RSS

Commuting

12 Jan

January 12, 2009

Since I purchased my bike last spring I have mostly commuted to and from work on it. I was more than a little scared of the highway traffic the first few times I rode to work. Having not been on any bike for about 5 years, let alone a bike as big as my new one, I was really worried that I would get into a situation that I was not prepared for.

The year before I bought my bike I read several riding skills books. Mostly the Proficient Motorcycling books by David Hough. The information that he provided (including diagrams) gave me a greater understanding of how a motorcycle works and how a rider should interact with his bike and the road. I also purchased a motorcycle maintenance book (generic maintenance because at the time I didn’t know I’d be getting a Hog). I wanted to not only understand how to ride a bike but how it works.

Understanding the lessons that Hough wrote helped tremendously with my confidence and improved my riding skills. I as surprised that with just the application of some basic principles I was able to make nice, tight U-turns and low speed turns, even on my EG. I haven’t had time, but there are also practice lessons to sharpen the skills discussed in the book. I try to fit them into my commute just to break up the routine of going to the same destination every day. It really helps (that and my IPod, but more on that later). The most useful tips that I found for commuting are these:

1. Breaking is almost always the best action to take. Learn how to break with front and back breaks properly. Learn the limitations of your breaks in a safe environment (parking lot) and not when you are breaking in a dire situation.

2 Look at the front tire of a car that is stopped at an intersection or cross street. The tire will make almost a full rotation before the bumper moves much at all. It is a far better indicator that a car is going to move than trying to make eye contact with the driver. The front tire also has to turn before the car can so this is also a great way to find out which way the car is headed. Looking at the tire also helps when traveling on the highway. As I stated above the car tire must move before the car can, so you’ll see the tire turn before the car moves into your lane. This last observation has saved me some skin a few times.

3. Wear all the gear, all the time. I work in an office and have to dress business casual but I still wear my full face helmet, jacket, gloves, chaps/riding pants, and boots all year. The key here is getting the right gear so that you will wear it. For the summer I wear a mesh jacket (with armor), mesh gloved, and leather chaps or my vented riding pants with the liners removed. At highway speeds this keeps me cool and comfortable. For winter I have a neck sleeve, insulated jacket, insulated pants and lined riding boots. My theory is that I want to be sure that I have as much protection as possible just in case. I may be the best rider out there, but that does not stop a distracted driver from putting me in an inescapable situation. Like a boy scout, be prepared (plus, bugs and rocks hurt).

I’ll be posting another entry about my winter commuting adventures. Stay tuned to find out exciting information about my low temperature threshold, keeping your feet warm and hands warm (without heated gear), and much much more.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 12, 2009 in Commuting

 

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Moto Adventurer

Confessions of a Motorcycle-Aholic

c90ftw

an avid motorcyclist's journey transitioning from the street to the track

Motorcycles and the Cynic

My motorcycle adventures and thoughts

Two Wheel Tripping

Adventures in motorcycle road tripping

EXPERIMENTAL GHOST

motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect... I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

The Texas Rambler

Motorcycling, Motorcycle Touring & Travel Blog

I JUST WANT 2 RIDE!!

Our Motorcycle Blog about Motorcycle Stuff

FoodMapAdventures

Adventures are not defined by size, it's by experiences along the way

Ride2ADV

Shrinking The Planet - One Ride At A Time

bikermonkey

Live, Love & Ride

riderako

I ride, therefore I am

built in the bathhouse

the progress and inspiration of a retro classic motorcycle builder

hollywooddesmo

Splitting Lanes and Taking Names

Motorcycle touring and its lessons in turn.

Passionate love for the simple joy of riding

Louda Goes Vroom

(Laʊd-uh gohz vroom)

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The Wheelnerds Podcast

A couple nerds talk weekly about motorcycles and stuff...

CouchSurf America

CouchSurfing my way across the 50 states of America and 10 Provinces of Canada.

Darlene Steelman McGarrity

Writing With A Day Job

Observations of a Perpetual Motorcyclist

Tales from the road and the range.

Adventurous Wanderings

Stories of Sailing, RV-ing, Motorcycles and Adventures

notwithoutthebike

Freedom and the open road.

Northwest RoadRAT

A blog about bikes, me, and whatever else comes to mind...

TwoTireTirade

Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being.

The Great 80's

All The Things We Love (and Hate) About The Eighties!

%d bloggers like this: