Driving Habits

As I was coming home tonight I started thinking about the things I do differently since I started riding again. And also a few things that other people do that pisses me off..Here are a few:

  • Pouring a drink out – I’ve been guilty of this before. Pull up to a stop light or something and just dump the remains of a Burger King drink out. I’ve had this happen numerous times when I was on the bike..The way I position myself is closest to the yellow line so I can see the driver’s mirror. Of course I don’t assume they see me but I like to be able to see them..So with that choice in mind as soon as someone pours something out I usually ride through it and spatter their tasty beverage of choice on my bike and me. Not good. I’ve also put my foot down in left over food, drinks, spit, etc..No more pouring for me..
  • Flicking cigarette butts out the window – I haven’t done this since I don’t smoke. But I’ve had to dodge so many that I’ve lost count..There’s nothing like seeing those glowing, sparking embers bouncing down the road at you..All you smokers please hold onto your butts and don’t throw them out..It’s really gross.
  • Rolling at a stop sign – Been guilty of this one as well. Get to a stop sign and you just have one vehicle coming up so you don’t really stop just kinda cruise until that vehicle goes by and then you continue on. When I see someone at a stop sign I look at their front tire and assume they don’t see me. If that front tire is moving then I’m looking for an escape route in case they pull out in front of me. I know that I’ve gotten more than one funny look because I’ve moved over to a different part of the lane I’m in or a different lane altogether because the car that I was watching didn’t stop completely. When I’m in the Jeep, or any cage, I stop completely every time.
  • Turn signals – I hate it when people don’t turn on their turn signals. Seriously, it’s not that hard to use them and it makes people who ride behind you happy..
  • Trying to talk to someone on a bike at a stop light – Most of the time I have music playing or my earplugs in and I won’t be able to hear you..I’m not going through the effort of muting my music to listen to some inane comment. If you see me stop for gas and take my helmet off then feel free to talk to me. I’ve never tried to talk to someone on a bike at a stop light or even at a gas station but I’m not what you’d call a “social butterfly”. I’m amazed how many people just start talking to me while I’m waiting for the light to change.
  • Constantly rolling in bumper to bumper traffic – It’s easy just to coast when you’re in a vehicle but when you’re on a bike there’s shifting, picking up and putting the feet down. It makes it very tiresome to go through that when the person in front of you goes just slow enough to make you put your feet down constantly. I usually let get a car length between me and the person in front and then I can usually work the clutch and brake enough to keep my feet on the pegs. Along that same vein, don’t pull in front of a bike in traffic if you see a space. That space is probably there so the rider doesn’t have to do as much work..If you must pull over then for godsake see the bullet about turn signals.
  • Throwing a full tobacco spit cup out the window at 55mph – Ahhh..The best saved for last. So this actually happened to me today On the way home from work.  I see a white cup tossed from a truck and as soon as it hits the road I know what it is. I recognize the nasty black liquid mixed with chunks and used napkins it..Yep..A tobacco spit cup. When it hit the road and spattered I was trying to decide how to avoid the nastiness that was coming my way. It bounce a couple of times and the spit when everywhere. I know some of it hit my windshield and when I got home I found some on my helmet as well…As soon as I cleared the rest of it I laid on the horn and hit the high beam. I could see the guy look back and I stood up on the bike and flipped him off for a good 30 seconds. He sped off and made the next left turn into a subdivision…I tried to slow down enough to follow him but the roads were wet and traffic was heavy..I will not forget that truck and I know I’ll see him again along that road..Nasty bastard.

That’s all I can think of right now…I’m sure there are more and they’ll come to me when I’m back on the bike 🙂

Comments

  1. Kate says:

    The turn signal thing is a pet peeve of mine too. My father doesn’t use his and it drives me up a wall.

  2. MrZoG says:

    I fell the same way about turn signals, make me ade a hell when people are 90% into their turn and then the signal comes on. The one to add is when its raining,foggy,dusk,daybreak, or any other situations where you need headlight no so much to see but so that other can see you. Turn you damn lights on. I have to say living in the Deep South I have not had the spit cup in the face but the cigarette is a daily thing.

  3. Mom says:

    Glad to see you are driving defensively!

  4. Mom says:

    Oh! Just remembered to ask… Has your birthday present arrived yet?

  5. netmask says:

    Dude! If you feel fragile riding your bike, check our how the crazy riders go around here in Brazil:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIalb8Z0sQA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLkS1sLMLp4

    Nobody likes professional riders here, they only cause problems, scratch your car, break your mirror, curse at you, and whatever bad thing you can think of.

    If you wanna see more, go on Youtube and search for “motoboy corredor” (that’s “bike rider corridor” in portuguese).

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