A Conversation for The Problem with Driving Directions
Wrinkled Rocker Started conversation May 24, 2003
Who else has found that when you are trying to follow someone ahead of you in a car, they seldom indicate their intentions until they actually turn, change lanes, etc?
If you are leading another vehicle, show your intentions WELL ahead of time - after all, the person behind has to do the same thing in the exactly same place you just vacated! If you practice doing this, you will find it becomes a habit and tells your fellow drivers well in advance what you intend doing and you become a more considerate driver yourself.
I just wish there was a way for drivers who are uncertain of where they are going to indicate to others road users:
"Please pass, I'm lost!"
Greybeard the Pirate Posted May 24, 2003
WR, I'm glad you qualified your first sentence with the three important little words "in a car".
In my experience, with few exceptions, following other bikers is far more disciplined - partly because the ground rules are set before you depart and partly because bikers, for their own safety, are far more aware of conditions than your average car-driver (or should I say "cager").
The worst offence, I find, is for the lead car, when turning across the traffic, to leap across a gap in the flow and then to continue without waiting for the following car(s) still looking for another gap. Usually, (s)he is the only one who knows the way !
Bellman Posted May 26, 2003
Having tried both I'd agree that a bikers' convoy is an easier item to manage. It's a more compact bunch of vehicles and can change shape to suit the conditions. What's more, you've got the acceleration to close any gaps that do develop.
Too old for biking I've got a VW camper now and a herd of busses is a completely different entity - lots bigger and much slower. We do have two adavantages though. One is that the passengers can relay instructions and advice up and down the line. The other is that nobody pulls out in front of a bus convoy. I've not heard "Sorry mate - didn't see you" for ages now.
Wrinkled Rocker Posted May 26, 2003
Our bike club uses the staggered line astern formation when travelling in a group. You are responsible for the bike BEHIND you getting to the destination. If the group changes direction, it is up to you to slack off or even stop (safely of course) until the bike behind you comes into view and acknowledges the change in direction by indicating. This all goes back down along the line until the sweeper at the back is in.
If the group strings out, you must remain in sight of the bike behind you - if they stop, you stop. If they don't get going again, you turn back to assist. On an extended group ride in Zimbabwe years back, one newbie washed out on some dirt in a bend. In under two minutes, the leader and the whole group had turned around and was back at the scene assisting.
BTW Bellman - you're NEVER too old for biking, buddy! Just ride a bike of similar vintage as yourself and the world will make space for you.
When riding behind other bikes, we each position ourselves to see the visor of the rider in front in THEIR mirror. That way, they're now looking left and right to try to find you in the blind spot behind them. This is also good manners when overtaking - get into position so the rider can see you in his mirror, indicate your intention and then pass at a good speed on the outside. I have had NUTCASES on superbikes overtake me on the INSIDE going into a bend while I am setting up a gentle approach to the apex. That means they end up running wide out of the bend, blind to any approaching traffic and I have to stop and change underwear.
Greybeard the Pirate Posted May 26, 2003
Hi WR, agree you're NEVER too old for bikes. I'm now reaching the stage where I've realised I need to step down in size and power. It's a VX 800 for me next. Anyone want a ZX-10, in good nick ?
I think most clubs follow the same rules as yours on ride-outs. The only problems can occur when less formal groups gather or when there's a newbie who doesn't listen .
BTW, I think you mean '....they're NOT looking left....' .
(a little less frantic)
Bellman Posted May 27, 2003
OK. I'll come clean. I'm not too old but I am too scared and too scarred. I lived through my crash with nothing worse than some plates in my arm but two good friends were less lucky.
One was stationary at a T junction about to turn right onto the main road; a coach turned right off the main road at speed and ran over him. The other was coming up to the blind brow of a hill and was hit by a taxi on the wrong side of the road.
Both guys were good riders on good bikes with full safety gear but it did them no good at all. I had thought that I could ride safely enough to keep myself out of trouble (20 years' experience, RAC/ACU instructor, police training, IAM etc) but these two crashes made me reconsider.
I think we (my wife had as much experience as me) had always accepted the chance of being killed but these two crashes brought home the implications of just barely surviving. We had one young daughter and another due soon. I could not imagine coping with two young children and a partner needing 24 hour care and I wouldn't want to put my wife in that situation either.
So we gave up riding. Sold all the bikes - even the Matchless 350 we'd had since before we got married - and got a VW bus to play with.
Wrinkled Rocker Posted May 27, 2003
about your two buddies. Let me guess - the coach and taxi drivers got off with a warning at worst? "The biker was in the wrong!"?
Well, passing on comes to us all in due time. I respect your decision to pack it in - but I don't agree with it. If all of us pack it in the "cagers" have won the battle to persuade everyone that it's all the biker's fault and they should all be banned. "Bikes are dangerous - ban all bikes", "Booze is dangerous - ban all booze", "Electrical appliances are dangerous - ban all electric toasters", etc. If you realise how many people die in beds, you'd avoid them like the plague!
Enjoy the VW camper - I had one for five years when we were first married - I wish I still had it!
Bellman Posted May 27, 2003
We had twenty great years - didn't learn to drive a car until we were 30 and bought up a daughter who 15 years later can still recognise and respect a Guzzi as it rumbles past. And who also knows just where to hit a VW starter if it's being stubborn.
Glad to hear you liked your bus. Bus drivers are very like bikers in many ways. They'll always wave. They're always interesting to talk to. And they always drive round with silly grins on their faces. And they do the daftest things on rallies - like setting up a hill-climb course in the mud.
As for yourself. Keep it up and enjoy yourself and we'll both do our best to withstand the busies who want to ban all the enjoyable things in life.
Wrinkled Rocker Posted May 30, 2003
Subborn VW Starters?
I eventually fitted a headlight relay into the solenoid circuit - that way a voltage drop from the steering column to the starter didn't interfere. I also installed a second push button with a clean line from the battery - just in case. My wife did use it a few times on the Beetle, but never on the Camper
I also fitted four scissors jacks (inverted) to the camper just to stabilise the thing - no "rockin van syndrome"!
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