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Token Canuk
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For those who do not see the GWWRA "WINGWORLD" magazine, this is a good article from the April issue ( page 44).

When 2 seconds are not enough
 

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This 2 second rule is the one we taught in our old "Learn to Ride Classes" that TMRA (Texas Motorcycle Riders Association).....But we stressed that 2 seconds was not always the best rule at highway speeds, the 50 mph plus speeds...Especially if you were new to riding...We taught that some times it was best to use a fixed marker to count to 10 and when you reached that marker if you were not at the count of 10 you were too close to the vehicle in front of you...Worked great for me and still does in my 4 wheelers....

Now there will be those that say this is too much space, and leaves room for cars to cut in front of you..It does, but this is just one of those things as a motorcycle rider you have to be super aware of....We have to be more aware of the cars and trucks etc around us...They really don't "see" us so we have to be more aware of them and give our selves room for a "way out" if things get dicey.....

My very first driving lesson my father ever gave me, before he handed me the keys to his "brand new 1948 Chevy 4 door" was...."Son I want you to remember what I'm about to tell you and make it your motto for as long as you drive a car or anything on the roads".... Then he said " Son pretend that everyone one around you has just escaped from Rusk Mental Institution and that they are all crazy people, and you are the ONLY sane person on that road....So Son you watch them like a hawk, never let one out of your sight"......Then he gave me the keys and I proceed to back his "new Chevy" into the ditch across the street..Driving lesson over for that day.....I ate supper standing up......

It has been a motto that has served me well, as I have only been in one wreck, and that car came out in front of me from a street that had these huge bushes that blocked my view of traffic coming across that street....Next day I went back to that corner with a county mounty and had the home owner cut those bushes down....

So 2 seconds is good for some areas and 5 seconds or more might be better.....Remember everyone else on that highway is crazy.....

Claude......
 

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When I learned to drive they said 2 seconds, but only in ideal conditions. More if the weather is nasty. Plus when I learned, the speeds were not as great on the freeways as they are today. Our speed limit here on the freeway is mostly 75 and if you're doing that I guarantee you are getting passed.:)
 

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Around here in a group ride, like for the PGR, we use a 2-3 second rule. 2 seconds if in the off track of the bike nearest you in the opposite track, 3 seconds from the bike directly in front of you in the same track.
 

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Yeah, here too ccsailor.

In stop and go traffic, if there is enough room for them to get 1/2 of a fender in, they will cut in front of you at a 45 degree angle.

I wish I were driving a Sherman Tank...
 

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Village Whack Job...
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Way back all those years ago when I first learned to drive we weren't taught the 2 second rule. it was the 4 second rule back then. I've pretty much always used the 4 second rule. We were also taught that on wet or otherwise slippery road conditions it was to be increaed to 8 or ten seconds.

The 2 second rule is news to me. And doesn't seem liek a very good rule at all.
 

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Well guys there are no set rules or circumstance for all situations.

I suppose the thing I stress the most is to just allow the cars to come in. Some riders do not like to do this, they want to maintain that formation. It can get them hurt.

When you are riding the interstate especially ,there are always entrance ramps and cars coming in to your right. I watched them all last week and some of them were pushing the cars, not allowing them in, hey at some point the car has to come into the travel lane.

So I got after them all and told them to just let the car in, back off or throttle forward and let them in, do not sweat the small stuff, they will move out, or be gone in a mile or two, let them in.

Things change slowly, the books and articles that were written years ago are still used, no one seems to want to change, ABS brakes are not discussed or taught in the MSF courses, new following distances are not discussed or changed for running 75 mph on the interstate.

I suppose we run about 3 to 4 seconds apart, some yahoo is always going to say something about that, but he is generally not experienced, or just wants to show his authority :) In the real world running that fast, two seconds is just not quite enough, but if you put it much more than 3 or 4 seconds then you have the situation of cars cutting in, but this also comes back to experienced riders, and being alert and observant, a good group of experienced riders can keep traffic out of the pack, close it up when they need to and open it up again. Hence my statement not all rules apply all the time or even minute to minute.

Hard for me to explain, I have two friends I ride with that I do not fear to run with my front wheel even with their back wheel, and get on through heavy traffic and out of there, but this is the exception, they are good riders. If I go to the weekly GWRRA ride, I want a bit of room in front and behind, and and extra set of eyes. Those guys like the brakes, one of them is always hitting the brakes. You really have to watch them like a hawk.

Kit
 

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I have this comfort zone (my bubble) that differs at different speeds. I am not a tailgater and allow plenty of room between me and the vehicles in front of me...always have. Cars will cut in, but I just lay back and increase my distance between me and them. I NEVER get in a hurry especially on my bikes. The "so many seconds" rule is good particularly for new motorists, but as I age I don't count...I let my comfort meter (which works very well for me and allows lots of space) dictate my distances. Plus, for motorcyclists, it's so important to keep your eyes scanning the road well ahead of you and to never fail to anticipate what the other driver will do.

My zone meter is so sensitive that I can't hardly stand to be a passenger in a car - especially with my wife. She keeps me on edge. I've never been able to figure out how in the world she can drive so close to the person in front of her and not have a rearender at some point, but she hasn't.Maybe that is just evidence that each person has a distancecomfort level that they can handle...although it doesn't necessarily make it right. Who likes a tailgater??? Pisses me off especially when they're following too close to me on the bike. It's an accident just waiting to happen.

I've rambled on enough...

DeDub:18white:
 

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DeDubya wrote:
My zone meter is so sensitive that I can't hardly stand to be a passenger in a car - especially with my wife. She keeps me on edge. I've never been able to figure out how in the world she can drive so close to the person in front of her and not have a rearender at some point, but she hasn't.Maybe that is just evidence that each person has a distancecomfort level that they can handle...although it doesn't necessarily make it right. Who likes a tailgater??? Pisses me off especially when they're following too close to me on the bike. It's an accident just waiting to happen.
I laughed when I read that. My wife drives me nuts when she is a passenger about every tiny little thing, and will scare the bejeezus out of me by yelling "look out!" about something that I already saw coming 5 seconds ago - making me think there's something ELSE coming to hit me.

That said, I can't STAND to drive as a passenger in her car, because all the stuff she tells me not to do - SHE DOES!
 

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GSMacLean wrote:
DeDubya wrote:
My zone meter is so sensitive that I can't hardly stand to be a passenger in a car - especially with my wife. She keeps me on edge. I've never been able to figure out how in the world she can drive so close to the person in front of her and not have a rearender at some point, but she hasn't.Maybe that is just evidence that each person has a distancecomfort level that they can handle...although it doesn't necessarily make it right. Who likes a tailgater??? Pisses me off especially when they're following too close to me on the bike. It's an accident just waiting to happen.
I laughed when I read that. My wife drives me nuts when she is a passenger about every tiny little thing, and will scare the bejeezus out of me by yelling "look out!" about something that I already saw coming 5 seconds ago - making me think there's something ELSE coming to hit me.

That said, I can't STAND to drive as a passenger in her car, because all the stuff she tells me not to do - SHE DOES!
LOL!! Been there, done that too!

DeDub
 

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Village Whack Job...
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My old lady makes me want to put her off the bik sometimes. gasping and squealing st stuff I've already seen and scaring the bejeezus out of me making me think we're about to get smeared by a silent cement truck that apeared out of thin air.
 

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We teach that the 2 second minimum following distance is for ideal conditions; usually found in vacant parking lots on beautiful days. Any other time use 4 seconds immediate following distance with a 12 second anticipated awareness distance. Also, just ride like you are invisible.

Bernie
 

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DeDubya wrote:
I have this comfort zone (my bubble) that differs at different speeds. I am not a tailgater and allow plenty of room between me and the vehicles in front of me...always have. Cars will cut in, but I just lay back and increase my distance between me and them. I NEVER get in a hurry especially on my bikes. The "so many seconds" rule is good particularly for new motorists, but as I age I don't count...I let my comfort meter (which works very well for me and allows lots of space) dictate my distances. Plus, for motorcyclists, it's so important to keep your eyes scanning the road well ahead of you and to never fail to anticipate what the other driver will do.

I'm the same way, I have my comfort zone be it 3-10 seconds depends on the conditions. I don't really count but I know my bike and how fast she can stop or get around things. I always go back to looking as far ahead as i can just like in an aircraft, always looking and scanning but add on always checking the 6 oclock position. I have had more problems with knuckleheads from behind me than in front of me. Also that little voice comes in loud and clear saying that idiot is going to do something stupid....... I also watch cars and how they are sitting, watching if the rear end moves down when they step on the gas, at least the fwd ones will or the front end diving when they brake or not diving when they are oblivious to you being there...
 

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Dubswing wrote:
We teach that the 2 second minimum following distance is for ideal conditions; usually found in vacant parking lots on beautiful days. Any other time use 4 seconds immediate following distance with a 12 second anticipated awareness distance. Also, just ride like you are invisible.

Bernie
I suppose that is the most constructive and understanding comment I have heard in a long time.
Yes be aware, observant, 12 seconds of anticipated awareness besides whatever your following distance is at the time, always, be aware of the position of the other bikes and the traffic around you.

It takes a great amount of concentration to be safe in group rides. It is fun, and you will even learn to relax a bit with time but it does take a lot of concentration. A lot of adjustment and it is not for everyone. I like group rides, to get out and go, but I have learned to be extremely observant.

That is a good comment, very good, just to be aware.

Kit
 

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Never really liked the 2 second rule. Distance equals reaction time, the more the better. I am extremely observant with group rides and they can be a lot of fun.
 

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Backed off to 4 seconds on the way into work this morning.

I lost count after about 25 cagers filled in the gaps.

Gave it up, just melded in with the flow.
 

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It is sad that sometimes people just will not let you drive and ride safely. Luckily, I live in an area that isn't so conjested that everyone is trying to squeeze into space that just isn't there or should be left open for everyone's safety. Being aware and allowing as much time and space as you can will help avoid accidents. Ride safe Back safe is the motto used by European riders and a good one to follow!

Bernie
 

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All the NASCAR wannabe's really make my BP go off the scale, especially those who cut in while their foot is on the brake. Two seconds is the MINIMUM as far as I'm concerned. Three seconds is good, four is better, at highway speeds of course. Last year we were on a road trip with 11 bikes split into two groups, about a half mile between us. Some idiot passed both groups on the shoulder of a two lane. Where's the fuzz when you need them?
 

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At the donut shop......................:cooldevil::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:
 
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