Apprehension

Let's leave the macho "your a puss" talk aside, shall we? Cheap shots are boring.

"BOR-ING, SYDNEY... BORING BORING BORING.... EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!!!" sorry =)

Riding to work, I must admit that going through the city at rush hour, there are times when I feel apprehensive and quite vulnerable. I do ride confidently and assert my presence, but I will let people go, etc. on two-lane roads when they get impatient. But I get to feeling like "shit, one thing goes wrong here, I'm street meat".

The scenario I hate worst is on a busy 30-35mph road (like Hampton, Kingshighway, Big Bend for locals) and the left lane STOPS because some knob didn't use a signal or whatever, or wants to let the whole world turn left in front of them. I just KNOW some asshole won't look some day, and will turn right in front of me or bolt from the left lane impatiently right into my path. If I slow down too much, I risk asshole #2 on his cell brushing his metrosexual hair in his Tahoe behind squishing me. If I don't, I risk #1 or #3. If I move over too far to the side, I risk a door opening taking me out.

I guess it's just par for the course, and I'll get used to it. I feel actually far better on a moped than a bicycle though, and it has better brakes... normal shit, would you say?

Re: Apprehension

Edward Richardson /

Usually I try to ride as predictably as possible, but when I am concerned that some weasel isn't seeing me or someone is crowding me, I go random and get all swervy. People around you kind of back off and blipping the throttle as I approach an intersection gets the mouthbreather's attention.

Re: Apprehension

fish_SHARK /

as for your scenario, i usually slow down to about speed limit move to the right slightly and just watch, anticipate that retard is pulling out around the car trying to make the left hand turn, be ready to pass him on the right or slow down. also keep your speed slow enough that if that car does make the turn in front of you, across oncoming traffic, be prepared to stop and or swerve.

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Shit happens. It's a fact of life. Once I was sitting at a stop sign and a car rolled backwards out of a driveway across the street (the driveway was steep), across the intersection, and hit the front of my van at 15mph or something. You don't even need drivers involved to have accidents. I was pretty glad I wasn't riding my moped that day since I doubt I would have been able to get out of the way fast enough if I had been -- it would have been me taking the impact rather than the front bumper of my van.

You could hit a patch of sand and eat pavement. You could take a bump or pothole wrong and go flying before eating pavement. There are all kinds of variables, and yeah, you're right about the street meat thing.

I try to stick to residential roads and only cross major streets at lights, but it isn't always possible. I'd imagine in St. Louis you'd have an even harder time sticking to smaller roads.

We all take a risk riding mopeds, but I don't think we'd still be doing it if the benefits or satisfaction didn't outweigh our personal assessments of the inherent risks.

At least you've thought through some potential accident scenarios. Those are situations that you'll be prepared to react to now if they happen. It's always good to be prepared.

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dude, those roads DO suck. Know how I know? I live in st. louis.

Yet...we haven't met. Just like you haven't met the rest of I.R.E. What's going on with that?

Come to our meeting Sunday! If you have any questions, email me, or even better, email Mike "mijunkin" Peters.

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FUCK sand and lose gravel on the pavement, especially on turns.

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At least you are aware of the risks, that is half the battle, wear bright clothing a helmet if you want, gloves are a great idea, I let people go around me, will wait several turns at an intersection if I don't feel safe pulling into it. As long as you are aware of the cage drives inattiveness you can usually anticipate their latest attempt to kill you! If in doubt let them by you. Best of luck!

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I commute every day on mine, but it's short and the traffic isnt too bad. If I was in your situation, the first thing I'd do is take the can off the stinger and run that thing as loud as you can get it. Let 'em know you're coming. In situations like yours I typically slow down slightly, get right to give myself breathing room in case the cretin comes over, and try to get to the passenger window as quickly as possible and make eye contact with the driver as I pass.

Re: Apprehension

I commute 10 miles each way back and forth to work and there are some hairy areas along the way, but I've learned to deal with them the best I can. First is to make yourself as visible as possible. I wear a bright yellow helmet and a heavy mesh padded jacket that also has yellow panels. Some may think it's overkill, but I don't. Everyone says I look like a big bumble bee (wait til I paint my ped all yellow, hence the name "The Bumble-Mo_Beel").

The "swerve" is good up the point when the cager is no less than 50 ft away. closer than that, they may panic. I use it when coming up to intersections to get driver's attention.

Stay to the right most of the time. That can get hairy too, especially when getting pinched between a moving vehicle and a parked car. I will take the middle of the lane if the car behind me is a safe difference, but if they look impatient I'll drop back and let them go. This doesn't happen often because I'm usually going as fast as the guy behind me anyways.

Oh, and it helps if your ped is fast enough to keep up, or actually be able to pull away from cars doing 30. Most of my driving is down roads that have 30 mph limit.

And never pass a line of cars using the bike lane. I know it's legal, but the second time I tried it I almost pulled a superman over the hood of a lady who was taking a left into a parking lot. The only reason she coudn't see me was because I was on the side of a van that was also taking a left, but from my lane and we basically surprised each other. Last time I ever take that chance.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

Hey Jason, I feel your pain. I live in St. Louis, and only own mopeds. So I commute daily to work downtown, but only from Benton Park. Still, I have to get on Tucker, Chouteau, 14th St., and Olive. Just this morning in Soulard I had some stupid biatch pass me on the right...in Soulard, you know narrow 2 lane residential area where me doing 34mph or so is fast. Yeah, she had to pass me on the right. Scared the crap out of me because she didn't honk, flash her lights, or make any other announcement that she was about to do it. So, she got flipped off.

Generally, I try to map my route in ways I'm least likely to get killed. But, I also tend to lane split and drive like an ass. My theory is if they see me and are angry, it's better than them not seeing me and splattering me on their Hummer.

I can't wait to kit my bike so I get away from these a-holes quicker.

Yeah, what do you do Sunday afternoons? Want to work on mopeds and go on rides with some other moped-folk? Lemme know.

Re: Apprehension

Yeah they aren't great.

Two reasons I haven't come - short on time (ok, excuse) and here I come on a TFR looking like a wannabe or something. Promise you won't laugh and I'll come ;-). It has sounded like fun. I gotta check my email to see where and when.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

We won't laugh at you man. We have one rider with a scooter, some with nopeds, but most with mopeds. You'll fit in just fine.

We might just be jealous that you have a new, working bike while we fumble to make our vintage stuff do 30mph. haha

Do you get the e-mail I send every week?

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I used the swervy technique today at times. It did get attention.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

Oh, and our ages are from like 15 to 62 or something like that. So prettymuch anyone is cool with us.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

Oh and check out the I.R.E. website break>

It's a work in progress, but we've got our own forums and a blog going, with more to come.

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Cool. I didn't get the last email, just the one at Mark's for last week. Where you guys gonna be, did you send it out already? I'd love to meet up. If you say cool, then I'm cool. =)

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I work on stuff of all kinds. I don't mind getting my hands dirty, if it's even "can you hold this a moment" or help me do XYZ. You betcha I'll help and pitch in.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

We'll be at Mark's again this week. Noon on Sunday, as usual. But we'll be just around the corner at his shop/warehouse instead of at his main house. If you're at the corner of Pestalozzi and Texas you couldn't miss us. We'll have bikes outside and such. And beer. We always have beer.

I tend to send the e-mail out Saturday mornings, but I really should do it earlier in the week probably. So, you should see an e-mail from me tomorrow, unless you snuck off the list somehow.

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Cool! I just registered with the IRE board and introduced myself. See you at noon at Mark's. I don't drink but it's all good. I'll be glad to help wrench and hang out. I'm only 3 mi. away (Gravois & Bates).

And no, if I get there, I hardly think I could miss all of you. =)

Re: Apprehension

You are more than describing apprehension, you are describing the kind of caution and forethought that is necessary for safe riding in moderate to heavy traffic.

While you can't really control what everyone else does, you can take steps before hand, such as proper riding equipment. You can't wear full racing leathers, but you can wear a good helmet and gloves. It will keep you from skinning your face and hands in even a minor scrape. You can wear a heavy jacket, they make all kinds of warm weather armor too. I bought one coat that has two removable liners.

I like the swerve and engine revving suggestions. Anything to draw attention to yourself. Most drivers that hit motorcycles say they never saw them. Past that, proper lane position can go a long way towards avoiding a crash or minimizing the damage. When you stop at lights or signs, don't line up right behind the car in front of you. Get off to a side, so even if you do get bumped from the rear, you don't get between two cars.

Re: Apprehension

you _are_ invisable to other drivers, so ride like it.

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Thanks for the suggestions and validation of what I'm thinking. I should wear my gloves more often. I always wear my Docs and a DOT beanie helmet (hearing is very important). My bomber is good with the lining out, but I need something lighter that will serve as a second skin. It's ok to ride with it when warm out but it gets a bit sweat stanky. I suppose I could wear my 20-year-old black "Harley" jacket, which is lighter with no lining, and more suited for riding anyway,,,

Proper lane position. Now that, I haven't done. Thanks a ton for the suggestion, it makes perfect sense. I've thought, what, would I leap into the air like Spiderman or something if I risked getting crushed in a rear-end collision? What I do is leave a ton of room, and always think "where will I go..." as I determine whether or not the person behind me will stop in time.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

I've found when I pull too far off to the right at a light, cars think it's an invitation to pull up. Then I'm suck in the shoulder, and I've got worse acceleration than a car, so I can't really get back into traffic unless there is a break. Getting nailed from behind is bad news, but getting forced out of traffic and making my commute take twice as long isn't a good deal either.

I used to ride helmetless and gloveless, in shorts, sandals, and a t shirt. Then I wrecked. I'm lucky it was a cold day because I was actually wearing pants, work boots, and a jacket. Now I don't hit the road without my helmet and gloves, some sort of closed toe shoes, and usually at least a light jacket. Road rash sucks hard. So do broken toes.

Re: Apprehension

every time i ride (i live in boston) alone i have a little bit of fear in my belly.

when i'm with other people i'm cool.

but those drivers, oh man, sometimes it's like they're actually trying to kill me. when i beep my horn (embarrassing in itself) just to let them know i'm there (like when they're about to potentially squish me) sometimes they flip me off, lean on their horn, or cut out right in front of me. sheesh.

i have no advice but good luck and stay safe.

Re: Apprehension

Yeah I know what you mean. I set out, and it's like "ok, here we go". Underway, it's usually fine. I put on a $20 Airzounds horn because, running off mags, the pitiful horn is like a little rattle unless you're at speed. It's also embarrassing. If I get a good 115 db. blast through a window at a left-turn non-yielder, for example, now that's good comedy. "WTF WAS THAT???" A moped, with a pissed-off rider, that's what.

Growing up near Norwalk CT I have just about as much faith in Mass. drivers as I do NJ drivers. And that... is saying something. Total a-hole on 84 or 91? Mass plate? Usually. ;-) You guys probably think the same of CT or NY... lol

Took me a while to get used to the (thankfully) easier pace with with Midwestern drivers go. One thing I've noticed living in STL is that they generally aren't very good at parallel parking. Or using turn signals. And on interstates with 70-mph limits, they either go like 50 or 100.

Re: Apprehension

boston drivers are pretty much the worst i've ever seen. unfortunately i'm one of them sometimes (four or five times a year) on four wheels. i'm much more aware of bicyclists/mopeders since becoming one myself, though.

Re: Apprehension

I.R.E. Mike Pee /

I moved to StL from upstate NY (Albany area). The drivers here are so incredibly terrible. Thankfully they're sorta slower, and their startle reaction includes the brake, so it's alright on a moped. Of course, some people are just out to kill you anywhere you ride. When I lane split or pull other antics most people just stop and let me pass because they're scared. haha

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Is the BORING SIDNEY quote a Johnny Rotten quote?

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Sid & Nancy, the beans in his mouth... Dalex...

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Patience WILL save your life! (all above ideas are great as well) but in the end in car vs ped you will ALWAYS lose. Be safe!

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