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I saw my shadow today


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It was one of those moments we've all had. I was headed home on a long, straight stretch of highway and a minivan pulled up to the end of her driveway. She looked both ways and then back in my direction. I've got my brakes covered but she's just sitting there waiting. When I've closed about two thirds of the distance, she pulls out in front of me. Not a panic stop, but a definite need to downshift three gears to resume forward motion on my part. After I get straightened out and pass her, all the usual thoughts start coming. She was looking right at me and just didn't see me. I've got a hi-vis jacket and a freight train sized headlight. She just didn't see me; she didn't pull out in front of me on purpose; she's not mad at motorcyclists; she wasn't trying to cause a wreak.


That's when I noticed that I was following my shadow. Big duh moment. If my shadow is in front of me, then the sun is behind me. It doesn't have to be directly in front; if you can see your shadow, then people you are approaching have the sun in their eyes and you're even less likely to register on their mental radar.





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Good point. Glad you were riding with your thinking hat on, had the foresight and didn't trust that she had seen you.


Never thought about the shadow ahead of me, but that's another one to keep in mind.

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Wow, one more tip to add to the collection. Thanks for sharing. Glad you were aware enough to compensate for the situation.

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Good remeinder that no matter where the sun is, or isn't, in traffic expect the other vehicle to "not see" you.

Sun and low light conditions exacerbate it as you found out.

A couple of years ago Beth and I were returning home going through downtown. It wasn't dark, still light, not quite twilight.

After we passed the tall buildings we needed to turn left. Slight rise in the road to our left and we needed to turn left from a stop sign.

I looked twice, started to go left as there wasn't any traffic

when I sensed more than saw movement.

It was an older motorcycle w/no headlight on. Grayish bike w/rider wearing dark clothes, no helmet, no lights.


I didn't see the bike, literally, and I preach look twice and continue to look while you turn.

If I hadn't we would've had a situation.

As it was I felt awful, despite the bike being very difficult to see.

I'll tuck your reminder in the brain and won't be surprised to hear someone post a thank you for your advice very soon.

Best wishes.

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Calvin  (no socks)

If you had been driving a High-Visibility, flaming, flashing cement truck the outcome may have been different for the minivan. Bigger shadow = bigger consequences. It also has the Stopping distance of a 747..... Glad you controlled the outcome on this one... :thumbsup:

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Something I do in those situations is to wiggle the bike just a little in the lane. A moving (across the field of view) object attracts more attention. It's worked for me so far. Of course, it might also help that I always run my headlights, my fog lights, and a pair of PIAA 1100X driving lights.

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