Thursday 15 April 2010

Sometimes you just want to give ‘em a slap upside the head.

I was in the city today (on 4 wheels as I had some errands to run and appointments), and on the way home came upon this situation.
It was mid afternoon. Traffic was pretty heavy across all 4 lanes, driving at or slightly above the limit. I was in the fast lane doing about 120kph (a bit over 70mph) when I quickly came up behind a guy on a motorcycle ahead of me. It wasn’t a surprise because I could see his day-glo reflective orange vest from about a mile back. And when I got closer the reflective strips on his fender and helmet also became visible, as did his running lights. Clearly he wanted to be noticed, and he was.
But here’s the thing. He was doing about 90kph (55’ish) – 10kph under the speed limit. In the fast lane. He was the slowest guy on the road. Not only that, he was in the worst possible lane position, hugging the left side of the fast lane, just begging someone with less patience than I have (yes, there are some out there) to pass him on the right in his own lane.
I sat behind him for a bit, flashing my lights in the hope he might get the message, but that was of no use. So after a while I moved over and passed him on the right, just like every other car on the highway was doing. The last I saw of him in my rear view mirror he was still stubbornly maintaining that ridiculously unsafe lane position.
I’ll read about it in the paper tomorrow if he didn’t make it home, but I was half hoping he would exit the highway while still in my sight so I could follow him and read him the riot act when he pulled into his driveway. Not only is he putting himself in a lot of danger, but his road behaviour reflects poorly on all of us. And if he were to get hurt or worse? We’d all pay the price in some way.
Yup. A slap upside the head was definitely called for.


  1. Round here, We'd call him a Dumass.

  2. That mirrors my view that the majority of slow drivers are not careful drivers. Come up behind a slow car and it seems to take an age before they appear to recognise you're there, let alone move over out of courtesy. That's not implying that fast drivers are necessarily good drivers though. Guess it applies to bikes too.

    Good post!

  3. scary. here in the SF bay area you must own your lane, and if your riding solo the lane center is best mostly. otherwise cars WILL overtake your position.

  4. Canajun:

    I thought that all these type of riders/drivers were in BC. He should have at least been in lane position #3 (Right wheel track).

    He definitely needs some training on lane positioning or he won't be riding for very long

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. That guys cousins still live in the UK and they have the same hereditary disease. I see them every now and again, in their own little world, doing 20 mph less than the slowest other vehicle causing everyone to "undertake" them. The only difference is that over here, they stay in the fast lane which is on the right. Everyone flashes their lights, but there is something wrong with his English cousins - they rarely look in their mirrors. Not many of them ride bikes though - nearly all of his cousins appear to be car drivers.

  6. Mr. M. - That was one of the milder terms I used. Just qualified a bit as in f'ing dumb-ass.

    Geoff - Absolutely. Slow does not equal good. IMO he should have been ticketed.

    Ms.M - Yeah we're a bit less aggressive here, so he probably made it home. Try that in LA and he wouldn't get 2 miles.

    bobskoot - But he's got his day-glo fluorescent vest on, so he'll be okay.

    Gary - undertake. I like that. If he keeps riding that way he'll be sure to see an "undertaker" eventually. And you're right - it's not only bikes. Car drivers will often do that too, but I don't care about them ;)

  7. Dear Canajun:

    Here in Pennsylvania, riders like that are eaten by their offspring, looking to break the stupidity curse. In truth, I never see many of them on bikes. I do find them in the minivan stage, when they are truly dangerous.

    But I wonder about that rider's circumstances... Is he new at this? Is he old? Is he a combination of new at riding and old t the poiunt where his reflexes are bad.

    Was the road divided? Was he riding against the divider for some reassurance? None of these are good reasons nor good excuses. But a rider like this needs to know his life depends on the throttle.

    I was in New Jersey two weeks ago. That's like riding around exposed chain saws.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  8. Jack - All good questions, but I have no answers. I got the impression he was an older fellow. Maybe a new rider. Certainly somewhat safety conscious given the orange vest. But like you said, he won't get much older if he keeps riding like that.

  9. Driving slowly in the high speed lane is fairly common behavior for cagers around here, but I have yet to see a motorcyclist riding like the one you encountered ... hopefully, that is a rare bird.

  10. Ken - I think Darwin's survival of the fittest theory ensures that motorcyclists who drive like that will always be a rare breed. Sad but true.


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