I was stuck behind a dump truck as I drove to work on my motorcycle this morning. We were approaching a section where the road merged into a double-laned highway, us currently driving in the left lane. I couldn’t see past the truck, but it was slowing down for traffic, so I glanced to my right to prepare to pass it (on the newly merged lane).
When I looked in front of me the fucking truck had stopped! As I squeezed and pressed my brakes harder than necessary, I could feel the rubber on the tires coming off like an orange peel, with the back of the truck approaching closer, closer… I’m thinking “I’m not going too fast; it won’t hurt TOO much”… when my bike stops about a foot from the truck’s rear end.
The bike swerved a bit, but it didn’t stall. I switched down to first, glanced to my right for oncoming traffic, then raced past the fucking truck, beginning to shake with the realization that I was still alive. Fun times!
I used to decide on whether to ride my motorcycle to work if the chance of rain was less than 40%; I wouldn’t take it if it was higher. Unfortunately, we’ve had a wet spring, resulting in a lot of false alarms; there have been many days where it hasn’t rained even though the weather gods indicated it would, and I fucking hate that, knowing I could’ve ridden the bike.
So, I’ve decided to ride my motorcycle to work ALL THE TIME, unless it’s raining when I leave in the morning. Fuck the weather gods.
Riding in the rain can be hazardous to your health: traction decreases a lot, visibility is a lot worse, drivers in cages (i.e. cars) can’t hear you as well, and getting cold from being wet is a miserable feeling. Despite all that, the fact that you’re on your bike is all that matters; however, there ARE some precautions a rider should take, as described in the excellent article Motorcycling in the Rain:
The standard advice is to try to cross railroad or other metal tracks at a right angle, even in the dry. When they are wet, this is imperative. Otherwise, you risk having the tire slip into the groove alongside the track, which will immediately ruin your whole day.
I like the author’s humour:
Places where the oil doesn’t get washed away by rain falling on it can be thrilling.
“Thrilling” meaning about to die.
The Motorcycle Personality Test:
Because this test is based on Science, you may discover that you are riding the wrong motorcycle right now. If this happens, you must trust the test results and and sell your bike as soon as possible, or else your life will undoubtedly be miserable.
Honda Goldwing: Motorcycling isn’t really about speed or challenge or image for you. You’d be more than happy to toodle about on a giant barcalounger of a bike, meeting up with likeminded folks to ride 200 miles down the freeway to barbeques and pancake breakfasts.
I would never own a Honda Goldwing.
You have to enter a fake birthday at the end of the quiz.
(via Look At This…)
My insurance for my 1978 Honda CB550 went down for 2006; it’s $468 now. Last year it was $485.31. Insurance going down. That’s a first.
Why A Harley Davidson Isn’t A Real American Motorcycle, an article from 1993 from a guy who used to like Harley Davidsons:
I think I’ve finally figured out just *WHY* Harley Davidson motorcycles are so popular… Harley Davidson isn’t a motorcycle company, it is a cult religion. You don’t ride a Harley Davidson so much as you worship it. You and every other little acolyte. A Harley Davidson is a rolling altar to mediocrity, you bend your knees and you pray to a pagan idol of chrome and leather for the pitiful life that you glean from it.
Harley Davidson. It’s not a motorcycle company. It is a pagan cult religion for brain dead trend humping fashion lemmings.
He makes some good points, though I’m indifferent to it; I have no desire to get a Harley. I like my ’78 Honda CB550.