Roadcraft

Riding a bike and the need for safety is paramount compared to driving a car. What wouldn't faze you in a car (i.e. if someone starts inching out from an intersection [as you have a metal buffer around you]) can be a very real threat on a motorbike. Car drivers are not looking for bikes - we are not common, we are smaller and to be honest, we are not a threat to them so we do not feature in their thinking. Do not rely on others to see you (i.e. a high-vis vest will not save you in itself so don't rely on it). It is your responsibility to be seen and do the thinking for others as no one has a more vested (haha) interest in your own safety than you. This is not the way it should be, but is the reality. You will learn to read traffic like never before - you will anticipate car drivers doing things before they even have (e.g. that they will move into a gap in the adjacent lane).

Discuss entering a corner wide, not early - allows you to tighten the turn if necessary, allows you to see the apex. If you tip in too early your risk running wide if the corner tightens up (pics can illustrate this). Mention don’t outride your vision- you need to be able to have time to take evasive action/stop if needed.

Discuss some of the most risky situations:

  • cover your front brake through intersections
  • gaps in traffic is the greatest threat as cars will try and fill them
  • discuss road position and when (e.g. right wheel track of a single lane road with a median strip - further away from cars, more reaction time, and cars will see you earlier as the angle is less and you are less obscured by verge trees etc)
  • If at an intersection where cars are banked up and turning and you are going straight, the vision of cars turning from the opposite direction (across you path) is obstructed. In this instance get into the left wheel track of the left lane - you are further away from cars, car can see you earlier, you can see them earlier and slow to the point that you can heave on the anchors if you have to. Don't assume they have seen you way back before the traffic blocked the view and don't ride with a "I'll deal with it when it happens" attitude - cars will pull across in front of you - be ready to stop
  • t-bones are common where cars pull across our path to cross a median strip or a traffic controlled intersection. do not rely on the fact they are looking at you as having seen you - watch their wheels - if they start moving, they're accelerating and are thus a threat. cover your front brake
  • etc