(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.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.