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Re: [ST] Offside usage (Non ST but m/c in general)

In your message regarding Re: [ST] Offside usage (Non ST but m/c in general)
dated Fri, 16 Aug 2002 17:37:36 +0100, David Edmondson said that ...

>DE-  On Friday, August 16, 2002, at 12:14  am, Mike Bostock wrote:
> > I would be interested in the grass roots opinion of riders here in order 
> > to
> > gauge what sort of percentage would contemplate crossing the centre line 
> > to
> > make progress and under what circumstances and/or their feelings on this 
> > issue.
> >
>DE-  Given *very* good visibility I straighten out kinks that way but given the 
>DE-  visibility proviso it doesn't happen that often.

Which was my view.

However, my question had a 'hidden agenda'.  I simplified it purely to gauge
the response for those that crossed the centre line and those that didn't.

My argument was that all riders will cross the centre line at some time during
normal progress through a series of bends [we are not talking about overtaking
here]. Undoubtedly this act carries with it an element of risk which is
indisputable.  What I contested was that the psychology of making blanket
edicts "Thou must not cross into the opposite carriageway whilst making normal
progress" by training/standard setting organisations was flawed because the act
was inevitable. As it was inevitable they should make provision for training
riders in how to execute this SAFELY rather than purely ignoring it as being
'unacceptable'.  Here is part of my penultimate email on the subject.

I would be pleased to receive further responses/flak/general comments etc to
gauge the weight of opinion in this forum because I value the experience and
expertise that many of you possess.

Here is what I said:

>In your message regarding Off side usage dated Wed, 14 Aug 2002 11:06:53
>+0100, xxxxxxxx said that ...
>>M-  I've forwarded a couple of e-mails that have input on the topic. Hope they
>>M-  make sense.
>Total sense - each argument has its merits and I will delve into them shortly
>and probably will sound awfully pompous
>Firstly,  Dave Jones in 'Not the Blue Book' proposes the absolute rule
>that unless overtaking (or turning right) the white line shall not be cross'ed
>- and so it would seem are the IAM and RoSPA.
>There are only absolute rules in physics and mathematics, certainly where human
>judgment is required there can never be an absolute (not even in Law).
>Taking into account that the judgment rests with the individual there are
>obviously guidelines which can be offered and that a more experienced observer
>can criticise another if in 'his/her (PC) judgement' a particular manoeuvre
>performed at a particular time/condition etc was unwise/unsafe in 'their
>opinion'.  But even the IAM and RoSPA should not go out on a limb and say
>"knock off 5 points for each time the white line is crossed".  Every
>circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits.
>1. Take our ride out.  I did not ride any differently with you than I would
>normally do with anyone else.  I rode slightly differently than I do when
>riding solo as when in company I always have regard for the guy behind.  We
>rode crisply but with due regard for safety - we also
>crossed the centre line on several occasions to enhance SSV (OK for comfort,
>sraightlining through bends) but had the other side of the carriageway been
>occupied we were not travelling so fast that we couldn't have taken a line
>entirely within our carriageway.  There was no risk attached to our style/line.
>2. When I was in Spain there was one particular road that I travelled, last
>year also, of which the eastbound (right) side of the road had a poor
>(undulating) surface whereas the left (offside in Spain) carriageway was much
>better.  I deliberately chose to ride on this side of the road for comfort. 
>However, the road was straight, no hedges, one car spotted every 20 miles, so
>it was entirely safe to do this.  At points where visibility was impaired I
>returned to the 'proper side of the road' and reduced speed to maintain
>At no time during either of the above was crossing to the offside kerb
>contemplated, it was purely 2-5 feet over the white line.
>Now the other issue, which was using the WHOLE WIDTH OF THE ROAD TO MAKE
>PROGRESS, this is entirely deprecated especially if the speed of progress is
>such that keeping within ones's own carriageway would be difficult as would a
>change of direction to account for an unforeseen hazard.  Let's face it white
>lines and cat's eyes offer less tractive resistance than the rest of the road
>so one doesn't want to be crossing them on the limit.
>That's my view, obviously I bow to your superior experience (that is sincerely
>meant as as you know I have a great deal of respect for those who ride
>professionally) but if rigid, inflexible rules are expounded human beings are
>likely to reason with 'that doesn't apply to me'.  It is better, in my view, to
>say that, under conditions WHICH ARE APPROPRIATE it is possible to undertake
>crossing the centre line; list the conditions, namely:
>1. visibility
>2. control (such that a return to the proper position can be effected without
>3. improvement (in comfort or stability) 
>4. due regard for hazards
>and that such a manoeuvre should NOT be borne out of necessity simply because
>one is traveling too FAST for the road.
>And then TRAIN that individual to appropriately recognise those conditions.

- -- 
Mike Bostock
Wales & SW ST Riders

'99 Red ST

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