Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Blind Spot!
Having recently completed some advanced rider training, one of the biggest things that impacted me was how big our blind spot is on a bike. Most bikes have fairly average mirrors anyway, and the need to really twist your head around and check became quite apparent to me during the training. I was not to realise it then, but a few weeks later this very skill probably saved my life.
I was travelling along Auckland's Northern motorway heading south, when I cam upon a car in the "fast" lane or as the case is in New Zealand the outside lane. Unfortunately in this country is seems that drivers pay no attention to this and will drive at slow speeds in the out side lane and fast speed on the inside lanes. Of course this does nothing to help traffic flow, and only helps to create chaos and erratic driving on our roads.
As I came upon this driver, it was apparent,after a rather short time that he was not going to move over into the slow lane. He was well below the speed limit so I indicated and moved left and passed. I Stayed in this lane till, and yes you guessed it, I came upon a driver who was also driving well below the speed limit but in the "slow"lane. I checked my mirrors and a quick glance revealed nothing to the right of me. So I indicated to move right and to pass. I then made the conscious effort to look well over my shoulder and double check for vehicles. It was here , wouldn't you know it, that the car I had previously passed had sped up and was sitting right on my tail, but out of view of my mirrors. Weather he was trying to play silly buggers I am not sure. The fact remains though, if I had not double checked and looked over my shoulder I may have moved and clipped him, the result no doubt would not have been pretty.
Since I have done some advanced rider traing I have noticed some horrendous example's of driving and riding. I recently saw a young man wearing shorts and sneakers and riding a Aprilla 250cc swerving through traffic, on the motorway. This stretch of motorway that he was racing through is a 70km only zone and is under construction and maintenance. If nothing else I have become so much more aware of what is happening around me. I know for a fact that some of my riding skills still need a lot of work, but I also know mentally I have stepped up a gear from where I was previous.