Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SMIDSY Demystified and Other Wisdom

As I was riding with Hubby the other day, this SMIDSY video popped into my brain.

SMIDSY is an acronym meaning "Sorry, mate, I didn't see you."

I saw this video a while back. Perhaps you've seen it, too. I figured I'd share it anyway because I think it does a great job explaining why cars don't see us. It also teaches a simple maneuver -- the SIAM -- you can easily employ in potential SMIDSY situations to make yourself more visible.

Cars don't usually pull out in front of bikes on purpose. Sometimes bikes really are harder to see.

Thinking about the SMIDSY brought to mind some other things most riders learn through experience.

Here are a few gems I learned on my own:

Give vultures an extra-wide berth.
Vultures are very large, carrion-eating birds often spotted in or along roads making a meal out of roadkill. Simply going around a vulture (or vultures) while riding your bike isn't enough. You really need to reduce your speed significantly, too.

Remember, vultures are the jumbo cargo planes of the bird world. They take off slowly and need a lot of space to reach a safe altitude. I've come close enough to a few of those suckers to know. I ALWAYS slow down. I usually hold my breath, too. Because roadkill stinks!

That's not my photo, by the way. You don't see a lot of armadillos in Virginia. Dead or alive.

Toll booths are like ice on rainy days.
You know how they always say the first 30 minutes or so after rain has started is when roads are at their slipperiest? That's because of all the oil on the road. The pavement at toll booths is always oil-soaked. Even after it's been raining for a while, it's still extremely slippery.

Cars and other four-wheeled vehicles don't have to worry as much. In fact, it's not the wheels of a motorcycle that are the problem. It's putting your foot down that's really tricky. If you are moving even a little bit or have a bit too much lean going on, that foot will slip right out from under you. I've never actually wiped out at a tool booth, but I have had some close calls.

Dull is ALWAYS better.
Armor All and motorcycles are a bad mix. Yes, it makes your tires shine, but it also makes them slippery. Slippery bike tires are never a good thing. We rely on our tires to stick to the road, not skitter across the road surface.

I was very proud of my first motorcycle. I cleaned it often. Back then, at the ripe old age of 18, I wasn't thinking practically. I wanted to look good. So I washed and Armor Alled my cute little Honda Rebel and then took it for a spin.

At the first traffic light I encountered, when I stopped the bike, I slid right off my nice, shiny seat and up onto the gas tank. Lucky for me, I've got long legs.

Got any gems of wisdom to share that you had to learn on your own? This could make for a fun and easy little meme.

Wanna join the fun? I'll even keep the rules super-simple...

Post a tip, photo optional, and link back to this post. It would be nice to link to other participating blogs, too. But I'll be sure to add a link list here for a participating bloggers.

Who knows, maybe we'll teach each other something new.

Don't feel like doing a post? Just add a comment. It'll be fun to see what y'all know that I don't.


Trobairitz said...

Great post. I hadn't seen the video before but I had heard of SMIDSY you.

I enjoyed your other tips too. I can't think of any off the top of my head but before I rode my own bike I did a short series of blog posts on tips for the pillion rider. I think I stopped at 2 because I was riding my own bike by then.

If I can think of a tip for the rider that I've learned and can remember, I'll post up a blog and come back and link it.

Fuzzy said...

I've always heard that if you can eat it in one sitting, you can safely ride over it. A theory I hope to not try any time soon, though.

And yea! Roadkill DOES stink!