I have been riding only 10 years and I thought I was bullet proof riding my bike. After all I took a motorcycle safety class when I got my licence. But I wrecked my bike, well I scuffed up my exhaust, dented my passing light bessel and crash bar. And it pulled the tendon in my right leg and knee such that in 45 minutes, leg was in pain and of no use. So I thought I would tell you my mistake that led to my wreck or near misses so you can learn from my mistakes. Then you tell me your lessons learned. This should make us all better riders.
My lesson learned was with gravel. I have learned that gravel is an enemy to motorcycles. Gravel can keep you from stopping on time at stop signs as it acts like ball bearings between the road and the tire. For the most part, gravel tends to end up at the sides of the roadway. When you go to pull over to the side of the road - to take that awesome picture, you must slow way down - regardless of the speed limit or the vehicals behinds you. This is because you don't know the characteristics of the gravel your trying to stop on. My biggest mistake was worrying about the vehicals behind me and not reducing my speed way down such that I pulled to the side of the road still going 20 MPH. The gravel turned out to be 4" to 6" deep which caused my front wheel to plow the gravel and not be able to grip the surface and balance the bike. Not only that, but under the deep gravel there was dried dirt with pot holes causing my front wheel to rise above the gravel while my bike was tilted at a 65 degree angle. Lucky for me I was wearing a helmet as my precious brain hit the gravel. So you would think I had learned my gravel lesson, but after three days of painfull hotel room recouperation and daily pizza deliveries, I continued my trip. Riding through Yellowstone, I decided I must get a picture of my bike next to the continental divide sign. This time I slowed down to 10 MPH when pulling over the to sign and began braking. Not living in a cold climate, I had no expectation of gravel being used to de-ice roads, so when I began braking the wheels front and back could not make contact with the road because of a small layer of gravel. So I slid a great distance and it was quite appearant I was running out of room to stop. Unable to turn or stop I did the only thing I could do, I ride it out. Fortunately, I stopped just two inches from the deep ditch. I am now very very aware of what gravel can do to me and I hope never to repeat those experiences.
OK, now it's your turn to tell us your lessons learned... the "You Bad" lessons learned.