An interesting weekend…
March 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm #24984CBBaronParticipant
I think the majority of motorcyclist in the US are hobbyist. And just look at the coin people spend on customization, most of which makes the bike less practical.
Unfortunately most are not interested in learning to ride better, they are more interested in looking cool and/or scaring themselves and others. Ofcourse this is true of most of the population in general, like you noted about drivers.
The ease of getting a license in the US doesn’t help any but even given the ease there are still plenty of unlicensed riders.
CraigMarch 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm #24986TrialsRiderParticipant
Was the day of my sixteenth birthday, 100cc dirt bike with full knobby tires. In those days there was no course, no learner permit, you had only a piece of paper that allowed you to travel from home directly to the test site some 15 miles away.
The first part of the test required you to navigate around some plastic cones, fast stop on a line, then they sent you out on the public road. You had to go down the street a couple of blocks, turn left, go down a street, do a u-turn in front of a house where some lady doing dishes would look out her front window to see that you did it right, then you ride back past the test sight, do another left down another street, where another lady watched you from her porch, then back to the test sight to collect your license. Theory was; if you failed the test, call a tow truck, you would not be allowed to ride home. I kid you not, that was the M test !
Three riders went before me, two on fresh from the dealer Honda 350’s and one guy on a chopper with tremendously extended front forks. First honda rider never made it past the plastic cone test, the second honda guy past that part, then pulled out into traffic stalled and fell over in front of approaching traffic. I was becoming a little nervous by this time and chatted with the chopper guy, who seemed like a really nice guy and set me at ease. The chopper guy aced the plastic cone test ( very impressive on a bike almost as long as the cones were distanced ) and in turn I did the same, having ridden the dirt for six years by that point Chopper guy and I both passed the road test with flying colors too.
When I was in the office collecting my M license, I heard them issuing an APB on the chopper rider, because apparently his original license was suspended and he was doing the test under an assumed name.
BTW, In those days helmets were optional and rarely seen, but I always wore one anyway.March 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm #24987Gary856Participant
When I wrote that only “hobbyist” would seek advanced training, I had “riding” as a hobby in mind; these people would customize the bikes for functionality. Those who heavily customize their bikes for the “looks” are more “equipment” hobbyist. And then you have those who just see bikes as a cheaper type of transportation; a co-work of mine is like that – he commutes year around for years, enjoys riding, but to him bikes are just transportation.March 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm #24997eternal05Participant
Let me preface this with “I know WHY it is the way it is.” There are a lot of reasons for it. But that doesn’t make it right. That said…
Why the [email protected]#$ is the parallel parking bit the “hardest” part of a US driving test? Really? Parallel parking? What about threshold braking? What about braking safely while turning sharply? What about emergency maneuvers? What about recovery from a slide? Coupled with awareness (which you can’t test effectively…people can just “turn it on” while the test is in effect and then pull out the phone and makeup on the way home) THESE are the things that prevent accidents. In this country, driving tests only ensure that you’re reasonably good at guessing your way through a standardized test and that you picked up a few basic road rules from all the hours sitting in your parents’ car.
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