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On a ride
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I'm gonna mention one with embarrassment. Perhaps it may remind, or help prevent someone from doing the same.

Was riding up a canyon I was not familiar with at all. I was riding at a pretty good clip. Found myself cookin into a tight and blind right hander waaaay over a safe and turnable speed. Drifted seriously into the oncoming lane. There was nothing I could do. Fortunately, no vehicle coming the other way. I was quite shaken by this. Had not made this kind of mistake in many years. Perhaps I was too confident. Trembling, I did a u-turn to see how this happened. What I had missed, in my sight-seeing mode, was a sign warning a 15mph curve was ahead. Lesson re-learned. Read all signs and don't assume.

So, where caused by inattention, or the inattention of others, or road debris, or animals, or weather, etc... any tales to share?
 

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Curmudgeon
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7,039 Posts
Glade you made it through the turn. this was my 1st season after 40yrs even after taking the course I had a few some were my doing. But the worst came from a school bus last week pulled right out in front of me she was looking right at me all i could do was to hit my brake and hope the car behind me was payng attention. all was ok The 1st week I had my bike I took a left hand turn at a stop sign underestimating the power of the bike. I almost ended up on the curb and into the trees. That was the last time I undsr estimated the power. Live and learn. Close calls appear to be less often now
 

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Just passing thru
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I was on a road trip and this particular incident occurred in Connecticut. I was traveling on a major highway at a steady pace for hours when up ahead is a major highway split, the two left lanes going to one highway and the three right lanes went to another highway. The two left lanes were stopped near dead but I was heading to the right. Great! I thought but slowed down for safety sake but when I tried to continue through the area at about 30 mph a pure lughead decided to cut in front of me from the left. Now if thats not bad enough he now wants to enter the two lanes going to the left and stops dead about 20 ft in front of me. I felt that shot of adrenalin race through my body which engaged my built in antilock breaking system that my brain has. (my parents payed extra for that feature) I did manage to stop at no more than 6 to 8 inches away though.....

The moral of this story is that it's not good to forget to treat every car as a really hard spot to smash into.
 

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223 Posts
Too fast on a curve once for me as well, the Fat Bob has a low center of gravity and handles like a dream but it is the 1st bike I have had with forward controls and of course different handling characteristics.
One reason for buying a cruiser as opposed to the crotch rocket is I don't trust myself and know I don't heal as fast as I used to..
My fav sig from a member here is Hold my beer bubba and watch this.
 

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#20
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1,077 Posts
Milwaukee trip, leaving hotel to gas up across the street. Loaded with 6 days of "living stuff" plus wife on back. Right turn into the gas station and hit the white paint/tape strip on the road, guess the early morning dew hadn't dried up yet and the rear slid out from under me. Didn't go down but sure shared the skit out of my wife and certainly work me right up!
Cat like reflexes I tells ya!
 

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Vanilla Gorilla
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1,384 Posts
Heading into work this morning I was on a 4 lane highway, I was riding in the right hand lane with a pickup and car to my left. I topped a hill going about 60mph and there was a rural mail carrier stopped in my lane, I could not swerve to the left because that lane was occupied, so I got on the brakes a little too hard and proceeded to slide. I remembered from my training class (best $150.00 i ever spent now :) )
not to let off the rear brake if the back tire locks up so i rode it out turned into the slide and every thing ended up ok, I was able to slow down enough to go around the mail carrier and miss the 2 vehicles to my left.
 

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Travelling on I80, when a lady changed two lanes of traffic and stopped about 30' in front of me for no apparent reason. I was going about 75mph. I managed to down shift quickly enough as the rear of the bike came around sideways. Just before impact I popped the clutch and accelerated onto the paved median. I think I missed her by a couple of feet. She just sat there with this dumb expression on her face.
What a way to check the old ticker.The rest of my ride was in the # 3 lane going a little under the speed limit. The stupid thing is there was no traffic in front of her. Ever since then I give every vehicle that changes lanes in front of me plenty of room.
 

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WARNING SIGNS
If you see a sign with the curved arrow and any speed of 20MPH or less you better hit the brakes! The DOT's are not joking when these signs go up, now anything above 20MPH we generaly don't have a problem handling on a bike.
Oh, did I mention I work for the Texas DOT?
 

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Curmudgeon
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7,039 Posts
What did her father whant?
 

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I break stuff.
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1,669 Posts
I was in Texas... divided 4 lane, heading southbound in the left track of the right lane. Was approaching an uncontrolled intersection - clear, dry mid-morning. Saw a black Suburban pulling up to the intersection on my left, watched as they stopped and then pulled out into the median. Just as I began crossing its path, the driver stood on the gas.

And so did I.

And missed being T-boned by him by a less than comfortable margin.

If I had hit the brakes instead of the gas, I'd be bug splat.

I maintain my position that everybody in a car is trying to kill me when I'm on the bike...
 

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Road Glide
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348 Posts
As I live 35 miles from the middle of London and we have thousands of "guests" here thanks to our government, almost every time I go near London. I'm convinced most think they are still on Main St. Kabul or Baghdad, many don't have a license insurance or clue what they are doing :mad:

Had a pretty scarey ride in Sept on the way to European Bike Week, we got into the dolomite mountains and the Stelvio pass. just after the toll booth at 2000 feet it got foggy, not too much of a problem except the road is like a goat trail with 500 foot drops and no guard rail, about 30 foot visibility here as we climbed to over 4000 foot.


Roads got better and the fog cleared a bit on the way down into Italy.

 

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Close call yesterday morning

I take the same route to work everyday. Yesterday morning was about 32 degrees w/ wind chill. No rain at all the night before. I was at a light going to make a left turn and I had a Ford pick-up in front of me going slow to negotiate the turn and I was beginning to get impatient. I almost completed the turn and my WideGlide with ape hangers and I went completely side-ways..About 400 yards a head was a street sweeper laying down a fine layer of water and that stuff froze instantly. I still can't figure out how I recovered. I have never dropped or layed one down (YET) after 15K miles, but that was way too close! I was wide awake. I was ready to turn it around to go change my shorts!

Regards,
Willy
 

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Watch Out for the Unseen Motorist

We were on our way back to the cold, cold north after having been in Missouri. We had taken the ramp off the highway and were heading across the overpass that went to the truck stop/fueling station. I was making a left turn to the fuel station and the 18-wheeler facing me was making a left turn back on to the highway. We both slowly and cautiously started our left turns. Just as I cleared the nose of the rig and could see past the trailer, a car came out of nowhere, heading up the inside shoulder on the right of the rig trying to get around it. I was already in the left turn and the front wheel was turned full over when I saw the car coming right at me. I grabbed a fistfull of front brake - BIG mistake! The bike stopped but because I was well into the left turn, the bike just kept falling left and momentum took over. Myself, my wife and our brand new Road King Classic wound up on our sides on the pavement...and the car that damn near turned us into pavement goo? She kept right on going past us as we laid on the road and gave us a dirty look like WE had done something wrong. We manhandled the bike back up onto her wheels, climbed back on, started her up and VERY slowly made our way into the parking lot of the gas station. Needles to say, I was doing more than a little shaking as I got off the bike. Fortunately for us, I had fought the bike all the way to the ground and we were barely rolling when she went over. Not a single scratch on the bike..not even a rub mark on the engine guards. Needless to say, I'm a very happy camper. The next time someone tells me I'm too cautious on the bike, I'll be more than happy to remind them that cautious and alive is MUCH better than a grease spot and a memory!
 

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Unseen Motorist - Continued

The one important thing I forgot to mention....the woman in the car that damn near smeared us was coming up on the right side of the rig, right over the hash marks on the pavement...you know...those hash marks that mean, NO DRIVING ON PAVED SHOULDER! Sometimes it's better to be lucky than to be good!
 

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EVERY thing is trying to kill you...

Our oldest son had just turned 16 and was adamant about buying a motorcycle for his first vehicle. Although I tried to show him the logic of buying a car (lets face it, a motorcycle ain't the best form of transportation in Canada....especially in February!), he wasn't having any of it. Besides that, we had just purchased our brand new 2004 Road King Classic a few months before that, AND, he was using his own money, so I couldn't argue a hell of a lot. Fortunately, he was smart about it. He wanted to start with a little 225cc on/off road and he agreed to take the safety courses so at least he was using the big head for a change. Anyway, I had him on the back of the Harley going for a nice easy ride along a winding country road trying to at least pass some advice about safe motorcycling practices to him. We were only doing about 60 kilometers an hour (about 40 mph for our American friends..*grin*). I had just finished telling him that if he took the adage that EVER single vehicle on the road was making a concerted effort to kill him, he'd remain cautious and keep his eyes open. I just finished that sentence to him when from out of the brush lining the side of the road, a partridge came screaming directly into our path. I guess the sound of the bike must have flushed it. Anyway, the bird impacted directly against my right thigh and literally exploded into a burst of feathers and shit. Really messed up a decent pair of chaps, but the humorous thing about it was that the next words out of my son's mouth were "damn Dad...you weren't kidding! Even the BIRDS will try and kill you!" ..We both had a good laugh and he learned an important lesson. Fortunately, the only thing that got hurt was the bird.
 

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Damn 88b!! Yer a better man than I am...I wouldn't have ridden that road with anything less than 100% visibility...that, PLUS the fact that I'm a wimp when it comes to heights. I've driven thru the mountains in Switzerland in much the same conditions. We were in a car and could see several thousand feet below us just by looking out the car side window. No guard rail and the road just barely wide enough for two cars...I still shudder from the memory!
 

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Git 'er done
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400 Posts
closest call I had this year was when I was following my wife and kids in the family "truckster." I was obviously not paying attention to her because she slowed down for a car turning left in front of her and I did not. I was looking at the view to my right and when I FINALLY looked in front of myself I was staring at a very short stopping distance and no exit strategy to my right or left (2 lane road, huge ditch on right, oncoming traffic on left). Grabbed as much brake as I could and stepped on the back one too....just like they taught me NOT TO in the safety course. Locked up the back tire and was lucky enough to have a wife that pays attention. She had enough room in front of her--and heard me lock it up--so she got off her break and gave me more room to stop. It would have really SUCKED to have rammed into my own car--kids would be scarred for life. Went straight home and changed my shorts...didn't ride anymore that day.
 

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Road Glide
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Damn 88b!! Yer a better man than I am...I wouldn't have ridden that road with anything less than 100% visibility...that, PLUS the fact that I'm a wimp when it comes to heights. I've driven thru the mountains in Switzerland in much the same conditions. We were in a car and could see several thousand feet below us just by looking out the car side window. No guard rail and the road just barely wide enough for two cars...I still shudder from the memory!
Rob can't say I was exactly comfortable with the conditions, but what do you do ? I was the chapters head road captain and we had a couple on their first trip with us, last thing you want to do is scare them. We stopped had a talk and considered our position, which was 1 keep going with caution. 2 turn around and go 500 miles out of your way. Had it been any worse that's what I would have done , but it would have screwed the trip plus we had hotels booked. In the end we kept the speed down and stayed just far enough apart to see the tail light in front of you. I probably shouldn't have taken pics but sometimes you have to.

We crossed Switzerland on the way home from the European HOG rally in Lake Garda Italy, did it in an afternoon , from Milan to Basel and into France. Always good roads in Switzerland , we managed to go via the Gothard pass rather than the tunnel. I'm guessing a week or two later it would have been shut, but we saw no snow.




 

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Road Glide
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348 Posts
This is the same road the same week the year before. Deb decided she wanted to go to Italy so we did a five day tour
 
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