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The Lurker, the Drifter and the Trimmer

Every now and again someone sets me a challenge. On this occasion it was to find three types of driver that riders need to keep their eyes open for. Of course, the article actually focuses on three drivers OR riderss to on the be alert for. Yes, bikers are just as guilty of these thoughtless bits of riding as car drivers!

The Lurker finds places to hide, concealed spots from which he can leap out and surprise us. If there's a truck coming the other way is there a lurker behind it? He'll be right up the tailgate where we can't see him, and he'll pop out like a Jack-in-the-box. Our response? Move left, gain some buffer space and a better view. What about that side turning? The Lurker will sit too far back where we can't see him and he can't see us, and he'll lunge forward. Move away, to the right, to gain clearance and a better view. If there are bends ahead with blind areas, then the Lurker will hug the hedge and appear just when we think the road is clear.

The Drifter is a different animal. He expects us to devine his intentions by telepathy. On a multiple lane road, he'll change lanes by sliding slowly from one to the other, oblivious of traffic, no looks, no signals. Avoid the Drifter by sitting staggered in the adjacent lane, rather than alongside the other vehicle. Keep an eye open for movement, and we mustn't for a moment assume that the Drifter knows we're there. The Drifter is a hazard at side roads. He'll turn across our path oh so slowly. And if he's going our way, then having blocked our path, he slowly accumulate pace rather than accelerate to match the speed of the traffic flow. Back off and be prepared to match to his. Watch out for the Drifter behind. Keep an eye on the mirrors if he's following. When we ride into a lower limit and decelerate, the Drifter won't change his speed, not until he's trying to ride pillion. Use the brakes to slow so there's a warning light, and use them very lightly too - that way we'll only slow down gradually.

The Trimmer thinks that using a bit of our side of the road is perfectly fine because it makes life a bit easier for him, it cuts down the effort needed to steer accurately around bends, roundabouts and into and out of junctions. Watch for the Trimmer coming the other way on left-handers. He'll cut across the central line so we have to be prepared to tighten our own line by moving to the nearside. Faced with a left-turn into a side road, the Trimmer will swing wide to the right to make the manoeuvre easy, even though we're coming the other way. If we're in the side turning, the Trimmer will take a lazy line turning in on our side of the road by cutting across the centre line. The Trimmer will straight-line roundabouts. Even when traffic is busy, he'll take the straight-line short cut when going straight ahead. Our defence is not to try to overtake across the island.

If you want to learn more about understanding how to manage the risks of riding on the road, why not check out the website and find out about Survival Skills advanced motorcycle training courses?

Kevin Williams
Survival Skills Rider Training

...because it's a jungle out there


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What is Survival Skills all about?

How are Survival Skills Courses put together and taught?
The Making of a Good Instructor - musings on my Driver Education course

Would a National Standard for advanced training be appropriate?
Writing a riding tip - what detail is necessary?
What to do if you've had an accident
Accident Statistics - dispelling some myths

Improver or advanced, pragmatism or perfection?
Piling on the miles
Compartmentalisation & Practice -  the key to learning new skills
Countersteering - Question and Answer

Braking Rules and Tips
Over-confidence and Riding at the Limit
Practice makes Perfect
The Danger of Misunderstanding
Learning from your Mistakes
A Moment of Inattention
Staying Warm
Staying Awake
Don't just ride for yourself, ride for others
Filtering - what's legal and how to do it
Cornering Problems 1 - Lean or Brake?
Springing into Summer - polishing off the winter rust
Group Riding - Rules and Tips
Awareness of Risk and Risk Management
Cornering Problems 4 - Stability and the "Point and Squirt" technique
Cornering Problems 3 - Staying out of trouble! Pro-active Braking or Acceleration Sense?
Cornering Problems 2 - Staying out of trouble
What is Risk?
Avoiding Diesel
The Vanishing Point - is it enough?
Posture - the key to smoother riding
When the Two Second Rule is not enough
Riding in the Dark
Roundabouts - straight lines, stability and safety
Slow Speed Control
Aquaplaning - what it is and how to deal with it
Rear Observation - when to & when not to!
Staying upright on icy roads
KISS - 'Keep it simple, Stupid' or Low Effort Biking
Overtaking Safety - avoiding vehicles turning right
Proactive versus Reactive Riding
Living with  Lifesavers
Which Foot? The Hendon Shuffle - Question and Answer
Carrying a passenger - Question and Answer
Riding in the rain
Riding in strong winds
Sorry Mate, I didn't see you - an analysis of SMIDSY accidents
Ever gone into a corner too hot and had it tighten up on you?
The Point & Squirt approach to corners
A time to live...
Target Fixation - Question and Answer
The Lurker, the Drifter and the Trimmer
The five most important things I learned as a courier
Overtaking - Questions and Answers
Precision riding - or keeping it simple?
Wide lines, tight lines, right lines - the law of Diminishing Returns
Surface Attraction
Euphoria - when your riding is just too good to be true
Straight line -vs- trail braking
Sit back, close your eyes, relax... and hope for the best
Before you overtake, do you...?
Do you need to blip the throttle on a downshift?
Holiday Riding Tips 1 - Dealing with hairpins (a new occasional series)
Holiday Riding Tips 2 - The (drive on the) Right Stuff
Why SMIDSYs happen
Avoiding dehydration - riding in hot weather
Riding errors - and avoiding them
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness - riding in fog
Where does Point and Squirt come from?
Overtaking - lifesavers and following distances
Offsiding - what is it, and why you should think before you do it!
Anger Management - dealing with "red mist" and "road rage"
That indefinable gloss
Overtaking on left-handers - experts only or best avoided?
Apex or Exit - what's important when cornering?

Developing 'Spidy Sense'

Armchair Riding - how to improve summer skills in winter

Working towards a BTEC in post-test instruction part 1

Working towards a BTEC in post-test instruction part 2

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