I read an article in Motorcyclist magazine by Ralph Hermens that resonated with me. On a RCB ride many years ago, I almost rear-ended a good friend in the middle of a corner at a crisp closing rate. WTF? After pulling my LD Comforts out of my arse, I thought about what he was doing wrong. That was my first mistake. Ralph Hermens was at a track day chasing his Buddies round the track. He was excited, greedy and concentrating on his experience. We all know as riders we must be vigilant, and our heads on a swivel. We must pay attention to everything around us all the time. So what happened? As Ralph was getting ready to pass a slower rider on the outside, the rider went wide unnecessarily and cut off his riding line, causing him to go off track to avoid a collision. Result? Many bruises and a broken collar bone. I was accelerating out of a corner after passing the apex. My Buddy was hard on his brakes unnecessarily. I stood my bike up and got hard on the brakes and barely avoided Ralph’s fate to avoid a rear-end collision. Predicting what other drivers and riders will do is important and can avoid an accident. Assuming someone will behave like you, competently, or by the rules of the road can be dangerous. The lesson is to leave enough space for those around you to be unpredictable, incompetent, and inattentive, and always try to give yourself an out.
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