Since I had a careless accident in 2012 on CandyRedVstar1100 (hence, my name), I took two years off, spent a lot of time blaming the other driver, then realizing the whole thing could have been avoided by me, then buying another 1100, then riding 3,000 miles riding on the edge of scared until the rider I have now become…much more mature, skilled, aware…and just better.
So I think.
In those now 4,000 miles of seat time since the accident, I have developed what I think are some good habits. Agree or disagree?
1. Ride ATGMOTT. I would say that I ride with full gear 80% of the time. This includes full face helmet, boots, gloves, armor jacket and pants. When not wearing full gear, I wear everything above expect the armor over-pants. They are a pain in the arse to take on and off.
2. High beams all the time except in traffic at night.
3. Placing a "I Voted Today" sticker on the back of my helmet
4. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, stay back at least 100 feet.
5. When riding behind 4+ wheeled traffic, ride close to the center line to make myself visible to vehicles pulling out from the left side of the road and oncoming vehicles…and to give myself space to make a move from a driver pulling out from the right.
6. Ride in the right lane on a four lane highway, staying close to the white line. Maximizes space around me if I need to react; and no threat from the right except for on ramps, which I adjust to accordingly.
7. Practice putting my bike in small spaces (not in traffic) to get comfortable using a small, narrow escape route if necessary.
8. Come to rest off to the side behind vehicles at traffic lights in the event someone slams into me, I don't get accordioned.
9. Ride the center of lane with heavy oncoming traffic to maximize visibility for drivers looking to turn left in front of me.
10. Slow down when cars are coming out from side roads or driveways, dropping about 10 mph from cruising speed, ready to jam on brakes.
11. Keep head up at all times, using the top edge of my windshield as my guide to have for the bottom third of my field of vision.
There are others, but enough for now.