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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

With the weather (hopefully) breaking soon I am going to start commuting on my new ATAS. It’s literally a straight highway ride of about 35 to 40 minutes. Boring. Routine. Daily. Both ways. Complacency. Not paying attention. Danger. Something bad could happen.

I’m not trying to dramatize anything. It’s a boring ride, traffic tends to be heavy, but moving along at 75 mph, and there is all of one part that curves a little. Otherwise it’s a straight road, which can make it easy to ‘zone out’ at times, especially on the way home after a tough day.

What tricks do you use to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times? When you’re on an all too familiar highway with heavy traffic?

Bookem
 

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Complacency is a danger. Too true.

But if you follow your basic rules, you'll be safer:

Always maintain distance. Distance is your friend. I use the 3 second rule in the car, religiously--three seconds behind the driver in front of me, at all times. On my bike, I extend that.

And distance from the driver behind me. If someone is tailgating me or too close, I fix it as quickly and safely as possible.

The upside to riding a bike is that we are on fast and nimble machines and can position ourselves easily--while remaining careful and safe.

I don't do a lot of commuting on my bike, so maybe I'm not the best to answer. But riding a motorcycle in traffic is all about staying alert--*always.* No excuses. You just cannot get complacent, ever.

But if you maintain your safe distances, you'll likely be in better shape for whatever may come--even if that's you, daydreaming for a few seconds.

We're all familiar with that highway phenomenon of having traveled several miles (usually in our cars) and upon quick reflection, realizing we didn't notice a damned thing--couldn't say how we got from the one point to the other, having seemingly missed everything in between. It's going to happen on your bike too, it's inevitable. But if you stick to your basic rules, you'll be much better off in the end.

Beyond that, I have nothing, really. Except maybe: Don't ride while tired or sleepy. Or unusually angry/ upset. Don't be in too much of a hurry. Pop one of those 5-Hour Energy drinks a half hour before you saddle up? (Ha! I've actually never tried one of those--the idea kind of freaks me out. I'm already a little bit too much on edge most of the time).

Ride safe, Gary

...
 

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When commuting to work I will have music in the helmet and always look for something that has changed. A car parked on the road that was not there last week, cops lying in wait on their BMWs and often I will take a different route off the main highway. For Colorado you may have a more difficult task in that the cold weather tends to tear up the smooth tarmac with cracks and pot holes. Look for new ones.
 

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Hey guys!

With the weather (hopefully) breaking soon I am going to start commuting on my new ATAS. It’s literally a straight highway ride of about 35 to 40 minutes. Boring. Routine. Daily. Both ways. Complacency. Not paying attention. Danger. Something bad could happen.

I’m not trying to dramatize anything. It’s a boring ride, traffic tends to be heavy, but moving along at 75 mph, and there is all of one part that curves a little. Otherwise it’s a straight road, which can make it easy to ‘zone out’ at times, especially on the way home after a tough day.

What tricks do you use to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times? When you’re on an all too familiar highway with heavy traffic?

Bookem
Try popping wheelies, lane splitting at twice the speed limit, and ultimately running away from the cops.
Those are sure to keep you alert and on your toes :laugh:
 

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I used to commute along fast freeway and through heavy inner city traffic every day for ten or more years on my BMW K100RT.

I never had any distraction like music or phone and maintained situational awareness left/right/behind/ahead (al la fighter pilot) and trying to see as far ahead as possible for brake lights etc.

I also used to keep my mantra in my mind.

"Be careful, they will try to kill you if you let them".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great tips, thank you!

Gary - you’re 100% correct in saying to maintain distance.

No. 9 - There are a few different routes I could possibly use, but would take 15 to 20 minutes longer. I’ll do so when I can and it’s a great idea to look for anything new, no matter how small they may be.

Relz - Dude You just bursted me up I almost choked on my morning coffee!

Jim - Great quote, and if you don’t mind, I will begin using it.

I have a lot to come to and appreciate all the thoughts.

Bookem
 

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Stay far away from other vehicles, which is pretty hard to do on a crowded road, is my best advice. I personally like to be in the fast group because I don't like cars right behind me. When I am the one passing others I feel like I have more control over whats going on around me somehow.

My biggest problem with the cagers is they like to move over into the lane I'm in while I am beside them. I've never kicked a car, just because it would probably cause ME to crash. But I let them know to pay some **** attention. Usually blow the horn awhile, give some serious looks to kill and a few RIGHT HERE BESIDE YOU!!! hand gestures by pointing at myself and the little space between us. I don't flip them off because they usually seem embarrassed or sorry, but that doesn't help if I am crashing into a median or something.

Great tips above. relz yours made me lmao and your signature is great to, from one of my top 5 favorite movies.

Stay alert, stay safe people!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bob and Desert - Thanks for the tip.

Desert - I’m not very good when it comes to wiring. Is the horn you mention easy to install?
 

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Sorry but I don't agree with the horn thing. If someone is trying to kill me the last thing I'm trying to do is hit the silly horn.
I commute every day in heavy fast traffic. I try to not ride the same speed as the surrounding traffic. I want to maintain a speed that pushes me thru the traffic, not in it. I think it takes time to build up your "Spidey Senses". You will become very aware and conscience of your surroundings if you live long enough. And yes, the ones that don't want to kill you, don't care if they kill you.
As far as the horn goes, I'd rather just use my middle finger to show my disapproval.
 

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i found running a camera (gopro knock off) really bought to my attention some of the mistakes i was making... every time i feel my mind wander i see the camera and remember it incriminates me as much as the cage drivers..

i also wander in my lane .. making a game of sorts of missing the potholes and road repairs. this also helps with remaining visible especially at intersections and on ramps.

keeping that steady couple of km/mph above the stream of traffic so that as stated you keep moving forward thru the traffic rather than stuck in it..

making a conscious effort to ride other than commuting, on different routes helps keeping the mundane commute interesting as well..

last but not least i follow the same rule as in the truck or car.. diet and sleeping patterns .. try not to ride when normally asleep, always eat and hydrate before riding.
 

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Eventhough you move faster than traffic, you will have to overpass automobiles, many of them; and some will not see you or will not care because you are in a motorcycle and will cut into your lane creating a most dangerous situation where the motorcyclist is the one risking the life!!!
You will be surprized how fast vehicles go back into their own lane when they hear the loud horn and besides saving your life, is more rewarding and educative, than showing a middle finger.
We motorcyclist have enough bad reputation !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ewes,

“last but not least i follow the same rule as in the truck or car.. diet and sleeping patterns .. try not to ride when normally asleep, always eat and hydrate before riding.”

No argument here on that. Very true. I’ve made a promise to my wife, kids and myself I will take the car before getting on the bike when I’m not mentally sharp.

I do like the idea of a louder horn and will look into it.

Bookem
 

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As far as the horn goes, I'd rather just use my middle finger to show my disapproval.
I very rarely honk. Far more likely to evade. Yeah I guess it could be useful against people who look like they might make a left turn in front of you.

Last time I actuated my horn on either bike was by mistake. I rarely make rude gestures while riding a motorcycle either. I did the other day while human-powered cycling though.

My commute is nearly all freeway. Longer than the OPs (in duration anyway, they didn't say the distance), and I've been doing it regularly for years. Not the greatest aspect of motorcycling, but not exactly boring either. Vastly better than doing the same in the car.
 
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