FROM DALE VANDERLINDEN
I rode a motorcycle 20,000 miles per year in the 1980s, and made a couple of nonstop 1,000-mile rides. I don’t ride any more; my Mommy won’t let me.
I want to say that riding a bike a thousand miles in one day is not the smartest thing you can do, ether comfortwise or safetywise. But aside from that, I figure I rode pretty intelligently.
At this time of year, the bikes come out, along with the campaign to “Start Seeing Motorcyles.” Many times, I don’t have any trouble seeing them because they are about a half-car-length off my rear bumper.
I don’t always make a lot of friends with my rules for riding, but here they are free, and maybe even worth it.
• Know that you can’t be seen, and ride accordingly.
• Ride in your “car space.” If there isn’t room enough for a car, don’t go there.
• Don’t ride with folks who don’t wear helmets. They are prone to making other bad decisions also.
If you don’t wear a helmet, you might as well take the seatbelt out of your car same difference. If you can afford a bike, you probably can afford a helmet, and maybe even leathers.
• Don’t rap up your Harley or your Jap screamer just because you think it is macho or cute. It just ticks people off, and does nothing for your “start seeing motorcycles” campaign.
• Just because the speedo has a 150 on it, don’t feel that you have a right to ride at whatever speed you feel like. If you are getting there faster on a bike than you would in a car, you are probably violating traffic laws.
My response to myself in virtually every close encounter I ever had was “Self, you should have known better than to ride in there!”
Ridden properly, motorcycles are a delight, as well as the best defensive driving learning experience you will ever have.