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Old 10-02-2014, 06:53 AM   #1
dwizum OP
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Ya know how we like to theorize about risk compensation?

Well, I've found the perfect case study: this dude who is suddenly often on my morning commute.

If you were to take a static picture of him, and evaluate his safety level, you'd think he was tops. He's checked all the boxes:

-Rides a Can Am Sypder (not one of those tippy two wheel bikes)
-...that happens to be bright yellow
-Hi viz yellow safety vest over top of a reflective silver jacket
-Fancy brand name full face helmet, gloves, boots, and pants - all hi viz, silver, or white
-Aftermarket super tall windscreen
-Little rectangular extra windscreen extension on little aluminum clamps above the top of the super tall windscreen
-Aftermarket driving lamps next to the headlights
-More driving lamps next to those driving lamps
-High beams on 24/7
-Did I mention the aftermarket driving lamps? Well, there's more of them out on the wings above the wheels
-Red strobe on 24/7 below the tail light

Sounds like the kind of guy who is concerned about personal safety to an extent many would call excessive, am I right?

Yet, that is where the irony lies. He's taking all these steps, yet he also ticks pretty much every box in terms of being an unsafe motorcyclist, when it comes to driving style:

-Tailgates pretty much 100% of the time there's a vehicle in front of him
-Regularly breaks the speed limit when there isn't a vehicle in front of him
-Passes long lines of cars all in one shot
-Passes over double yellows
-Passes when there is oncoming traffic and BARELY makes it back to the right side of the road
-I've never seen him use a turn signal
-Abrupt lane changes with no indication of his intent (no signals, no shoulder check)
-Subtle taunts at other road users (Just this morning I watched him try to stare down a woman in an SUV, which was funny, because despite all his hi-viz I don't think she even noticed him).

...and so on.

At any rate, I'm not really sure why I'm posting this, other than to share in my amazement at behavior. I see lots of hi-viz riders. I see lots of riders who ride in a really unsafe manner, all the time. I occasionally see hi-viz riders do unsafe things. But, I've never seen a rider who was such a categorically opposite blend of safety conscious gear choices vs completely unsafe riding style.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
ruin
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He's doing it exactly right. He's a menace doing unpredictable things, so of course he needs to be as visible as possible. Plenty of squids around here ride exactly the same way -- but dressed head to toe in black, on black bikes.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #3
fastdadio
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If you remove the tail gating and subtle taunts from the above list of no-no's, that's pretty much how I ride. So whats yer point?
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
dwizum OP
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Hey, I'm not here to judge, I'm sure there are people out there who think I am an unsafe rider. My interest was because of the stark contrast.

Now that I've said that I'm gonna go ahead and make some judgements. It's freaking annoying to have eleventybillion watts of high beams and driving lamps in your rearview mirror. I see you dude, please stop causing permanent damage to my retinas.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:05 AM   #5
DAKEZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdadio View Post
If you remove the tail gating and subtle taunts from the above list of no-no's, that's pretty much how I ride. So whats yer point?
+1

Without the unnecessary crap:
-Rides a Can Am Sypder (not one of those tippy two wheel bikes)
-...that happens to be bright yellow
-Hi viz yellow safety vest over top of a reflective silver jacket
-Fancy brand name full face helmet, gloves, boots, and pants - all hi viz, silver, or white
-Aftermarket super tall windscreen
-Little rectangular extra windscreen extension on little aluminum clamps above the top of the super tall windscreen
-Aftermarket driving lamps next to the headlights
-More driving lamps next to those driving lamps
-High beams on 24/7
-Did I mention the aftermarket driving lamps? Well, there's more of them out on the wings above the wheels
-Red strobe on 24/7 below the tail light
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:16 AM   #6
pretbek
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He's doing it right. All I'm missing is him tossing old spark plugs and marbles at cars, loud pipes, and a middle finger regularly extended to other road users.
Safety third, people!
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:19 AM   #7
Earth Rider
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Never seen anyone ride fast on one of those.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:24 AM   #8
ruin
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The highbeam-all-the-time jerks have me seriously considering putting a few hundred watts on the front of my truck.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #9
fastdadio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
Hey, I'm not here to judge, I'm sure there are people out there who think I am an unsafe rider. My interest was because of the stark contrast.

Now that I've said that I'm gonna go ahead and make some judgements. It's freaking annoying to have eleventybillion watts of high beams and driving lamps in your rearview mirror. I see you dude, please stop causing permanent damage to my retinas.
+1. I like big light as well as the next guy, but yah, Wire them to the bright light circuit and dim down when traffic is present. When new coat time finally came around, I bought a bright colored textile, with padding, to replace the old Hein Gericke leather. Nice coat what ever the color is.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
windblown101
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A hi-vis menace, smh. If I was being a constant threat to others the last thing I'd want to do is stand out in the process. :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruin View Post
The highbeam-all-the-time jerks have me seriously considering putting a few hundred watts on the front of my truck.
I've never figured out why a small percentage of riders think it's a good idea to blind oncoming traffic.

It's like intentionally starting a game of chicken you where the only potential loser is the guy on the bike.

I got a fair amount of grief online a few years back when I mentioned that I was not above giving an oncoming MC rider a quick flash of hi-beams as a friendly reminder to turn down their hi-beams so that I could see! Obviously there are some bikes with such crappy lights this is not an issue. But f they have good lights they are putting themselves at risk by blinding 6000 lbs of steel headed towards them. A surprising percentage of riders said they ran hi-beams for "safety" all the time. I agree hi-beams on dark empty roads is a damn good idea. Blinding on-coming traffic, not so much...
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
ruin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windblown101 View Post
A hi-vis menace, smh. If I was being a constant threat to others the last thing I'd want to do is stand out in the process. :)




I've never figured out why a small percentage of riders think it's a good idea to blind oncoming traffic.

It's like intentionally starting a game of chicken you where the only potential loser is the guy on the bike.

I got a fair amount of grief online a few years back when I mentioned that I was not above giving an oncoming MC rider a quick flash of hi-beams as a friendly reminder to turn down their hi-beams so that I could see! Obviously there are some bikes with such crappy lights this is not an issue. But f they have good lights they are putting themselves at risk by blinding 6000 lbs of steel headed towards them. A surprising percentage of riders said they ran hi-beams for "safety" all the time. I agree hi-beams on dark empty roads is a damn good idea. Blinding on-coming traffic, not so much...
I can't imagine getting grief over that. I'll give a flash or two and if that doesn't do it, I'll hold them on until the pass is complete.

If they're crappy lights I'm not even going to notice that the highbeams are on, so no sweat there. ;)
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
dwizum OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruin View Post
I can't imagine getting grief over that.
Me either. Especially considering it seems to be totally acceptable practice when driving a car (flashing someone to remind them that their high beams are on).
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:14 PM   #13
81forest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdadio View Post
If you remove the tail gating and subtle taunts from the above list of no-no's, that's pretty much how I ride. So whats yer point?
Same here... Plus black bike, plus black leathers... Guess I'm fucked!
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
dfwscotty
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Black on black here baby!
Living on the edge!
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
sdmichael
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I see the same things with bicycling. Bright gear, extra lights, hand signals... still runs lights/signs. Not all, mind you, but there was someone I regularly saw on my commute (when I had a bicycle commute) that did this. I also saw this with some bicycling groups. While on a bicycle ride, a group ran a stop sign I was at (three-way stop). No one seemed to care they were being dicks, even to others on bicycles. Yet... would point out debris/potholes/problems with the roadway like those were a problem... How about that stop sign back there? Mind you, I was also on a cyclocross bicycle and really didn't care if the road was even paved. It still is confusing.

It makes about as much sense as chanting "Loud Pipes Saves Lives" when you don't ride with any manner of safety gear (helmet/gloves/jacket or any combination). Consistency is something that is lacking. Want to appear safe, ride safe. Want to appear unsafe, ride unsafe. Don't dress the part of "Mr Safety" and be a complete idiot. To me, it makes the whole safety gear aspect rather moot.
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