Staying alert on a routine, boring commute - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Staying alert on a routine, boring commute

Hey guys!

With the weather (hopefully) breaking soon I am going to start commuting on my new ATAS. Itís literally a straight highway ride of about 35 to 40 minutes. Boring. Routine. Daily. Both ways. Complacency. Not paying attention. Danger. Something bad could happen.

Iím not trying to dramatize anything. Itís a boring ride, traffic tends to be heavy, but moving along at 75 mph, and there is all of one part that curves a little. Otherwise itís a straight road, which can make it easy to Ďzone outí at times, especially on the way home after a tough day.

What tricks do you use to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times? When youíre on an all too familiar highway with heavy traffic?

Bookem
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 03:46 PM
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Complacency is a danger. Too true.

But if you follow your basic rules, you'll be safer:

Always maintain distance. Distance is your friend. I use the 3 second rule in the car, religiously--three seconds behind the driver in front of me, at all times. On my bike, I extend that.

And distance from the driver behind me. If someone is tailgating me or too close, I fix it as quickly and safely as possible.

The upside to riding a bike is that we are on fast and nimble machines and can position ourselves easily--while remaining careful and safe.

I don't do a lot of commuting on my bike, so maybe I'm not the best to answer. But riding a motorcycle in traffic is all about staying alert--*always.* No excuses. You just cannot get complacent, ever.

But if you maintain your safe distances, you'll likely be in better shape for whatever may come--even if that's you, daydreaming for a few seconds.

We're all familiar with that highway phenomenon of having traveled several miles (usually in our cars) and upon quick reflection, realizing we didn't notice a damned thing--couldn't say how we got from the one point to the other, having seemingly missed everything in between. It's going to happen on your bike too, it's inevitable. But if you stick to your basic rules, you'll be much better off in the end.

Beyond that, I have nothing, really. Except maybe: Don't ride while tired or sleepy. Or unusually angry/ upset. Don't be in too much of a hurry. Pop one of those 5-Hour Energy drinks a half hour before you saddle up? (Ha! I've actually never tried one of those--the idea kind of freaks me out. I'm already a little bit too much on edge most of the time).

Ride safe, Gary

...

2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports - Manual.
Setup: Givi Tall Sport Touring Windscreen; Hepco & Becker Lower Engine Guards; Hepco & Becker Handle Bar/ Hand Guard Protectors; Hepco & Becker Tank Guard Soft Bags for OEM Uppers; HTTMT Kickstand Pad Extender (Red);
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 04:01 AM
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When commuting to work I will have music in the helmet and always look for something that has changed. A car parked on the road that was not there last week, cops lying in wait on their BMWs and often I will take a different route off the main highway. For Colorado you may have a more difficult task in that the cold weather tends to tear up the smooth tarmac with cracks and pot holes. Look for new ones.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookem View Post
Hey guys!

With the weather (hopefully) breaking soon I am going to start commuting on my new ATAS. Itís literally a straight highway ride of about 35 to 40 minutes. Boring. Routine. Daily. Both ways. Complacency. Not paying attention. Danger. Something bad could happen.

Iím not trying to dramatize anything. Itís a boring ride, traffic tends to be heavy, but moving along at 75 mph, and there is all of one part that curves a little. Otherwise itís a straight road, which can make it easy to Ďzone outí at times, especially on the way home after a tough day.

What tricks do you use to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times? When youíre on an all too familiar highway with heavy traffic?

Bookem
Try popping wheelies, lane splitting at twice the speed limit, and ultimately running away from the cops.
Those are sure to keep you alert and on your toes
Ted Hughes, CB024 and No.9 like this.

"You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime.", Burt Munro.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 04:37 AM
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I used to commute along fast freeway and through heavy inner city traffic every day for ten or more years on my BMW K100RT.

I never had any distraction like music or phone and maintained situational awareness left/right/behind/ahead (al la fighter pilot) and trying to see as far ahead as possible for brake lights etc.

I also used to keep my mantra in my mind.

"Be careful, they will try to kill you if you let them".
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Great tips, thank you!

Gary - youíre 100% correct in saying to maintain distance.

No. 9 - There are a few different routes I could possibly use, but would take 15 to 20 minutes longer. Iíll do so when I can and itís a great idea to look for anything new, no matter how small they may be.

Relz - Dude You just bursted me up I almost choked on my morning coffee!

Jim - Great quote, and if you donít mind, I will begin using it.

I have a lot to come to and appreciate all the thoughts.

Bookem
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 12:45 PM
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Stay far away from other vehicles, which is pretty hard to do on a crowded road, is my best advice. I personally like to be in the fast group because I don't like cars right behind me. When I am the one passing others I feel like I have more control over whats going on around me somehow.

My biggest problem with the cagers is they like to move over into the lane I'm in while I am beside them. I've never kicked a car, just because it would probably cause ME to crash. But I let them know to pay some **** attention. Usually blow the horn awhile, give some serious looks to kill and a few RIGHT HERE BESIDE YOU!!! hand gestures by pointing at myself and the little space between us. I don't flip them off because they usually seem embarrassed or sorry, but that doesn't help if I am crashing into a median or something.

Great tips above. relz yours made me lmao and your signature is great to, from one of my top 5 favorite movies.

Stay alert, stay safe people!

Dave
I thought you could ride
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 01:56 AM
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Get a loud horn on your bike. There are several of them in the market. They are specially usefull when a car cuts into your lane.
Seriously, it can save your life, and keeps you of kiking cars!!
ORVdaveVA, garyh and Bookem like this.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 07:52 PM
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Marine ECCO horn works fantastic
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Bob and Desert - Thanks for the tip.

Desert - Iím not very good when it comes to wiring. Is the horn you mention easy to install?
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