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Re: Go with the Flow

I have learned by experience that Things That Stick Out Get Tickets.

Unless it's rush hour, interstate traffic moves at a pretty good pace, so if you go with the flow, you'll get where you want in a reasonable time without attracting undue attention.

I routinely violate posted speed limits but almost never get speeding tickets, because I violate those limits to the same degree as everybody else.

One of my cardinal rules is, never take the point. If you do, you're likely to be the ONE who wins the ticket.
 

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I am guilty of this, not on my bike but in my car. I have a WRX and at times I will be cruising down the road at the speed limit and a 350Z or god forbid a lancer will go flying past. I then start to roll on the turbo. Luckly, I am at the point in my life now where I dont make it through the turbo lag before I think to myself "self this is stupid". And I go back to listening to the radio and trying to be subtle.
 

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Where I ride to work, traffic moves between 75-85 MPH, which is as much as 20 MPH above the posted limit. On one such day, I was riding at 85, minding my own business, when a bike cop cruised past in the next lane over, easily 5 MPH over what I was doing.



After awhile, I realized that the reason I didn't get ticketed was that I was going with the flow of traffic, I wasn't tailgating or changing lanes. I was just going fast, but controlled.
 

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Many many moons ago I had a job near downtown LA (near MacAruthur Park) and was commuting from Torrance. I was on a CB900C at the time and didn't lane split. I did however keep note of the cars around me. The most amusing ones were the drones who saw a motorcycle pass them (me) and immediately began this game of changing lanes constantly to faster moving lanes thinking that this would get them along faster, I guess. I call the game "Beat the Bike". Myself, I'd just stay in one lane and motor along. Well, I lost count of the guys I saw start squirting back and forth at the 405/110 juncture in Carson that I later saw at my exit near the Sports Arena (about 15 miles) maybe 6 car lengths ahead of me at the light. I wonder how much wear and tear they put on their clutches and brakes in order to achieve a 6 car length gain in 15 miles. All because of a silly bruised ego.
 

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I drive everyday for my job. The other day I had my car in the shop for repair and had the dealership shuttle give me a ride to my office. The shuttle driver drove like an ass, full throttle away from stop lights cutting in and out of lanes and working hard to "make time". For all his hard driving I am sure he saved a few seconds, but man did he not make friends along the way. There is no excuse for that kind of driving in heavy traffic ever. As to your observation about people trying to keep up or pass you when you drive like an ass, who cares. Go fast out in the country away from heavy traffic or take the bus.
 

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I totally know what you're talking about, Pete. You don't have to be going fast, really, to elicit this type of response. A lot of times motorcyclists just "look" fast, or if you're riding a certain attention-getting model, somehow it sparks the race gene in people.



Everyone really needs to chill when riding on the street. If you find yourself in race mode, or getting raced, you have to tone it down a notch. It's a sign that you need to race. Enter a real race. You'll be blown away at how incredible it feels to ride balls-out as fast as you can in a truly competitive situation.



Once you actually do start to race, then you realize: I'll never be the fastest. Even Valentino Rossi loses sometimes. You can't always "win" and certainly on the street "winning" is an illusion. Don't kid yourself. You're just patting yourself on the back when you get into race mode and let your ego think you're a champ. It's fantasy.



Keep it real, or race for real. Let's stow this street fantasy crap.
 

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Interesting. What is it about a sportsbike in freeway traffic that causes caged motorists to excercise the ego inflator? I've felt the same pull myself, being a bike enthusiast, while driving my ZX3 down the freeway in Minneapolis. I find my foot going down heavy to keep my four-banger within reach of the sportbike that just seems to coast off into the horizon with a yawn. There is something about a lead car or bike that prompts people behind to drive much faster than they normally would, had there been no one in front of them. I observe this every day driving to work on a clogged two-lane road in my car, especially if you pass a 54 mph driver, now you find them sped up riding your tail. Another issue: why do drivers bounce their cars off of redline to frantically pass you in little space, only to have gained 2 car lengths in the space of 9 miles traveled? And very rarely does putting your foot into it hard gain you anything within 15 miles, over driving the general rate flow of traffic. If you have any stoplights to pass through, almost never will you gain. Solution? Get out of bed the first time you plan on spanking the snooze button.
 

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Bizarre when a car does it to a bike, but hey I'm the first to admit that a bike whizzing by me when I'm on two wheels pulls me like a magnet! But I'm not really racing, it's just a lot more fun to tag team another bike then to ride along alone! Gives you something to focus on for a bit. And sometimes we even eventually come to a stop light together and have a laugh about how fun it was back there.

But then around here in Mass. the traffic goes 90 and the staties roll by at 95. If like me you started riding back in the bad old days of the [enforced] 55 you know that this is indeed the golden age of motorcycling.
 

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I have noticed the same thing while driving around Los Angeles. Very often a driver will go buzzing by me at 95 MPH when I'm going 75, as if to show me who's faster. I don't know what it is, but it definitely does happen. The driver sees the bike go past and they suddenly start driving really fast as a result. I usually hold back the throttle and let them drive however they want to, and not get into the challenge with them. It's tempting to go for it, that's for sure.
 

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I am in the moto-sin confessional booth, aren't I? I am not especially proud of this, in fact, it was a loss of control on my part that brought the worst of this little event. However I did not start it! (Karma points for that?)



Near Seattle, most motorists know of the infamous 405; I was in the HOV lane which merged into into another lane just at the merge into 405. I saw the little SUV in my rear mirror, and there was plenty of room. Alas, after I attempted to merge, the little sucker (big sucker compared to my R1150) closed the gap, no doubt with mal intent. He was about 3 ft. behind and to the right of my taillight. I honked, waved him off, but he pressed.



So, I waved him around me, and tried to set up to kick his door in at a blazing 35 mph. He moves towards me, and actually bumps me, so I am unable to kick. I did stay upright, however.



How pissed do you have to be to play bumpercars with a ****head? Well, I followed close behind him until I came to an exit and called the Po-Po (found out he called too- damn crazy motorcyclist harassing him). No witnesses called in, my word vs. his word.



My learning: don't do that again. Live to ride another day. This pretty much ruined my zest for riding for awhile (Northwest winter came anyway). But, hopefully the learning will stick with me. You really can't win in a car-motorbike joust. So, let go, breathe, save the revenge for when you can get away with it! OK, maybe I have more learning ahead of me...
 

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Try riding fast on a scooter- the levels of irritation people achieve when passed by a "moped' is unlike anything I've seen while riding a "real" motorcycle.

I blame too much TV advertising: they sell cars on the box showing them sweeping along open, empty highways,and the reality is over crowding on the streets and annoying two-wheelers achieving the open road ahead of the cages. Oh well.
 

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Motorcyling has made me a better cage driver, though I know and observe many who have not been similarly influenced. Now when driving I no longer tail gate, avoid excessive speed, which minimizes reaction time, and, in general, am much more focused and anticipatory. To reinforce this behavior, I occasionally imagine that I'm riding the bike while actually driving the car and am disturbingly surprised at the carelessness and distractedness I'm lulled into exhibiting behind the illusion that an envelope of thin steel around me will somehow immunize me against an early demise. I once supposed, based on personal experience, that only a serious brush with the Reaper would dissuade one from believing they were immortal. Strangely, this seems with most to only temporarilly moderate their rush towards death. I find that most folks I know who've been in an "accident", rider or driver, return to their reckless ways in short order. How then can we expect those who've never had the experience to do otherwise? Perhaps this is "natural selection" at work, with those possessing the stupid gene incapable of learning from their experiences. Regrettable, they suck thousands of innocents along with them as they draft their way thru traffic to an early grave.
 

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This is the answer to your question -



People go faster when they see someone going faster because -



A. The don't look at their speedos so when they see a faster car they automaticaly think that speed is fine for them to do as well. If no cars are around them they're at a loss sometimes and you'll come across them going 60 on the freeway in the middle of the night. They'll speed up when you fly by them making them realize how slow they were going.



B. They know they're less likely to get a ticket when following someone else going fast. A lot of people don't like being the fast guy thats sticking out just asking for a ticket... but as soon as other people start going faster they will too (do you really think everyone would be willing go 80 on freeways with no peers also traveling ~80 ?



C. The speedlimits are retartedly low usualy set far below the 80th precentile... seeing someone else going faster just makes some people realize this.
 

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I try to avoid the interstates here in Denver because they seem to have engineered all the corners out of them(although they have left some really nice 160mph corners, unusable as such of course unless you're Charlton Heston in The Omega Man.) I have however noticed what I assume to be the same phenomenon translated to a different context when it comes to roundabouts (or traffic circles for those of you in Commerce City.) I've seen at least three times in the last six months or so a cager pull in behind me after I've passed them on the approach to a roundabout and accelerate to match my speed, only to then lock'em up instead of initiating the left required after the initial right into the roundabaut, two of them even sliding into the curb, tires a'smokin'. I would think that a car could always perform this relatively simple manuever with a far greater margin of safety than a bike, especially a bike with me riding it. Maybe it's time for tiered licensing for cagers based on the radius of the corner. :)
 

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Devil went down the 405

Well, good advice everybody, but I don't think any of your responses are why Pete wrote the article. He just wants you to not bother trying to keep up with him.

As the song goes, "Come back again Devil if you ever want to try again, I done told you once you son of a ***** I'm the best that's ever been."
 

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I've found the surest way to get the guy in front of you to speed up, is pass him.
 

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I don't see why that bothers you Pete.



What I find annoying - Big crusers that start to split lanes only to give up half way, blocking my path!



Please big rediculious crusers, especaily you hardley's with the ape hangers... if you see a old EX500 behind you... let them split lanes first... they can get farther than you.



I have a 1966 saab 2-stroke... and I get a TON of people trying to race me in it, and it's not a fast car at all. But when I'm in my 300zx no one tries to race me... I guess people like to win :) or more likely the saab sounds fast to them.
 
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