Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone, Dave here. I just joined the forum a week ago and just bought my first bike this weekend. I'm originially from Michigan but due to the military I am stationed in SoCal. I have to say there is a world of difference between drivers in the Midwest and those in California. I am talking about both bikes and cars, and I'd like to outline them here and see what everyone thinks. I can tell you one thing, most of the bike riders I have seen around here are the prime examples of what NOT to do IMO.

1) Lane Splitting - As many of you may know it is legal in California to split lanes, i.e. driving on the dotted line between two cars going in the same direction. This can be done in 5 mph traffic as much as 75 mph. Lane Splitting by itself sounds inherently dangerous, and here is where most bikers make it even more dangerous. Common sense would dicate that if you are going to pass a car while practically in the same lane you would not want to more than 5-15 mph faster than the car itself and to also put as much room as possible between the bike and the car, however many bike riders decide that they are going to see if you they can knock the mirrors off you by going 20+ mph while simultaneoulsy nearly scraping your paint off with their mirrors. I am not exagerating this and I'm sure any other SoCal drivers can attest. I am taking this a prime example of what NOT to do on the freeway.

2) Passing in the right lane - this is similar to lane splitting in that it is not something that is legal in most other states, passing people on the right while driving on the freeway. I see this with both cars and bikes, people will not use common sense and pass more than 5-15 mph, however people decide that they are going to drive 90 mph in the right hand land while people in the far left lane are only going 80+, when you add to the fact that there are people constantly coming on and off the freeway you see where a problem begins to form

Then you have the fact that 75% of California drivers are either on their phones, playing with their GPSs, or just plain aren't paying attention. My wife said she actually saw a woman reading the newspaper the other day while driving her minivan down the freeway, with at least 4 kids in the back!

Now I know that everyone always thinks they are a better driver than everyone else but come on people! Pay attention! I also know there are crappy drivers no matter where you go, I've been driving for enough years to know that. These are all more reasons that I am going to make sure that I pay more attention when I start riding in a couple weeks and why I plan on keeping a healthy paranoia everytime I put that helmet on. Needless to say I am going to be a better rider just by doing the opposite of what most of the guys I see are doing.

Let me know what everyone thinks, or maybe some bad habits they see alot in their areas.
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
669 Posts
If I were dictator for a day, everyone would keep right except to pass... on penalty of death. Sadly, it seems like 90% of drivers are lame-brains that plop themselves in the left lane like the right lane isn't even there. In such cases, I think it's fine to blow by them in the right lane*, as long as you're not speeding excessively. "Excessively" probably means different things to different people, though. ;)

* Yes, I know you're not supposed to pass on the right, but they're the ones that are supposed to keep right! You could come up and flash your brights and beep to make them move over, but that's just likely to incite a murderous rage so passing on the right is probably safer...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I'm with Ty on the passing on the right thing. I know I shouldn't, but I always give the dufuss a mile or so before "tentatively" passing on the right. On the other hand, lane splitting is just nucking futs. How that is still legal escapes me. But maybe that's just my backwoods Michigan paradigm keepin me ignorant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,154 Posts
I agree with tylernt, every time I get on the expressway I'm asking myself why people don't understand the concept of different lanes. Right lane for getting on, getting off and going slow if you have to. Middle lane for travel, left lane for passing or in any case going faster than the people in the middle and especially the right lane. But often I watch people get onto the expressway, head straight for the left lane and get settled into a speed slower than the speed in the middle lane. This disturbs the flow of the left lane, so people who come up behind him change into the middle lane, disturbing the flow there, and so on until people are changing lanes all over the place and that's the kind of thing that leads to the chaos that is the expressway.

As for lane splitting, I used to think it was crazy and dangerous and not worth the risk...until I got stuck in some serious heavy traffic jams. The bike starts overheating, your clutch hand starts getting tired, and you have to constantly be on the watch from all sides because people just don't see you. I slowly started adopting lane splitting, even though it's illegal here. I heard a while ago of some report that says that lane splitting at a reasonable speed is actually safer than sitting in traffic and now that I've got some experience in it I have to agree. I only do it if traffic is bumper to bumper and moving at less than 20mph, and I only travel slightly faster than traffic to get through it. Whether you lane split or not there is the risk of people changing lanes into you, it doesn't seem to make a difference if you're sitting still or lane splitting. At least when you're lane splitting you don't have to worry about being rear-ended and there's less of a chance of someone stopping short in front of you or something along those lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I'm taking a trip out to Cali here in a couple of weeks. While I pretty much try to keep the idea in my head that everywhere I am gonna go people will be idiots:mad: and no one will ever see me:eek:, it's nice to hear a bit of what it will be like.
The idea of lane splitting kinda freaks me out, but I've been riding just under a year. I think I will only use that if we are in stopped traffic and then, still very carefully.
 
M

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
lol, like really LOL. im reading all this and im liek wait.. some states DONT lane split? people DONT pass on the right side? people DONT go like 80MPH to pass a car???? damnnnnnn and some of my SGTs were telling me when i go to w.e state, dont drive like its cali, now i know why, i got used to it though, seeing this stuff is normal, and going along with it is normal too. in a car or bike. its not that hard guys, dangerous yea, just make sure, that you have uninsured motorist property damage, we do have the highest percentage of people with no licenses and insurance. you will all be careful if i navigated my first 500 bike miles of surface streets my first time riding, then youll have no problem. i did however get into an accident, but that was because the dumb b-tch of a lady, decided that Red meant Go, and 25MPHmeant 45Mph
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top