Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I'm Not Dead Yet...

...It just kinda seems like it sometimes...

Folks, I need to address something. Something serious to me. Something that pains me very much to do. Something I've dragged my feet on doing for quite some time now.

I have to call out some of my fellow motorcyclists.

First off, what in blue blazes are these idiots thinking that drag their feet along the ground at low speed? What, exactly, are you hoping to do? Break your ankle? That's the only thing I can think of that you'll accomplish by dragging a foot or, worse, both feet as you leave a stopped position (or worse, slowing to a stop).

Secondly, I had the most unsettling experience with a motorcyclist the other day. I'm turning left behind this guy on a small bike, maybe a 250. He gets into the right turn lane and is putting along. As I pass him, he drifts over DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME.

I jackrabbit into the left lane (thank goodness for large mirrors!) and accelerate around him, at which point he cranks the throttle and tries to keep up with me. Seriously? You're on a 300 pound motorcycle, you just cut off a 3 ton truck, and you're going to play chicken with me? Fortunately I got around him (a little bike carrying a large person just doesn't have the torque), but it really messed with my head.

When I'm riding, my head is on a swivel big time. I'm scanning four or five cars down the road to see if anyone is hitting their brakes, I'm constantly looking to my left and right for anyone that might drift into me, I'm checking out all possible angles of escape should things go bad. What I DON'T do is change lanes blindly without signaling or looking, and when I f**k up and cut someone off I don't challenge them. Things would have turned out VERY bad for our two-wheeled friend had I either not had good reflexes or decided he was going to lose the game of chicken.

Respect is a two-way street. I try really hard not to tailgate bikes and give them plenty of room. It's hard enough with people who are clueless at best and malevolent at worst on the road, but to be so oblivious? There's a guy who's going to wind up in a YouTube compilation some day.

Lastly, weaving in and out of traffic is a dick move. You're a dick when you do it in a car; you're a suicidal dick when you do it on a motorcycle. One pissed off motorist and you're road pizza while the car has to have a fender repainted. It's dumb. It's unsafe. It's also illegal, and when you're weaving in and out of traffic like you're rounding the curves at the Isle of Mann TT, all people see is a dick on a bike. They're going to keep that impression when they see the retiree on the Goldwing or me on my Harley.

Okay. Glad I got that off my chest...

That is all.


Anonymous said...

Thank You!


Joe Allen said...

I have been known to shout "PICK UP YOUR FEET!!!" at draggers.

Another pet peeve is glacially slow lane changes, and/or multi-lane drifts. Usually involving signalling as or just after they start the maneuver.

Ted said...

It's not so much the motorized bikers that are a hazard it's the "spandex powered" crowd that ride in packs that are the news lead waiting to happen.

It's only a matter of time until the headline that reads "Motorist mows down 15 cyclists on country road" !!!!

Old NFO said...

Yeah, hot button issues all... And the ass hats that ride the zipper at 40mph in 10mph traffic are looking for trouble!

ProudHillbilly said...

Flying up the center between lanes of traffic full throttle.

Armed Texan said...

Not being a person who rides, I still try to give a little extra space and time for bikes. If, because my stupidity or the other driver, I end up playing bumper cars, most with 4+ wheels will survive with only an injury in the gluteus maximus or purse shoulder. The 2 or 3 wheel variety will feel the 2+ tons of my truck a little more intimately.

I've seen a lot of riders who drive well and a few who do not. One thing that I have seen consistently here in NH which drives me crazy are riders who hug the yellow. Listen, my truck is wide and NH road engineers have never put the words "hard" and "shoulder" together in their entire career. I might have some room to pull right (but not always as stone walls and trees often crowd the road) and you may not technically be over the yellow, but it's still damn stupid of you.

Joshua said...

Bless ya, ya big bike riding fella you!

Have noticed an increasing number of riders in my city that seem to operate their bike with a certain sense of entitlement on the road. Most especially the younger ones who mistake my avoidance of their shenanigans as apathy.

One very minor crash was enough to put a healthy respect in me about just what can happen so I look out for the bikes around me as much as I can. Just wish some of em would return the courtesy or at least act like my land yacht of a vehicle was there and deserves its space of the road.

Kermit said...

Now, just imagine these idiots on bicycles.

::waits to hear the gnashed teeth of hate-rage from 2100 miles away::

I know they're not likely to be on your interstates, unless they're particularly suicidal, but they ARE on our county highways out here. All of the above behavior, without any of the acceleration ability of a true iron horse. Oh yeah, and many of them wear spandex.

The worst one of all is some hobo who looks 70 but is actually 30-something, but his brain is fried from too much recreational pharmaceuticals, so I give him a bit of leeway (and a lot of blue language).

BTW, your captcha apparently likes sushi.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

I all them HOGs....Human Organ Givers!

Will said...

I first saw the foot skimmers back about '70, usually on a chopper, typically an HD. They can be a handful at very slow speeds, and very sensitive to anything on the road that can induce a tire slip.

What I noticed is there grew to be two groups that emulated those chopper riders: Those who thought it looked cool, and those who felt they had marginal control over their bikes due to poor skill level.

The reality is that you are in much better control with both feet on the pegs, 99.9+% of the time. And, if you do need to do a foot dab, you can get it deployed from the peg quick enough!

Joe Texan said...

I've wondered about the foot-draggers myself. Are they afraid the bike's going to fall over? Are they just that bad at riding? Heck, for me, it's wheels up, metaphorically speaking, as soon as I start rolling. I have faith enough in physics to know my 'Old Wing is not going to suddenly lay down in the middle of the road.