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Offline JamesXRV

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"Rules" of Gravel Travel
« on: January 28, 2010, 09:41:30 am »
My wife and I have done a fair bit of gravel travel by bike and 4x4, and every time we do, I'm amazed to see that some fellow road users seem to think that the rules of the road goes out the door as soon as you hit the dirt. And I'm not talking about "playing" a bit when the coast is clear, we all do that.

Had a few close calls on my usual 80km detour to work this morning...

As a rule, when I see an approaching dust trail, I back off a bit until that vehicle have passed, NEVER overtake on a blind corner and if I'm in the middle of the road due to potholes and another vehicle approaches, I move back to my side of the road (obviously).

But, some people out there seem oblivious to these basic principles  ???

Am I the only one bothered by this, or am I just full of crap?
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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 09:53:19 am »
My wife and I have done a fair bit of gravel travel by bike and 4x4, and every time we do, I'm amazed to see that some fellow road users seem to think that the rules of the road goes out the door as soon as you hit the dirt. And I'm not talking about "playing" a bit when the coast is clear, we all do that.

Had a few close calls on my usual 80km detour to work this morning...

As a rule, when I see an approaching dust trail, I back off a bit until that vehicle have passed, NEVER overtake on a blind corner and if I'm in the middle of the road due to potholes and another vehicle approaches, I move back to my side of the road (obviously).

But, some people out there seem oblivious to these basic principles  ???

Am I the only one bothered by this, or am I just full of crap?

No... when I see approaching dust I look for a place to pull off... far off! :-\
As you say it seems like some think that on dirt common courtesy and the traffic laws can be left behind at the turn off from the Tar. :patch:
The biggest offenders are bakkies... or the moron drivers I encountered were. Apologies to any bakkie driver that is courteous on dirt roads. I yet have to find one though...
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 10:03:04 am »
My wife and I have done a fair bit of gravel travel by bike and 4x4, and every time we do, I'm amazed to see that some fellow road users seem to think that the rules of the road goes out the door as soon as you hit the dirt. And I'm not talking about "playing" a bit when the coast is clear, we all do that.

Had a few close calls on my usual 80km detour to work this morning...

As a rule, when I see an approaching dust trail, I back off a bit until that vehicle have passed, NEVER overtake on a blind corner and if I'm in the middle of the road due to potholes and another vehicle approaches, I move back to my side of the road (obviously).

But, some people out there seem oblivious to these basic principles  ???

Am I the only one bothered by this, or am I just full of crap?


No - you are absolutely right.

I am usually seriously horrified with people treating the gravel roads like one ways.
Overtaking on blind turns, riding side by side, going round corners on the right hand side.

The list goes on.

I also ride like you - when I approach a corner I go the furthest left that I am comfortable with.
More than once I dodged a potential issue because of that.
 
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Offline DrDirt

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 10:06:36 am »
I wish people driving in vehicles would realise when they encounter a motorbike on dirt that there will most of the time not only be one of them but 2or 3 to follow.
I have had my fare share of close calls when people travel on dirt and as soon as the first bike passes and the second one is around a corner they will “sommer” cut the corner.  ???
I call them “kykdaars” they don’t look at the road ahead but the whole time they will say “kyk daar kyk daar kyk daar”
 I have even tried to show them slowdown 3 more bikes coming and only get a finger back or a polite wave. :-\ 
 

Offline JamesXRV

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 10:23:34 am »
My wife and I have done a fair bit of gravel travel by bike and 4x4, and every time we do, I'm amazed to see that some fellow road users seem to think that the rules of the road goes out the door as soon as you hit the dirt. And I'm not talking about "playing" a bit when the coast is clear, we all do that.

Had a few close calls on my usual 80km detour to work this morning...

As a rule, when I see an approaching dust trail, I back off a bit until that vehicle have passed, NEVER overtake on a blind corner and if I'm in the middle of the road due to potholes and another vehicle approaches, I move back to my side of the road (obviously).

But, some people out there seem oblivious to these basic principles  ???

Am I the only one bothered by this, or am I just full of crap?

No... when I see approaching dust I look for a place to pull off... far off! :-\
As you say it seems like some think that on dirt common courtesy and the traffic laws can be left behind at the turn off from the Tar. :patch:
The biggest offenders are bakkies... or the moron drivers I encountered were. Apologies to any bakkie driver that is courteous on dirt roads. I yet have to find one though...

Phew, luckily I drive an alcheapo old Sportage, not a bakkie...  ;)   But, yes, the amount of okes that just keep it balls to the wall when they approach you...geez, some dirt roads are only so wide.

Sorry guys, just need to vent a bit here...
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Offline HVDM

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 10:46:01 am »
My wife and I have done a fair bit of gravel travel by bike and 4x4, and every time we do, I'm amazed to see that some fellow road users seem to think that the rules of the road goes out the door as soon as you hit the dirt. And I'm not talking about "playing" a bit when the coast is clear, we all do that.

Had a few close calls on my usual 80km detour to work this morning...

As a rule, when I see an approaching dust trail, I back off a bit until that vehicle have passed, NEVER overtake on a blind corner and if I'm in the middle of the road due to potholes and another vehicle approaches, I move back to my side of the road (obviously).

But, some people out there seem oblivious to these basic principles  ???

Am I the only one bothered by this, or am I just full of crap?

No... when I see approaching dust I look for a place to pull off... far off! :-\
As you say it seems like some think that on dirt common courtesy and the traffic laws can be left behind at the turn off from the Tar. :patch:
The biggest offenders are bakkies... or the moron drivers I encountered were. Apologies to any bakkie driver that is courteous on dirt roads. I yet have to find one though...

Hey I drive a bakkie! What bike do you ride? I will make sure I pay special attention to riding you off next time >:D :biggrin:
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 10:46:50 am by HVDM »
 

Offline Toni

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 10:48:25 am »
Most bakkies are driven by "local people"  and they know the area quite well. Most bakkies are also very slow to pick up speed. Most bakkies are driven by people who never even thought about riding a bike, and think we are mad to do so.  Now mix in a few fast bike riders.

Firstly how often do we overtake slow bakkies?(how often do we crack their wind screen with a stone thrown from our back wheel?). How often do we come screaming around a corner or a rise on the right side (as in not left)?. Dodging a bike in a 2 ton bakkie is not that easy.    

Bottom line if a 2 ton bakkie hits a 300kg bike head on, who has the most pain?

I think it is us bikers who should ride more carefully, and hopefully the bakkie (and other cage) drivers shall do likewise. I for one slow down and go as far left as possible when seeing a dust trail. This is on 2 wheels or 4.
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Offline RobC

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 10:48:42 am »

Hey I drive a bakkie! What bike do you ride? I will make sure I pay special attention to riding you off next time >:D :biggrin:
Need I say more? :pot:
Just make sure you do the job well... because I will turn around and hunt you down with my spare sparkplugs! :patch: :imaposer:
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 10:50:57 am »
I think it is us bikers who should ride more carefully, and hopefully the bakkie (and other cage) drivers shall do likewise. I for one slow down and go as far left as possible when seeing a dust trail. This is on 2 wheels or 4.

+10000
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Offline RobC

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 10:53:00 am »
Most bakkies are driven by "local people"  and they know the area quite well. Most bakkies are also very slow to pick up speed. Most bakkies are driven by people who never even thought about riding a bike, and think we are mad to do so.  Now mix in a few fast bike riders.

Firstly how often do we overtake slow bakkies?(how often do we crack their wind screen with a stone thrown from our back wheel?). How often do we come screaming around a corner or a rise on the right side (as in not left)?. Dodging a bike in a 2 ton bakkie is not that easy.    

Bottom line if a 2 ton bakkie hits a 300kg bike head on, who has the most pain?

I think it is us bikers who should ride more carefully, and hopefully the bakkie (and other cage) drivers shall do likewise. I for one slow down and go as far left as possible when seeing a dust trail. This is on 2 wheels or 4.
I hear what you say... but as my bones are rather fragile and I ride a KLR I would not call my dirt riding style anywhere near what you describe. Ergo I ride carefully. :ricky:
 

Offline JamesXRV

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 11:02:31 am »
Most bakkies are driven by "local people"  and they know the area quite well. Most bakkies are also very slow to pick up speed. Most bakkies are driven by people who never even thought about riding a bike, and think we are mad to do so.  Now mix in a few fast bike riders.

Firstly how often do we overtake slow bakkies?(how often do we crack their wind screen with a stone thrown from our back wheel?). How often do we come screaming around a corner or a rise on the right side (as in not left)?. Dodging a bike in a 2 ton bakkie is not that easy.    

Bottom line if a 2 ton bakkie hits a 300kg bike head on, who has the most pain?

I think it is us bikers who should ride more carefully, and hopefully the bakkie (and other cage) drivers shall do likewise. I for one slow down and go as far left as possible when seeing a dust trail. This is on 2 wheels or 4.

I think the biggest problems come from the SUV's that spend most of their time parked on shopping centre pavements :pot:

Airbags, plush suspension and two or more tons behind you give you a lot of false self confidence, with the result that some don't give a sh!t about the other guys out there...

But I agree fully, most important is "number one" (me), so I always rather back off, pull over etc.

I have no desire to become a hood ornament, only to be displayed next time said SUV is parked at that shopping centre... ;)

« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 11:03:09 am by JamesXRV »
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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2010, 11:09:20 am »
I call them “kykdaars” they don’t look at the road ahead but the whole time they will say “kyk daar kyk daar kyk daar”

We have a "Kykdaar" member on the forum  :peepwall:

Offline Warren Ellwood

Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2010, 03:52:12 pm »
I've come across quite a few bikes or groups of bikes whilst taking my 4x4 groups around the Western Cape. Luckily I can warn all the vehicles in my convoy by radio of bikes I come across and the number, in fact they get asked to slow down and keep as far left as they can.

I've always found that if I slow my truck down, the bike usually slows down, we pass with a friendly wave on get on our way. You can see by the dust plume if a bloke is spanking it or not.

From a "riding my bike" perspective, I have always found cars slow down I approach them and so far have have no bad experiences, but then again I also slow down alot when a car comes past and make sure I am as far left as I can possibly be.

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2010, 04:02:50 pm »
The big problem here is that drivers and riders alike often fail to realise that although it is a gravel road it is still a public road, and thus the rules that apply on a tar road still applies here.
As a newby riders I often made the mistake of always keeping to the inside corner of a gravel turn, to make sure I don't leave the road. Only later did I realize how dangerous it can be to ride where oncoming traffic is supposed to ride - and they can't see you.
I agree though, lots of bakkies simply do not slow down on a gravel road, straight or not, and it really pisses me off.
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Offline RobC

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2010, 04:03:43 pm »
I just want to add that support crews during off road events are also pretty reckless... My grote griet man! :patch:  Do you know how many klippe a Sprinter or Vito kicks up! :eek7:
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2010, 04:26:25 pm »
I grew up on a smallholding with only gravel roads and having a motorcycle from when I was 8 (driving tractors and later cars from when I was 6) - sharing the road with other people of the area have taught me a couple of things (other than the obvious):
- In corners go slower and keep as left as possible where you cannot see around the bend
- When you pass a car or any other vehicle - go as wide around them as what you can and stay there for at least 50 meters past them (or as far as you can). Pass only where it is safe to do so and then accelerate before you get to them - when you go past keep your speed and don't speed up.
-When encountering horses go to the other side of the road and either pull in your clutch from about 15 meters before them and 'coast' past them till about 20 meters on the other side, or gear up to where the engine is almost at idle for the speed you are at.

Where I grew up these 'rules' have kept me and my bike safe on the road and met by friendly faces while other 'bike children' have been reported and taken off the roads by the same happy faces that I encounter.

I still stick to those rules and so far so good.
;D

I must say that a couple of people on horses do wave very friendly when their 'fear of a motorcycle potentially spooking the horse' turns into a friendly greeting as they see me getting ready to pass them as quietly as possible.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 04:29:40 pm by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline HVDM

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2010, 04:28:49 pm »
As a bakkie driver I slow down to look away from the road and say kykdaar as often as possible  :biggrin:

as in kykdaar die bike! waar?.....Oops...


I sure hope I dont run into myself while out riding....LOL!

On gravel I stick to the middle, or where there are the least potholes or loose stuff, unless I see a blind rise or bend, or a dust cloud ahead. Then i go slow and keep far left.
 

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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2010, 10:56:16 pm »

- In corners go slower and keep as left as possible where you cannot see around the bend






Blind corners in narrow passes? Provided the driver coming from the other side also follows the rules, which the inconsiderate driver rarely does. He cuts the corner, usually going to fast. If you`re also on the inside you have very little margin for error. I approach these corners dead slow on the outside, which gives me that extra second to see him and  take evasive action. I`ve
had many close shaves and its worked so far.


The vehicle going uphill on a pass has right of way! Ever tried pulling away uphill on Holgat pass
in Baviaanskloof carrying a pillion on a fully loaded bike? Pity the guys on the SUV forums cant read this.



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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 05:32:51 pm »
I must say that a couple of people on horses do wave very friendly when their 'fear of a motorcycle potentially spooking the horse' turns into a friendly greeting as they see me getting ready to pass them as quietly as possible.

My wiff and darling daughter are horsey types - they'll love to bits for your attitude!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Re: "Rules" of Gravel Travel
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 05:51:36 pm »
Horses are very sensitive to bikes, especially loud ones.  Contrary to common believe I always slow down to crawling speed when I encounter them - after all, it's the right thing to do.
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