motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Our Own Worst Enemies.

G’day

You’re probably thinking. Uh oh, what’s happened now?

Well nothing really, I’m just pondering. Contemplating my navel, as it were.

Let me explain:

It’s common to be cut off, have someone change lanes on you, pull out from a side street or driveway, or some other silly thing. It happens to cagers and bikers  alike, with monotonous regularity. Most of the time, you anticipate and take action to avoid the situation.

Sometimes, you can predict what’s going to happen. While at other times it’s impossible to anticipate what’s unfolding before you and you’re forced to make a last-minute evasive manoeuvre.

It’s all part of road craft and the day-to-day push and shove on our roads.

Thank You Mr YouTube

Some people even put clips up on YouTube, perhaps as a way of venting  when they have been wronged. More likely it’s an effort to gain followers… and, yes, in the interests of full disclosure, I’ve posted up at least two clips showing some of the day-to-day  happenings on my daily commute.

I have to wonder about some of the clips I saw recently though. Riders chucking* wheelies, groups of riders swarming cars, lane splitting at speed. Silly stuff like that.

I know these are posted for their entertainment value, but I have to wonder what effect they are having on the riding community and the future of motorcycling.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no wowser*, I enjoy a good fang… er… ride through the twisties just like anyone else. I know my limits though from years of making dumb mistakes and getting into tricky situations… and crashing.

I was young once too, remember: Fearless, indestructible and all that. I don’t bounce as well as I used to though.

One thing that really made me shake my head, was a series of Road Rager vs Biker clips I saw recently. Some had the driver getting the irits* because a rider was filtering (legally) and was either giving said rider a mouthful, or trying to block their way or run them off the road. I just don’t get what gives someone the right to try to take another persons life for what would seem a minor thing.

On the other hand, some clips had the rider (or a group of riders) giving the driver a mouthful for some infraction and then either kicking in the door or smashing a mirror off.

There were several clips I watched  where I can’t see what the problem was to start with. In most cases there was ample room, and time, to avoid a situation, while at other times the rider probably shouldn’t have been doing what he or she was doing at the time in the first place.

Lashing out doesn’t achieve anything, and often a rider will come off second best if the driver loses the plot and decides to use his vehicle as a weapon. Or in the case of one clip I saw from the US, the rider was shot at.

These clips and some of the antics I have observed on my commutes have made me wonder if we riders are our own worst enemies, with all our actions making it harder for all riders, both present and future.

We know drivers can, and do, make mistakes. Deliberate, or not, they happen.

But what we do as riders reflects on all of us as a minority, and I include myself in that statement.

Perhaps we should be setting an example, instead of being made an example?

Cheers

  • Chucking: Throwing, performing, vomiting.
  • Narc-y: Upset
  • Wowser: A puritanical or censorious person
  • Irits: To become irritated

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16 responses

  1. Andy

    Hi,
    I’ve got to agree with you on most of the points, I basically ride sensibly most of the time (always when I’m riding two up) but I do speed and on occasions I’m a twat, totally, on the bike.
    I’m in Texas and believe me you need to ride here to see what it’s like. Filtering is a no no, frowned upon by the law, I’ve been pulled for it, dangerous driving I was told. I’ve been spat on, water/coffee/ice/cigarettes thrown at me, mostly by accident but not always. Even been shown a gun through the window now and again.
    Been riding for 30+ years and I’ve biked in quite a few countries and I must say (hold my hand up) this is the only place I’ve taken a mirror off not by accident. I’ve basically seen motorists try to run bikes off the road, they just have zero regard for bikes at all.
    I now ride with a dashcam system installed running all the time (front and back) while my bike is on, are we our own worst enemies, maybe but the majority of the time I would say not.
    As for the YouTube videos, yep I can have a chuckle at them and I watch them could I do it myself.. Nope, can’t wheelie for the life of me, does it make people go out and do shit, yep. You ever watch riders brake, go down and you think what a dick you had plenty of room… Anyway rant over keep up the good posts
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2017 at 2:07 AM

    • Thanks Andy.

      Same here. I use a helmet cam but would like something more akin to the system in my wife’s car.

      Finding one that will stand wet weather and the harsh treatment experienced on a bike is not easy to find.

      The one benefit of the helmet cam is that it’s POV. Handy when you’re beside the offending vehicle as you can look at it.

      Like

      May 14, 2017 at 10:44 AM

      • Andy

        You should look at the innovv k1 camera system, two waterproof cameras and a small dvr unit under the seat, it works for me, continuous recording powered by bike, start the bike and on it comes http://www.innovv.com
        I also use a roam3 on the helmet sometimes when I remember to charge it, getting old sucks… 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        May 14, 2017 at 11:21 AM

        • Thanks Andy, I’ll take a look at that one.

          I have an aging roam2 I use on my daily commuter. Tough camera and been through a lot.. still working perfectly after 4 years

          Like

          May 14, 2017 at 11:27 AM

  2. As riders we have to realize that we are a minority when out on the roads and driving/riding is privilege and not an inherent right.
    I agree that there can be asshat drivers and riders. My rule of thumb is always take myself out of the equation. Someone riding my ass? I pull over and let them go by. Someone driving to slow in front of me and no room to pass? I pull over and give them some distance, following them at a slow rate is pretty much a false sense of progress and not as enjoyable anyway. etc etc

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2017 at 5:48 AM

  3. So often you see people get upset at silly stuff … what you’ve never made that mistake? … really. Some people just need to chill.

    Yes there are idiots out there – but the fact is no matter how much I rant at them they’re still going to be idiots. So I figure it’s not worth my effort to get annoyed.

    Are we our own worst enemy. Yeah sometimes. But I think that’s true for most road user groups out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    • Agreed. Everyone thinks they are unparalleled when it comes to knowledgr of the road rules and their abilities to guide there vehicle.

      Sadly this often is not the case and infact that train of thought can be dangerous

      Like

      May 14, 2017 at 10:25 AM

  4. Well Said and I concur.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 11, 2017 at 10:50 AM

  5. When going around by cage, I used to not hesitate to express my disapproval of other road users’ bad behavior—never anything extreme, usually just by laying on the horn or exercising my neglected facial muscles, sailor’s vocabulary (I was never a sailor), or middle finger or two, or some sort of creative combination of the above.
    When I began regularly going around by motorized two wheels, I quickly realized the foolishness of such reactions: Expressing my disapproval in any of these ways could result in an unhinged cager’s deliberately wrecking me with possibly permanent consequences. Now I usually just remove myself from the situation, emotionally and—often—physically.
    And, yes, enraged American road users firing weapons at others does concern me, and I’m aware of that possibility when road rage rears its ugly head. I’m not opposed to gun ownership—I have a rifle and a few pistols myself, and I wear a pistol when riding certain remote areas—but, damn, in the wrong hands or when used in rage… Well, I don’t need to spell it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 14, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    • I’m with you.

      I try and remove myself from the situation too. Although I have had occassion to run when old mate decide Tom base me down one afternoon.

      I got away and proceeded to the nearest constabulary where I made a complaint. The video I provided saw the driver fined and lose his licence.

      I was lucky on that occassion…

      One benefit of tough gun laws is that very few people have them in easy reach…. This doesn’t stop the crooks though.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 14, 2017 at 10:39 AM

  6. LB

    Hello! It’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to visit, and it’s so nice to be back.
    You are so right! We can’t just complain about the others on the road. We have to make sure we’re riding right, too.
    We’re getting ready to participate in the Ride of Silence (the 10th annual in my town) and as we educate motorists about sharing the road with cyclist, we also teach the cyclists to mind the rules, too.
    http://www.rideofsilence.org

    Liked by 1 person

    May 15, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    • Hi Laurie, welcome back.

      That ride sounds like a great cause, I see there are only two events in Australia and only one is in a major city… Well the inner suburbs anyway.

      Should be more of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 15, 2017 at 7:52 PM

  7. Sadly, there are idiots on both sides, but I do believe that since riders are such a small percentage of the total population, our idiots tend to paint the rest of us with a tainted brush. Sad, and current riding education certainly doesn’t target the problem community.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 21, 2017 at 12:23 AM

    • You’ve got the nail right on the head. Like the saying goes.

      One bad apple can spoil the whole bucket

      Liked by 2 people

      May 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM

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