General Riding Thoughts - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question General Riding Thoughts

Does anyone else picture every single intersection when they decide to ride the bike? Even sitting her thinking about taking the bike out tomorrow first I think "ok, no rain tomorrow" then I unintentionally picture every intersection and what type of traffic there will be for every part of the roads I will be on for the entire path from my house to my destination. It's weird... Just wondering if this happens automatically to everyone or if I'm just still fresh enough to be over thinking each ride?

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 04:38 AM
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I live in a large suburban area. Riding locally I am more aware of only a few intersections where traffic may be a problem. However, riding in the city is another whole ball game, and I have to ride through the city traffic to get to the Harley dealership on the other side of the city. I read that you call it "lane splitting" and here the only way to get through the city traffic is to squeeze through the cars, buses and worst of all taxi's. Lane splitting here takes on a whole new meaning.

Your version of a taxi may be a medium saloon car with a TAXI sign on it's roof. Here they are mini-vans with no signs on the roof, and there are thousands of them, usually loaded to the max. They lane change without indication, stop to pick up/unload passengers in the most unsafe places and are generally unpredictable as they duck and dive to get the next passenger/fare. That is the big threat when driving in the city area, so you have to really think ahead, not only of the traffic intersections, but where you would most likely find the lowest concentration of the taxi's.

NY may be famous for it's yellow cabs, but I am sure there are more mini-van taxi's here per square mile than in NY.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 07:35 AM
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in all my years of driving or riding, I have ridden in big cities also.
however lane splitting isn't legal in the places ive ridden.

I must admit, there has been several times when some one would not move over out of the fast lane and with my st1300 it has very quick acceleration, so I zipped between cars or around them.

one thing I never do is ride inside of a pack of any vehicles at freeway speeds. I used to ride a bit aggressively, but not insane.

in stop and go traffic, I always stay in an outside lane. at least I have a chance of escape if things got crazy. never look at the hazard while making your escape, look at your escape.

luckily where I live and ride now is in and around a small city and unless I hop onto the interstate the speeds are all less than 60 mph other than the occasionally speeder.

with all my years of experience of driving, from pov's, 18 wheelers, bikes, etc....I have learned how to recognize hazards, look for escapes, and pay total attention at all times anytime the vehicle is moving.

constantly scanning my surroundings, I can anticipate often what a driver is going to do.

I never trust any intersection until I know that everyone around is on the same page. notice those that aren't paying attention, like peeps on cell phones, putting on makeup, or even yakking to a passenger.

I have seen and avoided many hazards simply by paying total attention anytime my vehicle is on the road and in motion.

even if you must stop on the side of the road, constantly be aware of the traffic around you, it could save your life.

I also have to admit, a loud exhaust on a bike does help others know that you are close and it forces them to be a bit more aware of your presence.

the most dangerous place for motorcyclist is at intersections and cars making left hand turns. always ride during the day with your high beams on.

never assume that anyone will yield the right of way to you. if you see a car getting ready to turn in front of you, slow down, pay second by second attention and anticipate that they will turn in front of you and prepare for the possibility of forced hard counter steering to escape the hazard, looking for the escape will save your life!
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Last edited by Rock270; 07-25-2015 at 07:43 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DaddyDevilKing View Post
Does anyone else picture every single intersection when they decide to ride the bike? Even sitting her thinking about taking the bike out tomorrow first I think "ok, no rain tomorrow" then I unintentionally picture every intersection and what type of traffic there will be for every part of the roads I will be on for the entire path from my house to my destination. It's weird... Just wondering if this happens automatically to everyone or if I'm just still fresh enough to be over thinking each ride?
I think that will wear off. I know for a time when I was just getting started, things would run through my head at a million miles an hour. For me, after a couple of seasons riding a lot of things started to become second nature and now it's to the point that I don't even think about it, I'm just always scanning ahead and mentally clearing my routes in my forward path. Having said that, complacency is the real killer, imop. Don't ever get to the point to where you're too comfortable. idk, it all makes sense in my head

My riding styles in areas with heavy traffic is also completely different than when I'm by myself on the pavement. I ride extremely aggressive in congested area's if only to lay claim to my section of the road from the other cagers. You can call me a dick, or wreckless if you wish, but I know what your cage is doing, the spaces available and where I want my bike to go.

Keep putting on the miles ... it will all sort itself out in your head soon enough, my friend.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Very good advice from all of you, thank you all! Fortunately I'm not in Manhattan or any of the 5 boroughs. Small city with some very nice hills and roads near by. It's the "gangstas" and teenage kids that like to whip their SUV's around like they have some sort of point to prove, oblivious college girls texting while driving, and vans full of welfare families on their way to Walmart that feel they are entitled to every inch of every lane. At stop lights 75% of the time the car next to me will FLOOR IT when it turns green as if to prevent me from getting ahead enough to change lanes (even though it is not congested at all) Guess we all have to work around those drivers. I thought about strapping a paintball gun holster to the side of my bike, anybody know a good setup for that? Haha!

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 08:24 PM
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I just hop on and ride. My biggest close calls are 99% middle aged women not paying attention. I was almost hit today by a woman who didn't look over until she was half way in the lane then just shrugged at me. I got off the bike at the next intersection and gave her a bit of advice about looking before she changes lanes.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-25-2015, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by charlesskelter View Post
I just hop on and ride. My biggest close calls are 99% middle aged women not paying attention. I was almost hit today by a woman who didn't look over until she was half way in the lane then just shrugged at me. I got off the bike at the next intersection and gave her a bit of advice about looking before she changes lanes.
The most dangerous ppl on the road ! Last time a lady cut me off; she was on her cell phone. I had to pass her on the turning lane and I know she didn't see me til I passed
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