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The mind is a terrible thing


Lawman

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I live a rural area where most of the roads are two lane with a yellow center broken stripe and a white fog line on the right edge of each lane. There is little to no pavement to the right of the fog line. The roads are curvy so most of the road has a yellow no passing line on one side or the other of the center stripe. I can ride the center lines fairly well even riding on the right edge of the line without crossing to the left of the line. But when I try to ride the fog line the pucker factor takes over and I just can't do it..Am I alone here confused.gif

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Rocket_Cowboy

Not alone at all.

 

I think it has something to do with knowing at some level that I "have" more run-off room to the left than I do on the right, even though I don't want to use the room on the left. I might not ever use the run-off room on either side, but with me, just knowing it's there helps put me at ease.

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Hey Billy, how are you? You'll find many of us suffered or suffer from the same fear. I believe it was David that suggested riding along the fog line at a slower pace on a road without traffic as a drill to shed the fog line fear.

 

It worked for me--the fog line fear is gone. When your confidence improves, try riding the fog line around a gentle corner--again at a speed where you can maintain control and without inducing fear.

 

Practice will snuff out the fear.

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Great post, Billy!

 

Put me in the group that needs to go practice that particular skill. It's very hard for me to stay over there and that leads me to turn in much earlier than I want to. That puts me toward the center line before my sight lines are to my satisfaction. Thanks for bringing this up and reminding me of something I need to do some work on. thumbsup.gif

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Nah, you're entirely alone... Everyone else has flinched and run off the road and went through the barrier and over some tall cliff into the ocean. But no worries, it's not risky at all. tongue.gif

 

I tend to agree with rocket_cowboy's assessment, but I too have noticed it and will try the excercises mentioned above.

 

Good post. thumbsup.gif

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Francois_Dumas

I guess living all your life in a region with much fog and rain, i.e. poor visibility, helps getting accustomed to it? Also being in an area which ALWAYS has oncoming traffic will help.... most of the time we have to 'look away' as to not being blinded, meaning you use the margins of the road more often as reference point.

 

And finally, when sight is impaired for whatever reason, 'forcing' to use the foglines, one would also be forced to drive/ride slower, thereby reducing the risk of missing turn-in cues.

 

There is something else in all this that I think influences the technique though... normal curve technique means looking through the curve/corner/bend (I never know which word to use, sorry), meaning looking OVER the center line.

When you HAVE to watch the foglines you already are OFF your normal (and desired) behaviour and are NOT looking where you want to go anymore.

I think THAT is what makes you feel insecure, rather than the lines or circumstances of having to watch them ?

 

Francois

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

I think that there's more at issue with the fog line than just the run-off. There also tends to me more more debris, gravel and dirt over there as well. Especially near driveways and pull-outs.

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Calvin  (no socks)

I have logged many hours.... right of the fogline.....

 

In areas that have 12-18 inches of shoulder...its like a separate lane over there.... all mine...

On tighter roads, of course I have practiced picking a spot on the edge of the road and aim for it... hold off the turn in until I get there... and lay her in...works great on the tight stuff...

 

That is how I rode all the time before a "Ridesmart" course.... I found out I was eating up my safety margin. I ride "over there" occasionally now... My old friend is still there if I need it.....

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Bear in mind that the front wheel must out-track in order to force the bike to lean. When you're close to the centerline, there is little penalty for the front wheel out-tracking over the line.

If your tire is right up against the fog line, you'll have to steer over the line to initiate the "turn in." Not only will an excursion over the line put you over the edge, but the steeper camber at the edge of the pavement requires more out-tracking than at the road center.

 

So, approaching a left curve, you DO need to leave a little more space. And, the more aggressively you are riding, the more real estate you need to get the bike rolled into a lean.

 

There is also a psychological component. Whatever the situation, lower risk means heading toward the middle of the "envelope" not toward the edge. I can recall being VERY nervous about riding near the outer edge on a narrow pass in the Alps, with no guardrail, and a vertical drop of a few thousand meters. One gust of wind or a stray rock would be adequate to "take a dive."

 

Another part of the equation is that we often are not doing what we think we're doing. It's fairly common for riders to steer with one arm, and subconsciously resist the steering input with the other arm. In left turns your right hand is preoccupied with the throttle, and that may encourage the right arm "stiff arming" the grip. The result is that the bike doesn't seem to want to turn predictably. Try flapping your right wing approaching a left hander.

 

pmdave

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when I try to ride the fog line

I'm sure something is getting lost in translation (to Dutch) because I don't understand why you would want to ride to the far right side of your lane? Yes, when a left hand curve is coming up, but you need to move only slightly to the right of your lane, unless of course it's a sharp one or a hairpin.

 

Also riding the center line seems a not so great idea as a general style. Why not just stay in the left hand wheel track of your lane and move to the right hand wheel track when left hand curves come up?

 

wave.gif

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Francois_Dumas

The way I interpreted it (but heck, I am only half Dutch... blush.gif ) is 'using the fog line as guidance instead of the center line'... NOT actually riding near either one of them.

 

But I could be wrong.

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And I thought he meant picking a turn apex either on the centre line or fog line, for the reasons you mention. This I can relate to. But to “ride the … line” brings to mind a recreational activity for endless straights on nice days with zero traffic which doesn’t seem to correspond with the concern expressed.

confused.gif

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I think that there's more at issue with the fog line than just the run-off. There also tends to me more more debris, gravel and dirt over there as well. Especially near driveways and pull-outs.

 

 

+1 My thoughts exactly. I ride alot on roads that log and chip trucks cut corners and throw gravel on that fog line, plus Professional empty beer can throwers, gawkers, tourists tend to pull over onto the side of the roads around here just cus its worth pulling over for a look see. Then they brody a long line of gravel trying to get back into traffic.

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I can ride the center lines fairly well even riding on the right edge of the line without crossing to the left of the line.

Why would you want to ride on the yellow line?

But when I try to ride the fog line the pucker factor takes over and I just can't do it.

Why would you want to ride on the white line?

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I can ride the center lines fairly well even riding on the right edge of the line without crossing to the left of the line.

Why would you want to ride on the yellow line?

But when I try to ride the fog line the pucker factor takes over and I just can't do it.

Why would you want to ride on the white line?

 

To improve my riding skills.

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But when I try to ride the fog line the pucker factor takes over and I just can't do it.

Why would you want to ride on the white line?

To improve my riding skills.

Fair enough. Playing chicken with your mind! BTDT. clap.gif But with all the dirt (screws, nails, etc) near the white line, you are probably inviting a flat if this is part of your daily training regimen. crazy.gif

 

You seem comfortable doing this on the yellow because the opposing lane's 8' to 10' is your margin of safety. I know that statement sounds like an oxymoron but it's true. With the white line, the margin of error is probably 1' to 2'. So it's not unusual to be more wary.

 

IMHO, you are looking at the white line too close. To get it right, I would focus on a point further up the white line rather than where you are currently looking. That point moves closer to the bike on turns and moves away on straights. Slow speeds at first and build it up each day. Also throw in a some emergency braking on straights first and move up to moderate curves and serious curves (especially left handers). You'll notice a dramatic improvement in your confidence.

 

You probably know it but I'd like to point out that the white line is dirtiest near drives and left turns. cool.gif

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Why would you want to ride on the white line?

 

To improve my riding skills.

How can you do that by riding so far to the right of your lane? IMHO all you’re doing is increasing your risk for a flat tire or a wash out on the debris/sand/gravel/oil spills you’ll find there. Your position on the road is dictated by circumstances so I agree with you that you have to be able to ride everywhere within your lane, but surely you do drift over to the right of your lane when a sharp(ish) left hander is coming up? It’s an automatic response to having your eyes focussed on the farthest possible point of where on the road you’re aiming to go.
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Why would you want to ride on the white line?

 

To improve my riding skills.

How can you do that by riding so far to the right of your lane?

Because by testing your limits in a controlled environment, you can utilize those skills in an uncontrolled situation. clap.gif

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by testing your limits in a controlled environment, you can utilize those skills in an uncontrolled situation. clap.gif

I agree totally, but I would not call curvy roads with oncoming traffic such a situation. But, I have no wish at all to go on about this, I genuinely don’t understand lawman’s wish for this type of practise. With the roads in mind where I do most of my riding it seems risky and pointless. Maybe the roads are different in the US. I hope it works out well for him.

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by testing your limits in a controlled environment, you can utilize those skills in an uncontrolled situation. clap.gif

I agree totally, but I would not call curvy roads with oncoming traffic such a situation. But, I have no wish at all to go on about this, I genuinely don’t understand lawman’s wish for this type of practise. With the roads in mind where I do most of my riding it seems risky and pointless. Maybe the roads are different in the US. I hope it works out well for him.

As an example of learning a skill that involves risk, think about lane-splitting. It is definitely risky but in the post below, it might have saved my life. http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/786533/an/0/page/1#Post786533

 

I never dreamt I'd be lane-splitting traffic going the opposite direction. Riding the white line (not all the time) could have similar potential because it extends the rider's capabilities.

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Yeeha! Stephen

Aim higher! If you're puckering about getting close to the edge of the pavement, you're Target Fixing.

 

Look up. Way up... the road. Take in the big picture and you'll know where you are on the road without the jittery feel that your tire is about to slip off that edge of pavement.

 

It works... honest. thumbsup.gif

 

That's how auto racers can run so close to the wall. By the time they are close, their focus is way through the next turn.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Aim higher! If you're puckering about getting close to the edge of the pavement, you're Target Fixing.

 

Look up. Way up... the road.

 

Totally agree!

 

If you're riding at any speed while trying to maintain a steady distance (is that what you mean by practising skills?) then by the time you manage any 'corrections' you'll be several yards along the road.

 

So look well ahead, plan where you want to be, look to that point, and then as soon as the bike is heading that way look further still.

 

Imagine a bouncing ball leading you along! smile.gif Having something to look at helps - that's how fixation works - even if it's imaginary (but don't go talking to imaginary friends . . . wink.gif ).

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