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How Fast Is Your Reaction Time?


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Check out this interesting link and test your reaction time:


Click Here to Go to Human Benchmark--Reaction Time Test


I got an average reaction time of 245 milliseconds or about 1/4 second (told you I was slow). At 60 mph, that's 22 feet before I can see something and begin to react. At 120 mph, that's 44 feet of forward motion before I can make an intentional, pre-programmed response--see the green, click the box--see my reference point, steer toward it.


I wonder what this means for my riding? B)

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235.8 average for me (best was around 228+ )


but thats just part of the equation.


doing the right things at the right times account for a lot more than reaction times when riding IMHO.


I can actually read and predict (to a very limited extend) the body language of other road users and do some pre emptive actions to get my self out of trouble even before stuff happens.


else theres always the horn...




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I am extremely slow at these kind of tests, but were pleasantly surprised to average .298 over 5 tries after being up for 17 hours with 4 hours of sleep before that - I never do better.


In a panic situation, the brain isn't involved, and my reactions are quite fast and more often than not accurate. Let's say you burn a finger - the hand doesn't wait for the brain to say RETRACT, the signal is turned around in your shoulder which saves you plenty of time. It's the same when following a car; if I decide to hit the brakes the moment the car in front does, it's a slow reaction. If the car in front hits the brakes unexpectedly, I get a much quicker response.


As do everybody. But some are able to keep their reaction speed very high also when involving the brain, like the test you linked to. It's useful for drag racing, but in most other things it's more important to be able to read the signals so that you can be prepared and react in control and not in panic.


Anybody see the Top Gear episode when Jeremy Clarkson met Schumacher and they did some primitive reaction tests? Jeremy won. Were an F1 driver excel is under stress; McLaren has a lab with lamps lighting up in various pattern, which require a reaction from the operating human. Most in the team will be able to score about 20 % correctly within the small time frame available. F1 drivers will do better than 80 % - after first having trained to exhaustion for 90 minutes.


In other words; the best are super-humans compared to the masses, which is us :P

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just a thought

i saw a thing with f1 drivers years ago dropping a ruler and then catching it and noting where it measures when caught .

the main thing learnt was that schumachers reaction times were average so as is pointed out above as long as your reaction times are not particularly slow it is what you do - or don,t do (as in twist 2) with those reaction times that is far more useful i believe .

also stress is a big factor e.g target fixing on something when you know you shouldn,t .

cheers :)

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Anticipating what's going to happen before it happens is important, as is being accurate; watch F1 drivers sliding the rear out of the final corner around Monaco every lap with just inches between the outside wheel and the fence. They are so precise. Also, they remain calm under stress. Most of us, when we fall off a motorcycle, tend to just tumble until it stops. THe majority of the top rank racers always seems to know where they are and what they should do and orientate themselves regarding the surroundings. They do have a lot of practice as well, though :D

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...they remain calm under stress... :D


Great point Eirik. This reminded me of a side story to a great moment in American Pro Football. In the 1989 Super Bowl the 49ers were down by 3 to the Bengals with about 3 minutes left to play, in the huddle Joe Montana says to tackle Harris Barton "Hey H, isn't that John Candy?". He's about to mount a make or break drive in the Super Bowl and he's picking out celebrities in the crowd? He then proceeded to conduct what is now known as "The Drive" - 92 yards, a touchdown, and the win. Joe had a total of 31 4th quarter comebacks in his pro career. He was definitely able to remain calm under stress.


And the practice doesn't hurt either :D .


BTW...I averaged 212.6 which which speaks to teg's point that it takes more than quick reactions to make a good rider :P . Cool link Crash.

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Thats why in racing and track riding you find reference points and braking markers. The time it takes to react to a situation are not necessarily calculated by you going 120 mph closing on something that is 0 mph. Most of the time the incident occurs when both objects are going at the same speed. So the rate of closing is still there and will scare the ###### out of you but you have more time to react than you think.

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Interesting... here's my take on it...


I'd say that sort of test may be somewhat useful if you're a drag racer, since they actually do measure reaction times. But for street or track riding I can't see that it's a valid measure of speed or skill. This is because that type of riding requires a plan, not straight reactions. Sure unexpected situations may come up, but in an emergency situation you'll be subconsciously reacting, reacting instinctively. (If not - you'll be in serious trouble if you have to consciously think about what to do...)


Here's a test that is probably more appropriate... it's been around for a while, often referred to as the 'fighter pilot test'.


(You can't believe everything that you read on the internet, but supposedly fighter pilots are expected to last 2 minutes in that test.)

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