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OMG It's coming right for us! The thread about head on collisions

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Ok so this may have been covered on here before but something is troubling me and I feel it deserves a thread.

Situation:

This weekend I was at Stonyford (In CA) there was literally no one out there we hadn't seen another bike all morning. My buddy let me take the lead and I took off, excited to be in front I was booking up a hill. This was a fire road of sorts a little smaller but not single track by any means. I come over a little hill and there are two riders baring down right on me faster then I am on them heading right at me. To my left is a cliff and to my right the rest of the hill.

Lets do this the whole pick a path way and see what we can flush out about the technique of avoiding a head on collision.

A) You slam on every break you can find trying to keep the bike up even if it means hitting someone head on, but hopefully a little less hard.

:thumbsup: You swerve left toward the open lane (and the cliff)

C) Turn into the hill even though it means you are going down... and hard

D) You shouldn't be going that fast moron

e) Pick your own.

I think this is an interesting way of doing this and I am curious to see what your answers are. I will tell you which one I picked in real time and we will see if I had the right technique.

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slap on the breaks, do a stoppie/turn around, get back on the gas, that way ur facing the same way as them, and ride a wheelie out, or u could slap on the breaks, and lay it down, causing the other riders to "jump" u. but fo real, what did u do?

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E) Apply pressure to the front and back brakes to decel yourself but not bringing yourself to a skid. Then swirve to an open area or into the hill because at this point if you hit it your not going as fast.

F) Start flapping your arms and hoping for liftoff....

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NEVER GO LEFT!!!!!!!!! Your first reaction should be to go right and the first reaction of the person coming at you will probably be to go right. Standard rules of the road apply to the trail.

I've had 2 head-ons, both on single track and both at a pretty good speed from both parties.

The first one was on a blind right with a slight crest. To the left was a very steep, very, very deep ravine(I'd call it a cliff if it didn't have trees on it) and to the right was a corresponding wall of dirt. We came together right in the turn. I did as much braking as possible before laying it into the dirt wall(to my right) and ended up running down the trail unharmed, the other guy stood it up and went as far right as he could(on an 18" wide trail). But as this was happening we nicked brush guards, mine hit his left arm and sent him down the ravine. Fortunately he got tangled up in some brush about 15ft down and his bike stayed on the trail(mostly). Other than a welt to the arm he was ok, we shook hands and parted. In this impact we both did everything right, by not panicking and both going right we minimized the damage of this unavoidable collision.

In the second one I was on a blind rise with a slight left. To the left was a moderate upward slope covered in tall brush with a similar slope down to the right. I was just passed the crest/bend and heading downhill, when I saw the other guy. I stood it up, got on the brakes and started heading right. The other guy, unfortunately, also stood it up and got on the brakes. I say unfortunately because "standing it up" caused him to go straight on a trail that was curving to his right and therefore directly into me, on the right side(his left) of the trail. If he had made no reaction at all, I would have gone right past him and off into the bushes(and some trees), which is what I was prepared to do. The guy panicked and did the wrong thing and we collided head-on, front rotors, handlebars, heads then bodies. We were both unharmed, amazingly, shook hands and parted ways. About an hour later, on our way back out the same trail, we came across the guy and his friends pushing his bike. His front rotor was really bent and his chain was broken(from the impact???) and they were about 20 min of hard riding to any sort of road. I wished em luck and rode away.... He shouldn't have hit me :thumbsup: and he should have gone right.

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well, if everyone saw other riders, then duh. slow the **** down when you can't see.

i've had 1 close call and two full-on head ons. one was in an enduro (yes, &%$#@!). both times we were each doing 15-20mph. the last one was in idaho 2 weeks ago, and was with a very good rider that i was camped with, but i was riding with a different group that had left earlier. now i have ridden several thousand miles of idaho singletrack in the last few years, and most of it is not really a head-on threat because it's so tight, but we were on President's trail, which is pretty much a freeway, and came around a totally blind curve. literally zero time to react, but the reaction we both had was to start veering right. didn't get very far right because there was literally zero time, but moved enough that we hit knee to knee and shroud to shroud and both got up and walked away. thought about head-ons the rest of the week. rode much more cautiously on the open stuff. that collision could have easily resulted in tragedy.

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NEVER GO LEFT!!!!!!!!! Your first reaction should be to go right and the first reaction of the person coming at you will probably be to go right. Standard rules of the road apply to the trail.

This is very interseting; break to the right applies to aircraft as well.

Here in Australia we drive on the left so naturally pass oncomming traffic on our respective right hand sides. The safest thing to do here therefore would be to go left (cliffs notwithstanding). Trouble is that many bikers may adopt the 'international' break to the right policy and nuts, bolts and fur will fly.

Perhaps there should be an option (g): reach down, grab a handfull of sh*t and throw it at the oncomming rider. Do not be concerned that there might not be any sh*t to grab.... it'll be there.

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Ok so I did C, turned to the right. More or less I panicked and and turned to hard the bike rolled on me and ended up with the back of the bike on my left leg and me laying sort of on the hill. Cruising into an open space on the hill would have been nice had there been an open space, lots of rocks and trees. Other then some scrapes and bruises I am fine.

The lead rider was going so fast he didn't even know I layed it down, ended up about 50 yards past me and when my buddy stopped he stopped. The second rider was very apologetic and even made some joke about "Looks like it's getting a bit dusty out here", lifted the bike off of me and made sure I was ok and took off.

So short of the panic part I think my instincts were correct. There wasn't really time to think and had I seen or heard them earlier I probably would have reacted better, but I am new and in a new situation such as this it is hard to do the perfect thing right away.

Are there any other techniques for avoiding head ons? How about after a collision anything that should be done? Should I get all mad they were on the wrong side?

(btw I enjoyed the comical responses)

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The only sure fire method is not to ride, but i don't think anyone here will do that... atleast i wont. Another option, keep ur bike quite and hope the other guy isn't, then maybe u'll hear him comeing... but probably not. Just be ready for it, and look as far ahead as u can, and always give the other guy right of way, even when it may technically be yours. Assume they don't see you and act acordingly.

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I have to side with the Squid on this one. Standard rules of the road have to be applied here. Along with some basic common sense.

Had to witness two good friends endure a nasty, high speed front end collision about four years back. One was driven to the hospital with a broken cheek bone and broken wrist. The other was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN. with a crushed eye socket and both bones in his lower leg also crushed. Multiple surgeries for repairs and skin grafts, many hours in rehab.

One of the guys was WFO on a wide fire road, railing left of center; the other was WFO, headed back toward the group of 7 or 8 riders he had just been riding with. (When he had stopped to meet up with me, he stated that they were all together, heading back to camp. Someone must've crashed behind him since he was riding alone and we'd better go see if they need help.)

As for my theory on 'rules of the road'; when riding a trail that is known to be two-way traffic, ALWAYS stay as far right as possible and when in a blind section, back off the gas just a bit.

And for the 'basic common sense' part; if you know that you're heading back toward a rider or group of riders, for God's Sake - SLOW DOWN!

The terrible sound of that crash will stay in my head until the day I die.

"There's no amount of fun to be had on Sunday that can justify missing work on Monday".

shafe

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....How about shifting down into first and letting the clutch out, and then work both brakes also.

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Seems the head ons at speed are where you can't see in front of you.

You have to take into consideration there will always be an idiot coming at you. He's going 30 and your going 15 lends itself to a survivable crash.

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you forgot an option. Jump off the rear of your bike and land on ur ass and hope the bike will take them out or slow them down enough before they hit you as you role MI3 style out of the way.

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this is why no matter where im riding, if theres a corner of any kind, even slight, i stay almost off trail/road to the right.

luckily, where i ride, the trails are perfect for long straight with techincal stuff and a quick speed, then it opens up slightly across the turn.

this way, you can look for anyone coming into the same turn before oyu even get there, and you can fly through it.

if you cant see around a corner, dont get any speed. simple as that.

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I don't know about other states, but in Georgia; the Nat'l Forestry Svc. and Dept. of Natural Resources maintain many ORV riding areas that have trails that are designated as one-way. Not all of them are this way, but a good percentage of them. Those areas are the ones I prefer. Anyone should be able to find a local or state website that lists their various ORV areas and most of those have downloadable trail maps. A few minutes with Google at most should have you covered.

shafe

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I've talked to the rangers at Hollister (where almost all of the trails are one-way) and they felt that the most serious accidents occur on one-way trails. Riders don't expect anyone to be coming the other way so they're generally haulin' ass but people screw up and get on a trail going the wrong way. My only head-on was on a one-way trail where the other guy didn't know he was going the wrong way. Luckily we both walked away, though his bike was pretty messed up. Bottom line - be careful on one-way trails as well.

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I've talked to the rangers at Hollister (where almost all of the trails are one-way) and they felt that the most serious accidents occur on one-way trails. Riders don't expect anyone to be coming the other way so they're generally haulin' ass but people screw up and get on a trail going the wrong way. My only head-on was on a one-way trail where the other guy didn't know he was going the wrong way. Luckily we both walked away, though his bike was pretty messed up. Bottom line - be careful on one-way trails as well.

I'll give you that, dude...there's always an idiot to be found if you look hard enough. Although the vast majority of the one-way's here enter and exit from a primary access trail, and are clearly marked everywhere....there's always the possibility that some ******* has gone off blazing his own trail and entered a real one headed the wrong direction.

That's just one more reason why I'm a big advocate of bar-mounted RPG's! :thumbsup::ride::applause:

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I do alot of my riding at night because I feel safer. I have a H.I.D. headlight and helmet light so the chances are good they'll see me long before I get there if not I'll see their lights Now if only I could get the damn bears to get out of my way. :thumbsup:

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I was in a headon this last Saturday at Strawberry. Neither one of us was being an idiot. I don't think he was at race pace and I certainly wasn't. One on here seems to think that if he gets in a headon it will be because the other was an idiot. It don't always happen like that. What probably would have helped both of us is if we had thought more about the objective dangers, bitching trail, down low near where others would be more prone to be, Saturday,etc.

Neither was hurt at all but I would of swore I tore his leg off.

I signed on to thumper talk because he had it on helmet can and was going to post it. This thread got my attention.

All I know is his name was Mike on a 450wrf?.

Bring on the helmet cam video Mike, it has to be scary.

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....How about shifting down into first and letting the clutch out, and then work both brakes also.

Cause your engine would rev so high and cause you skid like hell. Remeber, he said he was hauling ass.

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