brynpoeth wrote:I have no trouble modulating my back-pedal brake, or even switching to fixed
and you probably won't, not when you are thinking about it consciously. The problem is that in a real emergency (eg dog/child runs out in front of you) it isn't the conscious mind that you have to worry about; it is the unconscious mind. Whatever your 'training' has been, that is when it can either help you or hinder you. A completely different part of the brain is used and this has advantages; it is far quicker than the conscious mind could ever be and it is pretty reliable too. In tests, skilled/trained subjects could be seen to react to new hazards in about half the time required by people who hadn't been trained and had to use the conscious mind to process the information accordingly.
This processing and action via the unconscious mind is reliable, that is, provided your training matches your current situation. It takes far longer than you might expect to 'get used to it' such that you will react instinctively and swiftly in the right way. If your 'training' doesn't match your current situation, you can have a worse accident than you might have if you had no prior experience at all. I've related one such incident in a thread (I think) titled 'the lunge of WUM', but there are plenty of other examples.
Brakes are particularly subject to problems of this kind, because in a real emergency you don't really have time to modulate the brake; you are initially braking with your 'best guess' at what is the maximum safe retardation. Not enough braking effort (for even half a second) and you are going to have an accident for sure. Too much and you will have a different one.