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Dear all,

In a recent thread there was a fellow member that was describing his crash. I will try not to pass comment on that thread as it will undoubtedly offend some of you and I do not care to enter into a conversation on that.

Notice however the word I used to describe the event…CRASH! Not accident. There is a common misconception about the two terms.
Accident is used today to describe a situation whereby damage to person or property is incurred, and rightly so, but the true definition also has another clause; an accident is unavoidable.

If you do a define: accident in google you get this:
- an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury
- anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause; "winning the lottery was a happy accident"; "the pregnancy was a stroke of bad luck"; "it was due to an accident or fortuity"

As an example I always say that an accident is like when you are walking down the street on a sunny day when a gust of wind breaks a branch from a tree that falls on you. You have no control over the elements or bodies involved (tree, weather etc) to allow you to foresee that you are going to get hurt.

A crash on the other hand, when in the context of the road, in most cases is avoidable. There are precautions that you can take to avoid a crash. Most of them are in fact described in the “Roadcraft” book and are also taught by the IAM. (Spatial awareness, velocity, judgement, braking distance awareness, reading the road, reading the movements of other road users to name a few). My employer makes all employees take a “crash free driving” course as well and it works.

I know for sure that the two scrapes I have had could well have been avoided, luckily they were at slow speed and I was alone and in full gear so I didn’t hurt myself. I dread to think what would have happened had I had a pillion on at the time.

Another point I would like to convey is that you should always drive or ride to the comfort of your passengers/pillions. If they are not happy with the way you drive then change it (unless of course they are asking you to do dangerous things).

We enjoy a hazardous form of transport. The risks are great but it all adds to the satisfaction. In order for the risks to be mitigated we must takes step to reduce the severity/impact or likelihood of this hazardous activity. Reduce the likelihood by riding defensively and being aware of what is happening. To reduce the severity, wear protective clothing. It works. Luckily we have to wear helmets here in the U.K. due to the weather and the of course the law. I recently lost a school friend who crashed head first without a helmet. Previous to that an entire class from my old school (30 kids) were killed, or should I say killed themselves, on scooters over a course of 2 years.

The bottom line of this lengthy post is that I do not want to read threads on this forum describing avoidable injuries. In fact I would prefer to see threads saying “Phew… thank Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Krishna, Jesus God, Big Bang (delete as appropriate) I had my wits about me today and didn’t crash!”.

I do not care if I have offended anybody. Hopefully, if you do take the time to read this, I will have made you think about the way you ride and act on the road and you will look up or research how to improve your safety on the road.

At the risk of sounding “cliché” Let’s all us members of f650.co.uk try not to have any crashes.

I am off to Greece on my the Dakar now. Ride safe, I know I will….

George
 

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Thanks George for a very well written and thought provoking post. I can't see how it would offend anyone. It helps, no matter how experienced a rider we are, to be reminded of such things from time to time.

Cheers,
Stu
 

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Nice post.

I have always been an advocate of ATGATT (All the gear all the time) In South Africa it is also law to wear a lid - the rest is optional. What we are seeing on our roads at the moment are parents buying 125's or scoots for their kids and not giving them the gear that goes with riding a bike.

I also believe in taking noobies for riding training BEFORE they take to the road. I somehow think that the younger generation somehow feel invincible and are not really aware of the consequences of their actions to themselves and those around them.

I have had a few falls in my time - some of them more serious than others - however if I hadn't been wearing the gloves, lid, pants, jacket and boots I feel my medical bills would be much much higher.

I have an old saying : "Accidents hurt - safety doesn't" And that does it for me.

Just my 2 Zimbabwean cents...
 

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Richardvz said:
parents buying 125's or scoots for their kids and not giving them the gear that goes with riding a bike.
Yes, plenty of that in the UK too sadly. Round my way there are lots of 16 year olds on 50cc scoots that ride like they are immortal.... and the correct gear, in their eyes, is the most fashionable hoody they can afford... :roll:
 

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Crashing

What a great post lots of good points covered but even the most carful driver can have a "Collision."
I was stationary in a large road about 30 foot behind a woman in a 4X4 as she to was stationary but in the middle of the road, then the dreaded white light came on and she reversed 35 foot backwards (I was doing my best to pull over to the near side)..Hitting me on the side of the bike pushing me into a parked car ...Then she drove foward again stopped got out and said"....Sorry officer .....ive just found out i'm pregnant!!!" Yep am a police motorcyclist IAM etc etc....
But as I was wearing all the kit all I got for my troubles was a pulled shoulder muscle.....And a load of stick from the lads back at the base.
 
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Wise words and well said Komatias. I realize now that I could have been much more diplomatic in how I said what I said :uhoh:

I rode police bikes in the 1960's, an LE Velocette 'Noddy' bike 'Heartbeat' fashion round Barnsley. In those days we called them 'accidents'. In the ensuing 30 years, while on Road Traffic motorcycle patrol I personally dealt with nine fatal road accidents, and attended many more... even been asked to escort the funeral courtege on a couple of occasions. After each accident, as you return to the scene, you ask yourself "Why?" :?

In later years the accidents became called incidents for the very reasons you have outlined. I know that the accidents I have had over the years have all been my fault... slip on some gravel, it was there to be seen :uhoh: ... T boned by a car turning right across my path. My mind was elsewhere, I should have seen him slowing down in the outside lane of the other carriageway with traffic going by his nearside... I should have seen him and made sure I didn't arrive at the crossroads at the same time as him. It was his fault of course, he admitted it and his insurance paid up. But I was equally to blame in my book!

I've never made a mistake of course... I've never fallen off on the same corner twice, never married the same woman twice! The first is the learning curve... the second is the mistake :big grin:

Good to hear that you survived OK Dallas Hope she didn't blame you :big grin:
We've had guys T boned when they've had the twos'n blues on :doh:

Let's be careful out there...

Micky
 

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Really excellent posts.

I have been commuting on my bike for about 3 years now and have done a fair bit of recreational riding, often with my long term girlfriend, without any crashes!

On Tuesday night, I was sat at some traffic lights and my mind wondered, ironically, to think about what had happened to the guy on here, and how awful the situation that situation must be. The sound of screaching tyres brought my attention back in focus - the lights had turned green and my mirrors showed there was a car about to crash in to the back of me - instinctively I managed to get in to gear, my bike lurched and stalled. Luckily the 2 meters i travelled saved an accident, which was completely avoidable.

I try to ride in a sensible manner and not do anything too silly, trying to keep one step ahead everyone else on the roads, whilst picking my moments to have some fun. In my opinion, it is not crashing despite the constant threats and picking those "safe" places to let your hairdown are what makes motorcycling so enjoyable.

Here's to not crashing!!
 

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On concentration, I've just bought a Bluetooth helmet. I was wearing it when my wife phoned me, so I had a conversation whilst bopping along on my Jawa custom. The thing is, I ended up all at sixes and sevens, my riding went to pot!
It's re-inforced for me how much concentration riding a bike requires, I first realised years ago just after I started riding, we were out for a run and I thought "I'll have pint, that'll be OK", well the ride home was disasterous, hence my total abstinence when out on my bike.
I've wondered off the point a bit, it's this - your average car driver is distracted by mobile phones, satnavs, stereos and even DVD players these days. The bluetooth helmet has showed me how much higher my level of concentration is when riding my bike. I've used hands free in the car and not noticed a problem, because I wasn't concentrating that hard in the first place.
To survive on a bike you have to be in a different plane of conciousness, you have an alertness that puts you way above the average road user. You have to know what the car in front is going to do before it's driver does - sound familiar to you ? If not then you seriously need to re-examine whether you should be out on your bike at all.

In the years I've been riding, every crash I've had has been my fault, caused by excessive speed / lack of ability - the b*stards haven't got me yet!
 

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Whilst riding along one summers day, I wasn't going that fast probably no more than 85 mph , I suddenly hit a bump in the road, as the suspension rebounded my beer that I had balanced on the tank whilst I lit my *** started to topple. As I reached down to save it from spilling on my shorts and flip flops my head left the wind protection zone of my screen and some *** ash blew into my eyes. I instinctivly took both hands off the bars to rub my eyes and thats when I hit the tree. I tried to sue the council as the tree had no reason to be there. It just goes to show that you can't allow for every eventuality whist riding. I learnt a valuable lesson that day and have now fitted a beverage holder and use one of those cigarette holders that stops the ash blowing everywhere.

I just hope that other people can learn from my missfortunes.
 

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from last june when i passed the DAS until about 5 weeks ago i just rode for pleasure round quiet roads and generally didn't see much bad driving or riding. then i started commuting into london every day and i'm horrified by quite how many totally incompetent, unobservant or just plain dangerous drivers and riders there are out there.

coming down the A1 a few days back, i was passing the section just north of the A406 where there are a few sets of lights, each separated by about 800 metres. traffic was quite heavy and i went through one set that was about half way through yellow. a glance in the mirror showing not much behind me, and i assumed i would be the last through, when suddenly a few seconds later, i glimpse one of those ridiculous porsche 4X4 things baring down on me at some ludicrous speed. thankfully i managed to get out of his way as he barreled into the space i'd been occupying a moment earlier, his ABS no doubt working like crazy. he'd obviously seen the lights going red and put his foot to the floor to get through with no thought what so ever about what he was going to go once he had got through. the answer being; slam on his brakes and almost take out some innocent biker. needless to say, when we pulled up at the next lights i gave him a good piece of my mind. and the amazing thing, the thing that really got to me, was that he looked at me as if to say "whats your problem? you're still here aren't you?". like he had absolutely no concept of how close he'd come to killing me, purely so he could beat a set of lights and maybe get to work 30 seconds quicker.

and depressingly, you see that sort of thing, maybe not quite so extreme, but just as selfish, all the time. so it doesn't matter how careful you are, some other idiot will just as likely knock you off instead.

and i almost headbutted a pigeon at about 85mph last week as well. but thats another story....
 
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