Street riding notes
March 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm #3761Gary856Participant
One very bad thing I sometimes do is to rush a left turn to beat the light, often a left arrow. The problems with this:
– I usually speed up, and then have to brake harder going into the turn.
– Intersections have the heaviest build up of oil and debris, so traction is uncertain right where I’m making the transition from braking to turning.
– Intersections are 90 deg corners, with a short radius, and hard curbs (instead of soft shoulder) on the side.
– As the light changes, I end up dividing my attention between the light, traffic movement, and the turn.
Every time I do it, I feel iffy half way thru the turn. There are just too many distractions rushing thru an intersection and it’s difficult to focus and look thru the turn properly. Conclusion: Don’t rush the light!March 17, 2010 at 12:27 am #24981Gary856Participant
a) When I first started riding I tended to stare at the spot where it transitioned from straight to turn to finish my braking there. However, by going in a little fast and not looking thru the turn earlier, my speed in the turn ended up being slower than it needed to be. That was ok – when learning, slower speed and more reaction time are your friends. In the early days, I didn’t have the feel of how fast a corner could be taken, so the slower speed allowed me to get accustomed to the feel.
b) Then, I found if I finished my braking a little earlier, like 15 ft before the straight-to-turn transition, I had a more manageable entry speed, and could shift my focus to turning earlier. That helped a lot on the braking to turning transition. This is the “slow in, fast out” principle.
c) After I got used to the turning, I could brake later to transition into the turn naturally. Now, several seconds before I reach the transition point, I’m already looking deep into the turn, getting ready for the turn both mentally and physicaly, which allows me to transition into the turn smoothly.
The key is to start at a lower speed, give yourself the time to react, look thru the turn and focus on being smooth and relaxed. The speed will come naturally after you’ve developed the “feel”.
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