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Biker Season

March 25, 2011 @ 08:13

My good friend Donny Patterson, whom I love dearly, wrote a posting on his facebook this week pleading with motorists to prepare for the motorcycle season.

Here's what it said

LOOK TWICE--SAVE A LIFE, MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE!! Repost this to your status to remind all of your family/friends that it is motorcycle season, and taking a few extra seconds to take a second look will save lives of our loved ones. Give them their fair share of the roadway!!!!!!!! PLEASE REPOST, EVEN IF YOU AREN'T A RIDER - YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT IS.

I appreciate the spirit of this plea, but I'd like to talk about the other side because it's definitely a two way street.

I tend to group cyclists and motorcyclists together when it comes to road behaviour, and although motorcyclist aren't quite as bad, they too need to think about a few things before pulling on the leathers and jumping on their hogs.

If you want to respect from cars, act like cars. If you want all the consideration that cars get, then you too must abide by the same rules.

That means lining up for a right turn like a car. Don't cruise up on the inside. Cyclists are great for this.

If it's a two lane road, don't make it three by squirming up the middle, and then get mad if someone opens their driver's door.

If you're on the highway and there's grid lock, be patient like a motorist has to be. Don't zig zag up the highway and use the shoulder. Cars can't, why should you?

When you make the decision to become a biker, whether you like it or not, most of the responsibility rests on your shoulders. You're seasonal occupants of the road and very vulnerable which means it's up to you to adjust to the roadways every bit as much as the motorists who use the roads every day.

You have to be more careful, cautious and courteous; you can't expect people to instantly adjust their driving habits to you. Keep your distance and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

For many, riding a bike is recreation more than its necessitation and too often that leads to trouble.

Donny, I love ya, and I want you to be safe on the road all summer, like I do all bikers, but again buddy, this is a two way street, and I think it might be more productive to issue a warning to other bikers long before I point at cars.

And please, lets do something about those loud exhaust systems.

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11 Responses to "Biker Season"

March 25, 2011 / 10:40

It would also be nice for people to watch out for those of us that cycle to work when the weather is nice. My reflective vest now has a bulls eye on it. That's what it seems like sometimes. Bikers have their problems, so do cyclists.

James Edgar
March 25, 2011 / 12:33

Fred I'm a Biker ,Both kinds. More motorcycle than bike by far these days. You are correct that Riders need to earn respect and play by the rules. For the most we do. But just like cars and trucks there are asshats who HAVE to be at the front (Of what I wonder) and pass on the right and act very aggressivly. Sometimes even the shoulder ( in REALLY hot weather some air cooled bikes overheat so bad riding on the shoulder to ccol them down is the only option. )but that's not most of us . And I too wish the loud pipes thing would go away.

Like everything else that's fun there's a few bad apples who seem to want to wreck things for the rest.

But your buddies post speaks to the innattentive drivers out there. And there's TONS . One thing you wont find on a bike is someone not engaged in the ride.

March 25, 2011 / 13:24

PFFT, clearly written from a 4 wheelers perspective.

Used to own a Harley, best way to get respect on the road?

When you cruise, wear chaps, a leather vest (or denim vest) and a open face helmet. Wear glasses and display the tattoo's on your arms. I'd also recommend lifting weights for a while and getting big. Ensure your bike has straight pipes and it's LOUD.

If you see someone cutting you off, crack the throttle and then pull up right beside the 3 wheeler and glare in the window. Best if you're riding a Softail Cross Bones with a customized tank. Tap on the window and then say politely (in a deep voice) "Pay Attention".

This is known as driver education. Do not attempt this on a crotch rocket. May be attempted on a Victory, Harley or a Honda Fury

Bonus points for the fake rifle holder on the side.

John B
March 25, 2011 / 16:17

Freddie, I'm a cyclist, motorcyclist and motorist, so I can see this clearly from all angles. Your friend makes a very good point. It's a true fact that many motorists are inattentive (and were so even before cellphones). The most common dangers to cyclists and bikers is cars turning left coming towards them or turning right over the top of them because they weren't looking where they were going. As for "filtering" through traffic, it's legal and encouraged in most civilized countries. That's how you avoid congestion. If you're jealous or pissed off that a bike can make better headway through traffic while you sit there in your fat SUV, get a bike. That's the whole point.

Nancy B
March 25, 2011 / 16:22

Fred, I couldn't agree with you more. We live in southern Georgian Bay, in a very picturesque area, come spring and summer, both motorcyclists and cyclists flock to our area.
I show always, great respect to anyone on the road, cyclists or bikers, however, last summer, honestly, was the worst.Several times, driving along a two lane road, with posted speeds at either 60km or 80km, I have come upon road cyclists, riding 2-3 across, chatting away, totally ignoring the traffic piling up behind them.Sometimes, it is not always safe to pass, so you have to wait..I was under the impression, that in this particular case, you would ride single file..but, oh, no, that is not how it goes..This bugs me, because the 30+ cars that are piling up behind me are riding my ass, and all for what? All it would take would be for these cyclists to just fall into single file..and let the fast traffic pass them safely. I cannot imagine how much crap cyclists have to deal with out there with ignorant drivers..but in all honesty, I am not one of them. The new road signs posted up all over say "share the road", I think that goes both ways.

Speyside Phil
March 25, 2011 / 16:40

If my car sounded as loud as those damn bikes I would be ticked for unecessary noise.
Please do something about the NOISE!!!

Don Patterson
March 25, 2011 / 23:18

Freddie, I agree with almost all of your points. Some of the motorcycle riders are morons, but factor in the morons that drive cars, or don't even know how to drive cars, on a ratio and I bet it's 100:1. One of the most important rules in driving anything is to make eye contact with someone that's waiting at a stop sign. If they are not looking, they are pulling out on you. If I'm in the Hummer, they stay - if I'm on the bike they pull out and don't give a shit. Maybe I will get a side car and take you out on an experience that you won't forget. Then I'll hit the quick release and send you over Burleigh Falls. Love you Buddy.

Dave O
March 28, 2011 / 13:43

Like many of the comments here, I too ride a bike and a motorbike, and also drive a car.

And everyday I see arses who ride bikes, and motorbikes, and drive cars.

But your friends point is simple - look twice. It's insane how oblivious some people driving cars can be. For whatever reason, motorcycles almost seem to become invisible. Getting cut off inevitably happens no matter how safe a motorcyclist you are. So... just look twice. Please.

April 17, 2011 / 02:17

However, the decisive reason why they come back for more is because the blogger is good, very good.

Aaron Christopher Evans
May 23, 2011 / 21:43

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September 20, 2011 / 18:57

Alex (Said he knows you) told me that you could help with a "permalink" problem I was having with wordpress. Can you take a look for me?

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