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Your Risk is Relative...

"Risk Dynamics - Relative to a Rider's Environment"


As Riders, we all take risks. A person could argue that some two wheeled risks are greater than others, while another could reasonably argue that the concept of "risk" is a variable that is relative to the dynamics of the situation a rider finds themselves in. I tend to agree with the latter statement that, "risk" is a relative variable that should be viewed by the [changing] situational dynamics a Rider may find themselves in.


Lol... if you are still with me, I will explain it another way...

On a racetrack that is 40 feet or 12.192 meters wide at all points including all turns and chicanes and is 2.68 miles or 4.313 kilometers long, there is a low level of "risk" of a mishap or accident that would be presented to a solo Rider. If that Rider is cruising around such a track well within their skill level, their risk of having a mishap is extremely low to non-existent. This Rider's risk factor changes as we add the dynamic variables of additional Riders who possess different skill levels from each other. Now, for argument's sake, let's do the impossible and make all things equal amongst 12 Riders on the track. All riders having the same skill level - add a staggered start 10 seconds apart - all going the same speed - no one passing another - all Riders maintaining that 10 second gap. LOL Yes I said it was impossible BUT in theory, if such a thing were to happen, and all rules were followed, (again impossible) there would be a much lower risk factor; closer to the risk level of a solo Rider.

But we all know that such a scenario is not possible because motorcycle riding dynamics are fluid in nature, they are always changing, even on a race track; even more so on public roads and highways.



- Public Roads...


Public roads and highways are an extremely dynamic and very risky environment to ride a motorcycle in. There are an almost countless number of variables a Motorcyclist faces each time they ride on a public roadway. The biggest issue is the fact that because a public road is open to the motoring public; and that fact alone makes for a potentially hazardous roadway surface for you as a Rider to travel on.


Successful daily commuting on a motorcycle can best be described as a Rider controlling themselves in the [potential] chaos that surrounds them.



- Being Prepared For The Unexpected...


*** You do realize that a car is able to stop long before a motorcycle can stop? Most motorcycle tires have two credit card or cell phone sized contact patches - that is - if we are not leaning our bikes into a turn without trail braking. See for yourself, go outside and take another look at the tires on your car or truck - who is going to stop in a shorter distance a motorcycle with 2 small contact patches or a car or truck with 4 larger contact patches? ***



- Understanding That Risk Is Relative...


I would rather be on a racetrack with world class MotoGP Riders blowing past me on my 137HP GSX-R600 or a track prepped 200HP Hayabusa than on the public roads. Why? Simply because on the track, we all know the lines; the entrances - apexes and exits of the turns. We all have and use braking markers and we all are going in the same direction. But most importantly... the MotoGP Riders would know that, "the slow guy" is on the track and I would expect them to see me - and because they don't want to crash into me anymore than I want to crash into them - I would ride, "predictably" and "consistently." We are all going to the same place - we are all intending to complete a lap in the shortest time as possible. We are all wearing a helmet - gloves - leathers and boots and we are all balancing and negotiating the racetrack on two wheels. We all know what the track surface conditions are like because we have been around that curve before in a previous lap.


As a result of these factors, the risk to my life is relatively lower in this environment than sharing a public road with unknown surface conditions and various types of vehicles and driver intentions.



- Variable Dynamics On Public Roads...


So why is a racetrack with no speed limits no stop lights - no lane markers or no intersections so much safer than a public highway? Well this is because on a racetrack, no one is putting on makeup - drinking coffee - eating a bagel - driving drunk - talking on the phone - checking or sending text messages or [hopefully] not using a cellphone to "go live" on social media or driving the wrong way into traffic. There are no 18 wheel trucks having tire blow outs with recap tire chunks flying off the wheel of the truck. On a racetrack there are no cars or trucks swerving out of the way of other automobile drivers who suddenly switch lanes and cut in front of other vehicles causing them to swerve and lose control. There are no poorly loaded pickup trucks with ladders - furniture or appliances falling from the truck bed or roof racks onto the roadway. On the racetrack, there are no Riders carrying mattresses on the tops of their bikes that get blown off by the wind - there are no drunk pedestrians walking into lanes of highway traffic - at least not at any of the tracks I've been to.



Yes being on a racetrack with an underpowered bike, surrounded by MotoGP Riders presents far less risk to me (and I to them) than if either of us were commuting on our bikes on public roadways.

Yes... Risk Dynamics are Relative to a Rider's Environment.




"Live Your Life - Out Loud!"


Your Friend, Senior Speed

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