feeling vulnerable in car land

Daniel Skorupka /

Recently while riding to the mall on my electrical engineering project on MA 4 in Bedford I have had to put up with worse than just inattention.

I had a scary little encounter with a middle age white/hispanic man in a blue sierra pickup. The first time we met it was an uninteligable scream probably of some swearword. He later passed me and while doing so yelled "get a f++king car". I caught up with him at a stoplight and yelled "get a moped" and thereafter he left me alone.

The most common problem I have had to deal with is on my ride to school is as follows. I am going 25+ in a 20 zone and a car crosses the double yellow line to pass me. This happens more than once a day and more often than not happens in the twisties of spring street near middlesex community college.

Sometimes I have half a mind to give folks like this 48 volts to the fuel tank, but I know that would only spark a war.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

I drive like an asshole intentionaly and don't let people pass me. 9 times out of 10 you end up and the next light together. I ride pretty damn near the yellow line so people know" fuck off you aren't passing me"

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

"get a moped" Priceless!

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

We ride 100 pound bikes out in the road with large 2 ton vehicles. Vulnerability doesn't even begin to describe it. It's actually pretty rediculous, if you think about it. Life is full of risk though. I'd rather actually live than just stay indoors under a cover.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

I have been thinking about this, the main road I have to use to get just about everywhere is 40mph, and people roll way faster. I have had several close calls. Makes me want something a little faster, especially off the line. That is where people assume you can take off like a motorcycle, then almost run you down. Scary! I do enjoy riding most of the time, life is meant to be lived. Keep your head on a swivel and the rubber side down.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

The road my work is on goes from 35, to 45, then up to 50mph before the shop. It was scary as shit riding my stock fa50. Before my Vespa broke, I was goin 45 pretty easy, but cars still got on my ass and tried to kill me. Lately I ride my Suzuki Ts50 motorcycle, but it barely breaks the speed limit.

To make matters worse, there's a highschool parking lot on my way to and from work. It's a fucking war zone from 3-4pm and during lunch.

Cars hate us. Simple and plain, they want us dead.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

It's one of the things you just have to get used to on a moped. I did a post earlier this year about a stupid-ass who rode my tail through my neighborhood, down a winding back road to a shopping center. After deciding he wasn't going to get off my rear, I cranked up to about 40 mph through an S-curve. The guy tried to stay with me, and ended up crashing into a parked car. Revenge is oh, so sweet.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Christian Levi /

did you end up blowing a wad? I would've...

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Christian Levi /

what's 48 volts to the fuel tank mean? Whatever it means, I like the sounds of it... and I've pretty much vowed that I'm going to be spitting on windshields a lot in my moped. F assholes in a car... it's not like they're messing around with another car, they're messing around in a way that could kill us.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Christian Levi /

Hell yah. Agreed.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Nearly did. On the way back from the shopping center, I took the same road. The owner of the car that got hit was there, the cops were there and the guy was sitting on the curb while waiting for the cop to write the report (and probably a ticket). Now, I'm an old fart, retired and enjoying it. This was one of the best days I've had in years.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Zeke Rigg /

umm please remember speed limits are suggestions of abut how fast you should go. i do about 35 in a 20mph zone unless i cops sit near there. 20 feels slow as fuck in a car that will do 100. so yeah just blast and be glad you don't live in nowhere texas where any one doing any less than 10 over the speed limit gets run over and the minimum speed limit is 45.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Speed limits are not suggestions, they are law. That's like saying that abstaining from drunk driving is just a suggestion, because everyone does it anyway.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

that's why i always ride as drunk/fast as possible.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Christian Levi /

I'm pretty sure in Texas you're supposed to drink and drive... and you get bonus points if you're shooting a gun too.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

You should always feel vulnerable on a moped because you ALWAYS are. Enjoy.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Daniel Skorupka /

My moped is a homemade electric. No not one of those half assed pedelecs for old people and drunk ex drivers, this has over 50 lb of batteries, a 35 amp controller and a bigger motor than usually found on the former.

48 volts to the gas tank refers to following them to where they next park and somehow using my main battery to spark the fuel in their main fuel tank (I run a 48 volt system instead of the 24 or occasionally 36 of the legal (read crippleware) ebikes).

Around here even regular octane gas is 9 parts catalytic cracked petrol to 1 part denatured alcohol due to a misguided environmental law. This stuff could almost hold a candle to aluminated super napalm. I could make their fancy suv perform a wonderful impression of urban kyushu in 1945

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Daniel Skorupka /

Wise words, and yes I am always cautious on my bike, especially considering it has

A: no exhaust note being electric

and

B: it has no horn, used to have a squeeze bulb like an old bicycle but it literally fell apart on the road, i am ordering an airzound air horn based on claims and reviews that it is as loud as a car horn.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Chris Davis /

I actually had a guy who was riding my ass in a residential area (25mph limit I was doing 30), he was on my tailpipe yelling at me. We stopped at a light, and he starts getting out of his car still yelling at me how he's gonna beat me up for driving slow. So I pulled the nightstick off the front fork of my ped (got it zip tied right there), its one of those that's 6 inches long that you flick to extend to 18 inches long. So I took it out and turned around still on my ped, and flicked that thing to extend it.

he turned three shades of white and got back in his car and I let him drive around me. What a dick.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Cosmo nPuch Stillstolen /

I've learned the hard way.

I don't argue with crazies that have a 3600 pound weapon in their hands.

Unless I'm in a 3700 pound weapon, with a weapon.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Here in North Carolina, If you're on a 35mph road, doing 35, you're holding up traffic. I moved here 15 years ago, and because I hadn't quite got the hang of local police policies, I drove the speed limit. It became obvious that I had to speed up. The local cops don't bother you about being 10 or so over the limit, unless you're on their profile list. I wouldn't venture out on the streets here with a moped that won't run with the rest of the traffic.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

I have these

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00029XHUY/

on my tomos and in my el camino. They are louder than car horns. way louder. they run great off a 12 black and decker cordless drill battery. they are 40$ at most parts stores right off the shelf. get the chrome/metal splitter ones the plastic ones suck. Ive made pedestrians and people in cars shit their pants.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

Hard to read about the dangerous conditions you are forced to ride in. Reminds me why I quit riding a bike in the US after 1976 (High School).

Here in Germany, the speed limit in neighborhoods is...drum roll....EIGHTEEN MILES PER HOUR (30 kmh). And they enforce it RIGHTEOUSLY! Retired cops get special permission to sit around with camera-equipped speed guns. My wife has gotten a couple tickets for going two km over the speed limit!!

Main roads in town are only 50khm (30 mph), but almost all the main roads (as well as most of the highways) have bike paths. I was walking my dogs this morning and saw a group of bikers on a bike path that runs parallel to a corn field between two major roads. I counted 35 people, all easily over 40 years old riding together. The first time an asshole in a car did something like you guys have to deal with all the time, they would be stripped of their license and have their car impounded. Driving is considered a HUGE (and fairly expensive) privilege here. I have a friend who is thirty and works at a good job. He has a nice apartment and plenty of guy toys. He does not own a car.

The biggest challenge for me when riding is getting used to the fact that the cars will actually yield in nearly all situations to a bike. It is freakish to an American, believe me, but in addition to all the old people riding bikes, there are a gazillion kids riding around as well. From what I am able to understand, any accident with a car and a bike is automatically the fault of the CAR driver.

I am a lot more nervous when I drive our Mercedes than when I drive my moped, because of all the bike and foot traffic you have to watch out for makes driving a car a nightmare.

I would never consider moped travel in the US, with the exception of maybe one or two of the more urban cities that have adopted a strong bike culture. I would get my thrills in the US by doing a safer sport than moped riding, like parachute jumping or hang gliding. Enjoy.

Enjoy.

Re: feeling vulnerable in car land

my take...who cares right? but when i ride a bicycle, motorcycle, moped and yes even a car i do so as if i'm invisible...because to most other drivers i am

i got back on a motorcycle after 25 years a few years back...i love it but back when i used to ride there weren't any cell phones...that was the scariest shit knowing that no one was paying attention to anything...at all...except the dumbass conversation about what they ate for breakfast...

i've been pretty happy with the reactions i get on the ped...people seem to think it's soooooo cute....plus i ride all side streets and Denver's pretty bike friendly

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