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Zer Netmouse
June 28th, 2007
01:36 pm

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Watch out world!
Yesterday I went to the SOS and did the standing in line reading the manual thing and the taking a test thing (she took the manual away while I took the test - for a moment there I was surprised, not having thought about it), and then (I passed) the getting my picture taken thing, and what all that adds up to is that sometime soon I will get a nice shiny new Michigan driver's license with a cycle endorsement on it!

In the meantime, I'm already permitted to drive a motorcycle with my temporary dealie, so I plan to take advantage of the nice weather and logangrey's hospitality and practice riding on a real motorcycle with turn signals and mirrors and stuff this weekend. thatguychuck might even join me so I can comfortably leave the parking lot and practice on the street!

Dave and Chuck were willing to loan me enough safety gear that I could ride, but I decided to take the bit in my teeth, so to speak, and went to Rec and Leisure this morning to get some gear of my own. I found some low boots that fit so well I forgot I had them on instead of my regular shoes, a helmet, a jacket (mesh Tour Master jacket with two inserts - rain and warmth), and some gloves. They didn't have much of a selection of gloves my size in the brands I like, so I'll do some online shopping soon, possibly at the New Enough site everyone recommends. Everything I got is Black and Silver, btw.

I really appreciate everyone's support in this, with special thanks to shadowriderhope today for giving me a coupon for 10% off the purchases I just made. and I just may join elizilla tuesday night for a weekly biking gathering in Ypsi. Stay tuned!

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:novapsyche
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm happy for you!

You're going to be so sexay on a bike!
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From:netmouse
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
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yay! ;)
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From:skzbrust
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Woot! Congratulations!
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From:netmouse
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
From:tlatoani
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations!
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From:netmouse
Date:June 28th, 2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
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*bows*
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From:thatguychuck
Date:June 28th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Woo-hoo! Looking forward to seeing you all dressed up in safety gear!

I wish I had known you were at Rec Leisure earlier today. I passed it. Not once, not twice, but three times today. I'm sure I was nearby while you were there. I should have listened to instinct and called.

Enjoy the gear. We need pictures! :)
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From:netmouse
Date:June 28th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
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I almost texted you but had this crazy idea that you were probably *studying*

*raises an eyebrow questioningly*

hmm?

(I was there from 10:30 to 12:30 and really the main reason I didn't call is I really wanted to take my time and look at everything and I know that takes ages plus concentration and is not really exciting stuff).
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From:dd_b
Date:June 28th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Should I happen to be driving in Michigan this weekend (which I won't be), I'll be *extremely* careful :-)

Congratulations!

Sounds like you're being sane about safety gear, too. I have heard *no* good reports of having your skin grated off on the pavement; there seems to be startlingly uniform agreement that it's extremely bad.
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From:netmouse
Date:June 28th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

My sister once got road rash just from wiping out on a bicycle. I'm in no way eager to try that at higher speeds.

Keep an eye out for bikers, wherever you're driving! :)

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From:dd_b
Date:June 28th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I once had a bicyclist angry at me for pulling across the crosswalk, but he must have been riding rather fast on the sidewalk since he wasn't in sight up the sidewalk a fraction of a second previously (can't look all directions at once!). Haven't had any close calls with motorcycles, I find them pretty easy to see. Of course in California where they routinely ride past you on the line between two lanes of cars, it's much easier to have a close call!
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From:damascene
Date:June 29th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
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I've been told by CA friends that that's honestly legal as long as the lane traffic is moving at less than I-forget-what-speed. Considering how CA freeways get backed up, I couldn't dismiss that as entirely unbelievable but I've never checked it myself.
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From:dd_b
Date:June 29th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
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And as long as they're riding no more than Y faster than the cars are going, yes. I do believe it's legal in California. Still not at all sure it's safe.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 29th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)

Lane Splitting in CA

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Actually, there is no law governing the speed for a motorcycle while lane-splitting.

The only reason it is allowed in California is that the vehicle code does not explicitly state that two vehicles may not be in the same lane side-by-side. So technically speaking, lane splitting is simply not illegal.

Any cop can pull over a motorcyclist that is lane splitting and give him/her a ticket for vioating the basic speed law if the mood strikes them.
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From:holyhippie
Date:June 29th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
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As someone who rides a motorcycle and lane shares in California; I should be able to give a definitive answer to the legality of this, but really I can't.

Lane shareing is legal, that I know. I don't know of a formula that says 'legal under x speed'. I believe that it is up to the officers discresion to cite you for reckless driving if he doesn't like how fast you are going, and how agressive you are weaving through traffic.

My personal rules are not to lane share when the cars are doing much over 25mph. The slower the cars are going the better, since that means the less they are moving around on the road, and the less chance of one of them rubbing me out. I frequently see motorcycles zipping between two cars doing 65, that freaks me out.
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From:damascene
Date:June 29th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
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motorcycles zipping between two cars doing 65

lalalalalala

::fingers in ears, not thinking about that, are they insane?::
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From:holyhippie
Date:June 29th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Are they insane? Probably.

Since writing my post, I did some googling on the issue, and what I found confirms what I said - lane sharing is not illegal at any speed, but cops are still free to cite you for reckless driving or illegal lane changes, if they don't like what you are doing.
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From:jeffreyab
Date:June 28th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Congrats! Bykrr Chik!
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From:damascene
Date:June 29th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
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Welcome to biker-chickitude!

Safety gear, yah. Never leave home without it.

A couple of recommendations:

1) A standard lightweight mesh reflective vest, the same kind cops and construction crew folk just pull over whatever they're wearing, for dusk and night rides. Yeah, I know it's not sophisticated over all that snazzy black and silver gear, but it'll make you visible to the idiots who don't catch your tailight in their cellphone-distracted glances at the road.

2) If you haven't already (apologies if you have and I missed that part), take the RiderCourse. It's worth every dime and minute.

fair roads, and safe ones,
D
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From:netmouse
Date:June 29th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
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thanks for the advice! where do you get those vests?

I have taken the rider course, yes. Twice, actually. I passed the skills test the second time with only one point off, and it was on something I passed the first time and know I can do if I need to (emergency stop - I went one foot farther than needed for my speed).

Maybe we'll get to ride together some time. :)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 29th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)

Reflective Vest

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Google "reflective vest" and you can find a number of places, or try a local hardware store

Or try http://ridesafer.com/store/item/fpef/Reflective_Vests/Deluxe_Retroreflective_Safety_Vest_-_HiVis_Orange.html

http://www.majorsafety.com/motorcycle-vest-reflective.htm
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From:damascene
Date:June 29th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
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I buy my vests on eBay. Search "safety vest" and manymany results will appear, some of which are cheap enough to almost be considered disposable (which made me marginally less annoyed at having to replace the one that's always in my glove box, when the bike was stolen last August). I prefer the lime green based on visual perception studies that indicate that color has a higher visual registration factor than standard safety-orange, especially in low light conditions.

(emergency stop - I went one foot farther than needed for my speed)

Uh-huh. And did your instructors feed you the line about how you've just knocked Grandma over and broken her hip, the way the pair running my class did?

Riding together, you're on. Mine's not a highway bike, but we'll figure out something.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 1st, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
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Uh-huh. And did your instructors feed you the line about how you've just knocked Grandma over and broken her hip, the way the pair running my class did?

um, no. Of course, they'd seen me do many a fine stop in practice, including the time one instructor stepped in front of me as we were circling around doing swerving practice on our own, to stop the exercise. He gave the signal to stop as he stepped right in front of me. I stopped immediately, with perfect form, I might add. "Stopped on a dime," he said, "good."

I liked my instructors. Our whole class had a really good energy to it, a lot of confidence and good feeling. And our whole practice group passed the test. It was awesome. It's rare, they said, but it certainly broke the suspense as he went to hand out the results. "Before I get started," he said, "you all passed." That was great.
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From:dd_b
Date:June 29th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
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This is weird, I got email notification of a reply you apparently made to one of my comments, but I can't see the comment here. When I use the "reply-to" link in the message it says that comment is screened and I don't have permissions to see and reply to it. Silly LJ!

(I see the comment in the email of course, but no point in discussing it until I'm sure it's still current and all that.)
[User Picture]
From:netmouse
Date:July 1st, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
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Was that one I made or an anonymous one? Those are automatically screened here.
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