MIKE WAITE served in the Dorset Police for 20 years as a police motorcycle instructor training police officers to the very highest level of high-speed pursuit riding. Now you can buy his expert training DVD on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com.
Your DVD recently saved my life,and I'm not being over-dramatic when I say that. On a road I know well, there is a sweeping left hand bend with a hump-back bridge half way through. Last night I was approaching the hump-back and, remembering your words (as I do with every turn of the wheels) I "mowed the daisies", i.e. held a line in the left hand kerb. And flying over the hump-back towards me came an old BMW 5-series full of young lads,doing around 60 in a 30 and completely on my side of the road. Had I been a couple of feet further out, my wife would now be a widow. Thank you.John Muzzlewhite
When following vehicles we can look to see whether we can see the face of the driver in his rearview mirror. Presenting yourself to him will be an advantage to you. If he knows you are behind him he can react to you; never ever assume that he has seen you.
Does he know that you are there? Do not expect him to give you any consideration if he cannot see you. Look for movements of the vehicle as lots of drivers do give way for motorcyclists. Always acknowledge this courtesy with an acknowledgment. It makes both the driver and rider feel good.
Do not just look at the vehicle; it is the driver who is the important factor as he controls the vehicle. We have to make judgements to assess how the driver will react. We want to see the whites of his eyes to make sure that he has seen us and we must anticipate what he will do. The same goes for vehicles leaving junctions, overtaking or filtering, etc. We want to know what they have had for breakfast.
On the approach to a righthand bend observe that if a line of vehicles are approaching from the opposite direction you will invariably find that each vehicle will block the view of each driver. The classic case is where you have a large vehicle leading a group of smaller vehicles. The large vehicle will block the line of site to the drivers behind him. In these circumstances it would be wise to hold your position even if you have sited the next bend as a lefthander, until you have contact with each and every driver, which were hidden. You cannot react to situations if you have no view of them. Consequently the drivers out of your view cannot react to you if you are unsighted. It is certainly in your own interest to present your self to each and every driver. The one you do not present to is the one that is potentially dangerous.
On the approach to a lefthand bend the majority of vehicle will be in view. But do not take things for granted. Never assume the driver has seen you, make sure he has.
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