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Old 04-21-2005, 04:34 AM   #41
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

For you, lane-splitting is a moot point as it will do nothing to shorten your time spent commuting. If it only takes you 20 minutes to drive 19 miles to work, you probably use a lightly traveled highway where lane-splitting is not necessary.

While I think that lane-splitting should be permissible in all 50 states, it is usually done by California riders who travel on obscenely congested roadways.

It is possible to reduce the amount of time it takes to gear up through some planning. Get a pair of overpants (e.g. FirstGear HT Textile Overpants) so you do not have to change pants at work. Keep a pair of shoes under you desk. Keep your gear near the door so you can grab it on the way out. Get a box of Howard Leight MAX 30 earplugs. Since they come connected by a cord, hang them around your mirror to eliminate the need to search for a pair. Roll your bike out of the garage and start it before you gear up.

I am sure there are other time-saving suggestions that someone else can add.
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:39 AM   #42
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Default Weeping for John Batiste...

Shouting in the wilderness is an honorable thing...Wait! Is that a dove decending from heaven? Nah, it's just sewage from a malfunctioning airline-toilet. Oh well, sh!t happens; it'll wash out.

Let's face it! When you're talking about human nature, incredible is best used before stupidity, selfishness or ignorance.

You might not be alone in the desert, but everyone else is trying to get a tan.
Yeah, well, you can get up and leave, DEAL WITH IT!
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:55 AM   #43
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

You poor bastards that live in the city. I know that's were the jobs are but, hell, it's just money. Come live here in the sticks. My commute takes less than 5 minutes and I NEVER sit in traffic. I have to double my commute to get gas or by a coffee. The only time we have conjestion is when someone wrecks and closes the freeway, dumping all that traffic on to our small side streets. I feel your pain. I really do.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:03 AM   #44
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Motorcycles in Utah are considered luxury items and are assessed at RV rates. I just paid almost $40 property tax for my '01 Suzuki that's assessed at $2600. (Ha. Just try getting $2600 for it).

A '91 car like a BMW740 would only cost $10 to register.

Here's a link to the Utah DMV's extortion shcedule.

"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:09 AM   #45
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Great thought provoking piece Gabe! The bicycle comment from the Washington DOT guy was classic. I am afraid that the only way to get Americans out of their cars is when gas hits $5.00 per gallon.

I was at a gas station the other day and a women was filling up her Surburban and it cost her $55.00 to fill up. I asked her how many times she fills up a week. She said about 3 times per 2 week period. I asked her how many kids she had she said just 2. I asked her if she would trade in her SUV for something that gets better gas mileage. She looked at me like I was trying to take her candy away. She said "I love my SUV, I can see over traffic, people get out of my way and it's safe in a wreck".. There in lies the problem.... By the way this woman was probably 5 ft 2 in at the most.....
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:10 AM   #46
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Well said. I think you are right on target about the $5 per gallon thing.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:12 AM   #47
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

A few thoughts:

1) Lane splitting should be legal everywhere, and it is so far as I'm concerned. I practice my this as a form of silent protest, and if the man has anything to say to me about it, I sure hope he's been practicing his lane splitting skeelz or has called ahead for a roadblock. Some laws deserve civil disobedience.

2) That having been said, I don't want more motorcyclists on the freeways, I want less. Now stay with me here. In states where you can't lane split, everybody has to cue up regardless, so it ain't gonna make a bit of difference whether you're in a car, "ESUVEE", or riding a motorcycle, except that the motorcycles are a lot less predictable in their movements and therefore more of a danger to me.

In states where you can lane split, the "motorcycle lane" as I call the space between cars, will move at a speed equal to and never greater than the slowest lane splitter. Therefore by adding a bunch of suck ass, slow as molasses lane splitters (Martin... ACHEW!)...oh excuse me, you thereby turn the motorcycle lane into just another barely moving grind.

3) There is one factor working to reduce traffic and I predict that it will have an exponential impact in coming years, and that is telecommuting. With the advent of inexpensive cell phone and wireless internet service, there is no longer a rational need for most people to relocate themselves to an office every day. Before long, the whole debate over commutes will become moot, at least for the non-manual labor caste. In fact for most of my friends it already has.

Well, there it is. Problem solved. (insert banging gavel noise here) NEXT! What else ya got for me?
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:25 AM   #48
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Nice article Gabe - it's articulated a bunch of stuff that I've held to be true for a while.

I commute ~80% of the time on the bike, and a bunch of your comments are right on. There's one I'd take issue with and that's the expense of riding a motorcycle vs. driving a car. I do not agree that it's necessarily cheaper to run a motorcycle. We go through tires, oil, and some other wear items more frequently than you would on most cars. And, parts and service for bikes tend to be more expensive than for a car. Now, if more people started riding regularly enough, the increased market size might drop some of those prices...

In my opinion, the two biggest things that we could do to encourage motorcycle riding would be allowing lane-sharing (perhaps even only when traffic was stopped, to appease the safety freaks), and setting up motorcycle only parking areas (which can often be put in places that no cars could park in the first place). My company has done the later, and it does seem to have increased the numbers of riders...in the summer.

One other point I would make is that many of the current crop of motorcycles are less than perfectly suited for commuting. Some of them get mileage on a par with (or worse than) my car, and it seems to me that the more popular sport-bikes are focused in so far on the racing aspects, that we're compromising their usability as commuters. [insert rant about the lack of interest in smaller displacement and standard motorcycles in the US here]

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Old 04-21-2005, 05:40 AM   #49
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Default Some ya'll might be missin' the boat

(Kevin, I really don't see that Gabe was focusing on scooters, but IÂ’ll re-read.)

I'm gonna point this out one more time and then I'll shut up. Seems to me that one of the main goals of this piece is to illustrate how much of a positive impact motorcycles/PTW can make if only some of the people that currently own them use more often for transportation. If a few people decide they'd like to try riding as a result of this train of thought, fine. But we all know that's not likely to happen in any significant number. That's not the goal, at least in the immediate future. The goal is to get people to think about motorcycles in a more positive way. The benefits could be great.

More bikes on the road mean people will become more used to looking out for them and coexisting with them. Also, the diehard SUV driver is likely to be a little more considerate if they are AWARE that more PTWs on the road mean less time in traffic for them. As it is now, most people are scared by bikes and/or think that the lunatics who choose to ride them are somehow dangerous (even if their lawyer or orthodontist owns one).

Unless itÂ’s a chopper show, most of what we see about motorcycles in the media involves some sort of carnage or extreme stupidity. Squidly-types are giving anyone who rides a sportbike a really, really bad name. Bar-hopping RUBs are offing themselves after one or five too many "rest stops." Much of America thinks the height of motorcycling is represented by a bunch of overly-tattooed, hyper-inflated personalities building kit bikes. Etc., etc.,

DonÂ’t you think we could use some more positive coverage?

I have two friends that are relatively new motorcyclists. TheyÂ’re very leary about riding to work because theyÂ’re worried about what co-workers and clients think of them. IÂ’m sure this is a pretty common syndrome.DonÂ’t you think weÂ’d have more people commute to work on a bike if it were more socially acceptable?

Basically the aim is not to covert drivers into riders, but to change the way they think about motorcycles/motorcyclists. Simple. Now think of the consequences.

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Old 04-21-2005, 05:40 AM   #50
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

A motorcycle only lane on the freeway in addition to the HOV lanes would be a nice start. It would take up very little space and could potentially move thousands of riders.

One thing the Gov't types repeatedly fail at is "static analysis" of their programs and how they would affect the population. There is almost always a corrosponding change in behavior following changes in tax rates, fees, etc. How many more people would start riding to work here in SoCal if there was a dedicated lane for motorcyclists?

Maybe we just need to point out to our local "leaders" that the Euros are enthusiastic about motorcycling and they'll jump all over the idea!
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