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The Call of the Road and Only the Road

The Call of the Road and Only the Road

Woman On Cell Phone Oh, don't roll your eyes at me, we all are guilty of doing it at least once-driving and chatting on our cell phones, even (gasp), dare I say it: texting. It's bad enough when you see the soccer moms screeching down the road in their minivans and SUVs with their cell phones planted against their faces, but when you see a fellow motorcycle rider doing it, it just makes you want to go Barney Fife and pull them over for a stern sister-to-sister talking to. Come on, this is a huge monster machine that you are sitting astride. You should be paying attention to your bike and your surroundings, not chatting on the phone.

No one is saying that you should not have your cell phone with you. In fact, it should be one of the first things that you grab when you head out the door. It is a valuable safety tool, especially for the solo motorcycle rider. But it can turn from helpful tool to harmful hindrance when you are fumbling to answer a call and not watching what is coming up ahead of you. You flipped the lady in the powder blue Prius off for this very thing yesterday and now here you are doing the exact same thing. Don't be a hypocrite. If you need to answer a call, or make a call or (double gasp) read a text, then pull over and stop to do it.

There is research that suggests that driving while on the phone, even while using a hands-free device, may be as dangerous as being under the influence or being very tired. But hardly any of the research gives numbers for motorcycle riders. Is it because the women on motorcycles are that much less likely to grab their cell when it rings? That women bikers have never texted as they tooled on down the road? Yeah, right, that's why. The fact of the matter is simple: We all do it and we all need to stop it. Case closed.

By all means take your cell phone with you when you go, especially if you are riding alone. Being safe means many things while you are on the bike, and part of that safety is being prepared. If something happens to you, you want to have your phone with you so that you can call for help. Otherwise, either pull over to make a call or wait until you get where you are going.

Stopping in the middle of the highway may not be an option, so that phone call is going to have to wait because you can't put your life and the life of others on the road at risk simply because that super special guy has just called you. Let Romeo keep waiting because you are a heck of a lot more fun if you don't have a wrecked bike and a wicked case of road rash to contend with.

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