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Old 01-11-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
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Angry HELP, I off a Bunch of Bikers!!

This time of the year Motorcycle riders gather to meet with legislature members to work on laws effecting motorcyclists. I have been involved in previous sessions but I have noticed that most representatives think of motorcycle riders as helmetless, leather vest clad traditional Bikers and I feel that limits our effectiveness because first we have to fight the negative connotations and behavior of a non-representative members of our culture.

I received an email from a Motorcycle Rights Organization that was trying to organize for 2009. I thought it was very wrong-headed and I emailed a response. A personal, direct email. Because it took BIKERS to task for their backward ways the author, Bruce Arnold, has started a campagin to drive me out of motorcycling.

Here's my letter;
http://pub42.bravenet.com/forum/3562429698/

Bruce,
I was forwarded an editorial you wrote recently. I agree in concept but disagree on how at achieve Unity.


While I agree that Motorcyclists need a unifying issue, for me and many like me, using the word "Biker" is the end for any unity. I never use the "B" word; to me it has a very negative connotation. When Eric Buell spoke of "Short-sighted infantilism." he was referring to the anti-helmet and loud pipes save lives groups. Most MROs are a bad thing for motorcycling as they strive to protect what should have died out about 50 years ago. I equate ABATE and most "Biker" MROs with Creationists, science illiterates, & Luddites. I don't want a man with a Mohawk and a tattoo on his forehead representing me, he doesn't.

A unifying issue needs to be a positive action rather than a reactive one. Every thing you mention is just a reaction to some problem. The science on distracted driving is not solid. The whole cell phone issue reminds me that in the 1920s when radios first appeared in autos several cities banned in-car radios as too distracting. Graduated operator permits, training programs like the U.K., helmet laws and safety inspections would save more lives than cell-phone bans. Motorcyclists becoming identified with the anti-cell phone groups will end up building more resentment toward us. I believe if more riders would learn how to panic stop and use the front brake properly they would hit a whole lot fewer cars. I see "Bikers" all the time stop without ever touching the front brake; those riders need training to stay alive. Much of what goes down the road in the U.S. would be illegal on the E.U. roads due to safety equipment violations.

What motorcyclists need is to get a positive action campaign in motion, like obtaining a new right. I spoke with Rob Dingman, AMA President, about this last summer. I have been an AMA member for 20 years and was part of the original AMA Eagles program 15 years ago. There is a privilege that motorcyclists have in California and most of the world that makes commuting a dream there; I am speaking of LANE SHARING. The AMA needs to get behind getting motorcycle commuters this privilege nationwide. That is something positive to do for motorcycle riders. It would make us more visible and make motorcycle & scooter commuting more attractive to new riders. It would get the sport-bike riders, commuters, scooterists and others involved where the other issues won't. You are never going to get anywhere until the motorcycle media is behind you, your reactive issues simply don't create the buzz needed.

I am going to the Texas legislative day with other non-Biker Motorcyclists to tell my representatives that ABATE do not speak for me. My issue is lane sharing and I am more than ready to trade away helmets for the right to split lanes.
<End of letter>

I am asking Forum members to read over the letters and respond - I think I am right - Bikies are holding us back and are far to LOUD in the public arena
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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I think you may have further divided people as opposed to uniting them...

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Old 01-11-2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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There is a difference of opinion?

I never would have thought that was possible.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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I probably shouldn't say anything since I've got to go to a class and won't be able to respond throughout the day, but I'm gonna open my mouth anyway.

Some observations/thoughts:

I'm in the same boat, I them off regularly. Some of the members of the "rights organizations" and I are on the Texas Safety Coalition board and get into some heated discussions (especially regarding helmet laws).

I probably wouldn't have made the personal dig about the mohawk and tattoo. He's a very nice guy and definitely knows his stuff.

Your letter was actually going fairly well until you brought up lane sharing. Lane sharing is not going to unite us because not all bikers (motorcyclists just for you) agree on it.

I've heard all of the rhetoric about lane sharing and to be honest, most of the people that seem so adamant about it sound exactly like the helmet law guys, just a different issue.

Anyway, just my .02
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2MotoMedia View Post

Here's my letter;

Bruce,


While I agree that Motorcyclists need a unifying issue, for me and many like me, using the word "Biker" is the end for any unity.

I equate ABATE and most "Biker" MROs with Creationists, science illiterates, & Luddites. I don't want a man with a Mohawk and a tattoo on his forehead representing me, he doesn't.

A unifying issue needs to be a positive action rather than a reactive one.



<End of letter>

I am asking Forum members to read over the letters and respond - I think I am right - Bikies are holding us back and are far to LOUD in the public arena

Okay you asked for a response.

How in the world you can put the above statements in the same letter is beyond me. These statements about unity and lumping ABATE with Creationists Science Illiterates Luddites in my mind just completely blew all chances of not only unity but mostly of any legitimacy on your part what so ever.

Good luck with your venture, it will be a tough one to go alone. Bye the way I'm all for lane spitting and I think not wearing a helmet is a bad choice but I won't join with anyone making statements like this.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
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I failed at getting any movement from my representative after being told they'd work on researching it, after a solid year of work. He just doesn't care enough. He's right we need the motorcycle media and support behind it to make a difference. I wish it would happen, but I just don't see America, or texas for that matter, being open to what Cali has accomplished with it being the expected norm.

:-( Makes me sad to say this. In fact, it will probably be the #1 factor that makes me start commuting more in the cage, since I don't have any advantage in my bike, and only negatives in rush hour ie vulnerable, etc. If splitting was allowed, then I'd be out there everyday for quite a while since traffic wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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i dont lane split and i wear a helmet... i feel its too dangerous otherwise
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2MotoMedia View Post
This time of the year Motorcycle riders gather to meet with legislature members to work on laws effecting motorcyclists. I have been involved in previous sessions but I have noticed that most representatives think of motorcycle riders as helmetless, leather vest clad traditional Bikers and I feel that limits our effectiveness because first we have to fight the negative connotations and behavior of a non-representative members of our culture.

I received an email from a Motorcycle Rights Organization that was trying to organize for 2009. I thought it was very wrong-headed and I emailed a response. A personal, direct email. Because it took BIKERS to task for their backward ways the author, Bruce Arnold, has started a campagin to drive me out of motorcycling.

Here's my letter;
http://pub42.bravenet.com/forum/3562429698/

Bruce,
I was forwarded an editorial you wrote recently. I agree in concept but disagree on how at achieve Unity.


While I agree that Motorcyclists need a unifying issue, for me and many like me, using the word "Biker" is the end for any unity. I never use the "B" word; to me it has a very negative connotation. When Eric Buell spoke of "Short-sighted infantilism." he was referring to the anti-helmet and loud pipes save lives groups. Most MROs are a bad thing for motorcycling as they strive to protect what should have died out about 50 years ago. I equate ABATE and most "Biker" MROs with Creationists, science illiterates, & Luddites. I don't want a man with a Mohawk and a tattoo on his forehead representing me, he doesn't.

A unifying issue needs to be a positive action rather than a reactive one. Every thing you mention is just a reaction to some problem. The science on distracted driving is not solid. The whole cell phone issue reminds me that in the 1920s when radios first appeared in autos several cities banned in-car radios as too distracting. Graduated operator permits, training programs like the U.K., helmet laws and safety inspections would save more lives than cell-phone bans. Motorcyclists becoming identified with the anti-cell phone groups will end up building more resentment toward us. I believe if more riders would learn how to panic stop and use the front brake properly they would hit a whole lot fewer cars. I see "Bikers" all the time stop without ever touching the front brake; those riders need training to stay alive. Much of what goes down the road in the U.S. would be illegal on the E.U. roads due to safety equipment violations.

What motorcyclists need is to get a positive action campaign in motion, like obtaining a new right. I spoke with Rob Dingman, AMA President, about this last summer. I have been an AMA member for 20 years and was part of the original AMA Eagles program 15 years ago. There is a privilege that motorcyclists have in California and most of the world that makes commuting a dream there; I am speaking of LANE SHARING. The AMA needs to get behind getting motorcycle commuters this privilege nationwide. That is something positive to do for motorcycle riders. It would make us more visible and make motorcycle & scooter commuting more attractive to new riders. It would get the sport-bike riders, commuters, scooterists and others involved where the other issues won't. You are never going to get anywhere until the motorcycle media is behind you, your reactive issues simply don't create the buzz needed.

I am going to the Texas legislative day with other non-Biker Motorcyclists to tell my representatives that ABATE do not speak for me. My issue is lane sharing and I am more than ready to trade away helmets for the right to split lanes.
<End of letter>

I am asking Forum members to read over the letters and respond - I think I am right - Bikies are holding us back and are far to LOUD in the public arena
Your letter is highly inflammatory. Next time think about what you are trying to achieve as an outcome and tailor the letter towards that goal.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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Interesting topic "Lane Sharing". I've researched the subject on line, looked in the little white motorcycle handbook a buddy gave me, and there is nothing about lane sharing (two motorcyclists riding abreast). I've spoken to several LEO's (both state and city) and they can't find anything on the subject either. And, I read recently in one of the cycle magazines that Texas law does not address the subject. Now, "Land Splitting" is another matter (traveling between two cars going the same direction on the roadway), and I'm not in favor of lane splitting. Could someone on here enlighten me on the matter?
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Interesting topic "Lane Sharing". I've researched the subject on line, looked in the little white motorcycle handbook a buddy gave me, and there is nothing about lane sharing (two motorcyclists riding abreast). I've spoken to several LEO's (both state and city) and they can't find anything on the subject either. And, I read recently in one of the cycle magazines that Texas law does not address the subject. Now, "Land Splitting" is another matter (traveling between two cars going the same direction on the roadway), and I'm not in favor of lane splitting. Could someone on here enlighten me on the matter?
Lane splitting is what we are talking about and it is legal in California, and I'll tell you I've seen people doing it there in huge traffic jams and it is truly the only way to get anywhere in those conditions. I have not heard that it's been some big problem there either.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:41 PM   #11
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Lane splitting usually isnt a problem. Hardly any of the cars appreciate it and I have seen it happening at highway speeds of 25 or so, not just stop and go.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:44 PM   #12
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I'd love to see that happen here! I can assure you I'd be riding a lot more often I it would happen.

Isn't there some max speed you can pass at and something like only over take them at about 10mph?
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:47 PM   #13
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Just the thought of lane splitting in Houston traffic scares me. Too many people would deliberately cut you off or open their doors, etc.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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lane sharing seems dangerous to me.
not for it myself.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Just the thought of lane splitting in Houston traffic scares me. Too many people would deliberately cut you off or open their doors, etc.
true that !
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:14 PM   #16
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houston has some bad drivers......
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:21 PM   #17
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i was told that lane sharing was legal for motorcyclists by my drivers ed teacher back sixteen years ago, lol. ive always assumed it was addressed.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:06 PM   #18
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Lanesplitting works, seen it work and wish we could do it here.

I say let it be legal ... those that want to do will do it, those that think it's too dangerous will not do it. Same thing with helmet laws ... make helmets a choice ... those that want to be safe will wear it, those that don' won't. I would just allow insurance companies the right to refuse coverage for cyclists that get into accidents while not wearing a helmet...choice requires responsibility.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #19
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I lanesplit









Almost everytime I ride, I wasnt aware it was illegal
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEITH HUBBARD View Post
lane sharing seems dangerous to me.
not for it myself.
It takes a learning process. First time is scary. However, once you do it at lower responsible speeds, then its not bad, and actually feels safer than sitting in stop and go. BUT, if you've never done it routinely, or more than a few times, then its easy to say, "look at those dangerous foos!"
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