I was in my car on my way to work Tuesday when a guy on a sportbike blasted past me and a bunch of other folks as well. We were on west 6th Avenue, which is a freeway, so we weren’t going slowly, but he wanted to go faster. With the fairly thick morning commute traffic this meant that he was doing some serious weaving in and around a lot of cars and trucks.
I watched him go and wondered if he was just having a good time or if he was in a hurry.
Back when I was first getting into riding my friend John gave me what I have always considered a terrific bit of advice. He told me that weaving in and out like that was a dangerous thing to do and the best thing I could do in traffic was to stay put so that the guy in back of me and the guy in front of me both knew I was there. Of course, that still leaves the people on either side who are only there momentarily and may decide–without looking–that they want your lane. That’s a whole other issue.
Still, zipping in and out like that can be fun, and you have the speed and the agility to do it on a sportbike. So I hoped the guy was having fun.
It wasn’t long and he was out of sight up ahead and I forgot about him. Then I got off at the Union/Simms exit and there he was, waiting for the light. The light turned and we all turned south onto Union and once again he wove in and around the other traffic. Four blocks later, at 2nd Avenue, we got stopped by a red light and I was right behind him. Then he turned off at 1st.
The point here, in my mind, was that for all his zipping and weaving and efforts to get ahead, he hadn’t accomplished a thing that I hadn’t also accomplished by taking it easy and just staying put in one lane. And to the extent that it is a risk to ride like that, he had put himself a lot more at risk in the process. Again, I hoped he was at least partially doing it because it was fun, because it sure didn’t get him where he was going any faster.
What I did notice when I pulled up behind him was that the bike was new, with a dealer tag still on it. That tends to support the idea that he was doing it because it was fun, but it also suggests he may be an inexperienced rider. That’s not a good combination. We’ll wish him luck and hope he lives long enough to look back and shake his head about the silly things he did a long time ago.
Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
OFMC heads home, more dirt en route
Biker Quote for Today
New bike beats having medical issues hands down!
Tags: weaving in traffic