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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm looking for some pointers for what to do in this situation. First off, some backround...I live in a small(ish) town in Nebraska, and am in my 3rd summer of riding. I have a ninja 500 and have left it all stock. I am licensed and am a careful rider. (There are a LOT of old farmer types who think traffic lights around here are merely a suggestion!) So yesterday, I decided to go out for a ride, and came off a back road onto the main road through town. Needless to say, while I was waiting at the intersection to turn right, several dozen motorcycles passed in front of me with their flashers on. (I still don't know what that was all about. Not a common sight around here) There were even a few cars behind with flashers too.

My first thought was that it was a poker run or something, but there were a lot of people on the side of the road that were waving and cheering, plus it was 4 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. Now I will say, it appeared to me that the riders were being respectful, and were only taking up the left lane of the road. I was riding in the right lane and going the speed limit (40 mph) and was riding next to a SUV with an older (50-60 ish) woman driving it. At first I wasn't too sure what was going on, but I realized her car was getting a lot closer to me. I honked my horn several times, but by the time I slowed down enough to get out of her way, I was almost out of road and my front tire was VERY close to her back bumper.

So my question here is what am I supposed to do? I really don't like the idea of hitting someone's car with my hand to get their attention. With my luck I would either dump my bike, or have it turn out to be the police chief's wife or something like that. I thought about following her into the parking lot and giving her a piece of my mind, but didn't think that would be such a good idea either.

I have a black bike, but do wear colorful gear, so it's not like I'm trying to be invisible or anything... Any pointers would be appreciated!
 

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to be honest i would of banged on her car and not caring who she was..its either you crashing or her getting notified that shes driving to close...
 

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I had that once on a round-a-bout. I followed the woman and started riding next to her making gestures like 'WTF were you doing?!?!'. She only raised her hand, kinda saying 'Sorry about that man, I nearly crushed you but I don't care that much'.... :(
 

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I've had that happen before on the highway. I was boxed in front and back with the car merging slowly into me running me off the road.

I try to avoid riding next to cars. If possible, I try to set it up so that if they were to merge, they wouldn't hit my bike. I might not have following distance but at least I won't get run off the road if they decide to kill me quickly instead of slowly.

BTW take a look at some of the tips that have been compiled from the members on this board
Some may help you
http://www.kawiforums.com/newbie-corner/170695-advanced-tips-street-riding-minor-things.html
 

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ALWAYS be vigilant when you are passing people or when they are passing you. You may have been in her blind spot and a lot of idiots don't head check, they just glance in the general direction of their mirror and go, fuck signals, it's not like those come standard for any "real" reason anyway, so why use them.

But seriously, best thing to do is when you see someone start drifting toward or away from you, be extra careful. You have only two (2) real choices...speed up and pass them, or slow down and let them sort it out. That is it. I don't care what people say, YOU have to make the decision so YOU can live. You CANNOT expect the person next to you not to careen into you. If you do, get a life insurance policy soon.

I almost got fucked up in my truck a few weeks ago because some guy started drifting off the road and jerked the wheel back onto the road, nearly T-boning me. I gunned it when I saw him coming at me and I made it out just fine. He ended up swerving back the other way and onto the shoulder but he would have hit me if I stayed put or tried to slow down. There was no way I was going to slow down enough going 60 for him not to hit me. This was a two lane highway and I was near his passenger door when he started drifting, so imagine how sharply he was swerving to almost broad-side me...

Banging on their car can get you killed, honking your horn will do next to no good and probably make them mad because they are too dumb to realize they almost killed you, or got closer than they needed to.
 

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ALWAYS be vigilant when you are passing people or when they are passing you. You may have been in her blind spot and a lot of idiots don't head check, they just glance in the general direction of their mirror and go, fuck signals, it's not like those come standard for any "real" reason anyway, so why use them.

But seriously, best thing to do is when you see someone start drifting toward or away from you, be extra careful. You have only two (2) real choices...speed up and pass them, or slow down and let them sort it out. That is it. I don't care what people say, YOU have to make the decision so YOU can live. You CANNOT expect the person next to you not to careen into you. If you do, get a life insurance policy soon.

I almost got fucked up in my truck a few weeks ago because some guy started drifting off the road and jerked the wheel back onto the road, nearly T-boning me. I gunned it when I saw him coming at me and I made it out just fine. He ended up swerving back the other way and onto the shoulder but he would have hit me if I stayed put or tried to slow down. There was no way I was going to slow down enough going 60 for him not to hit me. This was a two lane highway and I was near his passenger door when he started drifting, so imagine how sharply he was swerving to almost broad-side me...

Banging on their car can get you killed, honking your horn will do next to no good and probably make them mad because they are too dumb to realize they almost killed you, or got closer than they needed to.
A lot don't even check their mirrors.
 

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Not sure I understand this. If your front tyre was getting very close to her back bumper, what's to stop you from slowing a little so that she pulls in front.

Sounds as though you were initially in her blind spot by being alongside her. She wouldn't bother to look there, and might have genuinely been deaf. Certainly she should have looked, but people don't and you just have live with that and allow for it.

In any sort of situation like that, just slow down early.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey all, thanks for the tips. They are much appreciated!

Rob, I may have not been all that clear what happened. We were roughly side by side, and by the time I realized she was planning to merge into my lane (Not just drifting over the line) I didn't have much time to slow down without feeling like I was going to lock up my back tire. By the time she was all the way over, my front tire was less than a foot from her back bumper. Needless to say, I was not amused!
 

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I didn't have much time to slow down without feeling like I was going to lock up my back tire.
This particular situation called for a firm progressive front-only braking. Allows you to slow down rather quickly without worrying bout the rear.

And before anyone starts the whole "oh rear this, front that, useless, blahblah", ride the Ninja 500 first. Their rear tires are very easy to lock.
 

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Ok all of the advice on how to avoid a blind merger are good and I wont elaborate, what I would like to enlighten you on is what you may have been passing!
You say their was first a bunch of bikes with their flashers on followed by cars and SUV's with their flashers on?
You may have been rolling up on a bikers funeral procession and it would not be surprising to me (having lived in NE and KS) that had you tried to pass or merge threw said procession that they may actually have seen you and did what they did anyway I.E. run you into the grass.
These guys can get a bit touchy and or stupid about any perceived sleight either real or imagined!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I appreciate all the feedback. I guess I'll head to a parking lot and work on my front braking.

As for the SUV, she wasn't part of the group. Just an older woman who was oblivious to others on the road. And I was a few blocks after the group.

All in all, there have been some good suggestions here. Thanks so much.
 

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Hey all, thanks for the tips. They are much appreciated!

Rob, I may have not been all that clear what happened. We were roughly side by side, and by the time I realized she was planning to merge into my lane (Not just drifting over the line) I didn't have much time to slow down without feeling like I was going to lock up my back tire. By the time she was all the way over, my front tire was less than a foot from her back bumper. Needless to say, I was not amused!
That's exactly how I figured it. You need to develop an awareness of developing situations and react early. In this case slowing as soon as you noticed her starting to drift would have been the correct reaction. If you feel you're going to lock up the back tyre you're not using the brakes correctly - you were going fast enough for the front brake to do about 95% of the work and the risk of locking either wheel is minimal if you learn how to brake hard and still maintain full control. It isn't rocket science.

Please don't say that you routinely depend on a lot of rear brake at speeds much above a fast walk. It should, even in fairly gentle braking comprise no more than about 30% of your braking effort except in the wet.

Rob
 

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A lot don't even check their mirrors.

That was the point I was trying to make with that statement, meaning the look in the direction but do not pay attention to what is in their mirror, if even looking at all...maybe trying to figure out what that dead critter was lol
 

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Need pointers for a situation like that,

Pay ATTENTION, don't get distracted from the task at hand--remaining safe and alive

ALWAYS have an out, no matter what sticky situation may arise you should be prepared and have an exit strategy or two planned in advance.

NEVER ride in someones blind spot or next to their vehicle.


Those three would have kept you from getting the scare of becoming a sandwich.
 
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