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i've been riding a long time ( started in the 60's ) and i have to say that with all of the traffic and inconsiderate drivers out there today it really isn't much fun riding these days.



you tend to be in survival mode most of the time.



where do we go from here ?
 

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I have a slightly more positive view of current riding safety.



I rode street bikes from '66 till early '70s. Switched to off-road until mid 70's and quit for a variety of reasons, mainly family duties. I quit street riding because of safety concerns. I started again in April 2001 with a cruiser and now have a Valk Interstate. Not a heavy rider but have about 20k miles since re-entry, 80% 2-up with my wife. Next to the joy of riding, my main focus is always safety.



I think it is safer now than when I rode back in the 60's for a variety of reasons. * Roads are wider, better marked, more signals and WAY more 4 lane and divided roads. The 4 lanes are safer when I am in a hurry (rarely) and many back roads have few cars because they are on the highways. * The Interstate system was still a plan back then so all the trucks and long distance travelers were on the 2 lane roads. * Far more bikes on the road now than in the 60's so drivers see more bikes and are more used to watching for us. * LOTS more ads on TV for bikes and more bikes in TV shows and movies. Raises awareness. * More positive view of motorcycle riders than in the 60's.



I am more safety concious than in the '60's. I also ride a far more visible bike than I did back then. There are problems but it's better, not worse in my opinion. I see way more considerate drivers than inconsiderate. I ride as if every 4+ wheeler is a potential safety threat as do most riders I know and am particularly careful not to antogonize things that weigh more than my 800 pound bike. I am not actually a good tempered guy but then, I wouldn't antagonize Mike Tyson on purpose either.



I know that auto drivers are at fault in most auto-mc crashes. But, the at fault guy and the loser in the crash are rarely the same. Some percentage of crashes are un-avoidable by the most safe and skilled rider, but many are avoidable and that is how I try to ride at all times.



Being careful hasn't had a negative impact on my fun.







 

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I have to agree with you on this one. Unfortunately, American drivers have become more illiterate; there's a dramatic increase in traffic congestion; driver's tend to be leaving later and later for work or an appointment and driving faster and faster to makeup for it. A good majority of drivers do not qualify to be on the road--they simply substitute a safe vehicle (the brands that sell on safety) or a large vehicle for their utter lack of driving skills and inexperience. And still they don't get it.



One of the most f'd up experience I've ever been privy to is a woman who was playing peekaboo with her infant, who was in the rear seat (thankfully in a child's seat)...she was using both hands and steering with here knee. She would turn and completely face toward the back seat with both her hands hiding her face. All of this while on a fifty-mile-per-hour road. I was in such disbelief that I was at a loss and watched all of this transpire for about a minute until I quickly dropped back and turned off the road for fear of being part of an accident she might instigate. I can honestly say I pulled over and worried for a moment whether riding my motorcycle was prudent any longer.
 

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I have to agree with you on this one. Unfortunately, American drivers have become more illiterate; there's a dramatic increase in traffic congestion; driver's tend to be leaving later and later for work or an appointment and driving faster and faster to makeup for it. A good majority of drivers do not qualify to be on the road--they simply substitute a safe vehicle (the brands that sell on safety) or a large vehicle for their utter lack of driving skills and inexperience. And still they don't get it.



One of the most f'd up experience I've ever been privy to is a woman who was playing peekaboo with her infant, who was in the rear seat (thankfully in a child's seat)...she was using both hands and steering with here knee. She would turn and completely face toward the back seat with both her hands hiding her face. All of this while on a fifty-mile-per-hour road. I was in such disbelief that I was at a loss and watched all of this transpire for about a minute until I quickly dropped back and turned off the road for fear of being part of an accident she might instigate. I can honestly say I pulled over and worried for a moment whether riding my motorcycle was prudent any longer.
 

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Wyoming Geography 101

Twisty parts - NW -Yellowstone, Jackson hole.

- NE around the Black hills New Castle Wyoming etc next to SD border. Some near Casper. Some near Laramie. Snowy Range. Medicine Bow etc.

Flat boring parts- SW near RockSprings, Rawlins, Baggs, Riverton. SE near Cheyenne, Torrington near NB border . This why the Mormon trail went through Wyo rather than Colorado. i.e. to avoid Colorados 52+ 14,000 ft peaks.

How I know. I fought forest and range fires for the Dept of Interior BLM for 6 summers working my way through college etc. I used to fly over eastern Utah, Western Wyo, Western Colorado, NW New Mexico, West Montana, SE Idaho using a Bell 206 "Death Ranger" helicopter and I also used to do Fire Air Recon in a Cessna 210 Centeron. 182 Skylane etc.
 

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"...it really isn't much fun riding these days."



While I've only been riding since the mid 70's I have been a proponent of survival mode riding ALL the time. It is when I slip into the brain drone of relaxed back road or high speed interstate riding is exactly when I become vulnerable to the dangers affecting motorcyclists’ everyday.



Survival Mode is what allows me to ride in commuter traffic everyday without fear and with a great deal of enjoyment.



As long as I expect;

the cagers to do the wrong thing all the time,

for the radiator fluid at the intersection,

the spot of loose gravel at the apex of a blind turn ,

the red light runner at the busy, multilane intersection to not see a Chevy Suburban let alone me;

I will arrive at my destination happy and whole.



I will have thought nothing of work or of home. Of what I'm going to do today or tomorrow let alone what I did yesterday. I will be happy.



"Where do we go from here?" you ask? Simply put: Ride aware, Ride sober, Ride daily.



Derrick

 

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If you plan your trip carefully you can "twist" from Evanston all the way through western Wyoming, Idaho and into Canada. Or you can start in Southern Utah and twist pretty much all the way to Canada. Or you can go through western Montana. Or you can go up through Montana and crossover and come back through Idaho. Or you can......



So many twists.... so little time.
 

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Well said, thats exactly how I ride. Stay focused and aware of your surroundings and riding is as much fun as it ever was. It's foolish to get surprised and angry every time a cager does something stupid, it's up to you not to put yourself in a position where their stupidity hurts you.
 

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Best Post of the Year.

Well said. That is exactly what goes on with me. On on side the survival lobe is running at max levels on the other side the pleasure lobe. Unless you ride you have no idea what we are talking about. Thanks for putting into words what goes on.
 
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