Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shoot the Gap! SHOOT IT!

Typically I am a reasonably safe rider, sticking to a single lane and minding the speed limit and the laws. But.... when you ride two-wheels on a highway you can get stuck next to a truck and this sometimes is not a good place to be.

There are 2 big negatives to being stuck next to a truck:
1. "truck wash or air turbulence "You can be buffeted like crazy. Not to mention the noise.
2. Riding in the trucks, "Blind spot", which are much larger than a cars.

Now that I have two years experience under my belt I handle riding in this position, but it is not a good ride.

Often times a space opens up around a truck and cars do not move over or increase speed, so that others behind them can get around the truck. Most motorists do not know or care that a bike may be riding in a trucks blind spot or be experiencing air turbulence.

When this happens I sometimes take matters into my own hands and perform a maneuver I call, "Shoot the Gap".

This is when a space opens up between the car ahead of me, and the truck next to me. This space would never allow for a car to pass through and move in front of the truck, but it allows for a bike. A "Gap" so to speak.

This takes a lot of judgement on the riders part. You have to wait and see if the car ahead of you is going to speed up and let you get away from the truck. Or are they going to continue to force you to ride in the blind spot and experience truck air turbulence.

If you see that the space does not shrink in size and that the car ahead is indeed NEVER going to speed up enough to allow you to escape the truck and stay in your lane, you can then, "Shoot the Gap".

Is this a safe maneuver? Probably not.

Is riding in a trucks blind spot safe? Probably not.

Should you slow down and wait? Think so?

This is a decision you have to make. But once you do it, and do it successfully, you will feel this frisson of exhilaration, which should prove to you that this is NOT entirely safe, yet very addicting! I speak truthfully here, you who ride know the feeling.

So please. Be VERY VERY careful when you attempt this maneuver. This cannot be done if agitated or irritated. It has to be a calm rational decision.

You have to make sure there is A LOT of space available ahead of the truck. This is incase you and the truck have to make a quick stop. You do not want the truck rolling over you!

So, am I endorsing this move. Not really.

Am I acknowledging its existence. Yes.

Should you do it? You fill in the blank ___________.

1 comment:

  1. shooting the gap is exhilirating --- i don't advice to do it either, but I do it.