We all enjoy going hard some times, but if you are an over-committed rider, you leave no margin for error and the results can be catastrophic.
While other motorists should watch out for riders, we also have to take responsibility for our own safety.
That means not using the road as our own personal racetrack.
Instead, go and do a track day and get it out of your system.
There you will find a well-marshalled event where everyone is heading in the same direction as you, there are no cars and trucks to hassle you, there are no roadside hazards to hit and if it does go pear-shaped, there is an ambulance on duty.
None of that is available on the road.
That’s why when you go for a road ride you should always leave a margin for error and not over-commit.
Almost every time I go out for a ride I see a rider who has over-committed.
On our suburban roads, some riders take for granted that they will be given right of way.
That’s over-committing your safety into the hands of motorists who may not see you or who do but don’t consider you a threat, anyway.
On the highways some riders slice through the traffic, over-committing themselves to squeezing into a gap.
If a car suddenly changes lanes, they have left themselves no room to brake or change direction.
On country back roads, I see riders over-committing by trying to get their knees down in a corner.
Unless they have just ridden that corner, how do they know there isn’t a bump, pothole, gravel, oil spill, etc, that will reduce traction and low-side their bike?
On mountain roads I witness riders over-committing to blind corners simply because they have ridden them before.
But what if there is a stray animal on the road, an oncoming vehicle cutting the corner, or a group of cyclists just around the bend?
Most important rule
The most important safety rule you can apply is to always ride within your limits.
Always leave an escape route or a margin for your error and the errors of other road users.