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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Following is much safer than leading out. Yes really. I know there is strong bike culture to hate following anything. Rules. Laws. Convention. To pass everything on the road to prove that you can't be caged in. And to try to out ride your commonly worthless mirrors (except on the CBR250R) since you have no clue what is going on behind you. But here again I am objective and don't automatically fall in with the way everyone else does it. It is much safer to follow a vehicle, any vehicle, in the city or on the highway, than it is to lead out on an open road. Anything bad that can happen, such as a car or an animal running into the road, will happen to THEM. I have 500,000 miles of safe driving to prove my concept. Once you become accustomed to a following riding style with a blocker/ guardian angel, you will realize how utterly naked you are to hazards running into, or turning across your lane when leading out alone. Wherever there are deer crossing, I feel much safer with a blocker in front of me. Big trucks are probably the best choice on the highway at night and in bad weather. They are pros and drive millions of miles. They sit up much higher and can see even better in bad weather. My feeble motorcycle lights work better bouncing off the back of their rig and light up like it is day. Their actions and reactions show you advanced warnings of hazards way up the road before you would have seen them. Their big tires temporarily plow a clear path on the pavement from standing water so I have a better surface to ride on. Hypermilers don't go much over the speed limit so now it is nice that speeders coming up behind you are already planning to move around the truck from much father back and don't blame you for being "some slow guy in the way". Large cars and trucks get seen. Motorcycles are invisible. Daydreaming drivers will wake up when they see the vehicle you are following and then will also see you. Following is much safer than leading out.
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Really Sendler, Really?!

Following a transport well get your ass killed. Do NOT do it.

First, when a transport runs over some crap on the hwy they kick it up a couple feet off the ground. You will not have time to evade. Getting hit with anything, let alone something a couple of feet of the ground gets you buried.

Second, transport blow tires constantly. Ever pass a transport and hear the rhythmic slapping coming off one or more of the tires? Thats a tread delaminating. When they do go they go off big. Like explosively big. Tire snakes flying everywhere.

Third, I absolutely garuntee that they know your behind them, except they can't see you. Your a liability to them. They don't want you back there. They can't see you. They WILL run closer to the shoulder to throw rocks and debris at you to get you to move past them.

Fourth, on a two lane you just effectively made the truck that much longer. Now cars have to pass both the truck AND you. At the very least you now have cars squeezing in between you and the truck, at worst, their going pass BOTH of you; we know which one of those two scenarios is most likely to happen.

Fifth when following a transport, your going to be in the left vehicle track. Meaning vehicles on your side of the hwy attempting to make a right turn ONTO the hwy can't see you. If they don't cut in front of the transport causing him to hit the brakes, you can bet they'll turn IN FRONT OF YOU. Hey, "I didn't see him"

Sixth, Do not run in FRONT of transports either. Cars passing can't see you until it's to late. They can't stop worth anything. You nail your breaks, your going to be run over.

Seventh, Do not stop behind a truck, any truck at a red light without leaving at least 40 feet between you an the truck. I've had it happen a number times where the truck rolls back slowly. Usually the car behind you is sitting on your ass. Fun stuff. Go ahead, blow your horn 'meep'. Did he hear that? No. Your about to be a sandwich. I personally know somebody that this is happened to. The only thing they could do was to step off the bike and watch it get pinched.

I've got about 100,000 miles touring in the last 4 years. Probably close to a half a million miles on bikes lifetime. Most of my friends have a similar amount. Not one of them will linger around a truck longer that in takes to get the hell away from them. Anytime your around anything that causes ppl to do ANYTHING other than travel in a straight line you can bet your going to lose.

Gaurdian Angel you say? More like the Grim Reaper.

WORST. ADVICE. EVER.
 

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WORST. ADVICE. EVER.

This has absolutely nothing to do with being first and having to pass everything in your path, nor does it have anything to do with 'bike culture'. I'm constantly open to riding tips, styles and techniques and adopt them whenever they make sense.

Please do not read anything into what I said beyond what i said.

Believe me, I understand the benefit of having a blocker. I do it constantly. But I never, Never NEVER use a transport for this.

Hell, I didn't even mention that having a transport in front of you cuts your your ability to see oncoming hazards dramatically! Or that ppl oncoming on a two lane who want to pass are EXTREMELY likely to pull out just as soon as they can AFTER the transport passes - directly in your path.

Their are SO many reasons NOT to do it when it's LIGHT out, then you go on to advocate it at night! Unbelievable.

I know your an experienced rider, I agree with your advice of using a blocker 100% (btw, I also know a guy riding through PA who nailed a deer that waited for the car in front to pass...). Nothing is a 100% guaranteed. But to advocate following a transport for 'safety' reason borders on lunacy.

I think your real reason to follow a transport is not to draft, but instead to 'ride the wash' in your pursuit of a couple of mpg's. Your just using the safety angle as justification. (ya, that's me reading into what you didn't say :)

I'm not a kid, neither are you. I genuinely fear for you if you believe what you say to be true.

Anybody else reading this thread, make your own decision based on the facts presented. Please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So you like following a blocker for safety reasons at a normal distance but hate big trucks. I can accept that more than when I thought you were saying to stay away from everything. Honestly, using a blocker to protect you is something that I have never heard discussed before and is one the most heart felt tips for survival I can give any new rider.
 

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Sorry bud, but you specifically advocated following transports, not cars. Cars are useful bastages when you use them to your advantage. With that, we both can agree 100%, especially in an urban environment.

It does take some situational awareness that a lot of new riders just haven't developed.

One of the most shocking things I've ever done was to take a new rider out after loaning her one of my intercoms. We got to talk to each other and I gave her tips on blocking, lane positioning, and awareness of hazards. It was *SCARY*. She constantly put herself in harms way while happily looking around and enjoying the ride. I had to cut it short, I couldn't take it anymore.

Most long time motorcycle riders are excellent car drivers because of the skills you have to develop. The same absolutely cannot be said for the reverse.
 

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I've done both ways, but generally I'm in B4's camp. I don't like waiting around to see what the truck has run over.

One time a truck kicked up a 4 by 8 sheet of steel. I was in a VW bug, the corner of that sheet hit the front bumper and ripped right over the top of that car, in a blink of an eye.

I ran over a 4x4 in CA, following a truck, while driving a pickup. It just creeps me out being behind big trucks. You don't really know who is driving. The drivers can be from Mexico, now, here in the states. I've never seen a truck driver help anybody. So basically, I just don't trust them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've done both ways, but generally I'm in B4's camp. I don't like waiting around to see what the truck has run over.

One time a truck kicked up a 4 by 8 sheet of steel. I was in a VW bug, the corner of that sheet hit the front bumper and ripped right over the top of that car, in a blink of an eye.
How close to the back of the truck were you? You must have been right on him for it to be still airborne when you got there.
 

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I was a little back. It just hung in the air and floated right into me. (I hate to say it, but that is one instance, I would have probably laid 'er down!) hehehe.
 

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So there you have it, how many ppl have read this thread and you already have a first hand account.

I personally have seen a transport run over a dead deer and thing came out the back of the truck about 15 feet in the air. I've also seen transports run over a 2x2 piece of plywood and kick it in up in the air at least 35 or 40 feet. Their were cars going EVERYWHERE trying to miss it.

Still think its a good idea to follow a transport?
 

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pretty narrow minded to assume that all truckers are 'pros'. Some of them are illegals, driving for peanuts, on speed. they dont have time to check tire pressures which is why you see recaps tossed every where since the borders were opened up to truckers. Catch one of those bad boys (recap tossed at 65 mph) while riding in a tuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I guess you have to adjust to your local conditions somewhat. 500,000 miles of commuting and the worst I have seen is a tire come off. From the left rear of the trailer. It started to shake. I slammed on the brakes. Got nowhere near it. He pulled over to the shoulder. I passed slowly through the shreds in the left lane. No big deal. That's it. 500,000 miles. I guess I am naive. The concept is still super valid. If you don't want to follow a truck then make sure to have a car up the road leading out. Let him toss the deer 15 feet into the air or get turned into so that it is not you.
 

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I don't even follow transport trucks in my car. Not only am I concerned about flying debris etc, but some of these drivers are right *****. About 6 yrs ago I was riding my Sportster on a major highway. I put my right indicater on prior to turning onto a ramp to another secondary highway. Behind me was a transport truck barreling up my tail and actually passed me IN MY LANE. I had just started to turn onto the ramp when I looked in my left mirror and he was beside me. If I was a new rider, who was easily spooked I wld have been under his wheels. The friend I was riding with was freaked as he saw the whole thing. That driver was speeding, and frankly showed little concern. He's bigger so who cares. I live in a rural area and alot of my driving and riding is on highways; primary and secondary and I witness some semi-truck drivers display poor driving skills and little regard for others. Not all of them are profesionals.

I guess this post cld also apply to the "near miss, freak me out" thread:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not all of them are profesionals.
Sorry to hear about your close call. Is it just trucks that do stupid things or do you ever see car drivers that are that bad. I have only seen two really crazy episodes of bad driving. Both cars. One selfishly weaving in and out of both lanes where there was no room. And one idiot who actually jumped the rumble strip to pass on the right shoulder, three cars wide in two lanes, between guardrails.
 

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Sorry to hear about your close call. Is it just trucks that do stupid things or do you ever see car drivers that are that bad. I have only seen two really crazy episodes of bad driving. Both cars. One selfishly weaving in and out of both lanes where there was no room. And one idiot who actually jumped the rumble strip to pass on the right shoulder, three cars wide in two lanes, between guardrails.
I agree with you. Stupid, crazy drivers in all modes of transportation. Especially see it when I drive the ambulance. I've had drivers actually slam their brakes in front of me, coming to a complete stop. I have learned the benefits of defensive driving and expect the unexpected, which has come in handy when riding. :eek: I also agree with the "blocking" you describe, I use that when crossing busy intersections.

Now if I can master cross winds. HATE HATE HATE them:p
 

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not on the track !!;)
(just read the title to one of these threads again)

on the street , yes and no (depends on the situation) :confused:

adapt at all times to the current situation :eek:
 

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My actions when around a truck:

I get the **** away from it.

Too big - obscures too much, too unpredictable, too much **** being flung up, too unenjoyable.
 

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i prefer zero cars trucks semis tanks people around me at all times. when one comes around i try to get away from it asap.
 

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Why I dont follow:
When following a blocker, my eyes are glued to it. I am trying to assess what it is doing and maintaining my distance. Cons: I am not focussing on the road enough and probably, I dont have a good view of the road anyways. In India, any road could have any issue which I may not get enough time to react to.

When I am not following, I am riding at my own preferred speed (which may or may not be faster) and actively looking at the road out there.

I dont know what the safety stats are for following vs. leading, but my own riding style is more in control when I am in front.
 
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