Jump to content

Object in road


GelStra

Recommended Posts

Here’s the scenario: I’m riding on the freeway at about 70 – 75 MPH. As I come around a gradual curve, there is a piece of lumber, probably a 2 X 4 laying in the lane. It is laying at about a 45 degree angle with respect to the direction of travel. It is crossing almost the whole lane. Fortunately, due to training and growing experience, I smoothly counter steered my way around it, no worse for the wear. However, I was able to do this as I had room in the lane with which to work.

As I thought about it, I wondered how it might have transgressed if I had had to go over it instead of around it. In the training classes, they show you how to ride over a piece of wood, but it’s always at a 90 degree to travel. I can’t visualize how it would turn out if, as in this case, the wood was at a 45 degree angle. I think back to crossing railroad tracks at an angle and it is always taught to try and get as close to 90 degrees as possible. In this case, that would have been almost impossible as I was approaching it at 135 degrees. I had no time to do a quick S-turn to cross it perpendicularly. (see attached)

Would the wood have slid out from under me since I was approaching from such an angle? Would I have been fine due to momentum? Will L.A. ever have a football team again?

Sorry if I seem like I’m over analyzing this, but training made my reaction reflex and smooth and uneventful. I’d like to have the reaction already thought out for the future so that I don’t panic and make things worse. Thanks for your input.

713056-Objectinroad.jpg.f56fba3871077649ce046438340ace4d.jpg

Link to comment
Would the wood have slid out from under me since I was approaching from such an angle?

If I had to guess, I'd say probably not.

 

With any luck, none of us will have to find out. grin.gif

Link to comment

My thoughts being a 2 x 4 if you had to run over it at the line you have drawn the momentum would take you over it with little difficulty provided  you were prepared with a little leg preload??

 

It's usually when unprepared for such a hop that a rider will over react making a jerking motion after they have gone over it (reaction time)

 

Now it it were a 4 x 4 all bets are off!!!! Oh yeah don't forget a nice slathering of oil / antifreeze dopeslap.gif

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

If there is NO opening to go around it, and NO way to stop before hitting it, I would try to keep the bike straight, add throttle to keep the front light, and hold on REAL TIGHT to the steering to keep it straight. In the meantime I would keep in my mind all my fingers crossed grin.gif

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Up on the pegs, gas it and pull back on the bars just as the front wheel gets there. The most important thing being up on the pegs. A great argument for keeping the balls of your feet on the pegs while riding and a great argument against any form of "highway" peg.

 

Your front wheel can be made to roll over anything less than its radius provided you have the momentum although a 2x4 is certainly easier than say a cinder block.

 

Getting up on the pegs will allow the bike to pivot underneath you and the suspension won't be forced to cope with the additional mass of your a$$ on the seat. You will also lower the c.g. of the bike a bit which will add to stability. Yes, loose on the bars but be ready to catch a "kick" from the front wheel.

 

As your tire pinches the chunk of wood between the road and itself, it will kinda plant the wood in place so I wouldn't be over concerned with it sliding out. Worst case, it would kinda squeegie it off to the side a bit and then later climb it.

 

With the stability of a modern bike and the combined gyroscopic effects of the wheels and forward momentum of the machine, it would have to get pretty darn far out of shape before you managed to dump it.

Link to comment

Lock the rear wheel and lay the bike down . . . OK just kidding. grin.gif

 

Seriously I think Paul's advice is quite sound. Probably the worst thing you could do would be to clamp on the binders while trying to cross. At that point you may run the risk of the wood skidding at which point all bets would be off. I'd consider getting up on the pegs a little too and maintaining speed as Paul said.

Link to comment

Just recently Ken H. and I have been talking about the "Master Yoda" type riding position, weight forward, balls of feet on pegs. Interesting how this relates. I do notice how well the bike pivots under you and how prepared you are with weighting the pegs. Thanks.

Link to comment

How was the traffic at the time of this incident?

 

Something that probably should also be mentioned is the maintaining of a high visual horizon. In order to be able to avoid hazards, it's necessary to be able to see them in time to be able to safely go around them.

Link to comment
Shawnee Bill

Recently my son asked me about the MSF Advanced Rider class, I told him one of the things they taught was how to ride over a 2x4, he thought that was the funniest thing he ever heard. Couldn't figure any way or angle a 2x4 would affect a modern M/C.

 

I have ran over a few similar objects at speed with no affect on the M/C. The only thoughts I ever have when that happens is what if "it" pops up and hits my foot or leg.

 

On the other hand, crossing RR tracks at an angle spooks me somewhat, especially if they are not at the exact height as the surrounding pavement.

Link to comment
On the other hand, crossing RR tracks at an angle spooks me somewhat, especially if they are not at the exact height as the surrounding pavement.

I only get nervous if the angle is sharper than ~60 degrees or so to my line of travel. Then I try to get the bike as perpendicular as possible to the tracks before going over.

Link to comment

How was the traffic at the time of this incident?

Traffic wasn't bad and, since I was in the HOV lane, I had an extra margin of room on my right. I was thinking how it might have cause the car to my right to pucker a little. But, I doubt they even were paying attention and it was over very quickly.

As I mentioned, I was coming around a bend so I didn't have much time. It was basically see, swerve right, straighten up, and carry on.

Link to comment

I ran over a piece of chainlink fence one evening a while back. It came spinning out from under a car and I didn't have much warning. Caught up on the side & center stand and stopped the rear wheel. It stalled the bike even though I was moving along at a pretty good pace.

 

I skidded/steered the bike mostly out of the travel lane (4-lane freeway) before I came to a full stop. The most dangerous part of the whole ordeal IMHO was trying to untangle the mess from under the tire while holding the bike up with one hand, and watching for traffic - I very nearly ditched the bike to run for the guardrail more than once. (I love my flashing brake light!)

 

I blame myself entirely for sliding down the road on that bit of trash, however. I'd seen the traffic acting hinky, and failed to make (adequate) adjustments to my placement and speed to make it a non-event.

 

I would prefer to have avoided it (as Paul did the 2x4) but I'm really glad for all the seat time I've spent on dirt bikes, else it might have been ME throwing sparks instead of the chainlink!

 

G

Link to comment

ARGH! I'm just glad you didn't hit the COUCH eek.gif I ran into in my car! The pisser is that, on the bike, I could've ridden around it it. See, guns don't kill people, friggin' couches scare the ____ outta you!

 

 

 

Or whatever Leslie said. grin.gif

Link to comment
Recently my son asked me about the MSF Advanced Rider class, I told him one of the things they taught was how to ride over a 2x4, he thought that was the funniest thing he ever heard. .......

 

Like most of the stuff in the MSF course its about technique. You can use the same technique to surmount that 4x4 mentioned elsewhere. The important thing about this and the railroad track is to have the bike completely upright when you cross. It is better to hit the obsiticle at an angle while upright than to hit it while leaned over in an effort to make the crossing perpendicular.

 

While upright your momentum will carry you right acoss, normally without a problem. If you are leaned over in a turn/swerve (and it doesnt take much) the side forces are likly to take the bottom right out from under you when you cross that unstable board or the slick steel of the track.

 

yankee Dog

Link to comment
Recently my son asked me about the MSF Advanced Rider class, I told him one of the things they taught was how to ride over a 2x4, he thought that was the funniest thing he ever heard. .......

 

 

Like most of the stuff in the MSF course its about technique. You can use the same technique to surmount that 4x4 mentioned elsewhere. The important thing about this and the railroad track is to have the bike completely upright when you cross. It is better to hit the obsiticle at an angle while upright than to hit it while leaned over in an effort to make the crossing perpendicular.

 

While upright your momentum will carry you right acoss, normally without a problem. If you are leaned over in a turn/swerve (and it doesnt take much) the side forces are likly to take the bottom right out from under you when you cross that unstable board or the slick steel of the track.

 

yankee Dog

Wow sometimes I do it right. While taking an ERC course a few weeks back the guy in front of me (my husband) kicked the 2x4 so it was at a 45 degree angle for me. I was coming at it from a curve so I did a half "S" to try and get to 90 degree as best as I could, straightened up from lean, up on the pegs, leaned back to lighten the front and popped over it. Oh yeah said a little prayer too. grin.gif Of course I was going a lot slower speed than if I'd been on the freeway. I actually looked like I knew what I was doing grin.gif

Link to comment
While taking an ERC course a few weeks back the guy in front of me (my husband) kicked the 2x4 so it was at a 45 degree angle for me.

 

Uh, did he recently take out a large insurance policy on you? grin.gif

Link to comment
Shawnee Bill
Recently my son asked me about the MSF Advanced Rider class, I told him one of the things they taught was how to ride over a 2x4, he thought that was the funniest thing he ever heard. .......

 

Like most of the stuff in the MSF course its about technique. You can use the same technique to surmount that 4x4 mentioned elsewhere.

yankee Dog

 

I agree, I should have worded that post a little better, my son is a pretty good motorcrosser and woods rider so the idea of even noticing something like a 2x4 struck him as funny.

However, we had that conversation while waiting for his mother to finish her final test of the Beginners course. She passed but the 2x4 worried her every time she rode over it. She was very happy that they taught her how to react to obstacles in the road.

Link to comment

I heard my name called!!

 

Hey, cool, Paul, and Ed... that you found MYRP was about being Poised... physically ready to take any action.

 

But... "... keeping the balls of your feet on the pegs...". Uh... Nope. That's Track Stuff. It's a lower state of Poised for times where the foot controls are more certainly not needed. Tracks don't have the surprises Street does. And Track calls for more and faster body movement from side to side than Street, which is easier more quickly done with balls of feet on pegs because that promotes the use of the fast extensor (straightening) thigh muscles, the quadriceps. Comfort is not a big concern at the Track.

 

On the Street, MYRP is about Comfort as well as Poise. MYRP is about a total body position, based in a torso angle with a straight or slightly arched (shoulders rearward) back, that keeps weight and pressure off the bars and grips. Help for keeping the back erected that way comes through support from the legs. But, its the side and back thigh muscles that are used. That's because those are endurance muscles. One can still be poised and use the legs to support movement, but not as quickly -- which is appropriate to Street Pace.

 

The Drill is to to do half squats with the heels flat on the floor to learn, train, and strengthen the use of those muscles. "Pre-heels", the notch in front of boot heels, are what should be in contact with the pegs.

 

That also allows the front of the feet to cover the gear and brake lever -- important to handling "surprises" on the Street that are mostly absent at the Track.

 

 

As for riding over an impediment like the mentioned angled 2x4, first slow down. Drop from 75 to 55 at least. Consider the situation is going to evolve much like being in back and forth gusty winds: The edge(s) of the road are really the principle danger and worry. Falling is of course something to be avoided, but leaving the roadway's lane, on the bike or off it, is where the greatest danger to life lies. So concentrate there.

 

Gustiness brings about sudden path diversion. Folks believe the higher speeds help this because the speed produces "stability". It's true that speed enhances the gyro effect of the wheel assemblies - but that is only valuable to keep the bike upright. My experience shows that 55 mph produces a value of that "uprighting force" that's beyond what's required by any external circumstance. That's more than enough.

 

The negative side of speed-gyro-force is it makes the front wheel difficult to turn about its vertical axis (as in the direction of a whole bike lateral turn). Unless we get the front wheel turned, the whole bike will not turn. Until we get the front wheel turned, the whole bike will not turn.

 

The fact is that the faster the bike is moving forward, the more time it takes to get it turned -- and lets say "from an unwanted diversion from a chosen path". Wind will produce such a path diversion. It will divert us toward the lane's edge. The faster we are going, the more difficult it will be to get it turned back to a lane-bound path, and the more time it will take.

 

The more time it takes to get back to "lane path", well... the faster the bike is going the further it gets toward or beyond lane's edge in a unit time. Faster -- beyond a stablilty and control enhancing speed -- is less helpful in the face of unwanted diversions.

 

Running over a rock - or a 2x4 - is likely to produce a path diversion. From perhaps 35 to 55 mph enough "keeping it upright force" is present to handle the "tilt" such an impact might cause. We're then left with handling the path diversion. "Slower" is better in that regard.

 

And remember, slower is also a friend in that it calls for less traction to make changes, and that in turning, it's calling for lessened lean angles. These factors too may come into play in dealing with an impediment impact diversion.

 

Best wishes.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Funny that, I actually find the feet on the pegs thing to be the most comfortable position. Trick is to learn to relax those big ol' muscles when they are not needed. That, and a whole bunch of training and stretching to make things feel natural. I have also customized my seating and seat to peg relationship to allow the position for extended periods. Adjustable rearsets that are really higher and further behind the stock pegs. I got them cause my right knee will not tolerate quite the same degree of bend for extended periods that my left will. Right peg is 1/2" or so forward of the left and about the same down.

 

Given that both the VFR and the Blackbird share a very nice, analog, linked braking system, the urgency for me to apply the rear brake is somewhat lessened. Times when my spidey sense kicks in and I get uncomfortable about the developing situation find my feet and hands moving to the proper position over the controls with no real thought on my part. Comes from riding nearly every day for the last 5 years or so.

Link to comment

Dick, my hero! I have been studying your posts about MYRP as my lower back is in agony and I'm trying to find balance and strength while riding. Let's do a breakfast ride so I can have you show me in person.

Your student.

Paul

Link to comment
Francois_Dumas

Not wanting to be a 'wise guy' in front of all the gathered experience and wisdom here...... but perhaps in complementing Dick's remarks above we were taught that one DOES have to keep the baals of the feet on the pegs in one other occasion; doing slow sharp turns.

 

It was pointed out to me by my instructors especially after my toes touched the ground frequently when practicing the mandatory 360's, U-turns and 8's on the training grounds.

 

But then again, perhaps that rule only goes for people like me with a shoe size of 10,5 ? wink.giftongue.gif

 

Otherwise good advice.. I need to do more training though... my legs were hurting on long trips... until I could not support myself very well anymore.. and then my back started hurting crazy.gif

 

Cheers!

F.

Link to comment

Francois, don't feel too bad. Legs hurting on LONG TRIPS = riding a lot. I put that in the "good thing" category! thumbsup.gif Sharing those rides with us: priceless. clap.gif

Link to comment

Francois, you bring up some good points. Foremost, yes, people can be "taught" to ride corners with the balls of their feet atop the foot pegs. That's a darned shame.

 

As an educator, very seldom a Teacher, instead most often as an Instructor or Trainer, I've learned that folks get taught, and accept (learn), quite a few things that are apparently True, that end up not serving people as well as is needed - because they are inappropriate in certain contexts. The point about "apparently True" and not just True is that much like the typical oath given/taken by those giving testimony in American legal proceedings, we're after being aware of what Truth really is: "I swear (or affirm) the testimony I shall give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (... so help me God). Truth is not something that's true sometimes (the first use of "true" in the oath, John and Allen were not together when [see the word "when"], when in fact they were the day in question), nor only true in certain circumstances, absent other actions that were taking place ("the whole truth", John didn't just close the door, he did so right when Allen approached it), nor only true when looked upon certain ways or in combination with other (variable) facts ("nothing but the truth", John closed the door right as Allen approached it but did not curse at Allen as was testified to).

 

This relates to motorcycling, or any other Dynamic Art, in that "Rules" get passed around rather than Policies. Folks sometimes try to create rules that really are always true, but because of the Infinity of the universe, are not going to address all circumstances. But, most what I see is Rules that do not go far enough down the stream of Outcomes and up the streams of possible inputs ("Causes") to be considered Due Diligence, and appropriate for such things as... safety measures. The sense of Rules, "Musts", "Must Always", is dangerously not life-serving because they will not be addressing all contexts encountered... and prove more dangerous the more danges which lay in the environment faced. In "tiddly-winks", it doesn't make very much difference how "true" a "rule" is because nobody can get hurt except for a broken finger nail, or a strained back from bending over to play the game. Things like Motorcycling are quite different in their danger component(s), and are worthy of a better approach to guiding actions than Rules offer.

 

An original "teaching" statement could be like, "It's best to ride through corners with the balls of the feet on the foot pegs". It's not always true. But worse, the "learner" can also add things that even the teacher did not intend to imply: "It's always best to ride corners on the balls of the feet." Now, even if the teacher intended only a guideline, the learner has created an Adamant Rule. Quite often, we do that... to one degree of adamancy or another.

 

It is certainly not "best" to have one's toes on the pegs when one needs to shift or use the rear brake - as is very common in Street riding, especially when faced with the danger of an impediment in the roadway, or a mistakenly too fast an entry speed. It is hardly ever best to maintaining ones sense of the longitudinal attitude and direction of travel of the bike to have the feet anything other than aligned with the chassis centerline, and "flat" to enhance that (subliminal) sense. Not only that, there are at least two other reasons to keep the feet as flat as possible and toes over the controls and pointed straight ahead, and as well, at least two other "body parts" that are usually best kept aligned with the chassis centerline (the femur and the spine).

 

 

I ride with the intention to create and maintain that foot placement and alignment. However, like you, once in a while I find particularly the outside edge of my left boot (US size 10/EU 44-45) scraping the pavement when riding the FJR. Ooops!!!

 

It's "Ooops" for at least two reasons. First, every time it has happened, I note I have either not kept my toe pointing straight forward, or my entire foot is at the outside of the peg, way farther away from the chassis than it could be, where instead it would serve me better, and is in fact neither less comfortable nor affords greater control or even "feel" being so far from the chassis. But even more telling, even more importantly, When that scrape happens, I am leaning the bike too far, and going too fast through the corner... for my own sense of Prudence. I'm glad it scraped because I am not carrying out my intention of keeping speed at levels at which I'm certain I can control the bike and conduct my responsibilities to self and others!!! Not only am I screwing up (with my foot placement), I'm really screwing up!!. I thank the gods for that warning and reminder - one that would never come with the balls of my feet atop the foot pegs. So, you might look upon that foot as my own Street version of a racer hanging off and using his knee puck as a danger gauge. I've got a helpful, life-serving Policy working for me here.

 

 

Well, rather than what's True, what Rule about foot placement, what's a good Policy, a helpful guideline to strive toward attaining and/or maintaining?

 

How about: "To the extent no detriment is encountered, strive to keep the feet level atop the controls so they can be operated promptly and effectively, kept in toward the bike centerline so as to minimize incidents of contact with the pavement, and with the toes pointed straight forward to promote a sense of body and bike alignment with the roadway." Now add, "...mindful that circumstances might arise that could be better met with a different foot placement."

 

So, I'm laying out a way, for myself, and offering it to you, and you-all, to gain, gain, some help in riding by foot placement and alignment, that other "ways" do not offer; To gain a "pre-peg-feeler" that helps me act consistent with my intention about the aspect of my cornering speeds that is part of my responsibility to myself and others; To moderate negatives like boot scraping that distracts my attention from controlling me and the bike, when through inappropriate placement "the" danger lever is not in fact being reached; That provides a ready acceptance from cues that a different method might be appropriate to the circumstances being presented in the present time and place. Doing this, going about it this way, seems to me to be to put the best method(s) forward to meet the most likely circumstances, and not only allows but urges change when it's found the circumstances turn out to be outside that realm of most likely.

 

 

Chose what you wish. And, best wishes with your choice.

Link to comment
Dick, my hero! I have been studying your posts about MYRP as my lower back is in agony and I'm trying to find balance and strength while riding. Let's do a breakfast ride so I can have you show me in person.

Your student.

Paul

Owwwww.

 

Paul, when I read that I feel anxious and discomforted at a sense I gain that doesn't match my need for respect due to all people, and the fairness of peerage. Between you and me, I'm certain of our mutual respect, and I do get the loving regard with which you made your remark, but darn but the web, and the world, leads us to sometimes engage in in a Deference out of supposed politeness that's not the life-serving thing I want to see.

 

Two folks in any kind of relationship share equal things, the core of which are experiences, and mostly values like care, respect, honesty, honor, and community/communion, the stuff that make up the bonds of "friendship" - all at equal levels. At this "core of sameness", neither person is more important than the other; There is no hierarchy, no dominance. There is peerage.

 

What differs between you and me, or between any two people is their experience, and the result of that as it might produce different understanding and skills. That stuff is only of potential value until it's put into action. And, they only attain greatest value when they're passed on, and then two people have those understandings or abilities... adding to what's the same about them, huh? That builds an even greater or broader peerage.

 

Looked at that way, flat, level, we can get the sense, and can operate... as peers. There is no "higher-archy", no greater value of one person over another. Perhaps the things each person has, knows, or can do, might prove more useful (valuable) in a given context, in some up-coming circumstance, but as Folks, they are peers.

 

Absent the sense of peerage, a "student" can fail to gift "the teacher" with life-serving experiences, understandings, or skills (or levels of those) that would not only benefit the teacher, but others nearby as well. And, I as a teacher/instructor, would love to have the best/greatest/fullest to pass on as gifts to others. Hierarchy, and limiting our sharing out of a sense of it, is something that can deny me, and the rest of us, such things, such additional blessings and gifts.

 

So, if you promise to look upon things more like that (actually express them more that way), more from Peerage, I'd be happy to share what I know and can do about Riding Position, and how some of the many aspects of that might be used to improve a Rider's enjoyment of Riding.

 

Perhaps RoyDog would join us as I know he's very fond of Playing With Riding Stuff. Get Ol' Chicken Hawk Steve: He'd be a great breakfast candidate since I think he likes eggs. Maybe you know some other's too who'd like to spend an hour or so in a Tutorial setting at a shaded parking lot on a Saturday morning. I can imagine having a lot of fun sharing and gaining increased understandings. Especially if there's a quiet street or road nearby, and super especially if there's a moderate speed corner to help extend the sense of certain position's and action's assistance.

 

Therefore, "Make it so, Paul!!" blush.gif

 

Ooops. I mean, if you'd like to, perhaps you'll be willing to set something up, no matter who might be involved, and let me know. This Saturday would work for me. How about you-all? smile.gif

 

 

Best wishes.

Link to comment

a few years ago I was coming into Barstow on a ride from Denver to Santa Barbara and cruising along at 80mph following behind a semi, all three lanes packed, another semi was to my right and nothing but cars on my left.

 

suddenly out from under the semi comes this rather large looking piece of steel tubing that covered nearly the whole lane.. at roughly a 45degree angle, I had just about enough time to see it and realize I couldnt get away from it.

 

I kept my speed, stiffened up and passed right over, my handlebars violently jolted as i hit it and then poof, i was still upright headed in a forward direction.. very happy... I dont honestly know how big it was, I only had a second or so to assess the situation but it was big enough that what caught my eye first was the semi trailer making a ker-chunk as it passed over.

 

scared the bejeezus out of me.

Link to comment

heard my name called!!

 

Hey, cool, Paul, and Ed... that you found MYRP was about being Poised... physically ready to take any action.

 

But... "... keeping the balls of your feet on the pegs...". Uh... Nope.

Just to clarify, in the PM conversation Paul and I have been having, in which I do advocate balls of the feet street riding, I did not quote MYRP as such.

 

I'm not up to getting into a balls of the feet yes or no discussion at the moment, I just wanted you to know Dick that I wasn't miss-quoting you.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing...

Link to comment

Ken, thanks for clariying that. I wasn't concerned either way about your choice. I too was after clarifying, it seems among the mixture of poster's ideas that included MYRP, in my case the actual reasons behind the peg/foot position/location. I still didn't say all I feel about it though (Do we ever?).

 

The choice of contact point between pegs and feet is certainly open for riders. Ball of foot on peg is going to produce some results that some folks will choose, and I grant it can make sense to some folks while within corners. It's a choice that makes braking and shifting less immediately available when encountering objects in the road - the thrust of this thread.

 

For the long haul, for the major distance of riding - straight stretches - I'd still like to see the pre-heel there on the pegs because it does take less energy, and uses those muscles that tire less easily. But, out on the long haul I too will will contact the pegs with the ball if for no other reason than the circulation enhancing position change.

 

Best wishes.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

I would tend to agree with the pre-heel thing for long trips although I have chosen to customize my seat to peg and body position to lean more towards the balls of the feet on the peg thing. Dick is, of course, familiar with Honda's linked brake system which allows application of the front brake to add some rear brake as well. Given that I am also a big advocate of the "ta DUM" braking method for emergency braking, where the rear brake is, in fact, applied first followed by the front brake and then both brought to as near threshold as required, it makes sense to have the feet so positioned.

 

However, there are distinct advantages to riding with the balls of the feet on the pegs. Chief among them being that it is much easier, as a matter of physiology, to get yourself "light in the seat" on those far more frequent occasions when one encounters severe dips, or bumps, in the road. Secondarily, with the feet on the balls of the pegs, peg weighting, in aid of rapid change of direction, is greatly enhanced for the same physiological reasons. It is for those reasons, I tend to prefer riding the majority of the time with the balls of my feet on the pegs. It does take some training to get the muscle groups strong enough to sustain the position for any lenght of time. Oddly enough, my rearsets actually help with this as I find a more forward and lower peg position leads quickly to fatigue when trying to maintain my feet as I desire.

 

In addition, my controls, both brake and shifter are adjusted to accomodate my preference so movement is somewhat minimized. The higher and more rearward footpeg location brings with it the loss of that early warning sign of the outer toe of a boot touching down which is something of a disadvantage. There are no peg feelers either in that if I touch down a peg it is likely because I have crashed already and just don't know it yet. The lean angle attainable with these pegs would have me well off the edge of the tire before the peg touched down. Since I normally set my entry speed while cornering and choose the gear for that corner well before the actual entry point, I seldom have to use either of the controls available during cornering, making the need to quickly reach them moot. I'm usually back on the gas, maintaining neutral throttle or a slight acceleration while cornering and with the margins I maintain, it is a simple matter to apply a bit of front brake, even while well leaned over should I need to adjust my speed. That's just me and the way I get from A to B with my well being intact.

Link to comment

Ken & Dick,

As I was trained as a chef in a former chapter of my history, I am used to the concept of ingredients and methods equaling outcome. In this case, I found similarities (ingredients) from MYRP that seemed to blend quite nicely with suggestions of long distant riding comfort from Ken's PM's. At this time, due to a pleasant case of sciatica bncry.gif, I have been unable to truly "taste" the proper result. My short range goal, however, has been to merely grasp a more balanced posture that doesn't worsen the current situation. Long term, I would love to see Dick again and experience his wisdom in person. (Breakfast and some great riding wouldn't be bad either! grin.gif)

So, if I am improperly combining ingredients, bear with me. I am not trying to speak for others, only to try to come to some sense of clarity in my own mind. In cooking, I know what is essential to a tasty dish and what isn't. With riding, I am only a mere freshman classmate and, as I have with so many things on this DB, am trying to become a sponge for the vast knowledge, experience, and wisdom that exists here. As I close in upon my 1,000th post, one might notice that the vast majority of threads I have started have been questions. The eagerness with which members here have responded has made my experience with motorcycling so much richer.

I'm still quite an immature pup with respect to riding, so bear with me if I accidentally chew your shoes. I'll get better. I promise. Thanks to all of you.

Link to comment

Ed, you brought up some true points about riding on the balls of our feet, but I want to stop short of calling them better.

 

However, there are distinct advantages to riding with the balls of the feet on the pegs. Chief among them being that it is much easier, as a matter of physiology...

 

The truth in the statement is actually: "Most people find it easier to..." That's because most people do not consciously use the muscles at the side and rear of the thigh for "sitting" support duties, though they are the principle elements in standing up stably.

 

The fact that people don't commonly use those muscles for sitting support does not mean they cannot, and it does not mean that they are not faster, stronger, and more enduring at all the tasks called for while riding. The truth is: "...as a matter of physiology..." you supply no supporting evidence. There is in fact three times the muscle mass than the quadriceps available. It contains largely slow twitch muscles, but also contains a sufficient quantity of fast twitch muscles to get the job done when combined with the slow twitch ones. And, because of the amount of work to be done, both speed and power are required of the quadriceps, so they will tire faster because of the high dual demand, and the lesser muscle mass.

 

All that prevents a Rider from retaining the same speed and facility of movement, while gaining power and endurance is that they do not use the side and rear muscles. Simple, huh?

 

How to get from "using less" to "using more" is Training. One trains to use the other muscle sets not only to support a long term near static position, but also to do what's required to support lateral movement. Anyone I've trained, is right away doing the drill of press down on the pegs before corner entry, and flop the elbows to prove the torso is being supported by the legs only and not the arms. They can lift themselves right off the seat. And the whole point of training up is to always ride with a light pressure on the pegs that always does allow a quick "stand up".

 

Since I normally set my entry speed while cornering and choose the gear for that corner well before the actual entry point...

 

My here point has not been about engine braking or trail braking or not - set the entry speed you estimate is proper however you wish, and I'll do that as I wish.

 

The point I've made is about after entry to the corner. You don't mention anything at all about how being on the balls of your feet help a rider slow with the more stable rear brake application to avoid obstacles. Front braking is much more dangerous in the likelihood of producing an unrecoverable slide. When it doesn't it does make the bike stand up, both changing the bike line and destabilizing the chassis. The chassis must get stabilized again before and diverting (obstacle avoidance) control input can take effect. Rear braking does not do that, and rear braking is as far away in time as the toes is away from the brake pedal.

 

Now Ed, I admit you are very much experiencing something different that what I've just said. I feel certain that's because of the rear set location of your personal foot pegs. You've moved them in a direction that at the knee bend they induce, the side and rear thigh muscles are not able to "un-kink" your knees as quickly as the quadriceps (There was a reason I prescribed only half squats. They also cannot help greatly with support of the torso because their force vector will be tilted too far forward. The force vector must be at or in front of the center of mass (moment, actually, or CG) of the torso, head, arms, and hands (and ring, wrist watch and gloves, plus the dirt under your finger nails grin.gif).

 

Our Light Touring, Sport Touring, and Dual Sport readers are on bikes not so Sport Oriented. Even your and my VFR's, though my '05 more so, have quite forward pegs so that along with these other class bikes, side and rear thigh muscles are hugely serviceable in meeting both our long term comfort, and even both short term speed and comfort. Just practice half-squats with heels down, and then keep at using what it took to do them while riding.

 

Best wishes.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

You are, as usual, correct. I should have ended my sentence with better for me rather than just better. After all the years of power lifting I have done, I hope never to have to do another half squat for the remainder of my time on this earth. I am all too familiar with the transition between the back and front of the thighs when moving the torso around. I'm also a little shorter in inseam, carrying more of my height in my torso than most.

 

During my ride today, about 600 miles of slab, I'll take a little more careful note of how I am maintaining foot position and pressure. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that I'm using the muscles you describe. Again, the training thing comes into play. I really don't feel any leg muscle or joint fatigue on long rides but that may be because my normal work day finds me on my feet a majority of the time with a lot of climbing up and down kick steps, kinda like a stair master.

 

Of course, I'm riding the Blackbird, which has a radically different riding position than the RT's and the like, even more so with the rearsets, so my findings may not apply to the majority here anyway.

Link to comment

Ed, I'd be interested in what you find.

 

Your mention of your unique shapes/sizes, and some history of your body use and how that might bring about what we in a sports sense generically call "your Condition", brings to mind what I see are helpful factors and insights about Riding Position. Things like flexibility and current muscle strength are large players in what exact positions work for people when faced the the distinct ergonomics of bike models.

 

I'm still astonished at how much better I feel after any distance Ride from 50 to 800 miles in a day on my VFR than on any bike I've owned . What is continually pentrating my consciousness as I Ride is that the foot pegs seem so far forward: Looking on down the road, I actually have a (mental) vision of my feet being ahead of my eyes. That's not true - by a long shot.

 

I believe what's going on is in the facts that peg location, as met by my personal physiology (leg length, hip flexibility, et. al.), my light, continuous downward pressure on the pegs is producing an optimum value of tension level within each muscle right along the perfect muscle path to support my upper body, and its doing so in a way that produces a sensation along that path; It's palpable. For all of them, the entire muscle "feels at me". Not just the legs, but the entire back and arms down to the hands "feels at me" as one unit. I liken it to how my Germanic physiology matches to German automobile ergonomic choices: I totally fit in a Porsche, having that same sense of feeling all of my body, but now being coddled in the seat, with pedals, wheel, and controls exactly where they need to be to maintain that feeling while driving.

 

So, for my physiology, the VFR promotes doing MYRP, exceptional in doing so at the highest levels, and with optimal muscle use that was originally sought and postulated years ago when I set out with PT and other sport medicine professionals, abstract kinethesiologist, and sports trainers to meet the the goals MYRP is aimed at meeting; MYRP was never about "luck", or "a guess". However, as things have turned out for me vis-a-vis me and the VFR, I sure "got lucky": It's a Heaven-made match.

 

Since each person, each Rider, possesses a unique physiology, they are going to experience a range of overall comfort when matched with or against the ergonomics offered across a span of motorcycle models. We easily recognize that perhaps polar opposites like Cruisers and Sport Bikes are not going to be truly comfortable for many or even any of us for long distance Riding, or even sport Riding beyond a short duration. Almost all of us find an acceptably comfortable span of control and location points (ergonomics) in bike models, and most of us discover a "sweet spot" in a narrower span of those arrangements. I'm very much interested in how we might expand that "sweet spot": What can we change that will make life a better experience, on the bike at least though perhaps after a Ride?

 

Certainly we can make changes to the controls and locators on most bikes. Parts are available that move the postion of the grips, change seat, size, shape, height and fore/aft location, angle and texture (stickiness), change grip size, shape, texture, and hardness, change muscle use/tension via throttle rockers, and resistor/lockers (not much by cruise controls), change hand and foot control shape and size, and change foot peg height and fore/aft location. All these and more, perhaps like wind support items, are available not only just to "bring us more comfort." I'm certain we need to also look upon this "generic focus" on comfort, and look upon these Hardware variables as Stimuli that cause or lead us to use different muscles, and also to use those muscles differently. Consider that a fat grip versus a thin one brings into play an entirely different section of the same muscles to twist the throttle. More expert Golfers know that golf club grip diameter has a profound effect on grip tension, which in turn affects flexibility at the hand/arm juncture or wrist, and thus club head speed and thus distance the ball can be struck with a given club. Which muscles, which parts of them, and how tension there carries on and affect muscle groups on either side of that muscle in the chain used to maintain position or exert control of the bike is both a "deep science", and one that's available to even the casual Rider - if they will take the time to examine "how things feel". That's very much a part of my next suggestion, but is highly valid here about changing controls and locators. This "Hardware" not only affects "joint postion", but can greatly affect how we Riders operate our "Firmware", the muscles of our body. Make some Hardware changes, or try them out on other folk's bikes and don't stop at the overall sense of how does it feel. Take the time to tense all the body's muscles and then relax them several times. Now, what you feel is the muscles, and the parts of them that are holding your postion. What might you like to change about that Feel which further Hardware changes might affect? How might this aid our long distance comfort, our control in corners, and elevate the effectiveness of our response to oad obstacles and situations we are assuredly going to encounter?

 

Training is the path to making direct changes to our Firmware, the muscles we use to conduct the tasks of Riding. In this realm, Training is not about "getting stronger" alone. We can surely build and strengthen muscles to better do the work we need done while Riding - once we've identified what truly is used and could use improvement. Many of us grasp how to go about identifying and then working those muscles, groups, and specific aspects. Otherwise, good sports trainers can be helped to understand our problems and define and refine methodologies for improvement. But, I've found that just as importantly, whether one's personal "strength" is an issue or not. we can (and "must") train ourselves to actually use the muscles, and the proper aspects or sections of them, that bring us optimal benefit. MYRP write-ups contain simple "exercises" that are not just, or even, about building strength, but rather about helping us identify, by feel what muscles and parts are going to give us the most help - And then to use those. The flip side of that is what should we also stop using? I find all Riders have far too much useless and unhelpful muscle tension when Riding. Some of it arises when Muscle B, Part 3 of 7 gets tired (perhaps from poor postion or poor other muscle use), and Muscle B, Parts 2, 3, 4, and 6 get fired to compensate. But, more often, the Rider started off firing those unneeded pieces and is bringing unnecessary fatigue and lack of flexibility (movement) to the game right up front. Muscle Relaxation Exercises are a great help. Folks like Laney and Peter Chambliss have found that particularly the stretching part of Yoga have been a great help in attaining and maintaining comfort while Riding - MYRP has gotten easier for them. I too like Yoga, but have developed a set of stretches that suit my particular needs in warding off fatigue, and also regain control of my muscle use when used during mid-Ride breaks. I also attempt, though not with anywhere near complete success, to do my stretches before getting on the bike for the day's Ride. Even when I miss out on that, Position leaps up at me as I straddle the bike, and I'll at least tense and relax all my muscles a few times before donning my gloves and Riding off. That, along with about only a minute a day of stretches and "power" exercises keep my senior citizen body flexible, strong, and familiar enough to me to keep under control. Changes to Firmware are cheap, and generally easy and convenient. And they produce benefits well beyond just Riding.

 

Training is also about, and perhaps produces it's largest benefit through, improving "Software", our mental and perhaps spiritual system(s). They are what monitor and control our actions - especially discovering, defining, and deciding (Three D's) Hardware and Firmware changes that are going to make Riding a more pleasing experience. Basic learning through reading, videos, talks and demonstrations gets turned into fuller and fuller Understanding through Training Exercises, Drills, Demonstration, and Live Practice, that repetitively exerts and refines the learned facts or factors. It puts those facts or factors under our control, and thus we might use them as we wish to improve life. While its mostly Actions were about since Motorcycling is a Dynamic Art, a physical endeavor, its always our controlling knowledge, concepts, methods and processes that bring about our physical actions. "Getting our head straight" is perhaps our greatest service to ourselves, and through us to others. Changes to Software can not only make Riding more comfortable and effective, but also open completely new doors in life.

 

 

Ed's already made some Hardware changes. He's off to work with Software and Firmware. I really want to hear what results from that. Don't you?

 

 

Best wishes.

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

Damnit! I just typed about a 4 paragraph response and got a "no longer valid" message.

 

Ok, 560 odd miles gone today, and I payed more attention to what it is I am doing.

 

The heat was pretty bad so I was stopping more often than normal to hydrate and keep my electrolytes up. I normally ride tank to tank (about 200 miles) but was stopping every hundred today.

 

First, a correction. I don't ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs but rather just a bit back from there. Call it the beginning of the arch. 70% like that, 20% with the region just forward of the heel and the remainder I'm really up on the balls but that only when attacking an on or off ramp. The only fun you get on a slab drone. Actually, I took US 19 and US 27 for the last 150 or so miles just to get a break from the boredom of the interstate.

 

Body position is as follows, using the top of the thighs as a reference.

 

Top of thighs nearly parallel to the ground with perhaps a 5 degree downward angle towards the knee.

Feet are pretty far back with the hip joint falling between the ankle bone and the calf, depending on where on the pegs I place my feet and how far rearward my butt is.

 

Torso is leaned forward at a pretty good angle with the shoulder joints perhaps 1/3 of the thigh forward of the hip joint. This places my arms such that my forearms form about a 15 degree angle to the ground with minimal to no weight on my hands. Torso seems to be supported by the muscles along side my lower back and the ones along the sides of my upper leg. At least those are the ones in which I can feel some tension while riding. There isn't really much tension at all and I had to go looking for it.

 

The head is erect and in the same position relative to the spine as if I were standing and my lower back continues to form a natural, slightly inward arch.

 

I experience no muscle fatigue or joint pain in this position and can maintain it all day. The one exception is that my Achilles tendons do tend to tighten up on me but I easily resolve that with some stretching. I have a very good friend who is a physical therapist and we have worked together to come up with some pretty good stretches and exercises. Mostly to equalize the strength of my quadraceps and hamstrings as the former are over developed from all those years of power lifting.

 

I say no muscle fatigue but did notice that at the end of today's ride, I was sitting a bit harder on the seat than at the beginning so maybe my leg muscles were tiring a bit. I do maintain a light downard pressure on the pegs in aid of keeping my butt light for control purposes more than comfort but there may be more to this.

 

I did make a hardware change to the bike yesterday. The ride was too short (only 350 miles) to evaluate it but today's ride proved the pudding. For quite some time (I have about 20K miles in the 8 months I have been riding this bike) I have been experiencing moderate to severe pain in the anterior head of my right deltoid. I attributed to having to maintian pressure against the throttle return spring and installed a Throttle Meister, which helped some. Yesterday, I raised my bars 1/4" and rotated them outward about 5 degrees. All the difference in the world. No pain in the shoulder, none. It was the angle of my grip that was forcing me to use an inappropriate muscle to operate the throttle. That small rise in the bars may well have changed, slightly, the loading on my sitting position and that could be the source of the fatigue mentioned above. It never stops.

 

BTW, Dick, I too find the VFR to be the most comfortable bike I own. I'm working on getting the Blackbird to the same ergos, slowly but surely as that motor is just too addictive to let go.

Link to comment
TWEETY BYRD

ONE THING I MIGHT ADD.WHEN WE GET THROUGH PATTING OURSELVES ON THR BACK FOR MISSING IT. DONT FORGET THE REST OF THE STUFFF IN THE RODE THAT FELL OFF THE TRUCK A SECOND LATER. BOB clap.gif

Link to comment
ShovelStrokeEd

No need to shout, Bob.

 

Of course, maintaining your scan for a clear path is important, even when negotiating the current obstacle. Not good form at all to look at it as it will tend to make you ride into it.

Link to comment
wrestleantares

A motorcycle acquaintance once told me about a cardboard TV box he saw in the road. He thought he'd be real cute on his motorcycle and kick it as he went past.

 

The TV was still in it. It had fallen out of a truck. He luckily did not break anything (other than the TV a bit more), nor did he crash.

Link to comment
Slartidbartfast

2x4 should not be a problem at almost any orientation or speed so long as you stay off the brakes. Anything much taller hit at high speed and I believe you should be prepared for the possibility of a blow-out

 

I once had the pleasure of trying to dodge a sheet of plywood which skimmed along in my lane for a seemingly endless time, gently drifting across my path as I tried to swerve around it. I wondered if it would have continued to move under me had I hit it or whether the front wheel would have instantly pinned it to the road. I suspect the edge would disintegrate in a shower of splinters and it could be crossed safely if upright and not braking. However, I am glad I did not have to find out the hard way.

 

A friend reported crossing two aluminium stepladders that flew off a vehicle in front of him. He said the impact did not throw him off course and the main damage was to his underwear.

 

A plastic trashcan recently blew out in front of me. I had zero time to react but fortunately it crushed/disintegrated and I rode straight through it, causing no disruption to stability or physical damage to the bike. Made a hell of a bang though.

Link to comment
Kevin_Stevens

Wow sometimes I do it right. While taking an ERC course a few weeks back the guy in front of me (my husband) kicked the 2x4 so it was at a 45 degree angle for me. I was coming at it from a curve so I did a half "S" to try and get to 90 degree as best as I could, straightened up from lean, up on the pegs, leaned back to lighten the front and popped over it. Oh yeah said a little prayer too. grin.gif Of course I was going a lot slower speed than if I'd been on the freeway. I actually looked like I knew what I was doing grin.gif

 

I was taking ERC and going through the directed swerve exercise - doing the acceleration run towards the coach when a big garbage bag blew across the range in front of me. Prompted a nice hard swerve to the left (always go where the obstacle CAME from), and recovered just in time for the coach to promptly give me another directed left. He found it quite amusing. smile.gif

 

KeS

Link to comment
Kevin_Stevens

Gustiness brings about sudden path diversion. Folks believe the higher speeds help this because the speed produces "stability".

 

Actually the biggest advantage of speed in windy/gusty conditions is that the greater the speed, the more the direction of the "apparent wind" affecting the bike moves towards directly ahead. The phenomenon is well-known to sailors, dogs, and small children holding their hands out car windows, and readily described in a simple force diagram.

 

KeS

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...