Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Cornering . . . Continued

So, over the last few posts I've suggested my updating of a couple of well-known systems.

Safe, Smooth, Style - for an overall assessment of riding

Slow, Settle, Steer - a systematice approach to setting up for a corner

Now for another prompt, this time for assessing bends as part of that 'slow' phase.

Obviously (?) if you're slowing for a bend you'll need some sort of basis on which to decide what speed to slow down to. Mostly riders will do this without conscious thought, but some guidance on what to look for might be useful, both for riders as they start to work on bend assessment and for instructors encouraging the uptake of new concepts.

What should we look for?

A simple set of prompts which cover most aspects of assessment is:


Yup, more 'S's :)

This isn't an 'absolute' list, there's actually an element of overlap between them, and it's certainly not intended to be a 'checklist' to go through in sequence on the approach to a bend.

How might these prompts overlap? Here's an example:
Safety: your safety might be affected by something very obvious, such as gravel on an adverse camber . . . even though they're 'surface'.

Similarly, a blind bend might hide all manner of dangers, but is the greatest risk being from danger you can see or being able [or not] to react in time for a 'fresh' danger as it appears. So here 'sight' closely ties with 'safety'.

On bends where there is no apparent major danger then sight becomes the limiting factor, how much clear road surface can you see? What you can't see becomes a potential danger (remember the old 'Roadcraft' list: "What can be seen, what can't be seen, what may reasonably be expected to happen"), and that's what will limit your approach speed - or, more exactly, how much stopping you can achieve in the distance available.

Surface, when not a major danger on its own, becomes a limiting factor, perhaps due to poor quality surface or adverse camber, perhaps because of inspection covers.

I'll leave you to 'sort' the 'contents' of this post's header picture into the various categories and find the overlaps, but as a starter there are:

- Speed limit sign
- Road markings (hazard line)
- Road markings 'SLOW' x 2
- Junction sign
- Oncoming vehicle
- Bus stop, with waiting passengers
- Junction visible
- Other 'things' (signs, entrances, fences) on the left
- Railway viaduct visible over the trees

But what's missing from this view of a bend . . . ?

Answer tomorrow :)


1 comment:

Voyager said...

Missing? A warning triangle and/or chevrons.