I have a set of rules by which I ride the motorcycle. My top 3 are:
1) Try to avoid riding at night – especially Friday and Saturday
2) Avoid riding in congested traffic like commute times
3) Try to stay off major highways
These rules are based on several facts and beliefs. The facts are that riding in heaving traffic increases risk. Riding at night in the dark increases risk. Riding on Friday and Saturday nights when more people are prone to drinking creates exponentially more risk. Further I believe that people that are commuting are usually irritated at getting up early and going to or coming from work. Most people are not like this, but there are a few that ruin it for the rest of us and zip through traffic like they are at a NASCAR race.
Today, I broke 2 of these – #2 and #3. I say sort of in the title because this week is spring break and the traffic is way below normal. The ride in was fairly straightforward as traffic was light. This let me push the R1200RT a little beyond posted speeds – ahem. I paid close attention to the other drivers, stayed in an outside lane to give me plenty of maneuvering room. You have to drive aggressive / defensive which means putting yourself in places that keep you out of trouble. More on that later…
The BMW is such a pleasure to ride that I was completely comfortable on the bike. Used the heated grips to keep the hands warm and heated seat to keep the butt warm. All of it worked great. These features allowed me to stay focused on traffic and avoid any potential problems.
As they say in hockey, keep your head on a swivel when you are out there. Stay safe!
4 thoughts on “3 Rules – I Broke 2 Today, Sort Of”
I ride by the same rules…most of the time. However, I do add risk to most of my rides by seeing how fast I can take some curves. 🙂
Completely agree…I just hate blind corners!
Regarding interstates and commuter traffic, I totally agree with avoiding them.
Back when gas prices reached $3.00 the first time I decided to stop driving the Silverado to work every day and try commuting on my Triumph Sprint. It got 52 mpg and the truck was getting 17. I come in on 114 from Fort Worth every day and there are no HOV lanes and there is heavy construction. At least twice a week I had to escape onto the shoulder to avoid a collision with someone who tried to change lanes on top of me. The majority of the time they never even knew I was there – on those rare occasions when someone realized what had happen they were usually very apologetic and tried to signal this as best they could. After 6 months of this I sold the truck and got a car that was more appropriate for my commute. These days there are too many cars with excellent gas mileage to have to ride a motorcycle every day.
Good luck to anyone who is hard core enough to commute to work on two wheels!
Especially around big cities where we live!