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Offline bmad

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Riding in traffic
« on: June 14, 2007, 07:56:11 am »
- Rant on

Last night a biker was killed in the traffic on the NI just after Rivonia.
My thoughts go the family of the rider and i feel the pain, not a nice feeling at all. Although i have no idea what happened or who is at fault, i want to get something off my chest...

Everyday, i see bikers that i think are riding irresponsible. It really pi$$es me off. We all lanesplit, and hope that we do it responsibly, but all too often i see guys flying through the traffic at speeds too high for the conditions.
The other afternoon going home, i see this guy on a bike having a full go at a cage, obviously the guy in the cage did not make enough room for the bike. So the biker is screaming at the cage, big words in sign language and then pulls off like a maniac once he has had his say. Lanesplitting is not a right, it is a risk :(

This morning a bike is cruising in the yellow lane (wait actually he was flying), there is a broken down car in the yellow lane and the occupants are standing around (in the yellow Lane). This chop on his bike starts hooting at them so he can pass them. To me this is just irresponsible ???

So my point is..
..If these guys happen to have an incident in this sort of environment or at this point, who will assist them or be nice to them and why? They are arrogant in their actions and portray that image to the people in cars around them.
At my work, 3 people ride bikes. Two are commuters and myself. I see myself as a recreational rider (mainly off road on weekends and commute on a Friday sometimes) and i like to think that i am responsible. However, you start to talk about the bikes and the general feeling is 'these bikers..." - You get the picture.

It will not change as bikers commuting are becoming more common on our roads everyday. Yes there is Think Bike, but i will not go there (most of the idiots i see wear their bibs). My sister is on the committee and i understand the circumstances, what they stand for blah, blah , blah.

When these guys/gals pass me and i see how they behave, i can only shake my head and hope them a safe journey home without pi$$ing off too many cagers  and hopefully not hurting themselves or their scoots ::)

-Rant off


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Offline Grondpad ô

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 08:31:33 am »

I use to commute from Parklands to CPT cbd daily.  I stopped doing so completely when my daughter arrived 2 years ago.  I do not want to risk my life to save 1,5 hours a day.

But I envy you guys doing it!  >:D >:D


 

Offline CrazyPorra

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 08:45:24 am »
Have to agree with Bmad, some guys guys must have moer of a fast reflexes and damn good brakes with the speed that they lane split, but then its always good to let them pass, less chance of them taking you out.
 

Offline Ratel

Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2007, 08:53:49 am »
Lane splitting and riding in traffic is like having two buckets. One that is full of luck and an empty one which holds experience.

The trick is to fill up the experience one before the luck one runs out.

As with all "sports" in life - the more practice you get the better you become with less chance of injury. ;)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 08:54:24 am by Ratel »
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline FortyZA

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2007, 08:59:25 am »
I too feel for the above mentioned riders family.  I received below inserted from MikeDaBike and feel whoever reads it may benifit.  When I worked in Sandton and travelled from Pretoria and back each day, how tame some of the riders were when travelling between vehicles. (it seems that they become "MAK" as the Afrikaans put it)

Lane Splitting 101

90% of people in traffic are paying little attention. And that is the
way I like it. For a lane splitter, the best thing a car can do is do
nothing at all. Sure, I appreciate those other 9% of drivers that
actually are paying attention and move aside for me, but occasionally
you freak me out with your overzealous attempt to get out of my way. For
those who actually steer into the median, so that I may have a half of a
lane to pass, please don't. You are kicking up dust and dirt and things
I don't want either of us to be driving over. When a driver notices a
motorcyclist approaching from the rear, please move to the middle of the
lane. I don't need much space.

And what about the last 1%? The third type of drivers in traffic are
drivers who are paying attention, but don't want you to pass them. They
could have been cut off earlier, been chewed out at the office, or just
need to get home and anybody who is not "waiting in line" like the rest
of the drivers should be stopped. Most of these drivers are not
homicidal and won't open their doors, or turn into as you pass. They see
you coming and slowly move over to block your path. If you get one of
these drivers next to a big rig or two next to each other, you might
have to wait a bit. The best thing to do is sit it out until there is
space to pass and carry on. Hand gestures could turn a combustible
situation into road rage and in those cases motorcyclists are at a
disadvantage.


Splitting Lanes 101
A short video pointing out the dangers of splitting lanes.
Here are some areas to be aware of when splitting lanes:

Take it from a scout: Be Prepared
They teach you in the Motorcycle Safety Course not to cover the brake
when riding. That may be good advice for the open road but when you are
threading the needle between goliath vehicles you need every bit of
reaction time you can get. Covering the brake with your index and middle
finger while gripping the throttle with the other three may save you a
half second when you need to stop.

Caginess
Watch out for areas where the cagers get "cagey". This includes where
freeways merge, on/off ramps, where traffic starts to slow down or pick
up. Slow down in these areas, because it is inevitable that a car will
cut you off.

Traffic Density
Traffic Density is how close together the cars are packed. Generally as
speed increases, traffic density decreases, but not always. The reason
this is important to riders who split lanes is the effect it has on the
drivers of the cars. As traffic density increases, the more alert a
driver has to be to change lanes. And an alert driver is more likely to
see you.

Use the cars for safety
You are most likely to get "squeezed" when one car is in the blind spot
of another. Try to wait until the two cars are abreast of each other, or
wait until you can pass normally. Drivers are more aware of the cars
around them and less likely to turn into you.

Mirrors
Most passenger cars, with the exception of low sports cars and jacked-up
trucks, have mirrors that are at the same level as your mirrors and
handlebars. Since they stick out further than any other part of the car
they are usually the part that gets hit in a collision. Take note of
mirrors as you approach, first for placement, and then look at the
driver's eyes. You can get a lot of information by looking at the driver
through the mirror and can get valuable clues to what their intentions
are.

Lane Speed Differential
The best scenario for splitting lanes is when the lanes you are
splitting are going the same speed. If one lane is moving faster than
another there will be a lot of drivers in the slower lane trying to get
into the faster lane; usually right when you get to them. When the lanes
are going the same speed there are two ways for the traffic to line up.
Either the cars are driving abreast of each other or they are staggered.
While it may be easier to pass while the cars are staggered, it is more
dangerous, since the drivers may not know you are there and could change
lanes. When they are abreast, the drivers will not change lanes into the
car next to them.

Space
Cars with a lot of space in front of them are bad news. Best case is
that they are not paying attention to the road and that is bad news for
you. Worst case is they are waiting for a gap to change lanes and that
is inevitably right when you are next to them. It is not over once you
pass them. Watch out for cars changing into the open space in front of
the slow car.

Trucks
Any articulated vehicle is cause to slow down when splitting lanes. When
traveling in a straight line the rear end of a trailer has the tendency
to bounce around from side to side, usually right when you are passing
it. On corners it is can be trickier. Since the rear wheels will take a
tighter track than the front ones in a turn, many big rig drivers
compensate by shifting to the outside of their lane. This means that
when on the outside of a truck, you will find what was plenty of room to
pass can quickly turn into a tight predicament when nearing the cab. If
you are passing on the inside of a turn, you will find that the space
will increase once you pass the rear wheels of the trailer, but beware,
if you have to stop and the truck is still moving, get away from the
trailer because those rear wheels may come back and hit you.

Thin is in but fat is that
While skinny bikes are good for splitting lanes, a big cruiser with loud
pipes helps to alert drivers ahead of you. Don't rely on loud pipes
though, many high price cars have excellent noise insulation.

There is a vid:
http://www.whybike.com/video.php
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Offline Hermanator

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2007, 09:51:08 am »
I only ride my bikes, either the 1150RT or the VStrom as I don't own a car. For all my years in England, I always used my bike, every day of the year, rather than drive a car or take the tube.

One of the most infuriating things was the weekend warrior who brought his bike out because it is a nice day, puts on his hazard lights and then ghosts down between traffic. Those idiots put themselves and all the bikers they hold up in danger.

If you ghost down between the lanes, you'll be taken out, sure as nuts!

Drive to where you are going, if you want to travel at the speed of cars, travel in a car. And, FFS turn off the bl@@dy hazards.

Lawrence
 

Offline Ysterman

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 10:55:22 am »
lane splitting ‚?¶ what a topic! 

Have been thinking about posting my anger towards bikers / lane splitters in general after almost taking out a guy on his bike last week ‚?? it was very close.  Because I‚??m a biker too, I really try to drive ‚??biker safe‚?Ě in my cage as much as possible, always on the lookout ‚?? but it becomes very difficult in the bad light that greets us so early in winter on the highways on our way home.

Afterwards, me & the biker had a good go at each other in the traffic, screaming our heads off ‚?? but that was pointless.

Thing is - in my cage, in peak traffic when it is fairly dark or just after the sun sets ‚?? I just do not see you.  I do not have the time to identify the million lights in my mirrors ‚?? they all look the same, your reflective vest doesn‚??t mean a thing ‚?? I indicate & change lanes ‚?? and this is happening very quickly because I have to move to get into that gap in the next lane to make my exit.

Lane splitting as we do it in SA is illegal ‚?? that‚??s no excuse to take out or blame bikers.  We‚??re perhaps spoiled that we‚??re allowed to do that or to get away with it.  On a recent trip to Germany, a country that has an autobahn, I was surprised to see that no biker lane splits!

My point perhaps is, I‚??m gonna feel so bad if I by accident take out a biker ‚?? like shit, but somehow it seems that it will only be a matter of time the way bikers behave on our roads.  It is all so unnecessary, and all the havoc that is caused from such an accident is just not worth it.  Maybe then it‚??s better to ban it completely, or get approval for a ‚??bikers only‚?Ě lane.

In conclusion, lane splitting will probably continue as is today and even get worse.  If you use your bike then to commute, please note from a fellow biker that commutes in a cage:

o   Your headlight looks no different to any other when I look in my mirrors.
o   The seconds I look in my mirror is not enough to identify that one headlight is moving at high speed or faster than the other.
o   Your reflective vest may help with cages that are behind you, but in my mirror it doesn‚??t.
o   Don‚??t do it if can avoid it.
o   If I hit you, I‚??m gonna be so de bliksem in, I‚??m probably gonna moer you for putting me thru such an unnecessary incident.
 

Offline CrazyPorra

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2007, 11:28:22 am »
Agree and disagree with Ysterman:-

[quote ]
lane splitting ‚?¶ what a topic! 

Have been thinking about posting my anger towards bikers / lane splitters in general after almost taking out a guy on his bike last week ‚?? it was very close.  Because I‚??m a biker too, I really try to drive ‚??biker safe‚?Ě in my cage as much as possible, always on the lookout ‚?? but it becomes very difficult in the bad light that greets us so early in winter on the highways on our way home.

[/quote]

I am sure that all of us are biker aware when in a cage, but as Bmad mentions some bikers ride excessive speeds while lane splitting, sort of now u c him now u don't.

[quote ]

Thing is - in my cage, in peak traffic when it is fairly dark or just after the sun sets ‚?? I just do not see you.  I do not have the time to identify the million lights in my mirrors ‚?? they all look the same, your reflective vest doesn‚??t mean a thing ‚?? I indicate & change lanes ‚?? and this is happening very quickly because I have to move to get into that gap in the next lane to make my exit.

[/quote]

Big problem in this country with drives changing lanes, the indication usually only comes ON once the driver has started changing lanes, but sorry if I upset people who are guilty of this, indicating is a sign of warning other motorists of what you intend doing, not to give you the right to do what you indicating. I have never not given a car the right of way if he is indicating to change lanes while I'm lane splitting.

So give other drivers and bikers a warning of what you intend doing and the road will be a safer place for all.

[quote ]

Lane splitting as we do it in SA is illegal ‚?? that‚??s no excuse to take out or blame bikers.  We‚??re perhaps spoiled that we‚??re allowed to do that or to get away with it.  On a recent trip to Germany, a country that has an autobahn, I was surprised to see that no biker lane splits!

[/quote]

This is questionable, still have not seen any confirmation or dirrect answer to this, I could be wrong, won't be the first time.  :D


 

Offline Avon

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2007, 11:32:20 am »
Ysterman, do I detect a grey beard somewhere? ;)
Believe in wisdom or go hit that wall, only two choices any biker got...............

I prefer to live to ride another day and don't even think about lane splitting.
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Offline FortyZA

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2007, 11:51:43 am »

Lane splitting as we do it in SA is illegal ‚?? that‚??s no excuse to take out or blame bikers.  We‚??re perhaps spoiled that we‚??re allowed to do that or to get away with it.  On a recent trip to Germany, a country that has an autobahn, I was surprised to see that no biker lane splits!

The law state that you may move between vehicles, whether at traffic lights (robots) or in traffic.  This law was changed due to intervention of "Simon Fourie - he of BikeSA fame (love him or hate him)"

Sorry to burst your bubble, CrazyPorra, but facts are facts.

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Offline Ysterman

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2007, 12:22:48 pm »
Big problem in this country with drives changing lanes, the indication usually only comes ON once the driver has started changing lanes, but sorry if I upset people who are guilty of this, indicating is a sign of warning other motorists of what you intend doing, not to give you the right to do what you indicating. I have never not given a car the right of way if he is indicating to change lanes while I'm lane splitting.

So give other drivers and bikers a warning of what you intend doing and the road will be a safer place for all.

Well, let me then also be the first to admit guilt on this.  When a gap opens, the indicators go on and I almost change lanes instantly ‚??to get into‚?Ě the gap.  There‚??s not nearly enough time to really warn anybody. 

The reasons are there, but I‚??m not gonna defend them ‚?¶  However, it's never done blindly, always checking the mirrors ...
 

Offline Ysterman

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2007, 12:25:45 pm »

Lane splitting as we do it in SA is illegal ‚?? that‚??s no excuse to take out or blame bikers.  We‚??re perhaps spoiled that we‚??re allowed to do that or to get away with it.  On a recent trip to Germany, a country that has an autobahn, I was surprised to see that no biker lane splits!

The law state that you may move between vehicles, whether at traffic lights (robots) or in traffic.  This law was changed due to intervention of "Simon Fourie - he of BikeSA fame (love him or hate him)"

Sorry to burst your bubble, CrazyPorra, but facts are facts.


Nope, it was me, not CrazyPorra ...
 

Offline FortyZA

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2007, 12:36:13 pm »
Sorry to all parties concerned.
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Offline CrazyPorra

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 12:40:05 pm »
Sorry to all parties concerned.

Sorry don't do it, we need Captain Morgan  ;D
 

Offline Avon

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2007, 12:46:24 pm »
why don't we rather turn this discussion into a howto - no pun intended.

OK I know, I'm the old f@rt around here, but I do try to contribute in some positive way.......

Check mirrors, indicate, move across into the lane and then only accelerate - I have been lead to believe not to accelerate until you are in the lane where you want to be with a clear line of site.


And yes, a Captain right now would be nice :)
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Offline Hermanator

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2007, 12:48:13 pm »


Well, let me then also be the first to admit guilt on this.  When a gap opens, the indicators go on and I almost change lanes instantly ‚??to get into‚?Ě the gap.  There‚??s not nearly enough time to really warn anybody. 

The reasons are there, but I‚??m not gonna defend them ‚?¶  However, it's never done blindly, always checking the mirrors ...
[/quote]

Why should idiots in cages suddenly need to change lanes when a gap opens. Hell, all you're doing is moving from one slow crawling lane to another. You're achieving buggerall!

If we're going to get into the highway code, then let's look at cage driving. You're taught to look, indicate, look again, maneuvour - NOT maneuvour, indicate, mirror.

In Britain (and across the EU) it is legal to lanesplit and riders do. No need on the Autobahn's as they're free flowing and not congested. Take out a biker and guess who is the one defending guilt, of late it is the motorist as the motorist will be done for driving without due care and attention and, quite possibly reckless driving.

To those who say bikers shouldn't filter, I say get out of the cage and get onto a bike cos you're causing congestion and making life dangerous for bikers.

Lawrence
 

Offline bmad

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2007, 01:10:33 pm »
Idiots in cages change lanes so that they can move forward quickly.

I have to sike myself up to drive my cage in traffic. That is the honest truth. I cannot stand traffic >:(
When i leave the office, i check out my window - I have clear view of the N1, Wikoppen Road and Rivonia interchange - If the traffic is hectic, then i prepare myself for a 1 hour ride home for 15kms. If i make it in less than that then i am happy ;D

But during these times i observe the traffic and the people to try and entertain myself to make the trip a bit easier.
If you observe closely, it is like a race, a guy in the fast lane gets upset when the guy in the middle lane gets to go a bit faster, that is why he changes lanes, cause the guy next to him might get to next offramp before him and he is supposed to be in the fast lane.

But wait... there is more...

The guy on a bike passes, now he really gets upset because that guy left 30 mins after him and will arrive home much sooner. Now he starts changing lanes more often in an effort to beat the biker. I kid you not, this is good entertainment if you are in the right frame of mind.

Hermanator, we unfortunately live in a society where everybody is in such a rush on their way to nowhere. I think it is apparent that people do not care too much about what is right and wrong these days in terms of traffic laws. Standard practice is to do what you want, then wave and smile >:(



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Offline CrazyPorra

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2007, 01:13:55 pm »

Why should idiots in cages suddenly need to change lanes when a gap opens. Hell, all you're doing is moving from one slow crawling lane to another. You're achieving buggerall!

If we're going to get into the highway code, then let's look at cage driving. You're taught to look, indicate, look again, maneuvour - NOT maneuvour, indicate, mirror.

In Britain (and across the EU) it is legal to lanesplit and riders do. No need on the Autobahn's as they're free flowing and not congested. Take out a biker and guess who is the one defending guilt, of late it is the motorist as the motorist will be done for driving without due care and attention and, quite possibly reckless driving.

To those who say bikers shouldn't filter, I say get out of the cage and get onto a bike cos you're causing congestion and making life dangerous for bikers.

Lawrence

Eish, Hermanator, not having a good day today  :) .

We all know that in this country if you indicate to change lanes the guy who is going to be behind you is definetly going to close the gap. and that is why we are all quilty of having done it at some stage of our long driving live span  :)

But that is what opens my eyes when abroad and driving around, want to change lanes no problem, indicate and look, next moment there is a gap for you to move into and the traffic flows, be it at a snails pace as in the UK. Remember travelling on the M1 towards London, and after 30 miles I could still see the same bunch of cars around me, all the lanes move at around the same speed.  :D
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 01:16:35 pm by CrazyPorra »
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2007, 02:29:12 pm »
I am mostly agreeing with everything that's been said.

There's just one point that I want to make about all of this.

Although I agree with the idea behind 'Think Bike' (and believe in it) there are a couple of things about it that I frown upon.

Let me explain - I don't get the feeling from the 'Think Bike' members that I've met, but I do get the feeling that the TB campaign is more to educate the car drivers than it is to educate all road users. I get the feeling that the responsibility gets shifted onto cagers alone.

Yes, cars need to be more aware of bikes/bike situations.
Yes, car drivers can be more considerate sometimes
Yes, car drivers can be more aware of what is going around them
Yes, car drivers need to signal their intentions better
etc...

The point I'm trying to make (even though car drivers need to become aware of all these things) is that  I AM ALREADY aware that they do (don't do) it.

That makes me responsible for my own wellbeing.

If I know that a neighbor 10 houses down the road has a pitbull and leaves his gate open, I'm NOT going to ride down that way with my bicycle when I want to go for a leisurely cycle.

This doesn't mean he's got a right to leaving his gate open. 
It  just means that up to the point where he knows he's wrong and start acting correctly (considerately) it is my responsibility to stay away from the dog's pointy bit, as I now know that I'm gonna get hurt if I don't. After all, my chewy (and even not so chewy) bits are softer than the PB's teeth...

So - to bring my stupid analogy back into the biking world:
Up to where we  have a perfect world where every cager (and biker) knows what to do and how to do it, I will:

- Not lane split too fast
- Check the body language of cages and cagers
- Think on behalf of everyone out there
-assume (and ride) like everyone is going to cut me off
-stay out of blind spots
-realize that if the sun is low people may not see me.
-think scenarios through to be the least surprised when (not if) something pops up
-Show respect for fellow road users
-Give a gap to cagers when they are indicating
-try and not lose my temper when someone cuts me off and 'retaliate' by showing my aggravation by speeding off at 'ludicrous speed'
-talk to as many people as possible trying to make them understand and 'think bike'
-Try and enjoy my ride and not let some A###HOLE spoil it for me
-sit back and wait the 20 seconds it takes to go around a guy that did cut me off thinking that I'm still way ahead of him, making it worth while to see him become smaller in my rearviews

After all, I am softer than a cage. Even if I am right, I am not going to get hurt (or die) trying to prove my point.
It really is that simple to me: If I can get hurt, I yield.
Step back, relax, breathe and live to ride another day.

So after a long ramble - here's my point: The fact that I know that there are people out there that doesn't put my safety 1st makes me responsible for looking out for myself. Right or not.

If things have changed I'll reconsider, but for now, the defense rests...


Wihan   <- *getting off soapbox*

  :protest:

« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 02:33:30 pm by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline bmad

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  • Bike: BMW R1150GS Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
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Re: Riding in traffic
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2007, 02:40:03 pm »
Quote
Posted by: Eisbein     
- Not lane split too fast
- Check the body language of cages and cagers
- Think on behalf of everyone out there
-assume (and ride) like everyone is going to cut me off
-stay out of blind spots
-realize that if the sun is low people may not see me.
-think scenarios through to be the least surprised when (not if) something pops up
-Show respect for fellow road users
-Give a gap to cagers when they are indicating
-try and not lose my temper when someone cuts me off and 'retaliate' by showing my aggravation by speeding off at 'ludicrous speed'
-talk to as many people as possible trying to make them understand and 'think bike'
-Try and enjoy my ride and not let some A###HOLE spoil it for me
-sit back and wait the 20 seconds it takes to go around a guy that did cut me off thinking that I'm still way ahead of him, making it worth while to see him become smaller in my rearviews

Nicely said :hello2:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!