The school of hard knocks has taught me a few things- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The school of hard knocks has taught me a few things

    Sometimes the same issue has to knock me a few times before I finally learn, but here are some issues of wisdom I that I have learned:

    1) If taking one hand off of the handlebars, even for just a brief moment, you must focus on what is in front of you, and look at whatever you are doing with that free hand, with your peripheral vision. Do not look at what your hand is doing. At least twice, I have crashed hard when I was pushing a button on my bike computer or something like that. A few weeks ago, I broke a rib (or 2 or 3) while switching my computer from clock to miles. My front wheel hit something normally very minor, but with only one hand gripping the bars, I lost it, went over the bars, and my face hit the dirt first. I previously posted a thread about that, but left out the details of what actually caused it.

    2) Focus on where you want to go, and not on what you do not want to hit. I am reminded of this quite often. You naturally "gravitate" toward what you are focusing on. Focus on that tree that you don't want to hit, and you will hit it. Focus on the ground beside and beneath that very skinny bridge, and you will leave the bridge and find the ground. When riding a narrow gap between 2 rocks, focus on the path you want to take, and not one one of those rocks, or you will hit one of them.

    I could keep going with the list, but it is late and I am tired from riding today.

    What has the school of hard knocks taught you?
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

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    I've learned to simply PAY ATTENTION to whatever I'm doing on that trail consistently.
    Even the trails I ride hundreds of times, and that aren't that technical. Crashes will happen on some of the easiest sections of the most familiar trails.

  3. #3
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    Those basics are good points and reminders at all times.
    I can't tell you how important those play into my head when I'm on my motorcycle. Things happen faster and the impacts will be less forgiving.

    One of the mantras I keep kicking around in my noggin is; "What's the worst that can happen?"
    In many decision's or options, I try to dumb it down to that idea. Some things just are not worth it and some things I just might do/did or choose if I were 10, 15 or 20 years younger. It's like a cost-benefit thing. The fun, thrills or adventure we seek can be mitigated by what we are willing to risk and sometimes, I think we need to say it out loud. Recognize the way things can go sideways and yet, not be a DebbieDowner -lol. As we age, we ought to consider survival and injury rehab rates based on age. Maybe it's sobering but it might 'steer' us in the better of decisions at times.

    Hell, we can still do many of the same trails, rides jumps or ?? just at a reasonable pace or some little change up's that might make it safer and less over the line pushing the envelope.

    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


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    I removed my bike computers years ago. I would never use one again or allow my kids to use one. They are inherently dangerous, learn to enjoy the moment.

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    Good points added. Keep 'em coming, please. Good things to keep on your mind.

    I guess screwing with my computer while riding is about like texting while driving. Texting while driving (and even talking with a phone to your ear) became illegal here in Georgia last year. And for good reason. Some people are capable of doing that, but the vast majority are not (gotta factor in the least common denominator). I used to be capable of that (I am a former pilot, and such skills are required for that), but not so much anymore, as my cluttered brain gets older. The gray matter is failing steadily.

    On the topic of riding motorcycles, especially on the street, you must always be thinking, "what would I do if that car pulled out in front of me"? Same as when flying, you have to constantly be thinking, "where would I go if my engine quit right now"?

    Mitigating risks, as mentioned, is a key phrase. Do whatever you can to reduce the risks.

    Look ahead. Scan. Plan. But focus on what you need to do in the right now moment.

    And do not focus on what you do not want to do, because you will tend to do exactly what you are focusing on. That point gets driven into my thick skull, every time I ride.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  6. #6
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    There is nothing to think about, just bin the computer. That's my take. I used one for years but it's just not safe.


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    Intersperse moderate rides with the hard efforts. I only recently began adhering to this advice.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

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    Ride more, talk less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Outrider66 View Post

    What has the school of hard knocks taught you?
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    Ribs brake if you fall hard after sixty! Not fun.

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    I have learned that steep short descents aren't usually the challenge, it's the runout after the descent where you can get hurt or wipe out.

    I'll come upon a descent on a new trail and just glance at the descent itself for ledges or roots to find a line, but I'll spend quite a while trying to figure out what's going on in the runout. If it turns so I can't see it before bleeding speed without heavy braking, or because of lighting conditions I can't see all the roots or whatever, I'm walking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Those basics are good points and reminders at all times.
    I can't tell you how important those play into my head when I'm on my motorcycle. Things happen faster and the impacts will be less forgiving.

    One of the mantras I keep kicking around in my noggin is; "What's the worst that can happen?"
    In many decision's or options, I try to dumb it down to that idea. Some things just are not worth it and some things I just might do/did or choose if I were 10, 15 or 20 years younger. It's like a cost-benefit thing. The fun, thrills or adventure we seek can be mitigated by what we are willing to risk and sometimes, I think we need to say it out loud. Recognize the way things can go sideways and yet, not be a DebbieDowner -lol. As we age, we ought to consider survival and injury rehab rates based on age. Maybe it's sobering but it might 'steer' us in the better of decisions at times.

    Hell, we can still do many of the same trails, rides jumps or ?? just at a reasonable pace or some little change up's that might make it safer and less over the line pushing the envelope.

    A simple way to do this is to ask oneself, aloud "what's the penalty for failure, dude"?

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    Ride with Bob Marley songs going through your head, and you'll make good trail decisions:

    'Tis he who fight and run away
    Live to fight another day

  13. #13
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    Over the years, when asked by non-riders about the difference between mountain biking and road riding, I usually tell them that road riding is sitting in one position most of the time spinning the pedals, and maybe even daydreaming just a little.

    Mountain biking, on the other hand, requires constant focused attention on the trail, with routinely changing body position, no daydreaming, and the only thing that is really similar is you are spinning the pedals.

    I also tell them that the roughest stretch of road you ride on a road bike is probably smoother than the smoothest stretch of trail on a mountain bike ride.

    To me, that sums up much of why I prefer mountain biking.

    When I ride my mountain bike, I virtually never take my eyes off the trail. To do so is courting disaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    Over the years, when asked by non-riders about the difference between mountain biking and road riding, I usually tell them that road riding is sitting in one position most of the time spinning the pedals, and maybe even daydreaming just a little.

    Mountain biking, on the other hand, requires constant focused attention on the trail, with routinely changing body position, no daydreaming, and the only thing that is really similar is you are spinning the pedals.

    I also tell them that the roughest stretch of road you ride on a road bike is probably smoother than the smoothest stretch of trail on a mountain bike ride.

    To me, that sums up much of why I prefer mountain biking.

    When I ride my mountain bike, I virtually never take my eyes off the trail. To do so is courting disaster.
    Yeah, when I was new to it, I thought I'd be lollygagging through the woods looking for/at plants and animals as I would be on a hike. I still get to enjoy the woods and outdoors, but in a very different way than I anticipated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outrider66 View Post
    Focus on where you want to go, and not on what you do not want to hit.
    In the same vein, my mantra is
    "Don't watch where you are going...watch where you WANT to go".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I removed my bike computers years ago. I would never use one again or allow my kids to use one. They are inherently dangerous, learn to enjoy the moment.
    Agree. I couldn't tell you how fast/slow or how long I rode most of the time. Occasionally I check the time of day before I start and sometimes I remember to check when I stop. One comment I have gotten - "You ride bikes and you don't know how long it took you? You sure you ride bikes?"
    Well, yeah - I don't care about the numbers.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by be1 View Post
    One comment I have gotten - "You ride bikes and you don't know how long it took you? You sure you ride bikes?"
    There must be a quotation similar to "it isn't the destination, it is the journey" that is more specifically applicable to a question such as this. Or maybe that would do as a response - let them puzzle it out.

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    When people ask me if mountain biking is dangerous compared to road biking, I tell them that when you crash mountain biking you get scrapes and broken bones. When you crash (or get hit) road biking you die. Obviously not true in all circumstance, but more true than not IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    There must be a quotation similar to "it isn't the destination, it is the journey" that is more specifically applicable to a question such as this. Or maybe that would do as a response - let them puzzle it out.
    middle finger works, too. i'm a man of few words. lol

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UserNameTaken View Post
    When people ask me if mountain biking is dangerous compared to road biking, I tell them that when you crash mountain biking you get scrapes and broken bones. When you crash (or get hit) road biking you die. Obviously not true in all circumstance, but more true than not IMO.


    I've crashed a few times on road bikes and haven't died yet. Agree that road biking is more dangerous due to higher speeds, unforgiving pavement, and of course cars.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    After a long fire road climb to a trail with a pretty chunky descent my buddy and I stopped to grab a drink and snack. I really wanted to lead this time down and after what I thought was a good ďall setĒ check we dropped in. The first 30 yards are relatively smooth but you need that distance to build speed. At 31 yards in i realized I hadnít opened my shock from the climb up .
    I took my right hand off to open it and WAM...
    I donít remember what body part hit first but I bent my front wheel (unrideable), tore off my front brake lever, cracked helmet and fractured my wrist.
    Next time Iíll probably just ride it out OR just stop and flip the lever.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    Over the years, when asked by non-riders about the difference between mountain biking and road riding, I usually tell them that road riding is sitting in one position most of the time spinning the pedals, and maybe even daydreaming just a little.

    Mountain biking, on the other hand, requires constant focused attention on the trail, with routinely changing body position, no daydreaming, and the only thing that is really similar is you are spinning the pedals.

    I also tell them that the roughest stretch of road you ride on a road bike is probably smoother than the smoothest stretch of trail on a mountain bike ride.

    To me, that sums up much of why I prefer mountain biking.

    When I ride my mountain bike, I virtually never take my eyes off the trail. To do so is courting disaster.
    Yep. Road biking, you're riding on a pretty consistent surface, Mountain biking, you aren't.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    There must be a quotation similar to "it isn't the destination, it is the journey" that is more specifically applicable to a question such as this. Or maybe that would do as a response - let them puzzle it out.
    I like to say, "The journey is the destination".

    I simply love being in the woods. The only time I am every happy or serene is while I am in the woods. I suppose if I knew of some easy, relatively flat and very smooth trails with incredible scenery, I would ride just to take in the scenery, while daydreaming. But I don't know of any MTB trails like that. So, instead, I ride for the challenge of the terrain, while enjoying the ambience of the surroundings, while not focusing on that, but rather focusing on the trail itself.

    The other way I go into the woods, to enjoy incredible scenery while just looking around, I go hiking.
    If'n you ain't bleedin', you ain't livin'

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outrider66 View Post
    What has the school of hard knocks taught you?
    Too much brake is often worse than too little. With gravity on your side, the bike will roll over most obstacles, you only have to allow it to do so by not grabbing too much brake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    Over the years, when asked by non-riders about the difference between mountain biking and road riding, I usually tell them that road riding is sitting in one position most of the time spinning the pedals, and maybe even daydreaming just a little.

    Mountain biking, on the other hand, requires constant focused attention on the trail, with routinely changing body position, no daydreaming, and the only thing that is really similar is you are spinning the pedals.

    I also tell them that the roughest stretch of road you ride on a road bike is probably smoother than the smoothest stretch of trail on a mountain bike ride.

    To me, that sums up much of why I prefer mountain biking.

    When I ride my mountain bike, I virtually never take my eyes off the trail. To do so is courting disaster.
    One exception to the road-biking experience you describe is riding in an urban area. You need to be on your toes the same, if not more, than off-road.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    One exception to the road-biking experience you describe is riding in an urban area. You need to be on your toes the same, if not more, than off-road.
    on a mtb trail if you encounter a car or pickup truck there's something terribly wrong. on the road - you may never see the one that gets you. too many bad drivers on the road...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    A simple way to do this is to ask oneself, aloud "what's the penalty for failure, dude"?
    For sure. Keep it all simple and dumbed down - less clutter.
    I always thought of most things in terms of "What IF ?"
    to keep my brain cells dancing.

    Other points that hit home previously mentioned....

    *When people ask me if mountain biking is dangerous compared to road biking, I tell them that when you crash mountain biking you get scrapes and broken bones. When you crash (or get hit) road biking you die.

    ^I share that idea in general too. It comes from my early days of moto and mini-biking the wood and trails. Nothing to blame but oneself for the outcomes and it provides and throttles confidence depending on the moment.

    *I've learned to simply PAY ATTENTION to whatever I'm doing on that trail consistently.
    Even the trails I ride hundreds of times, and that aren't that technical. Crashes will happen on some of the easiest sections of the most familiar trails.

    &
    *I have learned that steep short descents aren't usually the challenge, it's the runout after the descent where you can get hurt or wipe out.

    ^Yep - Easy to get complacent and let my guard down. Those are times I feel most dumb.

    *I used to be capable of that (I am a former pilot, and such skills are required for that), but not so much anymore, as my cluttered brain gets older. The gray matter is failing steadily.

    ^Two guys I rode with on m/c day trips were very safety oriented, the one being an AF Pilot and instructor. I absolutely felt like we had the same thoughts about risk mitigation and because of that, I felt our small group of three made us safer than any one of us on our own.
    You couldn't get me to go on any group rides with others (strangers) if you brought bags of cash.
    Last edited by bachman1961; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:03 AM.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outrider66 View Post
    Sometimes the same issue has to knock me a few times before I finally learn, but here are some issues of wisdom I that I have learned:

    1) If taking one hand off of the handlebars, even for just a brief moment, you must focus on what is in front of you, and look at whatever you are doing with that free hand, with your peripheral vision. Do not look at what your hand is doing. At least twice, I have crashed hard when I was pushing a button on my bike computer or something like that. A few weeks ago, I broke a rib (or 2 or 3) while switching my computer from clock to miles. My front wheel hit something normally very minor, but with only one hand gripping the bars, I lost it, went over the bars, and my face hit the dirt first. I previously posted a thread about that, but left out the details of what actually caused it.

    2) Focus on where you want to go, and not on what you do not want to hit. I am reminded of this quite often. You naturally "gravitate" toward what you are focusing on. Focus on that tree that you don't want to hit, and you will hit it. Focus on the ground beside and beneath that very skinny bridge, and you will leave the bridge and find the ground. When riding a narrow gap between 2 rocks, focus on the path you want to take, and not one one of those rocks, or you will hit one of them.

    I could keep going with the list, but it is late and I am tired from riding today.

    What has the school of hard knocks taught you?
    Wow! I couldn't have said it better. This year I have crashed 4 times. When I took my right hand off after a long descent to pull up my dropper seat- I went over the bars bruising a rib. When I took a new line on a rooted off camber downhill section my front wheel washed out so fast I never got my hands off the bars. I landed on my shoulder dislocating it. When I decided to go through a tight singletrack faster than usual I clipped a tree and went OTB. I did that one twice- but only got bruised.

    Getting older doesn't always mean riding slower...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    You couldn't get me to go on any group rides with others (strangers) if you brought bags of cash.


    I understand that some people just don't like riding with groups or strangers but do you think it's dangerous?
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    I've been a student in the school of hard knocks for 67 years. It's called life and the lessons learned are way too numerous to count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I've been a student in the school of hard knocks for 67 years. It's called life and the lessons learned are way too numerous to count.
    When they begin to get too numerous to remember, that's when you're approaching a whole new level!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    When they begin to get too numerous to remember, that's when you're approaching a whole new level!
    Hopefully not a new level of senility!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I understand that some people just don't like riding with groups or strangers but do you think it's dangerous?
    I do.

    In my thoughts, a group ride means I am within a sphere of others and that bubble or area is always in flux no matter who they are. Things are constantly changing and we all have to (or should know to) scan obstacles, traffic, intersections and mirrors all the time, hundreds of times per mile. Presumably, I won't know these folks hardly at all and have no clue to their ability, experience, health, condition of their motorbike etc..... When we are talking hundreds of variables every few miles and I don't know these riders well enough to say if they can save their own a-- in a pinch or not cause a crash, that's an easy one for me skip. A few rides I was invited to were going to be tavern stops at every little village or town they were traveling through. I could have a Coke but I'm still going to be surrounded by riders who may have over indulged or be within my 5 seconds of travel. If they weave a bit or seem impaired, do I argue with them along side the road about getting a friend to come and pick them up ?

    As I see it, there are many elements that can easily create unsafe conditions and rider actions, reactions or causation by them or other traffic would/could filter into my immediate path in milliseconds. I can negate that potential scenario by not having riders there at all such as in not inviting them or joining a group ride. Basically, it's just throwing an unknown batch of variables into my picture - or not. A What's the risk ? What's the benefit ? sorta thing.
    Yet when I'm with close friends that I know well and understand their ideas and theories of riding safe and getting home alive , I know they are constantly scanning, know how to safely and quickly brake in an emergency, know how they call out a rock in the road or a deer and know by their experience and our discussions on how to spot things and assess dangers. Our lane positions don't block us from seeing dangers or others seeing us, our speeds and stops for a break are 'known' and we communicate things.

    The sphere of traffic I deal with otherwise, is the strangers in cars that are actually easy to spot and deal with even when they are still 'the unknown'. Their attitudes are easier read, their mistakes are somewhat predicable and my riding style and behaviors can set a tone so-to-speak. I'm easy to see, don't dart around or accelerate fast and give other drivers a break. I'm suited up in riding gear and helmeted and I suspect most of them see me as a guy who wants to play it safe and get home alive. Other riders they see from time to time ride aggressive, fast or rude and display the hooligan behaviors that give bikers a bad rep.
    I've lost count but there for a few months stretch we had 5 or more crashes that were fatal and one vehicle involved just here in town. That's defined as a deceased rider who by some mistake, misread or carelessness and NO OTHER FACTORS caused their demise on a m/c. I mention it because IMO, there are dozens of other m/c crashes that are considered preventable or reduced impact by riders who could have better braked, avoided or anticipated dangerous conditions even though the other driver was deemed "at fault."

    *At 60 mph, I'm rolling at 88 feet per second and need to Perceive Decide and React to threats pretty quick. It takes about .8 to get the brakes going at PDR and then, it's a finesse of threshold braking to drop speed fast without an uncontrolled skid. By the time PDR and braking begin, those 88 feet are gone and what's left is actual stopping distance. Did I stop in time? Did I hit it at a reduced speed to lessen impact and injury? Have I been practicing these maneuvers? Did I swerve to avoid hitting the object ?
    You may hear the term- Laid the bike down. That's precisely NOT Threshold braking. That is Head over heals and/or sliding down the road.
    The -What if's- are so freaking endless, it's zero wonder there are plenty of motorbikes in garages all over the country that are 20 and 30 years old with 4800 miles on them !

    > ?
    If not for safety concerns, what do you suppose is the reason for not liking group rides?
    Others stop too often to pee or they are smelly ?

    I'm sure there are lots of very safe, conscientious groups out there. I do feel small groups are easier for other traffic to see and deal with. Big rides seem to get clustered, breaking up from light to light and probably test the patience of other drivers.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    I do.

    In my thoughts, a group ride means I am within a sphere of others and that bubble or area is always in flux no matter who they are. Things are constantly changing and we all have to (or should know to) scan obstacles, traffic, intersections and mirrors all the time, hundreds of times per mile. Presumably, I won't know these folks hardly at all and have no clue to their ability, experience, health, condition of their motorbike etc..... When we are talking hundreds of variables every few miles and I don't know these riders well enough to say if they can save their own a-- in a pinch or not cause a crash, that's an easy one for me skip. A few rides I was invited to were going to be tavern stops at every little village or town they were traveling through. I could have a Coke but I'm still going to be surrounded by riders who may have over indulged or be within my 5 seconds of travel. If they weave a bit or seem impaired, do I argue with them along side the road about getting a friend to come and pick them up ?

    As I see it, there are many elements that can easily create unsafe conditions and rider actions, reactions or causation by them or other traffic would/could filter into my immediate path in milliseconds. I can negate that potential scenario by not having riders there at all such as in not inviting them or joining a group ride. Basically, it's just throwing an unknown batch of variables into my picture - or not. A What's the risk ? What's the benefit ? sorta thing.
    Yet when I'm with close friends that I know well and understand their ideas and theories of riding safe and getting home alive , I know they are constantly scanning, know how to safely and quickly brake in an emergency, know how they call out a rock in the road or a deer and know by their experience and our discussions on how to spot things and assess dangers. Our lane positions don't block us from seeing dangers or others seeing us, our speeds and stops for a break are 'known' and we communicate things.

    The sphere of traffic I deal with otherwise, is the strangers in cars that are actually easy to spot and deal with even when they are still 'the unknown'. Their attitudes are easier read, their mistakes are somewhat predicable and my riding style and behaviors can set a tone so-to-speak. I'm easy to see, don't dart around or accelerate fast and give other drivers a break. I'm suited up in riding gear and helmeted and I suspect most of them see me as a guy who wants to play it safe and get home alive. Other riders they see from time to time ride aggressive, fast or rude and display the hooligan behaviors that give bikers a bad rep.
    I've lost count but there for a few months stretch we had 5 or more crashes that were fatal and one vehicle involved just here in town. That's defined as a deceased rider who by some mistake, misread or carelessness and NO OTHER FACTORS caused their demise on a m/c. I mention it because IMO, there are dozens of other m/c crashes that are considered preventable or reduced impact by riders who could have better braked, avoided or anticipated dangerous conditions even though the other driver was deemed "at fault."

    *At 60 mph, I'm rolling at 88 feet per second and need to Perceive Decide and React to threats pretty quick. It takes about .8 to get the brakes going at PDR and then, it's a finesse of threshold braking to drop speed fast without an uncontrolled skid. By the time PDR and braking begin, those 88 feet are gone and what's left is actual stopping distance. Did I stop in time? Did I hit it at a reduced speed to lessen impact and injury? Have I been practicing these maneuvers? Did I swerve to avoid hitting the object ?
    You may hear the term- Laid the bike down. That's precisely NOT Threshold braking. That is Head over heals and/or sliding down the road.
    The -What if's- are so freaking endless, it's zero wonder there are plenty of motorbikes in garages all over the country that are 20 and 30 years old with 4800 miles on them !

    > ?
    If not for safety concerns, what do you suppose is the reason for not liking group rides?
    Others stop too often to pee or they are smelly ?

    I'm sure there are lots of very safe, conscientious groups out there. I do feel small groups are easier for other traffic to see and deal with. Big rides seem to get clustered, breaking up from light to light and probably test the patience of other drivers.



    Ok, I thought we were talking about mountain biking.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  35. #35
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    I've done MTN bike group rides on trails a bunch of times. No problems there at all. These groups were locals that really have nice bikes and can ride with great skill. Lots of fun and really good learning environment for me. Fitness too.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  36. #36
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    I love group rides.
    As long as everyone stays out of my way, doesn't try to talk to me, slow me down, speed me up, not stop if I want to, or stop unnecessarily.
    I guess I hate group rides.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I love group rides.
    As long as everyone stays out of my way, doesn't try to talk to me, slow me down, speed me up, not stop if I want to, or stop unnecessarily.
    I guess I hate group rides.
    Dante Hicks: But you hate people.
    Randal Graves: Yes, but I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic?
    -Clerks

  38. #38
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    I don't like other people very much but I prefer not riding alone. Primarily because I like having someone who can call an ambulance.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I love group rides.
    As long as everyone stays out of my way, doesn't try to talk to me, slow me down, speed me up, not stop if I want to, or stop unnecessarily.
    I guess I hate group rides.
    I'm with you on the group rides, especially here in dry, dusty SoCal. One or two good buddies is OK, but beyond that it begins to be stupid.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I don't like other people very much but I prefer not riding alone. Primarily because I like having someone who can call an ambulance.
    Now that you mention it, it IS nice to have someone to witness my graceful rolling technique down the side of a canyon! Seems like a wasted performance otherwise....

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    Now that you mention it, it IS nice to have someone to witness my graceful rolling technique down the side of a canyon! Seems like a wasted performance otherwise....
    The way I look at it, if I break my arm, who is going to get my bike home? On the road I mostly ride alone and I'm happy with that as I'm not that far from the house so I can call my wife for rescue if necessary. But on the MTB, usually miles away.

  42. #42
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    As per a bike computer being a distraction, I def see that as a case for potential misfortune.

    I used to really like (or think I did) knowing the miles or distance covered at a glance. However, the last compu I was using decided to fling itself off to never-land mid ride at a moment when I didn't notice. The one feature I liked about that one was the oa air temp. I think it was a $45 Planet Bike gizmo. Nice big display too.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  43. #43
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    Avoid Hard Knocks.
    No school required.
    No additional computer strapped to bike needed.
    Enjoy the ride.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The way I look at it, if I break my arm, who is going to get my bike home? On the road I mostly ride alone and I'm happy with that as I'm not that far from the house so I can call my wife for rescue if necessary. But on the MTB, usually miles away.
    Not to boast, but when I broke my leg so badly, I had set it and splinted/ wrapped it and was on my way, hopping up the hill, using my bike as a "walker" of sorts.

  45. #45
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    I do not have any electronic crap to distract me.I see some riders distracted by their 'smart phones' that does not seem to be particularly smart

  46. #46
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    A bike shop story I was told was of a serious roadie, computers, HRM, etc. He was spinning at 22mph and checking out his HR, focusing his attention upon all that data displayed to him on his bar. He didn't see the solid steel dock bumper of a parked truck until he hit it full smackaroo. He got concussed , and broke numerous bones.
    This really messed with his training program.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    This really messed with his training program.
    I'll bet! I have zero sympathy for anyone who does that. There is a saying in aviation 'fly the damn plane', or something like that, which is simply saying that you need to focus on the basics of flying over any other information or events that might compete for your attention. Because however important they may seem, they become pretty irrelevant if you crash!

    Driving the car, even changing the radio without wandering off line is tricky. And you want to try this stuff on a bicycle? If you're that stupid you deserve to crash.

  48. #48
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    While driving I often check the speedo, gas gauge, tachometer, temp gauge, etc. and it doesn't seem to be a problem. Same deal on a bicycle, the garmin has never caused any issues. I've got a lot of info onboard but I'm not checking any of it @ 20mph while airborne. It's a poor mechanic who blames his tools.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    While driving I often check the speedo, gas gauge, tachometer, temp gauge, etc. and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
    It's a different scenario but car infotainment systems are increasingly causing problems.

    The basic gauges in a car are much larger and are easier to read than a bike computer. Information can be collected at a glance. While this might be possible on a bike, it's harder and you're on a machine that is much more sensitive to small involuntary control inputs.

    In cars there is talk of banning even hands free phones and limiting the info systems as, well, it's causing accidents. People don't want just a speedo do they? They want a million other functions and bits of information and they can't deal with it safely while also controlling their steed. But they don't want to give up their tech addiction so, like the alcoholic, they'll tell themselves they can handle it. They have it under control.

    Maybe they'll get away with it but if they do it's through luck, not judgment. I've seen and had enough experience with the distraction even basic bike computers can cause so I'm done with them.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    It's a different scenario but car infotainment systems are increasingly causing problems.

    The basic gauges in a car are much larger and are easier to read than a bike computer. Information can be collected at a glance. While this might be possible on a bike, it's harder and you're on a machine that is much more sensitive to small involuntary control inputs.

    In cars there is talk of banning even hands free phones and limiting the info systems as, well, it's causing accidents. People don't want just a speedo do they? They want a million other functions and bits of information and they can't deal with it safely while also controlling their steed. But they don't want to give up their tech addiction so, like the alcoholic, they'll tell themselves they can handle it. They have it under control.

    Maybe they'll get away with it but if they do it's through luck, not judgment. I've seen and had enough experience with the distraction even basic bike computers can cause so I'm done with them.



    I'm not making phone calls on my bike, usually

    Most people I ride with use garmins and still manage to keep the rubber side down. Mine has never caused me any problem either but for people who are distracted by them I recommend not using them. Or taping over the display.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm not making phone calls on my bike, usually
    I've seen it! I remember one guy with his phone on the bars and a solar panel to stop it from going flat.

    Even before the explosion in tech driving a car was described as a carefully orchestrated series of near accidents but today it's worse. People demand, and are getting, more and more information at their fingertips but how much of it do they really need? If any? I ride with guys who are constantly telling you how far we've gone or how cold it is but who cares? I enjoy my rides more when I don't think about any of that stuff. I find it more relaxing and more of an escape, which is why I do it.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I've seen it! I remember one guy with his phone on the bars and a solar panel to stop it from going flat.

    Yep, silly people exist but I don't think an inanimate device can be blamed for poor judgement. Also agree that for some they are intrusive and nothing more than a distraction, and I highly recommend those people don't use them.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yep, silly people exist but I don't think an inanimate device can be blamed for poor judgement.
    All it takes is once. The guy who crashes probably rode hundreds of miles trouble free before then. I didn't crash when I had a cycling computer but I saw that the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train coming!

  54. #54
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    That does it, I'm throwing out the garmin and removing all the gauges from the dashboard in my car before it's too late
    I brake for stinkbugs

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    That does it, I'm throwing out the garmin and removing all the gauges from the dashboard in my car before it's too late
    It might be safer if you just stay in the house. Can't be too careful.

  56. #56
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    I was riding a multi-use path on my CX last weekend, going along at a pretty good clip. I can't remember what I was looking at, but it wasn't the path directly in front of me. I had my hands on the tops, so pretty close together and ran right into a branch/log section on the trail, probably about 3" in diameter. I didn't go down but there was a lot of wobbliness as I tried to keep upright with little leverage to help from doing so.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  57. #57
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    I went onto the mud at the edge of a simple trail a month ago and went down hard. I didn't even need a bike computer to help me on that one, managed to stop concentrating all on my own.

    I'm not being a nazi about it. It's a personal choice and we all make mistakes with or without computers. For me it's simply one more distraction I can live without. Plus, now that I'm used to it, I much prefer riding without it.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I went onto the mud at the edge of a simple trail a month ago and went down hard. I didn't even need a bike computer to help me on that one, managed to stop concentrating all on my own.

    I'm not being a nazi about it. It's a personal choice and we all make mistakes with or without computers. For me it's simply one more distraction I can live without. Plus, now that I'm used to it, I much prefer riding without it.
    I don't blame you a bit, Mr. Pig. But........don't pigs just love a good mud wallow now and then?

    Seriously though, there's something very 'pure' about riding my bike just for the sake of riding it. I can tell around 2 hours is just about perfect for me, without any wallows, that is. And yeah, at 66, with a chronic inner ear steadily eroding my balance, even a buff section of single track can suddenly veer off course on me, about once a ride these days.
    But I keep workin' on it...

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