A bikers sixth sense...

Me and the wife we’re watching one of those traffic plod programmes. You know the ones where the offender gets chased at hell for leather speeds through towns and cities, only to be let off with a “caution”.

Anyway, we got talking about how the cops can tell a cars trouble in a split second, just by the way its positioning itself on the road etc.

Now, after only riding a year, I still have much to learn. However, this skill is something I’ve started to pick up on as I filter through traffic. i.e. you can tell how the “cars” going to behave from far away and know to give it a widey. You just have that feeling I guess.

Anyway, I thought I’d start a discussion on it. So ladies and gentlemen, the floors yours… Do you have that sixth sense, how do you make the most of it?

Certainly, it is something you develop. So you have a inner feeling and know that car is going to turn suddenly without indicating or do some other stupid thing that could be a threat to you. Or that pedestrian so engrosed in that phone converstion will step out in front of you. Or that white van man will be aggressive to you.
Or that German car owner will be a total arrogant twat.

I can’t see ghosts :smiley: but I do tend to agree. Sometimes you can sense it. There are days I go out and hold back and that will be the day someone pulls out of a junction and I manage to avoid them. Realistically though I think it really comes from us using increased observation and learning from other drivers (predictable) behaviour.

I tend to think of it as body language for vehicles. Those little tells, the things you can see the driver doing through the rear windscreen, stuff like that.

It’s a lifesaver !

What he said ^^^^^^^

when it’s a people carrier, keep clear… especially one of those banged up espaces… dear god they’re lethal!

Yep, it’s something you develop. Especially when it’s a £200 Citroen with a £1000 sound system and a spotty teen and £10 Halfords can on the exhaust. You start recognising the pattern when they drift slightly and you know they’re thinking of changing lanes. I’ve gotten to the point of profiling and buffering (using other vehicles around me to keep the idiot I’ve profiled as a risk away from me). This results in either changing lanes, speeding up, slowing down and keeping a car in between us and still space to change lanes or brake sharply.

So far so good.


One good indicator are the words “Addison Lee” written on the back.

Yep, although I got caught out twice last night as ‘Mrs braking for the lights’ decided to drift into my lane because it was clear, and ‘Mr I’ve just come down the slip road too fast for the car in the inside lane and now have to brake’ decided to cut straight into my lane, but then didn’t accelerate past the car he had nearly run into, but sit there right next to it. Speed isn’t the issue, its idiocy, and you can be an idiot at any speed.

i wont call it sixt sense exactly. i would call it experience. and fear of getting hurt :smiley:

but you can anticipate well enough after a certain amount of years riding, you’ll tend to behave automatically which will make a difference between skidding down the road and using your breaks properly.

Don’t trust any other road user - some give clues that they are more dangerous but expect all of them to do something that is going to kill you/put you in hospital and ride accordingly.

Yes and don’t assume that a car being driven by an AA driving instructor is being driven well :pinch:…yesterday evening one very nearly ran into the back of me on a greasy road in Nunhead…not a lot I could have done about it as I was waiting at the lights…I saw him skid round the corner in my mirror and just by luck he missed my right leg by millimetres.

Sixth sense is one thing but we all need a bit of luck out there too if we’re honest.

the amount of times I follow a ‘learner’ patiently in my car, thinking how ridiculously slow they are pulling away and what poor lane discipline they have only to notice when I eventually get past it is the instructor on his own… :w00t:

Pedestrians are ALWAYS dangerous. Had some prick just walk out on a road about 20-30m before a zebra crossing from behind a van. So glad I noticed him from afar and slowed down. Beeped and he didn’t even care. There were cars going the other way as well. I sure hope that prick gets what he deserves.


Only time and experience makes you realise yes that idiot behind the wheel might just do a u turn from the lane to your left!

expect the unexpected, thats what my instructor friend says. thats how i go on the road every single day.

seems to be working so far. :slight_smile:

Learning quickly to expect cyclists to be anywhere and everywhere, going in absolutely any direction at any speed and now I’m only surprised if they look first. Also learnt that it’s possible for someone to not see you, even in daylight while waiting at the lights on a bright red bike; that pedestrians in parts of central London have a genuine deathwish; and for large pieces of debris like roadworks barriers to appear from underneath the car in front. In other words I think I’m developing a healthy paranoia that probably had a big part in knowing to give a lane-drifting and apparently indicatorless car a wide berth going around Vauxhall yesterday, for example. The hazard-awareness bit of theory test has nothing on a London commute :slight_smile:

I was still surprised to see a car trying to do a u-turn around a mini roundabout last night and getting stuck though. There’s still plenty of stuff I don’t expect.

pedestrians and iPods = rip. :angry:

I make the most of it by:

By letting other road users know that I am there - if you have a powerful headlight flash your light when they’ll light up all the reflective road signs in front of other road users. Most lorries and very many vans now have big reflective chevrons on the rear end these days (plus number plates). The can sometimes even work during the day!
By letting other road users know that I am overtaking/coming through the gap - how few of us hoot/flash prior to an overtake?
By not sitting where I am vulnerable/unseen - this is the biggest bugbear for me. Positioning yourself 2ft away from alongside another vehicle when you could stagger your road position with them if you really cannot pass.
Overtaking other vehicles 2ft from their door handles when there’s space to have 6ft or more between you and them.

I suspect in many cases that the sixth sense is actually our subconscious telling our conscious that its seen the relative information (danger) that the conscious has failed to recognise…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE2xNtjJeC0 :smiley: