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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mostly for California riders..but lets talk riding etiquette

I commute on a motorcycle five days a week, 50-ish weeks a year. That means i am on SoCal freeways darn near every morning somewhere in the range of 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. among all of the cars--and there are a LOT of cars. Not a lot of motorcycles in my 19 miles of traffic, but a LOT of cars. Which means cars dominate the roads i am on. So i am respectful of them, well and I respect that in a car versus motorcycle impact the motorcycle loses almost every time. So i ride courteously--for the most part--unless a car driver is say texting, eating cereal, applying make-up or any of a dozen other dangerous things that make them swerve out of their lane because driving is their second priority. I might have visual conversations with those drivers based on simplistic sign language....

But back to etiquette. As i said, i am on the road every day in approximately the same time frame. I see a few other fellow riders on the road enough to consider them regulars, but there are those riders that are coming through on a one-time fly by that are just plain asswipes. I can tell by their bike choice and riding gear they are not regular commuters. They are not invested in creating a harmony with those two ton vehicles that can make or break the commute, no they are focused on letting everyone know they have a motorcycle, it has a loud exhaust and they are asswipes. Revving your engine to get cars to let you pass by, banging on their windows, making threatening gestures at the occupants of the car are all great story telling items when you get to the bar with your friends, but it serves no purpose because if you're lane splitting, guess what? You don't own the lane, you are LANE SHARING. Further, when cars are moving along at 55-65mph and you lane split past them, a couple things come into play. First, over 65 mph, you are speeding, so you just gave up any claim to the right to a lane and, second, that is a pretty good way to get killed when cars are moving that fast and you try to squeeze between them. Consider the fact that today's cars--and Orange County is packed full of new cars--have sound insulation, multi-speaker stereos and a bazillion gadgets that make the ride luxurious and quiet. And at full speed on the freeway, why would anyone expect you to be lane splitting?

So etiquette...how about you ride like a normal person so those of us that commute daily don't get to deal with the impression you made on the car drivers..and you make pretend you did all those stupid things and tell stories about them in the bar anyway? No one really cares anyway, they just listen because it is your turn to talk. But a little courtesy, a little respect and those of us that ride daily will have a better go of it, and that is something others care about.