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 Motorcycle Safety
 Street furniture - visual cues
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Posted - 06/30/2009 :  8:24 AM                       Like
Rayg50 said:
I had watched a video, a first viewing, with the sound off (did not want to wake anyone). When I watched it again, during the day, with the sound on, the riders commentary indicated that his positioning at some points were dictated by the warning signs. I had a good laugh at myself. Here I had been searching for birds taking off or moss growing on the side of a tree or some mystic knowledge that he possessed and I did not. I stopped wondering how the rider was able to foretell an upcoming hazard when it was not at all visible in the video.

In Roadcraft, there is a section on using clues to determine the nature of a curve. For instance, if one doesn't see a break in the trees ahead, they can know a curve is coming up even if they cannot actually see the road. If there is hill jutting out into the road, it's quite likely the curve goes around the back side of the hill. If you look ahead and lose visibility of the distant road for a short while, and then see the straight portion displaced to the right, one can assume there is a gentle curve between the two.

The distance the vanishing point is from the end of the straight portion gives a great clue on how sharp the curve is.

Oh, and if all else fails, don't forget the signs. I don't use them much anymore as it's often unclear which curve they are referring to. Often there is a gentle curve before the sharp curve depicted on the sign.

Here is an example that may help:


The riding doesn't start until about 2 minutes into the video. The road must go between the hills, and it can't go through the steep upslopes on the left side. By looking for the space between the hills, one can determine where the road likely goes.

This video will give good practice:


Try to guess the direction of curves past the road you can see. There are all sorts of clues to look for.

One advantage to doing this is it keeps one looking far ahead. Notice how early I started slowing for the deer I saw at about 7:50 into the video.

Keep in mind, Roadcraft is for advanced riders who are thoroughly competent at basic skills such as tracking in the lane, speed control, shifting, etc. It is a buffet of skills. I'd suggest adding one skill to the plate at a time, and when it is thoroughly digested, adding another skill. I've found commentary riding commenting only on the skill one is practicing to be a great way to add a skill set. But one must be careful not to abandon old skills while learning a new one.

This skill is one that can be easily practiced while driving a car.

Added: I love the term "street furniture" for things that hint at the direction the road will take.

Edited to try to fix links.

Edited by - rioguy on 06/30/2009 10:00 AM
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