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PSA - Ride Safe! (A combine tractor almost took me out)

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As the title says, I just wanted to tell you guys about an incident that happened to me today that could have ended very badly as a reminder to all of us to ride safe, stay vigilant, and practice important skills regularly.

First, I will describe the the road I was on and then I will describe the incident. 

The road: Here in West Texas there are a lot of back country roads with high speed sweeping curves, many of which are blind. This one in particular was a right hand curve that was lined with trees on both sides blocking my view of the exit. The speed limit on this road is 75 MPH and the recommended speed for the curve was 55 MPH. 

The incident: As I was approaching the turn at approximately 78 MPH I began to trail brake and slow to about 65 MPH, which was the speed I planned on maintaining through the turn. Well, I made it about half way through the turn when what seemed like out of nowhere a combine tractor appeared, traveling the opposite direction, and was blocking both lanes completely. I didn't have much time to react but since I already had my hand on the front brake I squeezed it harder to reduce my speed as much as I could hoping the farmer would move over to allow me some space but he didn't have much time to react. So my only choice was then to go off the shoulder and into the weeds at somewhere between 50 and 55 MPH.

I still have no idea how I was able to keep the bike upright over the transition from the pavement onto the gravel shoulder, through the weeds and brush and then back over the gravel shoulder and transition back onto the road. I'm generally a pretty careful rider (occasionally I like to do a bit of spirited riding) and I always make it a point to practice at least one important skill such as emergency braking, braking on a turn, swerving, or going to an empty parking lot to practice some slow speed maneuvers. I believe that this practice is what saved me from having my torso removed from the rest of my body by this tractor. This is the closest call I have ever had on the bike and the first one in quite a long while and it scared the crap out of me. As time slowed I had visions of me being cut in half by the tractor which was at about the level of the headlights on the bike. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight.  

Anyway, I hope this can serve as a reminder to all of us to ride safe and practice important skills regularly. 

Edited by Zach26
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Glad you made it...that practice just paid off!

2015 FJ-09 / FJR touring bags / oil plug mod / Evotech rad guard / SW Motech bash plate / VStream touring windshield / Seat Concepts:  Sport Touring / Vcyclenut ABS rings (speedo correction) / Cosmo RAM mount

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Nice to hear happy ending.  I also ride on rural roads but that didnt stop idiot backing out of driveway without looking...   I grabbed alot of brake and managed to swerve.  Basically be ready for ANYTHING!

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Yup, it is very easy to overdrive sight lines on country road corners.  It's a bit like Russian Roulette. Sometimes you are lucky.

A similar experience for me resulted in my replacing stock front brake pads with EBC pads.

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1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09
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