Motorcycling: the fine art of thinking

Britt Santowski offers Throttle Therapy for motorcycle riders, and subscribes a dose of knowledge, taken with a full cup of thinking.

Contrary to what the term “lane position” suggests, it’s not a geographical placement but a way of being.

You can identify those not in the know. They are the ones that have heard through the grapevine that dominant means riding in the left third of the lane (position “1”). So no matter what, no matter where, they assert their (false) knowledge of dominance by mindlessly riding on the left portion of the lane.

Not correct. Dominant means holding ownership over the lane. It means strategically positioning yourself so that if another vehicle needs to pass you, you force them to do a full and complete lane change. You do NOT invite them to share a portion of your lane.

In the case of a two-lane highway, for example, riding in the left third of the lane (position “1”) when passing another vehicle opens up your entire lane for any other Tom or Dick who wants to pass as well. This massive space, now wide enough for another vehicle, invites other motorists to share your lane.

Even dividing the lane into equal thirds, as is suggested by the diagram, is misleading. When positioning yourself in the “dominant” lane position — whether left, right or centre — you’re really moving incrementally. Your position should be in relation to where people sit in a car: in the driver’s seat, in the passenger seat, or in the middle seat.

If you ride based on the location of the tires on a car, keep in mind that your body sits on top of the wheel (with knees, feet and elbows sticking out), whereas a person in a vehicle sits on the inside of the wheel.

That is (approximately) where you should be positioning yourself.

Those bikers who ride based on the tire groves of cars often have sundry body parts hanging over the centre line. Bear in mind that the centre line is also known as the suicide line, for good reason. You don’t have to be fully over the line to be fully impacted by oncoming traffic. Nosirree, only a part of you needs to make contact.

As with anything else I have written in this column, the rules are not exact. The description of the dominant lane position is intended as a guideline for the thinking person. If conditions suggest something else is required to retain dominance, or if suddenly safety precedes dominance, please adjust accordingly. Wider lanes, narrower lanes, less traffic, more traffic, gravel or oil on the road will all contribute to your ongoing analysis of where you need to be.

If you remember the point of riding dominant (discouraging lane sharing) and mix that with an ounce of flexibility and another ounce of rationality, you will almost never find yourself in that horrible situation where some moron is putting you in danger by choosing to share your lane on their own volition.

Dominant lane placement. It’s not a dogma; it’s a philosophy.

 

Just Posted

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read