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Riding in the Country - The Guzz Method
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Riding in the Country - The Guzz Method - June 11, 2006, 02:40 AM

One of the advantages of moving out here to “The Country” a couple of years ago, has been how much it has improved my riding skills. I drive & ride these twisty, curvy, unpredictable back roads on a daily bases and it has really opened my eyes to a few things. I thought since we have a lot of new riders and since many of you are riding “Out West” lately, that I would share with you some of the things that I have experienced and learned to help everybody enjoy themselves a little more and possibly prevent an incident. I don't claim to be an expert, and YES I ride a cruiser now But these little tidbits are non bike specific, as well as apply to any skill level. For you new riders, use them as food for thought. For the more experienced riders, use them as a little reminder. So let's start:

#1: Oncoming traffic swerving into my lane.
I start with this one, because it is the thing I deal with most. On these twisty, curvy roads all to often a driver is driving along and not really paying attention, or just doesn’t care if they stay in their lane or not. It used to scare “The Hell” out of me, but now I am so used to it, that I just go with the flow. It’s just kind of a country thing. The best approach to this is to remember that the lane you are in is several feet wide and your bike isn’t. You really only need a small part of it to ride in. The first rule here is to NEVER PANIC! The driver will most likely not come all the way over. Usually it is just a failure on their part to maintain their line and they drift over a foot or two. No big deal, just stay a bit further to your right, don’t hard brake and just breeze on by them. Also focus on where you are going, not on the approaching vehicle. Target Fixation can be your enemy, but used correctly it can also be a freind.

#2 Wildlife
One thing I have learned for certain is that a Squirrels and Deer ARE going to run in front of you and they are going to wait until the last minute to do it! Again the key here is DON’T PANIC! If you have enough time to react and can swerve to avoid it safely, GREAT! But if you really have to hard brake to avoid a major collision, REMEMBER…..Pull in that clutch first! I usually head straight for the the animal since it is probably going to move before I get there. They are quick, but sometimes it is just unavoidable and you hit them. If you have to run over it, you have to. Better it, than your life. Just handle it the same way as you would going over train tracks. I find raising my body up off the seat a bit helps me maintain control when going over obstacles. Pull over and collect your thoughts if you need to. Also remember where there is one deer, chances are there are a couple of more ready to jump out at you to. Just be prepared. They're cute, but sneaky little critters.

#3 Half Patched Roads
One of the ways they fix roads out here is to patch just the side that is damaged. You’ve seen it, one side is newer and raised up. In that case I either ride on it or to the left or right of it. But what about those crazy ones that have it going left, then right, then left…and “Oh Crap” now it is on both sides and I only have 3 inches in the middle!” This used to really freak me out. I would try to ride in the untouched spot, kinda like those kiddie cars at the amusement park that stay on that rail so you can’t drive off. Soon I learned that it wasn’t really practical, or safe. Again, the best thing to do is to practice riding on and off of them. Once you learn the feel of your bike going over them, the scariness goes away. Just another thing to deal with. No biggie. The “Big Bad” road hump isn’t going to get you after all!

#4 Gravel, Gravel Everywhere
Out here in the “Wild West” we love our dirt roads & driveways. Every time a car or truck leaves one, they like to bring a rock or two with them. Then there is always the heavy rain storm that likes to was them across the road like a river. The best thing is to be prepared. If riding with others make sure to do the ole’ Foot kick” warning to let riders behind you know they are there. Rocks of course are more scary looking than they are. One of the things that has helped me in my riding is that I now live on a mile long dirt road, equipped with potholes and everything. I have learned just how much a bike slips and how to handle it. There was a time when you couldn’t get me to go down a dirt road. After a few months living out here. I used to like to fishtail my old RC51 on these roads just to see how sideways I could get. While I don’t really recommend that, I would suggest that if you have never really done any riding on dirt, the next time you see a dirt road try going up and down it a few times. You might be surprised what you learn about just how much slide a bike has in it before you “Loose It” and how soon your fear is relaxed. By the way, for all of you cringing at the thought, this is what they made Honda Polish for and chain cleaner & lube.

#5 The “Slow Ass Country Drivers”
We’ve all experienced it. That truck hauling hay, or the driver scared of curves that just won’t get out of the way. It’s going to happen no matter what you do. It’s how you react to this that is key. The urge is to pass these slow obstacles. I mean you came to carve up the roads, not be held up by their inconsideration! Well I got news for ya. They are probably doing the speed limit. Lots of these roads are 35-45MPH which on a bike just doesn’t seem that fast. It used to drive me NUTS! But then I just learned to relax and go with the flow. I know that they will turn off in a few minutes or I will and my pace will resume. In the mean time, I suggest checking out the sites of the country side. If it is bothering you that much, pull off and take a break and let a gap open up between you. Riding a bike means doing a little bit of everything. Sometimes you just have to go slow. It isn’t the end of the world. Your day isn’t ruined. Just enjoy it! If an opportunity to SAFELY pass presents itself then do it. Otherwise, who cares? Just prepare yourself mentally to stay relaxed and realize that this isn't being done intentionally to slow you down or ruin your day. We have to share the roads we love, and this is just a part of it.

Well. I'll stop with that one. I know there are a few others, but it is a start, and maybe I will address them in another thread. I hope you in some way find this information not only useful, but helpful in your riding adventures. Take it for what it is. My experiences and how it helped my riding abilities.

I wish you all Happy & Safe Riding

GUZZ~


FOREVER #47 "Walking In The Echo...."
Are you a 'Secret Believer"? Do you Conceal your faith from your family, friends and co-workers? Isn't it about time to step out of hiding and let others know whom you follow?

Last edited by GUZZ; June 11, 2006 at 03:00 AM..
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June 11, 2006, 04:11 AM

is there a summary of this somewhere? ...myabe pictures i can look at?
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June 11, 2006, 08:32 AM

I was riding in the country yesterday and saw this....



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June 11, 2006, 08:37 AM

yeah RED X


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June 11, 2006, 08:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico
yeah RED X
Chico, whats a red X?


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Riding in the Country
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Riding in the Country - June 11, 2006, 08:47 AM

How about this time??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hotdate.jpg (44.5 KB, 9 views)


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June 11, 2006, 08:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flylan


How about this time??
Nope, you still suck at the internet!!!


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June 11, 2006, 08:54 AM

oh well, here is where I got the pic....thought it was appropriate..how do you put a pic in other than copy and pasting??? Normally works for me in emails etc. I'm a mortgage banker, I don't know shit about computers!

http://sbw.sportbikes.com/showthread...&threadid=8802


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June 11, 2006, 09:11 AM

I wanna ride with Guzz!


OK, maybe it's because I have a cruiser too and I'm thinking I would look like a moron out with all you sportbike peeps. Seriously though, thanks for posting these things
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June 11, 2006, 09:14 AM

How about this?

Not even funny anymore!

hotdate.jpg


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June 11, 2006, 09:21 AM

Guzz,

Good post.

I got one to add for ya ... SCHOOLBUSES.

Sheesh, between 3:00 and 4:30 ... be on the lookout. They stop to drop off in the worst places (e.g. backsides of hills and on blind corners).


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June 11, 2006, 09:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Rat
Guzz,

Good post.

I got one to add for ya ... SCHOOLBUSES.

Sheesh, between 3:00 and 4:30 ... be on the lookout. They stop to drop off in the worst places (e.g. backsides of hills and on blind corners).
Yeah. That is a GREAT point Pat. School buses out here stop at every single driveway where a child resides, often really holding up traffic. You just have to be patient with them. Lot's of times the driver will wave you, and the other cars around before they proceed. Still be alert of oncoming traffic if they do!

The real problem comes when they are stopped on a blind corner. You just don't see them sometimes until it is to late. Again, you have to know your environments and your abilities. Fortunetly the oncoming traffic is usually stopped, so if you have to hard brake go left into that lane in lieu of running into the back of the bus or going into a ditch. Remember...PULL IN THAT CLUTCH!

On the same line as that. Blind corners also mean people pulling out of their driveways and vision blocked by trees roads. They like to stick the nose of their cars out in the road to see. Just be aware. Flash those lights, Honk that horn and prepare defensively.

You must always...ALWAYS...be looking through those corners on these roads. Also if you know how and are able I recommend practicing a little trail braking whenever you can. It is a hard skill to truly master, but it will help you whip that bike in a corner quicker when reaction time is short.

The key is invisioning and preparing for these things before you ride. Most of the problems described are only a REAL problem if you PANIC, thus causing a wrong reaction or an over reaction. Be mentally alert and just know these hazards are a real possibilty.


FOREVER #47 "Walking In The Echo...."
Are you a 'Secret Believer"? Do you Conceal your faith from your family, friends and co-workers? Isn't it about time to step out of hiding and let others know whom you follow?

Last edited by GUZZ; June 11, 2006 at 09:44 AM..
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June 11, 2006, 11:18 AM

Cover your brake at ALL TIMES!!!! The clutch should be covered also but its not as important as the brakes. Also go to your local parking lot and do brake draills. Sm ooth is key, quick is second. Brakeing with just one finger is better than no finger.

Thanks Guzz keep em coming.

And for you PWs there are plenty of other threads to ply your trade on.


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June 11, 2006, 12:32 PM

Awesome thread Guzz. Really informative! thanks for taking the time to post it up


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June 11, 2006, 03:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevers
Awesome thread Guzz. Really informative! thanks for taking the time to post it up
+1 good stuff Guzz!


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