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Old 08-25-2008, 09:33 AM
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Jerry Jerry is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Elma, IA.
Posts: 2,998
Excellent post, TC.

A few observations, dealing with my time as an advanced amature photographer. They eye is a mysterious thing. Scientists have learned that various parts of the perform different functions; for example, the rods and cones that interperate color are more packed at the center of the eye and less dense at the peripherals, so although we can "see" at the edges of our peripheral version, motion and color take longer to be recognized than at the center of our vision. There is some evidence that suggests our eyes and brains are programmed to identify horizontal objects more quickly than vertical ones. Bikes are inherently vertical.

Add to this mix the distractions of modern driving and and recognition of bikes is impaired even further. And in my own case, 2 kids, I am constantly surprised how little they "see" when on the road. For example, I can ask them what state the last vehicle they passed was from; not a clue. While anecdotal, this lack of attention to detail seems to be endemic in most drivers.

As a rider of 34 years, I realize that riding has made me a better driver, more acute to situations and surroundings than perhaps a non-rider would be. Still, it seems to me that to many drivers consider their car to be an extension of their living room or office, take much for granted, and don't make the effort to really "see" the road and surroundings.

So, I have four general rules I follow when I ride:

Never assume other drivers see you.
Never take any situation for granted.
Don't assume anything.
Pay special attention at intersections!

The general guidlines have worked pretty well for me so far.

There are physiological and culteral reasons that make riding a motorcycle inherently dangerous. Some background in both arenas should help us survive and get to be better riders.
Jerry Fields
'82 XJ 'Sojourn'
'06 Concours
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"... life is just a honky-tonk show." Cherry Poppin' Daddy Strut