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Are you an over-committed rider?

Mt Mee police blitz after residents complain downhill lone committed
Mt Mee police blitz last year after resident complaints

We all enjoy going hard some times, but if you are an over-committed rider, you leave no margin for error and the results can be catastrophic.

While other motorists should watch out for riders, we also have to take responsibility for our own safety.

That means not using the road as our own personal racetrack.

Instead, go and do a track day and get it out of your system.Committed track day

There you will find a well-marshalled event where everyone is heading in the same direction as you, there are no cars and trucks to hassle you, there are no roadside hazards to hit and if it does go pear-shaped, there is an ambulance on duty.

None of that is available on the road.

That’s why when you go for a road ride you should always leave a margin for error and not over-commit.

Over-committed ridersCommute traffic lane filtering speed wet NSW sydney police commuting slow speeding speed limit

Almost every time I go out for a ride I see a rider who has over-committed.

On our suburban roads, some riders take for granted that they will be given right of way.

That’s over-committing your safety into the hands of motorists who may not see you or who do but don’t consider you a threat, anyway.

On the highways some riders slice through the traffic, over-committing themselves to squeezing into a gap.

If a car suddenly changes lanes, they have left themselves no room to brake or change direction.

On country back roads, I see riders over-committing by trying to get their knees down in a corner.

Unless they have just ridden that corner, how do they know there isn’t a bump, pothole, gravel, oil spill, etc, that will reduce traction and low-side their bike?

On mountain roads I witness riders over-committing to blind corners simply because they have ridden them before.

But what if there is a stray animal on the road, an oncoming vehicle cutting the corner, or a group of cyclists just around the bend?Maritha Keyser Cyclist rule endangers motorcyclists

Most important rule

The most important safety rule you can apply is to always ride within your limits.

Always leave an escape route or a margin for your error and the errors of other road users.

  1. There’s a very simply rule I’ve learned and that’s not to become Over Confident. Over Confidence is what makes riders Over Commit themselves. When you get past over the Over Confidence hump in your riding career you reach a safe zone. We old and wise riders have lived to tell the tale. Many don’t make it past the Over Confidence Hump. When you pass that point you enter the Paranoid Zone – the zone where you become paranoid about making a mistake. Its the safest place to be. Its also a fun place to be as you now know your limits and can get more enjoyment out of your riding.

  2. Great common sense article. To quote the great Wayne Gardner, ” Never ride to fast for the unexpected. ” Wise council.

  3. Its this kind of article that will see the end of road bikes, motorcycles are inherently dangerous, thats the point!! If they weren’t dangerous that’s mist of the fun gone. As a wise man once said ” you’re never more alive than when you’ve just cheated death” I’ve been riding hard for more than 40 years, if you don’t like it , go buy a car!!

    1. I disagree. In my opinion the article gives a couple of examples with the message: Leave some room for mistakes, yours or anothers.
      I think we should all ride as ambassadors for the bikers, keep up the good name and most drivers will be less inclined to close the gap, but give you some extra space. The bikers they remember are the ones who ride like there’s no tomorrow.
      40 Years of hard riding does impress me, just not in a good way. Unless it’s on the track or someplace like that.
      That being said, I’ve got a car 😉

      Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.

      1. You nailed it, and we need more bikers like you, and less like Joe there. For one thing, riding dangerously puts others at risk, not just the rider!

  4. The article is well written. Leave room for your errors and errors for other road users. In the last two years, I have been on some bike rides, medium to large groups. Two of these rides stand out in particular. On one ride, an over committed rider came off his motorcycle, he did not realize that road conditions had changed and gravel on the road surface is going to reduce grip and traction. His bike was a write off, he survived.
    On a second recent ride, an over committed motorcyclist passed away, he did not leave enough room for other people’s errors.
    Both situations could have been avoided if the riders allowed room for errors.
    Please ride to arrive.

  5. Here’s another perspective, I dont like pain and I value my bike too much, I choose my commitment wisely.

  6. Some of the best riding I enjoy is riding within myself, the speed limt, and the conditions, but executing everything technically well. I see so many riders whether on a commute or out on the weekend riding beyond what is reasonable, or even safe, and often just simply breaking the law, splitting or illegal filtering making them easy targets for the popo. But most of all I know what it is like to recover from a serious motorcycle accident, unfortunately caused by medical issues (now under control), so knowing that it can take 2 months in hospital, 17 operations and a year in a wheel chair to achieve what is now a new normal, you tend to have a very different view. I think this aticle is sound and sage advice.

  7. Rule number one; if you can’t see five seconds ahead then slow down. Rule number two; if you can’t stop in the distance you can see to be clear then slow down. Joe Molloy is an idiot and has been very lucky thus far. He is one of the main reasons I do not ride in a group of bikes. Only thinking of himself and nobody else. On the other hand you have John Karmouche and Wayne Gardner. Cutting sub 2 minute laps at P.I. is one thing but riding the road is totally different. I could give examples but the likes of Joe would just say I am a pussy.

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