• #!%& Idiot Drivers!!!

    reprinted from BB.com , June 2004
    copyright owned by author

    #!%& Idiot Drivers!!!

    It never fails. Every motorcycle forum I visit has one commonly repeated topic. And I have to admit that I've participated in said discussions more than once. Yes, I speak of nothing other than the infamous rants on the way everyone else drives and/or doesn't know how to drive.

    You've seen them, you've participated in them, and some of us can even lay claim to starting such discussions. I used to do it regularly, until one day I stepped outside of my own world and took a good look back into it. I had to, after a while I couldn't help but ask one question: "Why doesn't anyone else know how to drive, why am I the only perfect one on the road?" Surely I have every right to be angry at these jerks and their insolence, after all I've never done anything like that before. Or have I? So I had to examine that theory.

    I began to follow each and every ride with a few minutes of contemplation after parking the bike, I looked back at that recently completed voyage and analyzed the overall ride. Was it truly perfect? Did I obey the posted speed limit, never breaking it at any time? Did I come to complete stops at each and every stop sign, firmly planting at least one foot on the ground upon stopping? Did I run any red lights or press through any yellow ones? These are the common items most folks ignore or take for granted, start keeping track and see how many times you failed.

    Did I signal every lane change? Did I nearly sideswipe another vehicle or move into its path without seeing it? Did I cock my head back for a glance over the shoulder for each lane change, or even glance into my mirrors? A little less common, but still costly mistakes at the right place and wrong time. And a simple honest mistake made by others as well.

    Did I get a little careless or cocky anywhere along the way? Did I become disrespectful at any one point along the way? Were there any points where I wasn't devoting 100% of my attention to what lies ahead? Did I even go so far as to be reckless or start showing off at any point on the journey? C'mon, we've all done it more than once, hindsight tells me each time I did it was out of sheer foolishness.

    How was my lane choice and lane position for each moment along the way? Did I slow down a tad or hold my speed as that car pulled up at the side road to make a right turn? Was I covering my brakes? At 60mph you're moving at 88 feet/second, and with an average reaction time of 1.2 seconds to lift those fingers off the grip and apply pressure to the lever, that's 105.6 feet you just added to your stopping distance.

    How much effort did I put into making myself visible to others? Not just in color choices of my gear, but my overall "look at me lingo"...as I saw that car behind me begin to pass, did I move over towards the third of my lane closest to him to let him know I'm right there, or did I move to the opposite third of my lane to invite him into pulling in front of me early? Did I linger in anyone's blind spot? High beam or low beam on while riding? Following distances? Did I attempt to make eye contact with the guy looking to pull out of that side street? It's easy to drift off into other thoughts and ignore these simple gestures.

    The list is endless and I could go on, but you get the idea. Yes, I fall short of some of those with every ride. And if you step back for a moment and analyze every ride you complete, you'll realize that you did too. Go ahead, reflect on your most recent ride and think about what you did along the way. If that ride was less than perfect raise your hand. Be honest now. Chances are, you may have given someone else a "reason to rant"...

    So it turns out I'm not the only perfect person on the road, apparently I fell right into that "#!%& idiot" category too. But by analyzing each and every ride, I can see my mistakes and flaws and try to correct them next time. I may not be perfect, but that isn't going to stop me from trying to be.

    Be safe out there. And think about it too.

    E-mail Shadow Shack through his profile and let him know how close to perfect you are.

    Customarily Minded Machine of the Month

    We have a real doozie for ya this month. It's not as though having a chopper isn't unique enough, but this enthusiast went so far as to donate a bike to the cause that is typically unheard of in the chopper realm. Unless the opposed twin Boxer motor doesn't cue you into this bike's origin, then you won't need me to tell you it started life as a BMW.

    This beast has a nice overall theme going, everything is simple yet effective from the yellow bodywork and frame to the blacked out motor and wheels, with the only shiny stuff appearing in the form of the fork tubes. There's a lot of old school cool going on here and a twist of modern day tweaks as well. A rigid frame and suicide shifter with blacked out wheels rounds out the retro end, while a stretched tank and modern styled fenders breathes fresh life into that classic look. And you just gotta love those headpipes that were modified as air intakes.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: #!%& Idiot Drivers!!! started by Shadow Shack View original post
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