Nick Ienatsch diving deeper into the best practices when riding your motorcycle in traffic. Riding defensively isn’t the only approach you need.
“For thirteen years I worked full-time for Petersen Publishing Company and commuted by motorcycle into Hollywood, California, from the San Fernando Valley in what can be described as “insanely heavy traffic.” Though I’m no longer in California, I still ride and drive in heavy traffic occasionally, and last week in the middle of Las Vegas rush hour I was reminded of the most dangerous commutes from the magazine era.
Ask the general public and they’ll equate “dangerous” with fast and too much speed and aggression, so when I write “dangerous commutes,” some will think they happened on the days I was late and rushed and hurried. But in fact, the most dangerous days were just the opposite.
The most dangerous days were days when I thought: I’m gonna be mellow today and just cruise along, go with the flow, take it easy. Those were the days I almost got hit. The decision to take it easy often came after a speeding ticket or after we (the speed-addled magazine staffers) had been stretching time and space, but that decision put me right in the middle of traffic and at their pace.
Few of us need to be reminded of the generally poor driver training most car drivers have undergone, and when you decide to hang around in the same general vicinity of these drivers, their poor training and decision making become immediately obvious. These “mellow” days taught me a lesson and I’ll put it this way: Go Rider Go.
Motorcyclists must learn to move through traffic in a slightly aggressive manner, always trickling through slightly faster than surrounding traffic. We need ride through traffic, not with traffic.”