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nightmare bend, how to tackle it??(6 posts)

nightmare bend, how to tackle it??mike r
Mar 20, 2002 4:38 PM
i'm having a bit of touble finding the quickest line through a hairpin bend on a route of mine. the problem are 1. its a relatively steep hill 2. the bend is off camber 3. it's just wide enough for two cars to pass 4. there's some gravel in the middle of the road.
so far the only 'safe' option is to slow right down and steer through it.
any other awkward bends out there??
In my sporty-car days...retro
Mar 20, 2002 5:19 PM
...there were turns I never DID figure out, including the Carousel at Sears Point. But the basic rules of cornering apply to cars, bikes, motorcycles and even skis (as far as I have the ability to judge skiing, which isn't far). Some basic rules (with the qualifier that you should be safe first, and you should listen to anybody who says this DOESN'T work with bikes):
Start as wide as possible, to reduce the sharpness of the turn. If it's a left-hander, you want to be WAY to the right going in.
Generally, go straight farther than you think you should. My tendency is always to turn in too early, so I have to hug the inside for too long before I get to the exit point (you go slower in there where the turn is sharper). Try it at low speed first--go 10 feet farther, or 20 feet or whatever, before you even BEGIN to turn.
Pick the apex, the place where you're closest to the inside of the turn, well in advance and head for that point. In a race car, good drivers won't vary more than a couple of inches from lap to lap, traffic permitting.
You already know not to brake while you're actually in the turn. I have a strong tendency to slow down too much, though. Increase your speed GRADUALLY to see what you can hold. When they had me do that at the Bondurant School years ago, I gained more than 10 mph in one turn when I already thought I was going as fast as I could. That's a LOT on a race track.
Experiment with lines and braking points and turn-in. I rarely try to ride a bike at the limit, but I've done it a lot in cars. It's a huge help to follow somebody better than you are, so if you can work that out, jump on it. You might also pick up a book on either bicycle or sports car racing technique to understand the theory and how to pick lines. It's much easier to understand with a diagram.
As for the gravel...go out there with a broom some Saturday and sweep it off. That stuff's deadly.
Sounds familiar...DINOSAUR
Mar 20, 2002 5:40 PM
Sounds like the roads I ride. The gravel is always in a different place, the pot holes get bigger, the SUV's get wider, more people talking on cel phones, ranchers slowing to check on their cattle, the occasional wrong side of the roader, joggers running on the wrongside of the road, road crews standing in the middle of the road with a hand held "Stop" sign with stupid looks on their faces, patches of black ice after storms, the squirrels darting here and there. Yep, such is the life in the foothills..... I just slow down and steer through it....
re: nightmare bend, how to tackle it??gtx
Mar 20, 2002 6:34 PM
this recent thread might have some pointers for you
An after thought...DINOSAUR
Mar 20, 2002 6:59 PM
I'm sure you know this. Vision plays a big part in cycling. You have to scan the road ahead of you constantly watching for obstacles. More cyclist go down because of hitting road hazards than anything else, associated with unsafe speed for conditons. The main cause of accidents in my cycling club are road hazards; debris, pot holes, uneven pavement, usually when riding in groups. I prefer to ride solo, the same roads all the time, so I'm familiar. I went down two years ago because I was tired, .4 miles from home, and didn't see two small rocks in the road while descending. I blew a front tire and was pretty messed up.
I don't descend with breakneck speed anymore unless I have a clear shot of what's ahead of me. I wear clear or amber riding glasses and keep them clean even if it means pulling over and wiping them off.
I loose a little speed by doing this stuff, but I don't like crashing....
The correct way is safely.onespeed
Mar 21, 2002 7:47 AM