Jun 11, 2007

Line up!

Take a piece of paper and pen. And try this. Draw two vertical lines, one on each side of the paper. No, the width doesn't matter. Now, try drawing a set of ten parallel lines from one vertical line to the other (any direction you prefer). But, you may focus only one centimetre ahead of the tip of the pen. As in your eyes can only lead the pen by one centimetre. Look carefully at the result and have yourself a good laugh.

Now, take another sheet, do the same thing. But this time. focus on the point on the second vertical line you're making a beeline for and then draw a line. You should notice two things. First, your lines are amazingly straight and nearly parallel all the time. Second, you tend to draw this line a heck of a lot faster than you did the first time round. That's faster and more accurate. Do I have your attention?

Of course, I have a point.

The point is two fold. On the straight, this serves to show that you would probably go faster (without actually noticing it; may be illegal in some territories) if you looked further ahead. The explanation usually is that looking further ahead, widens you viewing area and tends to slow down the blurring scenery. This means you can not only see more, you understand more of what you are seeing... and go faster because your brain can process the information and you feel safe going faster. Look at the tip of your front fender, and you'll be terrified of the speed before you cross 20 kph. In a corner, your lines will get better once you start looking straight at the exit. Of course, blind corners and sweepers will require a different approach and you will need to look as far through the corner as possible. The further you look, the faster and more accurately you could potentially go.


Anonymous said...

hi Guru,

eXllent example for perfect lining in driving. Really smart you are!

urs Ekalavya.

Tandilwali said...


I learnt that during my first few rides from Chandigarh to Shimla, on a LML Star! The hill commute has all those straights and wide corners and blind corners, with the added caveat that even in an empty, wide, open turn, maintaining your lane is an important safety protocol.

Couple the smooth riding and the 'look ahead' funda, and what you get is 30 kms plains and 90 kms of the hills in 1 hour and 50 minutes flat! On an LML scooter!!