Monday, March 21, 2011

3 Things that Suck about Piloting a Motorcycle....

Now that I have your attention, I'll share this experience that I had a few days ago. I was on my way home from work and approaching a round about (thing 1). Behind me was a tailgater (thing 2). Ahead of me, approaching the round about from the adjacent park, was a pedestrian jogger (thing 3). These three sucky things were all converging at this point.

I was traveling south. I saw the person jogging well in advance but did not plan to stop at the cross walk because of the tailgater. Being a round about, that makes life on two wheels a bit more tricky. If I commit to the turn, I really have to complete that action or I might dump the bike.  Well, I shouldn't dump it but the tailgater is making me nervous. I'm slowing, however, because it is a round about. The jogger sees me, but her actions indicate that she thinks I'm going to stop for her, probably because I was slowing and also looking at her. (In Boulder, pedestrians are invincible because they workout constantly and let nothing stop them from doing so.)  So, now I have a choice, keep going and run over the jogger or stop and risk being run over myself. Apparently, my instinct is not to run over anyone. I hit the brakes before I start the turn. At the same time I glance in my mirror and see the front end of the car behind me nose dive before stopping. The jogger runs on with a thankful smile that I stopped for her. I swear loudly in my head at the tailgater and wish I was safe at home already.

It's been a long off season and I'm still shaking off the deep sleep of not riding. Lots of things seem a bit more conspicuous now that I'm back on the bike.

This morning, as I was making a left turn from the turning lane into my parking lot, the car sitting in the parking lot exit waiting to make a left turn out of the parking lot apparently decided she was tired of waiting and started to pull out just as I was making my turn. Apparently she didn't see me or something. Or was too busy talking to her BFF that she couldn't pay attention to the traffic on the road. She didn't hit me either.

That's two.

Maybe I'll drive tomorrow. Nah, it's spring break and the roads are pretty empty this week. And the weather is awesome. Maybe I need a long lunch ride to shake out the rust and build up my confidence.

Oil change and new front tire on Wednesday. :-)  And I've recently rolled over 13,000 miles. Yay!


  1. I so dislike people following close behind. It, too, makes me soooo nervous.

    Be careful out there.


  2. I am infinitely more patient than a tailgater and will either pull over to let them pass or get off the road to shake them off altogether. There wasn't much room for that on this road though.

    I did drive today. I'm glad I did, too. The wind was unbelievable!

  3. Allaina:

    I pull over all the time to let tailgaters pass. I'd rather be behind them. Often when I do this, I end up following them and I think they do get the message and slow down. When I come to a stop, I usually hang back a car length and they wonder why I am not up to their level. I don't like to come right up to the stop line from a safety perspective. I have seen the remnants of an accident at an intersection where two cars tried to "make it" on the yellow light and got diverted and smashed into a car stopped at the light (going the perpendicular direction), and the driver was killed. If they had "hung back' a bit, the car would have missed him, but as it was the car hit broadside directly into the driver's door. On a bike you have no protection, so that is why I hang back a bit.

    Lucky you are safe and sound

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Tailgaters, especially when your on the bike, suck big time. I do like Bob, and try to let them pass, but sometimes you can't get rid of them. Usually I slow down, and make gestures... like waving of course, what do you think ;-)