ok, enough with the u-turns already….
Well, actually, no. I’ve got more to say about them, but I’ll try and keep this one quick, though I’m gonna indulge in a little more Aussie-speak for the occassion.
Over the Australia Day (aka Invasion Day) weekend, I took an arvo ride down to Cronulla to see what was goin’ on. Having got there I cruised along the Esplanade for a while, taking it in since without my bike I rarely made it to this part of Sydney…
—- which of course is a lot of the fun of learning to ride over summer in this town! I’ve been really enjoying re-aquainting myself with bits of the city that I don’t get to much. Now, with the journey being a good part of the fun (as it is on a bike), i’ve been getting all over the place, which makes practice a piece of piss if you don’t mind the language —
Drove down the Esplanade for a while until it got a little boring and stopped on the side ready to chuck a u-ey and head back towards the town beaches. I chose a spot with clear view in each direction, no cars on the sides, and as a bonus, the road was probably a good 7 metres wide at least.
With my ample practice at slow, tight u-eys, I reckoned this one should be simple. I was wrong.
Ok, not that anything dramatic happened, but I did find out that situations are like snow-flakes (no, not rare - as they are here - but all different). Of course I made it round to the other side, with no cars to get tangled up with and was smoothly on my way before long. Unfortunately smooth was not how you could describe my turn. No, the slow tight u-turns did not prepare me for a faster, wider u-turn. I figured the extra radius would allow me more throttle and no clutch, which was fine for the first third of the turn, until I was in the middle, accelerating directly at the other kerb. My lean wasn’t quite enough and the speed too much, forcing me to correct part part way through, which I did with too much clutch, letting myself into a quite prone position in the middle. All of it was very quick of course, the road was quiet and I’d chosen a good pozzie to take the turn, so all was good. No drama. I made it around ungracefully, but all safe.
But it goes to remind me two things (that came to my mind anyway): (1) just like the slow tight turns, I could’ve used some clutch all the way through to give me smoother speed, allowing me to get the rate of turn right, and (2) learning doesn’t stop with practicing one situation. I expect it’s something I’ll notice from time-to-time many years later that a new situation calls for sharp and smart reactions, because if you haven’t done it before, you actually don’t know what might catch you unaware. Of course I’m sure there’ll soon be a time when all my u-eys of all sizes and speeds are much more graceful than that one!
- oh and by the way, there are some great u-turn tips in a comment on a previous post. well worth a read.
until next time, seeya!