(Lack of) Speed Kills

You know, it’s the slow stuff that’s dangerous. Making a turn from a standing start at a stoplight, that kind of stuff.

On a bike, the faster you’re moving–within reason, of course–the easier it is to throw the bike around. A bike moving at speed doesn’t want to fall. relatively small steering inputs move the bike in the desired direction.

But when you’re moving slowly, all sorts of bad things can happen. You accidentally crank the throttle a bit too much, and the bike gets away from you, going from 5 to 20 miles per hour in an eyeblink. Or you’re moving so slowly, the bike just wants to fall down in the direction your wheel is turned, because the steering inputs have to be so large.

Most of the time, you’re moving slowly enough so that a fall would be more embarrassing than dangerous. But those slow speeds are when the bike is at its most unsteady, and when you have to be the most careful.

Obviously, on the other end, excessive speed is a killer, too, especially in turns. But at least there, you’re inviting the risk, because you’re traveling too fast for the conditions.

But it’s when I’m moving slowly, and making those standing turns that I’m most scared of dropping the bike. it’s something that I require a lot more practice at before I’m truly going to be comfortable on the bike.