Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Knowing Your Limits

A couple of days ago, I was driving to the store. It had just finished raining and the roads were beginning to dry. As I sat at the light to turn onto Route 11, I saw two cruisers go past-heading north, the direction I was going to turn.

Shortly, the light turned green for me and I proceeded up to the next light, which had just turned red. I noticed something as I came to the light: the cruisers had been caught by this second light. But, there was a problem. Apparently, when the light turned red, the riders had decided to stop on the drying road. One of them must have locked a brake (I couldn't tell if it was front or rear, not having seen the get off). One of the bikes was lying on its side in the intersection, being picked up by the rider.

I tell this to remind people: if you don't have the space to stop safely, don't. When you are so close to the light that you can't stop safely, you are close enough that there will not be cross traffic if you go through as it turns red. Also, practice quick stops. It makes you learn those distances and speeds. It also helps you instill the proper reactions to locking a brake. If you are riding with a group and some of you get through a light, just wait on the other side for your fellows.

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