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Does Your Turn Point Change?


Crash106
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So, I'm on a road I've never been on before. I zoom toward a curve and pick a turn point. Ah, the bike is headed right for it, so I look in. I travel closer and get a better look at the shape of the turn and the location of the apex, when all of a sudden, I find I've "chosen" to turn at a different point. I'm now entering the turn on a different line than I originally intended. It's not a bad line. It's usually a better line than I "chose" 4 seconds ago, but it is certainly a different line than I originally envisioned.

 

  • Has this ever happened to you?
  • Does your turn point ever change as you approach a new corner?
  • Is it "bad" to change your mind as you get more information about the curve?

 

I guess the weird thing is that this is almost subconscious. Its not analytical, or intentional, yet I seldom end up on a bad line. It's not like I'm drifting in early, then running out of road on the exit, or getting lost in the turn and running out of road on the entrance. Maybe this is how is it SUPPOSED to work. What do you think?

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To alter your intended line when you have gained more information about the turn? I wouldn't say that's a bad thing, definitely not. In fact sometimes you'd really want to be able to do that (I suppose that's what we call safety margin). If you were coming around a blind corner and saw an oncoming car that was half in your lane, I'd bet that everyone would change their line mid-corner!

 

On the street your line is basically chosen, within a 3-4m width (your lane). I find in some ways it's alot easier than riding a track because you don't have as many choices to make, you've got your working space clearly defined and you're not aiming to place your tyres from line to line, turn after turn. I think that's why the 'almost subconscious' comes into play.

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To answer your question: Of course! It's called adapting to the conditions, something you must do all the time on the road. When I ride our backroads they are littered with frost heaves, broken tarmac, cow turd, patches of sand and blind corners. Plus the odd stray sheep and errant tractors parked around the bend where you cannot see. Altering trajectory is not a question of if, but how often. On every ride.

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I agree. Essentially, if you read ToTWII, it talks about the Two Step. The first step is to pick out a potential turn in point. Then you look for your apex. If you look for your apex and it doesn't work with your preselected turn in, then you can (and should) adjust.

 

This works to solve the more common problem of premature turn in. This is far more common than going too deep into the corner.

 

So, is it better to set a turn in point and commit to it, even when evidence proves you should do different?

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I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing if you are consciously altering your turn in point & line selection because of "newer" information as you approach a turn, especially on the street (car comes out of nowhere, racoon decides to cross the road, giant stick you didn't see earlier appears, you spot ice cream shop, etc).

 

However, from your description, it sounds as if it is more "accidental", meaning you find yourself unable to hit your chosen turn in point and subsequent line. If that is the case, then THAT is an issue for sure.

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