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Thoughts from a daily motorcycle commuter...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by DMack_762, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    I knew people in Los Angeles who commuted 100 miles or more each way, because they wanted an actual backyard and maybe horses. For their kids.
    Couldn't argue with their reasoning.

    Some things you can put a price on. Like property values in Los Angeles. Others you can't, like seeing joy on your kids faces.
    #61
  2. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    It's not always that simple, I commute between 50-75 miles each way to work every day in DC traffic to avoid living in the mess and ridiculous property values around Washington DC. There is simply no work in my field in my area that pays decently so I commute so I can enjoy both my job and where I live.
    #62
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  3. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

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    I think it is good idea to not commute on the bike on the Friday before a 3 day weekend.

    At lunch a black SUV ran a red light. It caused me to test my ABS to their full extent. After he was fully in my path, he then turned on his lights and siren. He was followed by another a second later. Who also turned his lights and siren on as he was also running the red light.

    Then on the way home traffic was moving along at about the speed limit 35 to 40 and a nut is a big older beater chevy decided to pass everyone on the right in the bicycle lane doing well over 60. He had to swerve into traffic to miss the trash cans on the curb. A moment later to county sheriff cars were spotted, but they did not pursue.

    People get crazy on the Friday before Memorial Day.
    #63
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  4. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

    Joined:
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    NoVA for now...
    Especially not in SoCal

    M
    #64
    neanderthal likes this.
  5. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

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    After watching clips of MCs wreaking on YouTube, for several years

    I stopped.

    Speed is the issue the vast majority of time.

    Not paying attention is the other.

    I can't learn anymore from others mistakes.
    #65
  6. DMack_762

    DMack_762 Been here awhile

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    Jul 31, 2018
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    Location:
    Camden, SC
    Just ordered a pair of Daytona RoadStar GTX boots to replace my Alpinestars Roam 2 WP boots. Commuting daily got me thinking about ankle protection. The A*'s boots have been great now for six months, hardly showing any wear, but they are super hot, the waterproof membrane is not GoreTex, so it does not breathe. The Florida Summer is wicking up, so it's time to move to a more fitting boot. There is no ankle protection in the A*'s Roam 2 boots either.

    daytona_road_star_gtx_boots.jpg daytona_road_star_gtx_boots_750x750.jpg
    #66
  7. Tor

    Tor Making Life A Ride

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    Asgard
    Commute on a two-lane country road coming out of the sticks with 2015 GSA (probably on of the bikes with highest road presence built today). Blaring Erica's in the front, billi in the rear, Stebel Nautilus to wake people up, the list goes on. Its 16 miles one way, so not a terrible commute. Pretty good, actually. Still see people do stupid stuff every now and then.

    And as the OP, I never get on the bike without full gear.
    #67
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  8. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

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    This. We chose to move out to the country, resulting in a 50+ mile commute to Nashville. We did this because in Nashville, $360k would have bought us a smallish condo, or a shitty house in a not-quite-yet-gentrified area. Fifty miles out, it bought 10 acres, a 3500 sq ft house on a really fun-to-ride rural highway, a nice in-ground pool, and all-around quiet country living. There are no local options to earn what we earn, so compromise was required.
    #68
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  9. dietDrThunder

    dietDrThunder Why so serious, son? Supporter

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    I am really interested in hearing how these are for heat. FWIW the membrane in the A* boots is actually a 'breathable' membrane. I suspect that the Daytona's will be just as hot, but am interested to read your thoughts once you have some miles in.
    #69
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  10. TAS

    TAS Been here awhile

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    Port Saint Lucie, FL
    The change to GoreTex really worked for me. I live just north of West Palm Beach and commute south 50 miles each day. During the summer my feet would literally roast while slabbing it on I95. The ripping hot feet combined with full gear sucked. Mrs.TAS surprised me with a new pair of boots for Father’s Day 2 years ago, they allow my feet to “breathe”.
    #70
  11. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

    Joined:
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    I had one of those 'not in front of ME!' types on Sat AM

    I was driving a VeloFix Sprinter (long and tall) and was calmly zippering with the rest of the folks. Well... most of the folks anyways. The car beside me in the zipper area really didn't like the idea of letting me in. They were halfway down the van and I wasn't giving them a choice. I WAS coming over. It wasn't like I was going down an empty lane and trying to merge at the last minute. They saw I was slowly zippering with everyone else...

    Idiots. It's shit like that that hoses everyone up. Not quite as badly as someone running down to the end of the lane, then jamming in where there's no room tho. That sets off a chain reaction of brake lights. Makes EVERYthing worse.

    M
    #71
  12. bsidethecside

    bsidethecside n00b

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    Location:
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    A bit late to the party (saw this thread following the front-page announcement), I commuted several years through London and thankfully was incident free.

    A few thoughts…

    Vary your route – keep it fresh so you don’t get complacent / let your attention wander. Also good to learn some escape routes if the traffic really snarls up.

    Have time off – I would use public transport for a week every now and then. I would come back a lot slower and more careful, thinking I was surrounded by people with death-wishes! I got a few colleagues to do likewise and they all came back after a week on the tube thinking the same.

    Learn the hazard spots – lane merges, poor junctions etc.

    Don’t sit in anyone’s blind spot – self explanatory.

    Finally the old adage of look ahead, be smooth and the rest will come naturally.


    Now I have moved out of London, the commute to the new job is cross-country, so brings different challenges, but I still reckon these apply. I am just a lot more conservative with filtering as drivers here don’t expect bikes.
    #72
  13. timpants

    timpants Adventurer

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    11
    Many great points on here, even for some of us veterans. Thanks to everyone sharing tips to make is all safe(r) riders.

    My only thing to add is to read the car's "body language" for lack of a better term, and the general behavior of the driver. This profiling, right or wrong, is about your survival. I'd rather be judgemental and make it to my destination than trade my life for the benefit of a doubt. People can, usually will, subconsciously telegraph their intentions.

    On multi-lane roads, when you see a car move closer to the lane separator, assume they are changing lanes. Assume they do not see you. Be ready for evasive action and move into position.

    Cars weaving or not keeping place with traffic (yo-yo-ing) are not paying attention, and should be viewed as a death treat. (Imagine that person casually holding a handgun while not paying attention. stay away, far behind is safest)

    People showing down for no reason are getting off (or answering phone). Expect a rapid slowdown and lane change/exit.

    People who break a lot (going up hill, gentle bends, crest of a hill, car changes lanes next to them, swerve wildly to avoid small bumps or potholes) are scared of driving. Expect a panic break at any time. Move if possible or give extra space.

    Work trucks and Vans are on the phone. They can't see you. They don't know where they are going and they are late getting there. They also probably forgot to secure they're tools and supplies. Avoid Avoid Avoid.

    Garbage, renovation, and landscape trucks have not secured their loads. Nails and leaves are going to fall out so don't be there when they do.

    So far, these things have worked for me. I have commuted to high school, summer jobs, college, professional works, grocery shopping, any time I didn't need a car, etc. Every kind of bike through the years. Most recently a commuter of 25mi dense city traffic, but currently fair weather commuter of 7mi. (New home, more parking at new job)

    Good luck out there. Be safe!
    #73
  14. ebolton

    ebolton Adventurer

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    Newton, NH, USA
    I ride in most days with sort-of acceptable weather. 35 miles each way. Riding a 12 Tiger Explorer. I can go interstate or local roads, and I do either on any given trip depending on the timing I need.

    Years ago, I had a 15 mile each way commute, and did it on a bicycle. I was a competitive bicyclist back then.

    I learned on the bicycle you become a better rider as a commuter compared to people who just ride on the weekends. You learn to deal with weather changes between trips, lose your fear of having a dirty bike, get more frequent skills practice, and learn to be comfortable despite all sorts of aggravations. I believe riding 100 miles spread out over two commuting runs a day for 5 days prepares you better than 100 miles ridden once a week on a Saturday. Frequency is more important than quantity, especially for developing skills. From what I can see, all this applies to the moto just like the bicycle.

    I also gear up for the commute, as I do for all my riding on the motorcycle.

    -Ed
    #74
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  15. Cameleer

    Cameleer Back to Real Life

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    True that!
    #75
  16. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    The only "problem" with the zipper merge is when EVERYBODY does it too early before the pinch point. it's great to zipper along with everybody, but one should always strive to maximise road use.

    Here in Texas they all zipper super early. Then there is a mile of slow going traffic with an empty lane next to them. :becca We'd all go faster if we zippered, but also maximised use of the available lanes.
    #76
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  17. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Are you saying there isn't a "better" idiot than you out there? You can always learn from others.

    I too make the observations "too fast for conditions" or "following too closely" right at the beginning of the motorcycle fail youtube videos.
    #77
  18. Cameleer

    Cameleer Back to Real Life

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    Great pic, love the chevrons. This is what I put on...

    IMG_1962.jpg
    #78
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  19. DMack_762

    DMack_762 Been here awhile

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    Camden, SC
    Just got back from 16 days TDY up to Northern Utah. I'm Military, so for the non-mil folk, TDY is Temporary Duty. I was up there training. 16 days off the bike, had me really longing for it. The weather up there was absolutely stunning. Had some Brits over to train with us, some of them were BMW riders. The mountains and the trails we were riding on in our tactical vehicles had me foaming at the mouth, wishing I had my GSA there. For those of you who live up there, this Florida Flat Lander is really jealous.

    So, today was my first day back on the bike. I was a bit slower on my routine this morning. Checked the air pressure in my tires, re-sync'd my Blue Tooth stuff (Sena 30K, iPhone XS Max and NavVI) and off I rode. I found that over two weeks off the bike, had me riding a wee bit slower, and I actually enjoyed it. No close calls today.

    Got caught in the rain, a torrential downpour, and my Klim Badlands Pro kit really did it's job. All in all, it was a fantastic ride in.

    Thank you all for your input into this thread. It has become a very good place to share thoughts, and techniques. As always, ride safe, ride often!

    ~ Darren
    #79
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  20. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

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    Looking at the law of diminishing returns.

    I get so little out of videos of MC wreaks that it's not worth the opportunity costs.
    #80
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