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Nearly everyday on my daily commute I have a near death near crash experience b/c of drivers who do not pay attention to the road, to motorcycles, people who have a cell phone sticking out of their ear, who crowd my space, etc... Today a woman in a Volve Crosscounty who had a cell in her ear and was fighting with a kid in the back seat damn near ran my ass over. I come in here and read daily about another rider who bit it. Is what we do really worth it? I am not at all trying to be a pussy here. I love to ride my bike and the weekends seem failry safe but I am starting to really feel like a bull rider here and you know what they say about cowboys who ride bulls? It isn't a matter of if you may get hurt bad some day it is a matter of WHEN. I am starting to feel that same way. Going home last night I almost had a run run me into a curb. The day before that I had a construction truck beside me at a light with had had to be a ridiculously illegal ladder sticking so far off the back of his truck that when he turned right going away from me it brought the ladder right over the top of my head......HOW WEIRD OF A CRASH WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN. I dont know man maybe it is just me.
 

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you don't mention where you are.

but riding in jersey, nothing anywhere else will surprise me. it just forces you to be a better, more aware rider.

and there will probably be a few that attack your riding style - not leaving enough room, not forseeing the future of what people will do, etc.. i generally ignore them, but you might want to examine the routes you take and your riding style when commuting compared to riding
 

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If you have family and kids = idiot, sorry but its simply dangerous ridding bike as an everyday comuter especialy to work and back home in suburb traffic.
Weekend rides are different story.
 

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yyun said:
If you have family and kids = idiot, sorry but its simply dangerous ridding bike as an everyday comuter especialy to work and back home in suburb traffic.
Weekend rides are different story.
that's a pretty stupid thing to say. some people don't have a car, can't afford one, or only have 1 and the wife uses it for her job. you have no idea about the details, yet you're potentially calling someone an idiot for choosing to ride every day?

i personally don't ride to work - there is NO parking around my office, let alone bike parking. if i could, i would. i'm getting married in october - that makes me an idiot?
 

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Kevin-- I'm one of those guys stranger mentions as likely to attack your riding skills, but I will refrain from doing so here (read David Hough's 'Proficient Motorcycling series'). How long have you been riding? Commuting?

Like stranger mentioned, consider alternative routes or time of day to commute. Also, yes, the riding style and skill set required while commuting in traffic will be very different from getting your squid on back country twisty fun rides.


Paranoia and a little dash of fear is healthy and promotes survival. Reaction crippling petrification will hasten your demise. Motorcycling is supposed to be fun. Maybe you shouldn't commute on the bike for a while and see how you feel after a week or so...



And yes, location might be helpful as traffic levels and drivers' favorite bonehead moves seem to be regional in nature...
 

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yyun-- I would argue that those who only ride on weekends are generally more at risk to crash than riders who ride (nearly) every day, including commuting.
 

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stranger said:
that's a pretty stupid thing to say. some people don't have a car, can't afford one, or only have 1 and the wife uses it for her job. you have no idea about the details, yet you're potentially calling someone an idiot for choosing to ride every day?

i personally don't ride to work - there is NO parking around my office, let alone bike parking. if i could, i would. i'm getting married in october - that makes me an idiot?
Call me stupid but in the end you'll be the one who will regret ridding it to work in jamed roads. I've seen it and it wasnt just one time,
you know how it goes for sertain time you spot a rider then one day hes no longer there later I hear hes dead and got ran over by truck. Another thing, do you have kids? I've got one and second on the way would I want to risk my life by ridding my bike to work? Fack no, get a beat up $600 car and drive it you'll be better off. I dont care what you choose to do, its your life  make your own desigion, guy asked for oppinion well here is mine.
And for Christ sake stop taking things personaly, WTF is wrong with some peeps on this board?
 

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based on your weekend warrior logic yyun, you should sell the bike altogether so yuo can get a $2000 car instead of the 700 beater. and what about insurance? it's mandatory here in jersey and not cheap.

i agree with 6 - i think weekend warriors are more apt to crash than someone who rides in all conditions everyday. but i dont wish a crash on anyone - ride safe so you can take care of the kids and family
 

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Six Chin Skinny said:
yyun--  I would argue that those who only ride on weekends are generally more at risk to crash than riders who ride (nearly) every day, including commuting.
I accept the challenge, meet me at summit point durring this month.:)
 

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yyun-- Put your balls back in your pants, you might live longer ;). No one is questioning your ability to ride or your manhood.


And you chastise stranger about taking things personally? ::)
 

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Kevin, I don't think you're an idiot for riding if you have a family. I comute on the bike to work almost every day, but its only a 10 minute ride. I think if I had as many incidents as you on a regular basis, I would certainly upgrade the horn on my bike. Maybe get one of those air horn options. Then at least when morons intrude into your space you can let them know about it. Just a thought ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I livein Charlotte NC and work downtown, or uptown as it is calle din teh south. I moved here from CA so I certainly don't consider the traffic to be too bad around here. I do not have kids but am getting real close to this point in life and that is part of why I asked this question. I don't agree with being called a idiot there smartass waht ever your name was but the way things have been going lately I think that if I had those kids presently I would not probably be a commuter. However, I am NOT one to change my way of life for others so you may call me a idiot but if belt bombing terrorists start showing up around this country it is going to stop me from doing a ^%$ thing I want to do. I do learn and feel I get better everyday as a rider but I dont feel safe at all when cars come speeding up behind me in traffic. Also I never thought this thread would lead to someone dumping on my ridding style I actually thoguht it would lead to stories about other shitty 4 wheel drivers that I could learn from and therefore feel safer. I consider myself a very good ridder I started on dirt bikes to motocross for 2 years form 16 to 18 so I made all the stupid mistakes in the dirt when I felt invulnerable as a kid. My belief is the rider who learned in the dirt at a early age and aquired good skills like throttle manipulation under rough condiditons, all sorts of diff. traction gains or losses, brakeing in poor traction areas etc.... make the best street riders.
 

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Kevin said:
Nearly everyday on my daily commute I have a near death near crash experience b/c of drivers who do not pay attention to the road, to motorcycles, people who have a cell phone sticking out of their ear, who crowd my space, etc...  Today a woman in a Volve Crosscounty who had a cell in her ear and was fighting with a kid in the back seat damn near ran my ass over. I come in here and read daily about another rider who bit it. Is what we do really worth it? I am not at all trying to be a pussy here. I love to ride my bike and the weekends seem failry safe but I am starting to really feel like a bull rider here and you know what they say about cowboys who ride bulls? It isn't a matter of if you may get hurt bad some day it is a matter of WHEN. I am starting to feel that same way. Going home last night I almost had a run run me into a curb. The day before that I had a construction truck beside me at a light with had had to be a ridiculously illegal ladder sticking so far off the back of his truck that when he turned right going away from me it brought the ladder right over the top of my head......HOW WEIRD OF A CRASH WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN. I dont know man maybe it is just me.
If your having "near death" experiences every day, your doing something wrong, letting youself get into bad lane position, riding in blind spots, I dunno what you are doing, you can't count on drivers obeying laws and being courtious and you should be aware of potential situations before they become close calls.

Personaly in traffic, I make my own space, loud pipes helps, ridiing erraticly and take agressive lane positions while keeping out of blind spots. drivers usually take notice and give you space, if they don't and thier oblivious, do what you can to get as far away as possible, strategic illegal passing etc.
 

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+1 on what Dave said.  I have a wife and a kid and I commute whenever I reasonably can.  I have a short commute in the city rather than on the highway, and even then I leave early in the morning to reduce traffic.  If I was constantly surrounded by swerving cell-phone yammering road psychos, I might reconsider commuting by bike, but I'd be more likely to try to find an alternate route, an alternate time, or otherwise try to adjust to it.

When I ride in and ride home, I just generally feel happier than on days that I don't.  To me, that makes it worth it.
 

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Kevin, first of all don't get upset over what others say here. It's not worth it.

Next, the reality is that riding a motorcycle, particularly in heavy traffic is considerably more dangerous than driving a car. So, if you decide you want to ride in these conditions, you have to deal with all the risks. It does no good to complain about inattentive drivers or  heavy traffic, you just have to deal with it. It's your decision whether or not it's worth the risk. Thanks, Mike.
 

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DrummerDaveB said:
I think it's worth it to ride.
I don't... commuting to work in heavy traffic isn't my idea of an enjoyable ride. Just because I'm on a bike doesn't mean I'm having fun, the circumstances of the ride are what makes it fun or not.

City riding in general sucks ass in my opinion. Can't go fast (unsafe & tickets are $$), no pretty scenery to check out if you're just cruising, gotta dodge dumbasses in cages... just not my idea of fun on a motorcycle.

Weekend rides in the country & trackdays are where it's at. :)

A nerve racking ride to work isn't worth dying for. Riding should be a stress reliever not a stress inducer! :D
 

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Kevin, I'm a mechanic at the CATS garage on N.Davidson St. (3-11pm shift, stop by and say hi sometime). I used to commute frequently on the sv, but have stopped due to the length of the trip (55miles one way), not family. I agree that the traffic isn't that bad and could be much worse.  I rode to work an avg 3.5 days a week and don't recall having frequent near misses at all. I would suggest taking a look at your riding style, you may have some bad habits. There's always an asshat or cell-impaired motorist anywhere you go, the trick is learning to spot them earlier and how to make an escape route/plan quicker.

wonderjosh said:
I don't... commuting to work in heavy traffic isn't my idea of an enjoyable ride. Just because I'm on a bike doesn't mean I'm having fun, the circumstances of the ride are what makes it fun or not.

City riding in general sucks ass in my opinion. Can't go fast (unsafe & tickets are $$), no pretty scenery to check out if you're just cruising, gotta dodge dumbasses in cages... just not my idea of fun on a motorcycle.

Weekend rides in the country & trackdays are where it's at. :)

A nerve racking ride to work isn't worth dying for. Riding should be a stress reliever not a stress inducer! :D
+1 Josh, my feelings exactly
 

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Kevin-- Dirt experience definitely aids a rider in operation of the motorcycle. However, riding in traffic requires a whole different range of skills (almost exclusively mental). Rossi, whose control of a motorcycle is unquestionably superior, would get squashed on the streets if he is unable to learn the mental aspects of street riding (roadcraft).

These skills, while they can augmented by lots of reading (again, David Hough's 'Proficient Motorcycling' series), can only be acquired through experience in that environment.


If you're looking for agreement and commiseration on the dangers of riding a cycle in traffic, yeah, it's tough out there, but it can be done. Again, a little fear and paranoia is good. In the end, only you can make the decision if riding on the street is right for you. Maybe you decide only to ride on the track, or dirt, whatever. You and your family are the only ones that should factor into that decision.


HTH


p.s. Read RandyO's (and others') post in the form of an independent observer, not as the subject of his response. He's not attacking you personally, but giving solid advice to a rider he does not know...
 

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I commute everyday (10-15 mins) during the summer and there are good weeks and bad weeks. Some days it really does seam like everyone is on some other planet when they are driving their cars. On occasion I will take a break for a day or two and see if things have calmed down.

Interestingly I was recently knocked off my bike by some driver urgently trying to make a left turn. There wasn't really much I could do except next time predict the future. I was not on my way to work but to a friends BBQ.

Riding a bike is never going to be safe un-less they ban cars or make driving tests as hard as they should be. You just have to do the best you can and try and be as safe as you can and avoid those stupid lapses in judgement where you knew you should of done something different.

If you are getting spooked take a break. Garuentee if your not clear headed you will regret later. Drivers are going to be stupid drivers, nothing anytime soon is going to change that.
 
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