I started riding a motorcycle about 3 or 4 years ago, and on the drive into the office this morning (in a car) watching the behavior of the other drivers on the road, I was struck by the contradiction and disparity between those who guide these two different types of vehicles.
Overwhelmingly the majority of automobile operators are aggressive and competitive drivers.
They are selfish to their self-guided mission of getting to their destination.
See how many of these bulletpoints sound familiar:
- Obliviously slow in the passing lane
- Speedsters cutting you off as they pass you
- Failure to signal when randomly changing lanes
- All evidence indicates they don’t grasp the concepts of “Merge” or “Yield”
- Rushing to the front of a long line of traffic and expecting to “cut in line” at the front
- The only hand-signal used involves the waving of a single digit on their hand
The majority of these riders are cooperative.
They ride as a group, a community, and watch out for their companions on the road. They are cautious operators and drive with courtesy.
Here are some observations I’ve made both as a motorcycle rider and as a car driver who shares the road with them:
- Incredibly alert and aware of their surroundings
- Turn signals used each time they change lanes
- Usually yield the right of way to larger, faster vehicles
- Avoid blind spots of other vehicles and strive to be “seen”
- Frequently ride with a companion and watch out for each other by pointing out road debris, signals that traffic is slowing, and they adjust their position in the lane for maximum visibility of each rider
Now I’m not saying ALL car drivers do one thing and ALL bikers do another (believe me, I’ve witnessed my share of idiots piloting both types of vehicles.)
I AM saying that the majority of motorcycle riders appear to be better citizens of the road, and I wonder if that attitude of being more aware of your fellow traveler and actually watching out for him and helping them in small ways to reach their destination isn’t just a better way to commute to work and back — but a better way to commute through life.
What do you think?
.DTIG Note: Today’s post was influenced by my friend Mark Henson (who has one of the best attitudes and outlooks on life of anyone I’ve ever met) and my friend (a Facebook friend anyway) and author Mark Scharenbroich‘s book “Nice Bike: Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life.” Both gents are worthy of a Google (ifyaknowhatimean…) .