• thinkbiker

Bend Assessment

The types of bend that are most likely to catch us out are decreasing radius bends where the curve tightens or double bends where we don't have a view of the second bend when we enter the first bend especially where the second bend is tighter.

Common reactions.

  • Braking- This stands the bike up and stops it turning resulting in running wide either into oncoming traffic or the verge/scenery.

  • Panic Braking- Locking the front wheel resulting in a low side crash.

  • Target Fixation- Running wide as we have spotted something that is positioned where we thought the bend exit was and once fixated on it the bike heads straight for it,

  • Run Wide- We don't or cant turn any sharper so run wide, what happens next depends on whether there is an obstruction in our wide path.

Some Tips.

  • Take some training to help you understand how to read & negotiate bends exiting with a grin.

  • Don't enter a bend at your limit especially one that you can't see the exit, make sure you have some lean angle and grip to spare.

  • Relax, that's easy to say but difficult to do when you are thinking it is about to go wrong but stiff arms will stop the bike from steering.

  • WYLIWYG Where You Look Is Where You Go, if you have got it wrong and gone in a bit hot look for the exit and scan as far into the distance as possible this will help you turn through the bend.

  • Lean the bike further, it is likely there is more lean and grip available.

  • Gently ease off the throttle so as to scrub off speed but without shifting weight forwards this will also help the bike turn.

This is an example of a double bend, the second is tighter than the first but you can't see it on entry, to add the road drops away which can extend your suspension reducing steering angle then loading the suspension as you get to the bottom of the slope.

VP = Vanishing Point, the point where the verges or kerbs appear to meet.

If the VP appears to get further away the bend is opening up.

If the VP is getting closer then the bend is tightening.

Never rely on the VP alone to judge approach speed into a bend, this example shows how that could catch you out.

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