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Discussion Starter #1
I had to make a run to Home Depot this afternoon to return a Kreg Master Pocket Hole Kit (an amazing product by the way if you are into cabinet making), and then take a run over to Lee Valley to pick up the updated version of the same thing.

When riding around, i realized i felt safe, as safe as i can ever be in rush hour traffic with cars and trucks everywhere and everybody in a hurry to get home.

For me it's all about observation, lane position, and making myself visible. Recognizing danger is huge in this. You can see patterns forming as you ride, and can control some of what happens with a flick of the wrist, or a pull on the brake. You can't control everything though, and fate could certainly dump a tree in front of you, or have a car cross the center line suddenly, but for the most part, riding feels safe to me.

I still prefer an open road through the mountains and around a lake or three.

 

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I know a lot of bikers and riders. Every week, I hear about somebody going down or getting hit. I've not had the "complacency" issue that many people get due to the fact that the danger is always in the back of my mind.

I'm working on improving my riding gear, I tell my wife I love her every time I get on the bike, and I no longer do the idiot things I did when I was younger on the bike (wheelies, blasting down the interstate, trying to protect my lane when I know others want in it, etc).

As I get older, I realize I heal slower. I'm no longer interested in risking feeling the pain if I can help it at all!
 

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"For me it's all about observation, lane position, and making myself visible. Recognizing danger is huge in this. You can see patterns forming as you ride, and can control some of what happens with a flick of the wrist, or a pull on the brake. You can't control everything though, and fate could certainly dump a tree in front of you, or have a car cross the center line suddenly, but for the most part, riding feels safe to me."

I am confident/comfortable and that comes from the ability of observation and anticipation you mentioned above. I think you are right that if you feel "safe" then you are getting a bit complacent. Confidence can also breed complacency, so we should always have to question ourselves on our motives. For me, fighting off distractions are a constant battle because I know when something happens it will be because I was not paying 100% attention. I know it is not humanly possible to be on 100% alert all the time, but it will always be my goal.
 

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Lane splitting in Calif kinda keeps me from being complacent. I move over for the faster guys that seem complacent in their dodging of car in the car pool lane.
Funny older age and survivor instincts affect ones riding style.
Hey, those are vinyl white water bags on the Wee? You use straps or bungees to hold them on?
Looks like a good way for poor man luggage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That was my buddies bike on our Redwood Forest run. They are kayak dry bags with ROK straps. It was a cheap solution since he didn't want to spend the money on permanent luggage.

He wasn't very happy with them in the end. Every night he had to pull them off and store them in his tent, and it seemed everything he wanted was always at the bottom. Also when he went through the border on the way home, they had him empty out both bags completely. Me they just waved on through. I guess the border guys think those bags looks suspicious.
 

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I think every time I go out into traffic now that I see a rear window sticker or bumper sticker that reminds to "look twice for motorcycles". Sadly, I'm opposed to the stickers focusing my attention anywhere but on the process of driving.
 

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You guys are lucky. I'm waaay too paranoid to be complacent.
 

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I no longer do the idiot things I did when I was younger on the bike (wheelies, blasting down the interstate, trying to protect my lane when I know others want in it, etc).

You hit a hot spot with me on the lane "protection" . While I don't mind passing a bunch of cars or doing 8/10 corners on the street, my philosophy is to make the driving experience as pleasant for others as I can. I make room for cars/bikes. I NEVER protect my lane. I get out of the way if I sense that someone wants to be in my lane. I don't know why they do, but it must be important to them and it's not worth 50' of road progress to argue about it. As Rodney King is quoted as saying, "Why can't we just all get along?" If you push your right of way, some people will push back. In the best case, you've aggravated another driver/rider and possibly yourself as well. Why not help others to have a pleasant day and if you do you will find your day is better as well. If you need to "win", let 'em in, change lanes and pass 'em. Aggression on a bike on the street is a recipe for a visit to the ER. Bobby
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What i find is, if you let one guy in, the car behind you will also pass you on the right and cut in, and once everyone behind you sees that, then everyone is trying to do it. You are letting the whole lane down. Do you guys let yourselves get into that situation? I think that is more dangerous than controlling them. Their aggression goes way up. If you want to ride slow, get in the right lane.

If you want to protect your lane, just be sure to have an out someplace, so ride close to position 1 or 3 so you can easily swerve out if the car in front of you stops suddenly or the guy cuts you off, which happens. Visibility is most important of course. Don't hide behind someone, and mind your lane position. If you get behind a vehicle you cannot see through or around, back way off. Never tailgate a vehicle like that. Very dangerous.

One thing i find that seems to work consistently is, on a 4 lane road (2 each direction) if I am in the left lane position #3 and there is a car in the right lane beside me, or slightly ahead, and I know he wants to cut me off, if i switch to lane position #1 and move ahead a bit, he will no longer try it. I think it is because he can't be sure where you are. It also works because you then have the left shoulder to move into, or just hit the brakes, if he goes anyways.

Never ride in someones blind spot for long, and always expect them to change lanes into yours. Keep your options open, either block them, or give them space to go if they want.

Another good thought to have in your head is to imagine that everyone in the other cars around you are your relatives.. your sister over there, your brother in law in that car, then your aggression goes away.

I agree we should all be nice and let people in if they need, but i do my best to thwart aggressive drivers without putting myself in danger.
 
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