Habits die hard

Disclaimer: anyone prone to over worry about my safety (my parents) should probably skip this entry.

I’ve been wanting to write this since the first day out of Toronto but haven’t had enough time. It can be a bit scary on the bike when you realize how much you rely on luck. Today even, I was driving on the highway and a table fell out of a truck coming towards me.. The table fell into my lane and had I been just a few seconds ahead, the table could have landed on me.

So on the first day, after that huge rain storm, I was finally pulling out of the gas station. The floor seemed wet but not too bad. I waited to check for a gap in on coming traffic and drove out. All of a sudden, just as I was rolling on the gas to accelerate and join the flow of traffic, my rear wheel slipped out from under me swerving left. My first reaction was to pull in the clutch and my only guess was that’s what kept me upright and probably prevented the bike from twisting my arm all the way around.

In situations like that, there usually isn’t too much time to think, and I don’t know if what I did is technically the right move. Since my rider’s safety course though I’ve forced the habit of at the sign of any irregularities my hands and right foot are at the controls and usually I even star pulling in the clutch a little. When my tire started to slip, I never thought to pull in the clutch but that’s what I did.

My strategy for taking some of the risk out of luck is to kind of pretend emergencies. So everytime a parked cars lights go on or a car is pulling up to an intersection, my hands are at the controls. Also I pretend that not so dangerous hazards on the road are a lot worse and practice avoiding them to practice emergency turns. These not only force me to make good habits bit also it can help make things more exciting if the road is getting a little monotonous.

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One Response to Habits die hard

  1. Papa says:

    Yeah, watch out for wet roads, oil, sand, gravel. A quick acceleration or maneuver on any of these could leave you w/o traction – as you discovered.
    Glad you made it unscathed.

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