Category Archives: Motorcycle Diaries

Motorcycle Diaries–Stupid drivers

Good sirs, I offer you a story about a happening that occurred today as I was driving home. A few blocks from my apartment, there’s an intersection that looks like this:

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I’m getting into the left turn lane going north. The drawing isn’t really to scale, so imagine that there’s actually more distance (75m) between me and the intersection:

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And I’m slowing down because I’ve got a red light, and there’s traffic to my right turning into the opposing lanes to my left:

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However, there’s a car that seems to miss the turn and is now headed straight for me:

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And to just to give a real accurate picture of what’s going on, there are cars to my right, which reduces the viability of swerving into the lane over:

road4

So what happens next? Well, here’s a hint: I’m alive, and I’m not “ghostwriting” this blog (lol double meaning???)

Well, fortunately, the red car realized that they were headed straight for me and not in their actual lane and pulled over to their actual lane. After I thought about it, I thought, “wow, that was really messed up.” However, at the moment, it didn’t actually really occur to me that I was in danger, and I just lined myself up with the right edge of the lane to avoid a collision:

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And that’s that. It sucks that if we had collided, it would have really, really sucked for me. However, the thing that’s nice about being on a motorcycle is that you’re way quicker, you fit into smaller spaces, and you have a pretty good feel for what’s around you because you’re not in a cage full of blind spots.

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Hey look at me I’m cool oh wait never mind I’m not

motorcycle_stuntingWhenever I’m on a motorcycle, I never forget how cool I am. However, sometimes, I’m extra-reminded of how cool I am, and then I try to do something cool, and then I end up doing something to make myself look silly. Consider the following mini-stories:

Story #1: Lookin’ cool for the ladies

I was approaching an intersection on my motorcycle, feeling cool as usual, when I saw a girl that I recognized. I then thought to myself, “hey Al, there’s a cute girl. You should play it cool.” So, I relax my back and arms, and I readjust my hand position on the handlebars. However, in doing so, I end up rolling hard on the throttle. The motorcycle then starts going fast into the intersection, preventing me from properly leaning into the turn, and I just kinda look silly and off balance as I’m turning.

Story #2: Lookin’ cool for the other bikers

Unless you’re part of rival motorcycle gangs, motorcyclists are kinda insta-friends. That’s Al-speak for “instant friends.” No matter what type of bike you ride, if you are approaching another rider, you hold out the top secret motorcycle greeting (look it up on the interwebs), and they’ll probably greet you back (unless they’re doing something else like focusing on the road). When I was riding home one day, I saw riders approaching, so I held out my left hand to greet them. However, when I held out my hand, I quickly realized that I was going pretty slowly and needed my greeting hand to be on the clutch, so I quickly brought my hand back to the handle bar and then wobbled a bit (and when you wobble, you feel silly).

Story #3: Lookin’ cool for the kids

Imagine that you’re a kid in a minivan, and a cool guy on a motorcycle pulls up next to you. The guy’s fully armored and is wearing a tinted visor. This guy looks like a superhero! Well, that super hero was me one day. I looked over, and the kid was smiling and waving to me. Initially, I just looked ahead waiting for the cars in front of me to start moving, but then I decided that I needed to keep the kid’s dream alive, so I waved back at him and gave him a thumbs up. I then looked forward again, saw that the cars had all already started moving, and I rolled hard on my throttle to catch up with traffic again. I guess I didn’t look silly per se, but I bet the car behind me thought I was kinda weird.

So those are my thoughts on motorcycles for today. Keep the rubber side down!

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