Learning in hardway

Anyway, first thing first, I am here to say about my ride life challenges, every little one of them. I mean the hazards, challenge and mistakes I made so far.

Why?

So that I can learn from my mistakes and there is nothing wrong to say that every accident (mostly) has been a result of my mistake or other driver’s or none but the situation. Though many want to forget those incidents and get on riding as soon as possible, trust me, they will never learn from their mistakes and most likely to do the same mistakes again and again, until it catches up finally. And some completely give up riding…(we r not talking about them here)…

So lets begin…blah, blah-blah….let me start with my accidents so far…

MY FIRST ACCIDENT: As I never fall from my motorcycle, I felt like superman and started to do all kind of crazy thing and in the middle of all that I got my first lesson. It was evening, probable 7 or 8pm, I was riding like crazy and I was over taking a microbus, completely watching ahead but not the road surface…hahahaha…and guess what was there? Half of green coconut…hahahahaha…so whatever happened, happened and it happened fast. Luckily that microbus didn’t run me over for some weird reason. Cause we were both going above 40/50 kmph for sure. So when I hit the poor coconut, it gave me a sudden lift that I wasn’t prepared for and my front tier lost traction when I landed in a slightly angular way. Hope you get the picture.


Damage:

  • My bike had minor scratch and lost some of its side fairing and belly pan.
  • I lost right hand skin from elbow to 6 inch towards wrist. Both lower and upper side…It wasn’t pretty.
  • Hurt my shoulder blade.

Learning:

Luckily I had my helmet on (didn’t feel that much invincible..hahahaha), otherwise I would have lost skin from right side of my face cause my helmet still bears the mark.

Luckily I had gloves, otherwise my knuckles and palm would have been exposed to something I don’t want to think…hahahahaha…

Luckily I was wearing ankle guard shoes, not tennis shoes; a bit more protective than those. It will take lot of force to twist my foot backwards but it won’t protect that much to hold my ankles in place in case I fell awkwardly on them.

I must wear some sort of full sleeve thing to protect my skin with some sort of padding near elbow.

Mostly, watching ahead, not only for whether there is any vehicle or not, but also to check the road surface, for example, pot holes or WASA’s bobby traps or mud or green coconut shell or brick or loose stones or sand etc…

SECOND ONE: This time, I was riding like a complete gentleman and was overtaking a public bus, which was standing in the middle of the road. What can go wrong? First, I was behind the bus and didn’t check the road ahead completely. So I pulled out to the right side of the bus blindly and suddenly saw a giant hole in the middle of the road, and made a panic brake. There was mud on the road surface. So guess what? My front gave away, which will always happen in such situation and as I wasn’t riding that fast, I didn’t scrape against the road surface. But the momentum (mass X velocity) of the motorcycle plus mud, took my baby a bit more than speed alone should and guess what? It fell directly into the hole to fix the fat water pipe… hahahaha… head first…hahahaha…It took five people to bring it up from its nose dive.

Damage:

  • Nothing happened to me.
  • Had to change the bone of my baby’s head.

Learning:

Luckily I got separated from the bike.

Stupid WASA.

Mostly, Stupid me. I should have been watchful and observe the dynamics of the traffic before jumping with another bomb overtaking maneuver…hahahaha…

THIRD ONE: Completely free road, no traffic what so ever. Road surface absolutely fine, no pot holes. Recently opened fly over and it was 3 AM. I was practicing my cornering, round and round I am going through the turns, trying to figure out every point, when to tip in, where to brake, what should be the speed…that sort of things..

So previous round I took that turn at 75 kmph, this time I thought that I had lot of space to increase my speed and guess what happened? I almost went overboard, got saved by an electric pole…hahahahaha…

What happened?

I got scared suddenly, hit the brake which straightened me out and i got fixated exactly where I don’t want to go and freeze. And in place of adding more angle to my lean, my mind was calculating what will happen when I hit the sidewall. So, I brought the things to myself and hit the barrier at 80 kmph. My baby hit its left side of its head first, flicking me over the barrier and left me there…then speed carried me over the sidewall, (my upper body) and my lower body was inside the fly over (luckily!!!) and I hit the electric pole outside the sidewall and fell inside rather than dropping from three stories high, head first…luckily, that didn’t happen…

I found myself on the beloved road. I stood up and watched my baby running alone, it went 40 to 50 feet alone. So I started running after it and finally it stopped for me to ride on her again. I quickly picked her up and she is running fine…

 

What my mistakes were?

It was a double apex turn and I was experimenting with my speed. So my first mistake was, I took the turn early. Second mistake, when I am in the middle of the turn, I got scared, thinking my speed is too high. Third mistake which sealed my fate, was, in place of adding more angle to my lean or turn, I added more brakes. As a result, my bike stood up from its lean and went straight towards the sidewall.

If I continued my turn and speed (which was 5kmph more than last time I did the corner), at best I would have a low side crash because of the sand.

Elbow (left)

Elbow

DAMAGE:

  • Again, bone structure of its head.
  • My left thumb got twisted, damaged toe, elbow, rib.
  • My jacket got completely ripped into half.

LEARNING:

Lean more rather than braking more. (once you are committed to your turn)

Look where you want to go, not what you want to avoid.

Don’t freeze…

Don’t tip your bike in early into a turn.

Late apex is always better.

Toe

CONCLUSION:

In the end, what I am trying to say is that, my worst crash came exactly when there wasn’t any external reason for me to crash. I got stupidly careless and didn’t follow my own rule to wait before tipping my bike in. But I am still riding, went to see the turn 2/3 days later and I still respect that corner properly. I try not to take it above 75kmph even now…hahhahaha….

Apart from your own mistakes, you must scan the road for stupid driver, especially, cagers, i.e. cars. I was sideswiped by cars several times and all drivers were 19 or 20, at best 23/24…so beware of those aged drivers (19 -24)…they still don’t know the rules of the road and measurement or dimensions of their ride, they never seen their ride from below…hahahahaha…certain things they must know,

  • If there is two solid line in a road, it acts like a divider which means, you cannot cross that line unless u want to park on your side (highway).
  • Watch before u open your door on the right…or on the left…hahahaha!!!!
  • In a tight spot or in traffic jam, stop turning your flywheel, cause if you don’t know, ur front wheel sticks out when u turn your flywheel…hahahahaha!!!! And that simple thing, can force me to rub my feet against my own gear lever which can in turn, twist my ankle or that gear lever head can bite deep in my flesh or even worse, can break my bone. So, please it is a car, not a bicycle or motorcycle, and treat it as such.
  • Signal properly cause it is a big ass car, you are driving.
  • Please don’t block that little space, just so that we can’t filter while in traffic jam..come on, man, what’s the point of doing that. Less traffic mean less traffic jam. We are doing you guys a favor…
  • If you want to relax while driving, please don’t try to overtake another car.
  • If you are driving with your GF and want to show your skill then please do it in some place safe. Cause your mistake will only damage your pride and car but others will pay the price in a much more serious way.

Again, thanks to them who squeeze out a little space for us to let us pass in traffic jam or in red lights. Thanks to them who showed us some real skill, I mean the motorcyclist…hahahahaha…just kidding!!!

We, motorcyclist, always come from nowhere, cause the tiny dot on your side view mirror is us and it may seem like a long distance but we will cross that space before u open that door and give your foot outside or before you make that turn…come on, it is a motorcycle, only 153 kg in compare with your 1200 -1300 kg, power to weight ratio is almost similar (stock 2015 Allion 0.04 & Fazer NFI 0.038), but it will take forever to reach 60 in those alien, corolla or whtever you are driving because of high air drag, any bike will beat you to that, so why??? Please, don’t get me wrong, it may be a small mistake to you but I may lose my bone, skin or even more for that little mistake…pay attention to us, please…we ride motorcycle because we love it and we can’t afford jetplane..

And lastly, my motorcyclist brother, there is a fine line between smart and stupid…be smart, don’t be stupid like me…I learned that with lots of mistake by losing some skin and blood. But you all can avoid that just by watching the road. Trust me, it isn’t others that cause us to do something silly, it is us who put ourselves in danger in perfectly good condition…so stay safe by wearing protective riding gear (gloves, shoe, helmet minimum)…certain things we must know,

  • Watch those wires in the road. Cause when you are turning, it may catch you off guard.
  • Heat gives us more grip. But oil, sand, water is our enemy number one.
  • Driving fast can give you more tire heat but braking hard will give you even more.
  • If u see a child (5 to 10) mile away from you (even with their mother, holding their hands, cause you don’t know when she will just let him run for crossing the road), drive as slowly as possible. Trust me, you don’t want that in your conscious where you can avoided something but because of your carelessness, you could not.
  • Be very careful of those street dogs or cats dead or alive, especially at nights…
  • Know your ride.
  • Know the meaning of max torque and max power. But mostly try to feel you ride and enjoy..

New hazards will always be there to surprise us…

Remember, you can scratch the road with your footpeg and that’s your limit, so lean more in a turn. Higher speed will allow you to lean inside your turn radius but at lower speed, you will turn in the opposite direction of your bike. Hope to cover it in details in my next article…till then, ride safe…

Bye…

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