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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 11/9/2011 4:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Man, I've had more close calls lately than I would like, and they have been weird. For those of you who commute, have you noticed your trip home being more challenging than normal this week since the time change? Driving home in the dark for the first few days must be a typically crazy transition period.
 
Monday night, riding home on the freeways, I noticed two things - a heavier than normal CHP motorcycle presence, and more accidents. Everyone seemed to be more "on edge" than normal as well. I noticed a lot of people making quick lane changes in traffic, so I made the conscious decision to ride in the car pool lane and plod along with traffic rather than split lanes. I left more room in front of me than normal incase someone behind me started crowding in.
 
Coming up on a wreck on the right shoulder, the freeway traffic slowed sharply with everyone "rubber necking" the accident. I had been passed by a lane-splitting CHP bike a while back. As traffic started slowing, I heard screeching tires behind me. Checking mirrors, I could see that the car behind me was being rearended by the truck behind him. I had room to speed up in front by a few car lengths, but immediate instinct was to split lanes to my right to get away. As I started to make my move, darned if another CHP bike wasn't coming right up in the spot I would have needed to escape!
 
Ok, risk assesment time! Clip or severely cut off a CHP officer, or risk getting hit from behind? For all I knew, he was speeding up to avoid getting hit as well, as he would have been passing the car that was being rearended.
 
Luckily, the distance between me and the car in front of me was enough, and the car that got hit careened to the left into the guardrail instead of straight toward me. The CHP officer kept on his way between lanes. I stopped, but by the time I got off my bike, everyone in the wreck was out of their cars talking already, so not much I could do to help.
 
The rest of my ride home was an exercise in "hyper awareness".
 
 


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/9/2011 9:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Damn, Gone, it's the wild West out here. I've noticed that things are a bit strange up here as well. It's funny you mention it; I thought it was just me. Time change, full moon, makes for strange days. And then it got kinda cool suddenly. it's been 44-45 and 80% humidity so I'm also seeing a lot of fogged up rear windows and such, which only adds to the fun! I'm splitting but doin it VERY cautiously and many times thinking better of it. Maintaining good gaps, too. This paid huge dividends this week already.

As far as your situation, I would have done the same as you. Gettin smacked from behind can be devastating. I'm glad you got out of that in good shape. Good goin dude! Stay safe.    


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RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 11/10/2011 4:40 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wow, that was a tough one. Glad you made it out ok.

But in lane splitting etiquette, doesn't the vehicle in the normal lane positions (like left or right of the "splitter") really have right of way? So in your case, you technically had right of way to move out of your lane? But still, you gave quick consideration to the moto-cop. LOTS of quick thinking there!

Its a good example of what we as cycle riders have to do on almost any ride, and it shows how we are probably the best rest users out there, simply because we are more "in it".


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/10/2011 11:05 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Totally agree, man. Your concentration level needs to be very high all the time. But that's why I like it so much. I like to try and think about 3-4 moves ahead. Splitting at night is proving to be interesting to say the least! I like the head light upgrade I did (well, the shop did!) as it seems to get me noticed sooner and more often. 


Regards -
 
RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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louemc
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   Posted 11/11/2011 5:06 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
There is a price to pay for living in the Greater LA area. Density is part of it, and everyone living in a world of strangers, is part of it.

Makes for a very weird World.


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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CaddmannQ
Random Moto-geek



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   Posted 11/12/2011 3:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy VH said...
Wow, that was a tough one. Glad you made it out ok.

But in lane splitting etiquette, doesn't the vehicle in the normal lane positions (like left or right of the "splitter") really have right of way?...


How it works is this:

When overtaking, the overtaking vehicle (whether a splitter or not) MUST stay clear of anyone he's overtaking, until he has safely passed.

That being said, it is also incumbent upon those overtaken to hold their course and speed to avoid a collision. If you carelessly (or purposely!) swerve or do anything else to then cause an accident, you can be held at least partly responsible.

These have been the rules of the road since the days of sail power and oxcarts.


"When in doubt, ride."
Cadd................................Clovis CA
2004 Nomad 1500............"Baggins"
qmann at asdiengr dot com
http://hooligancruisers.proboards102.com

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 11/14/2011 11:56 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Well described Caddman. Of course, that really doesn't apply in countries like India, Thailand, probably much of 3rd world Asia for that matter. No wonder we have issues with some of the immigrant drivers here, we have a tough enough time with the locals!


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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GAJ
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   Posted 11/14/2011 12:14 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Now that you mention it, I don't recall ever splitting lanes at night!

I avoid riding at night if at all possible, to be honest.

Interestingly a brand new thread just appeared on BARF on Lane Sharing at night; you might be interested in it.

www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386093


Selling my one owner '97 TL1000S: www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372346

Post Edited (GAJ) : 11/14/2011 8:14:16 PM GMT

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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 11/14/2011 2:16 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
All very good points. Commuting home in the dark is just a necessity half of the year. I am not splitting as much in the dark, but when I do, it's in areas where both lanes on either side of me aren't moving, to avoid the chance of drivers wanting to dart into the adjacent lanes. Also, they're doing a lot of construction, with periodic lane shifting on my particular freeway, so people are weaving around trying to stay in their lanes.
 
Also, making myself as visible as possible. White helmet (waiting for some reflective tape to arrive), yellow jacket. Also, single headlights at night are easily mistaken for a car headlight. I'm hoping (not planning, mind you, but hoping) that by having a light bar on the VTX, and Bikeviz lights to either side of the headlights on the Nighthawk, I've got multiple lights up front that don't make me look as much like "half a car".  Brake light flashers and added lights on the back of both bikes. Most important, I'm riding like none of these things matter and that nobody can see me anyway.
 
Worst part of riding in the dark? So far for me, not being able to spot the local constabulary. A shortcut through an access road to a local park shaves a few minutes and some bad intersections off of my commute, but to do it, I need to squeeze between barricades on a closed street. As I approach, if I see a local police car parked in the park, I'll pass on by. Friday night, coming home, I didn't see him in the dark, but he saw me. Doh!
 
At least he was very nice about it. "I know it's convenient, but just don't do it again, please". I'm good at spotting Crown Vic head and taillights from a distance, but the local PD is driving Chargers now... gotta commit those to memory!
 
 


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/15/2011 2:39 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GAJ said...
Now that you mention it, I don't recall ever splitting lanes at night!

I avoid riding at night if at all possible, to be honest.

Interestingly a brand new thread just appeared on BARF on Lane Sharing at night; you might be interested in it.

www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386093

Many thanks, Geoff. This was an interesting thread indeed. There were some very good points made there. The other thing about this is that for some reason traffic has been exceptionally bad these last few days since the time change. And it lasts much later into the evening now as well. It's not an increase in accidents, either, it's just more traffic. I don't know if this is going to be the new trend or not.  I'm going to start flexing my hours a little so I can get out earlier. If I can't then I am waiting a bit longer for things to clear. No sense in sticking your head into the Lion's mouth if you don't really need to!  


Regards -
 
RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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Deacon Blues
The Imaginary Director



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   Posted 11/16/2011 11:20 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Yeesh. What a mess. I'm wondering if it'd been better to be splitting lanes the whole time, rather than being in such a vulnerable position.

As for spotting cop cars in the dark... most are going with 'stealth' reflective paint/tape on the bumpers and the sides, which means you see nothing untoward in daylight, but they pop out like neon at night.


"Lane splitting will never be accepted in those areas where driving is considered a martial art."

Current Ride: 1992 BMW K75RT "Sif"
Past Rides:
1985 Yamaha FZ750 "Diablesse"
1987 Yamaha FZ700 "Pandora"
1979 Yamaha XS750 "Cerberus"

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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 11/16/2011 11:49 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
At least the CHP bikes and most local PD bikes run blue lights on the back, so you can see them from behind. On my ride home last night, I spotted one four cars up from my position. A squid came flying up past me going about 85 with his HID brights on in the dark, blinding everyone. I almost didn't do it, because I thought he should learn his lesson, but as he was going by, I patted my helmet. He gave me a wave, slowed down, and killed his high beam.


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/16/2011 1:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

You are a good man, Gone! I think you did the right thing. Sometimes a close call will make someone think about it and maybe excercise a little more cautioun moving forward. Sometimes not, but we'll think in optomistic terms in this case!

SQIDs are funny creatures and can be very unpredictable. I'm quite sure you will see him again so we will see if this particular SQUID learned anything. As for me, I had had enough of the freeway grind and opted for a romp in the woods instead, as described in an update to my "Night Riding" thread. There was a cool, clear evening in play and it had been a while since I had been up there. Had an absolute blast!



Regards -
 
RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

Post Edited (RaptorFA) : 11/16/2011 8:23:37 PM GMT

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ZX Rider
Triumph guy



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   Posted 11/16/2011 8:35 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Always watch your six, only once did I have to dive between cages to avoid a disaster. Have been rear ended twice in a cage at a stop. It only takes one time to ruin your life. Watch your mirrors at a stop and prepare for the worst.


Asphalt, the greatest tattoo remover.

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 11/17/2011 2:33 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ZX Rider said...
Always watch your six, only once did I have to dive between cages to avoid a disaster. Have been rear ended twice in a cage at a stop. It only takes one time to ruin your life. Watch your mirrors at a stop and prepare for the worst.

Copy that 100 per cent, ZX. I'm sure you read a while back how I almost got @ss-packed by a stupid woman in her gigantic SUV diddling on her cell phone during rush hour. Had I not been checking my mirrors, I would have been ruined. So I don't think this point can be stressed enough... 


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RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

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ZX Rider
Triumph guy



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   Posted 11/17/2011 6:41 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
It's not a matter of if, just when. There are many different rules unwritten for motorcycles. Just remember your just cage bait. 


Asphalt, the greatest tattoo remover.

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Hellfighter
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   Posted 12/22/2011 11:45 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Found myself in that situation some years ago, although I did not know the car I was cutting off contained undercover cops. They pulled me up immediately and after I explained my manuvoure they seemed to understand. After answering some of their questions they happily let me go without a ticket.


On Iron Horse He Gladly Dies

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