A View Through My Visor
OK, now that I’ve put 1300 miles on my motorcycle, I feel qualified to write this post.
What is the best part about riding a motorcycle, you might ask?
It can be the conversations with complete strangers. The guy working at the tire workshop who shared the story about how his motorcycle was stolen right after he bought it but before he could get insurance. The guy on the 50 cc scooter at the traffic light who was considering getting the same model I was riding. So on and so forth. There was this whole parallel world that presented itself only after I stepped out of the comfort of my car.
I feel alert and more aware of my surroundings when riding, distraction is not an option.
My environmental impact is considerably less compared to driving a car. Tell me if it is not an important priority after watching this video of a glacier calving. I agree I’m behind people who walk to work, ride a bicycle, use public transportation and carpool but hey, I’m ahead of people driving a hybrid car (details later).
What has been the not-so-pleasant part, you might ask?
Within the first few days of riding, I stopped at the traffic light as it turned from green to yellow. The car behind me honked and I turned around to look. I was shown the middle finger by the driver. The consolation was, the lady in the passenger seat of the car was as taken aback by the insensitivity as I was.
In cold or damp weather, the helmet visor fogs up at lower speeds, I’m usually ready to crack it open and shut it back as many times as needed.
It has been an unusual summer this year. Atlanta, GA, where I live, recorded 17.48 inches of rain In June and July of 2013, nearly double the normal. I got drenched a few times. I’m currently looking into getting a raincoat.
Traffic light sensors that activate a turn signal may not detect a motorcycle if the motorcyclist is first in the line. I only had this experience once and I’ve never again been the first in a line to turn.
The sensor of my apartment complex’s exit gate does not detect my motorcycle, I usually wait to follow an exiting car.
So, Is motorcycle riding worth it then?
For me it is, see the miles per gallon I get, in the chart below. I use it mainly to commute to work and try and stick to the posted speed limits. I ride my Honda CBR 250R on a highway with a speed limit of 55 MPH.
In my safety course’s instructor’s words, it is all about how much risk is acceptable to you. There is plenty of literature out there on the dangers and how best to mitigate risks involved.
On a lighter note, just try not to use the clutch at the wrong time and you should be fine…
If you are considering motorcycling, break a leg! Well, not literally…