Tuesday, 10 June 2008

10% Chance - Good or Bad Enough?

Chatting with a rider, he said (and I'm seriously paraphrasing for dramatic effect) that there would only be a 10% chance of something coming the other way while cornering on some particular roads he was planning to use*.

So we looked at the map, for the nice winding section of road we were heading towards, and even at 2.5 miles:1 inch, there were plenty of bends visible.

I counted along the route:

"1 bend, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Crash. 1 bend, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 . . . Crash, 1 bend, 2, 3, 4 . . . " and so on.

OK, so 'statistics' doesn't work like that. But roads do have oncoming traffic, obstructions around blind corners, changes in road surfaces, bends that tighten mid-way, hidden entrances, adverse camber.

Although none of those things are 'Mystic Meg'-predictable to a particular corner, they are situations you'll meet, eventually.

And they're easily dealt with. Well, not always 'easily'.

Better control skills can help - but not alone.

Improved searching for information often gives clues to what's around the corner, realistic restraint and choice of speed reduces braking distances, and having pre-prepared plans for emergency action removes much of the reaction time and distance.

* In France. Not the Berkshire downs where we were riding :)

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