
Maintain awareness of the group, not forgetting those behind you, by frequent and judicious use of the mirrors
The ethos of group riding is cooperation rather than competition – it’s not a race
A well spread out ride is more enjoyable, and safer, than an inappropriately bunched up group
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