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Very unsettling incident

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Coming home from Seattle yesterday heading south in my car on I-5, cruise control set at 76 mph. The road finally opened up after all that Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia congestion. I see some two bikes coming up fast from the rear, weaving in and out of cars and lane splitting. They lane split right by me going much faster. Single rider on one and a male rider with female passenger on the other...they looked young. Nothing more than hoodies and t-shirts on with the wind exposing their backsides. 30 seconds later I couldn't make them out. 

A short time later there is a bit of a slowdown. Three or so cars pulled over, one bike that I noticed on a side stand with people all moving around in different directions. I did notice the girl still with her helmet on as one of them. I don't know what happened but it did not look good.  Very troubled by what I saw. Nothing I could do about it. 

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I am no longer sympathetic to stupidity ironing itself out. 
My lament is that such stupidity affects me personally by increasing insurance premiums and bringing negative attention to motorcycles in general amongst the driving public and particularly law enforcement. I did my share of dumb s**t and got away with all of it, but at my dumbest I never did even once what these fools do on the daily. I don't know where it went wrong, the parents, the culture, the advertising; I think part of the problem is the death of amateur track racing. There is nowhere to turn anymore unless you want motocross. 

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I agree, especially the part about getting away with dumb stuff. The mindset of people on the road today is "it's all about me".  It bothers me though, especially seeing the young woman as a passenger. She needed to be more assertive, for her own good. I know my two daughters would have.

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43 minutes ago, activpop said:

I agree, especially the part about getting away with dumb stuff. The mindset of people on the road today is "it's all about me".  It bothers me though, especially seeing the young woman as a passenger. She needed to be more assertive, for her own good. I know my two daughters would have.

I was pretty severe with my kids and motorcycles, and they took me seriously. I bought them a Honda CB125 to tool around town on, individually and together so they knew how to carry and be a passenger properly. Told them if they went to jail on a motorcycle, don't expect to be bailed out. If they got hurt of their own accord, they'd never put a leg over a bike within my reach again. Taught my daughter a proper rear choke so she could get off the back if she needed to. Seems it's funneling down to parenting again. 

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For being a life-long, die-hard motorcyclist, I surprised myself with my children, now 19 and 22. I did not introduce them to cycling. My son did have a 40mph moped for a bit and each one sometimes rides our 50cc Vespas, but for the most part they don't ride, nor do they know how to ride using a clutch and shifting.

I have been in so many situations where I could have died, I just never felt comfortable introducing them and they never begged me enough to change my opinion. I do sometimes consider taking my son to the dirt and teaching him on my KLX250. At least there, he will be wearing protection and can then at least say he knows how to ride. 

In spite of all my close calls, it's never deterred me from riding.

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I split lanes for 25 years up and down the I5 corridors in SoCal 100+ miles a day with an open faced helmet and levi jacket... Today with the texting and obnoxious drivers I spend less and less time on the road (Freeway) here in Western WA and my yearly mileage has gone down as my age has gone up for various reasons.

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My parents told me if I ever got a donorcycle, they'd disown me.  My first motorcycle disappeared because of them.  They came to visit (I was a young adult) and I moved the bike out of the garage and put it on the curb around the block.  When they left and I went to retrieve the bike, it was gone.  Eventually I called the city.  They said they had it in the pound, alleged it was an "abandoned" vehicle.  Admittedly, it was a bit of a rat bike, but I suspect the city's taking it had something to do with the realtor trying to sell the property I had parked in front of.  When they told me how much $$$ to get it out of the pound, I had to tell them GLWS.  I should have taken them the key, too.

I was having kids about that time and thought maybe better to ensure that they grew up with a dad, so I didn't get another moto for several years.  Fortunately, when I did get back into it, I was able to afford more than the $900 I spent on the lost Yamaha XS-750.  BMW R1200R was my first decent moto.  Eventually, I manned-up and told my folks.  Several years later, my dad and I bought a '79 V1000 G5 to restore.  That was to be his ride.  Sadly, the Covid years and bypass surgery came and time went, and I could see my old man getting a little older.  Even though he's strong for late 70s, if he had a get off, I think he'd be in a pretty bad way.  I don't imagine late 70s is a good time to learn to ride a motorcycle.  So, I had to put the idea of riding some with my dad to rest.  Same general idea:  You love to ride a motorcycle; but you don't fully love the idea of your loved ones riding one.  Can't imagine how I'd have felt if my dad got injured on the "Roto-tiller".

I have a teenage son and daughter.  They've both ridden a bit of trail bike (graduated from TT-R90 to 125 to 225 (we also have a fun Dave Miller Concepts CR/XR cross).  Both express interest in riding on the street.  So now I get to go through the conundrum, again, x2.  I certainly will not tell them I'll disown them.  But neither will I encourage them to ride.  If they want to ride, they'll insist on it, they'll do the state-mandated street riding safety course, and they'll figure out how to acquire a suitable learning bike. 

We live in a college town, where most of the drivers from 16-22 have their heads up their arses, and a lot of the others, too.  I think it will be valuable for them to have a significant amount of cage driving time on the road before they try a motorcycle, so they have a better sense of traffic patterns, anticipating others' movements, timing, etc.  If they ride, I'll worry, but I'll appreciate why, and I'll hope to have some fun miles with them.


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My son recently got his motorcycle license and he has not been allowed to ride the v11 yet.  He wanted to before he took the course, having completed the course gave him a newfound respect for motorcycles and his dad's advice & opinion on when he is ready to give it a go.  


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This morning, going to Brenham on the 290 (car), I was on the right hand lane of a dual carriageway, or a two lanes highway in the US. The posted speed at this point is 65 mph, with everyone going minimum 70 or more. Including 18 wheelers.

There was a truck in front of me that was going about 50, and then I discovered the reason why it was going so slow.....

This was a young lady from Hungary on some kind of Honda model which I don't have seen before... but most likely with a small mono-cylinder engine 125cc.

Although she was keeping to the right as much as she could, no lane splitting is about the most respected motorists rule here. She was slowing down everybody on a very busy truck way, possibly unaware of it too.

Sometimes going too slow is as dangerous as too fast....



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A week or so ago someone on WG linked up a YouTube vid of some 24 carat dunce who decided to film himself riding from Denver to Colorado Springs on his Gixxer. T-shirt and tennis shoes + helmet. I looked up how far that was on Giggle Maps. The trip took him 20 minutes or so I think.

Hopefully his distinctively painted bike could be identified and some things will happen to him. It was f*cking insane.

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I agree about lack of sympathy for people doing stupid shit... as well as my own luck in surviving doing stupid shit and 50-mile lane-splitting commutes through Los Angeles. For the record I do not count lane-splitting as stupid shit. I think it should be legal nation-wide.

But it's cool how this topic has turned to parenting. My dad once said (in a threatening/controlling way) that I could have a motorcycle the day I moved out of his house. So I left. 

I had some small Hondas for my daughters. XR70 and 100 when they were younger. I've taken them all on street rides on various bikes, and now we have a TW200 that they ride with me on dirt roads. It's always been safety first and full gear even for short trips or hot days when gear is inconvenient. They no longer ask "Do I really have to wear the boots."

My two youngest daughters still enjoy riding in the dirt with me and I have encouraged both of them to get their permits and licenses. Mostly so we can legally ride on dirt roads or into town for gas and lunch. But so far they have not done that and I don't push it.

However, when we are in a car together, I enjoy their banter about other motorcyclists' attire or behavior. They always start with "My dad would never..." and then go on with things like: ...let me wear sandals. ...go that fast between lanes.  ...ride in shorts and t-shirt.  ...let that ho-bag on his motorcycle.  They get brutal.  They're so funny.

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Even if we don't always understand or realize it, for those of us who are into their late 60's or early 70's, we were in a forgiving driving world.

People were actually trying to drive properly, and paying attention.

Today, driving is like breathing, a reflex that you don't need to focus upon because it takes time away from texting or talking with your phone on your hand. Turn indicators? who use them nowadays anyway.

Today's bikes have better brakes, riding equipment is no longer the usual leather paper thin or Barbour jacket but becomes incompatible with the weather systems we are experiencing almost everywhere in the world. To the point where you cannot ride during summer to avoid getting a heat stroke, or ride during thunderstorms because roads flood, or you do not have any kind of visibility. Crazy!


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You make a very good point about how we rode and drove in the 70's etc....

I still take a certain pride in Driving well and am appalled at what I see on the roads here too!

Be quite happy for all licences to be cancelled and made to be re-taken with a minimum standard rigorously enforced before you got it back.

Never going to happen but bloody hell it'd be good to get these idiots off the roads.

If you want to play with your toys take the ****'in Bus /train.


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My late brother-in-law had a theory: everyone who wants a driving licence for a car should have to ride a motorcycle for at least a year before being allowed to drive a car. That would ensure that the really stupid ones would cease to be a problem. The "Darwin" principle, so to speak... :whistle:

I can't say that I would be for that, but he had a point. :huh2:


I often think about whether we were more stupid than the the idiots these days. I'm not sure if anything has really changed in the mindset. The bigger problem is that the bikes these days are so much faster. Riding flat knacker in the early '80s (my time...) was just not as silly as riding flat knacker on a modern sports bike.

I've been here a couple of times


Kelbra, at the north end, is a fairly pleasant ride, just over an hour, from Leipzig, and the squiggly bit from Kelbra to Bad Frankenhausen is really good fun. There is a cafe at the Kelbra end


All very nice, but one really doesn't want to be there on a weekend. Overrun from maniacs, and one can't help thinking "did they all leave their brain at home?" :blink:

However,  in "my" time I was in Melbourne. The meeting point was the Yarra Boulevard (has been mentioned here already...)


We used that bit of road, in "the middle of town", as a race track. I heard that one bloke lost it in the curve south of the freeway, and his bike went over the railing of the bridge and landed on the freeway. One bloke I met there a few times had a Suzuki GSX 1100 S Katana. One time he was complaining that he had skinned his knee because he got the knee down in the corner and he was only wearing jeans. Another story was someone that got t-boned as he went to do a u-turn from the curb and didn't see the bloke that was coming past.

Madness, with the only difference that the bikes weren't as fast as the ones these days.


The irony of fate:

For years, decades even, I have always told young riders and prospective pillions "whatever you do, always wear an appropriate jacket, boots, and GLOVES!!! Imagine how awkward it would be if you couldn't wipe your own arse for a couple of weeks.

When I had *my* accident about 5 years ago, after about 35 years of motorcycling, guess what happened.

Right forefinger


left wrist


left hand


and a damaged vertebra that was fortunately stabile.

It was only a week or so before I could look after myself, but still... :wacko:

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