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Motorcycle Commuting

Everything You Need to Know to Ride Safely

Given the price of gas, it's hard not to think about Motorcycle Commuting. Leave the 4-wheel vehicle in the garage, and hop on the bike for your daily ride to work. My motorcycle gets twice the mileage per gallon of our vehicle, and we drive a very fuel efficient car.
But, commuting by motorcycle is not for the faint of heart. You need to consider that you are going to be traveling in rush-hour traffic, in all likelihood - both coming and going. The density of traffic, coupled with the ordinary perils of sharing the road with a variety of vehicles, results in the need for heightened awareness and caution.

Motorcycle Commuting

Consider the following potential hazards, when motorcycle commuting:

  • Harried, Hurried Drivers
- perhaps caffeine-deprived, morning commuters can be a challenge to any driver, not to mention a motorcycle rider. Beware of cell phone users, make-up appliers, newspaper readers, and road ragers. Stop and go traffic, on highways and city streets can be tiring, and in the summer months - hot.

  • Taxi Cabs
- If you live in a city, no explanation is required. Taxi cab drivers can be ruthless, and completely oblivious to normal and customary traffic etiquette. Be prepared to anticipate the unanticipated - sharp turns with signals, sharp braking and abrupt stops, and double parking.

  • Buses and Bus Stops
- Again, another city issue - bus fumes and bus stops - unpleasant and necessary parts of a rush-hour commute. If you have the misfortune to land behind a city bus on a congested city street, you may regret ever leaving your garage.

  • Pedestrians
- Beware of the ipod-wearing walkers, who fail to yield the cross walk after the "Don't Walk" starts flashing. Watch out for the fast walkers, and those who seemingly CAN wait to get to their office.

  • Bicycles
- While they share the frustrations of motorcyclists, with respect to vehicular drivers, buses, taxis and pedestrians, bicyclists pose yet another hazard - we need to share the road, and be aware of their presence.

  • Scooters and Mopeds
- They are not "wanna-be" bikers, but are rather just like bikers - wanting to take advantage of a more fuel-efficient alternative. Lacking the horsepower and acceleration of a motorcycle, scooters mixed in with bicycles, pedestrians, buses, and taxis...hazard.

  • Parking Structures and Spaces
- You may need to check to see if your parking garage allows for motorcycles, and if it does, if there are any designated spaces. Street parking may be an option, but be sure to park in a space, and not in between cars - this is a ticket in most urban cities. Also make sure that you park your motorcycle correctly, backed in with the rear tire to the curb.

Motorcycle  commuting and skateboards

Don't Forget the Skateboarders and the Runners

I recommend commuting by motorcycle - BUT, you need to have more awareness of your surroundings than when riding on a nice rural road. Keep your mind on the road, and not on the piles of work awaiting you at your office.

Anticipate that the drivers with whom you are sharing the roads, may not be watching out for you. If you are trying to spare the environment, save some money, and enjoy your daily ride to and from work, while motorcycle commuting - Ride Safe.

Her Motorcycle

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