I rode a motorcycle for almost 15 years before changing my daily commute from a bike to a car for 2 reasons – firstly I got married, so it was not safe when I had to bring my wife as a pillion rider on long distance and secondly my new workplace was nearer and thus there was less traffic jam compared my original journey all the way to KL city centre. So it makes sense to drive car then. I miss biking so I still watch other rides if possible and the one that started it all was the Long Way Round – image source: Amazon.
(As I said it before, it does not matter if you are riding a 50cc bike or a 1500 cc bike. When you fall, your head and your skin suffers the same. No matter what you ride, proper riding attire is a must. Image source: http://www.ridesafebacksafe.co.uk)
In case you missed, this was in the news a couple days ago:-
About RM9bil, or two percent of the Gross Domestic Product of RM528bil in 2010, is lost annually from accidents.
Kong said, based on police statistics, the death rate among motorists and passengers from January to September this year had dropped 4.2 percent compared to last year.
“For pedestrians, it dropped by 14.6 percent, bus drivers and passengers, five percent, while for van drivers and passengers, 24.1 percent,” he said.
However, he said the death rate for the motorcyclist and pillion rider category had gone up by 5.4 percent.
Surprisingly on the same day when this was on the news, I almost hit an old aunty on a motorcycle. She was on my left at a junction and when the lights turned green, she swiftly cut in front of me and before I shouted “….toot….” (Fill in the blanks for any vulgar words), she made an illegal u-turn (causing the cars on the other lane to slam on their brakes) and disappeared.
(A motorcyclist cuts into the path of an in-coming traffic but with a very tragic outcome. Whilst most riders will actually look before they cut in, there a few who think they own the road and their last minute weaving in and out of traffic must always be anticipated by others. And when tragedy happens, the blame is often put on the other motorists and not on the idiot who cut in without looking. Despite the tragic outcome, there are still a good number of idiots remain stubborn on how they ride on public roads).
There was another close call this morning. On my way to work, I often pass by a narrow corner. It is a 2 lane corner but there is no extra space on the right or left. The corner is not sharp, thus you will find traffic screaming at the corner at speeds up to 80 km/h or more. It is indeed a fast narrow corner.
I was on the fast lane early in the morning, approaching this corner when I noticed a motorcyclist on the slower lane, riding just behind a small pick-up truck. Usually the smarter motorcyclists would keep to the slow lane because it would “suicidal” to suddenly cut into the fast lane when traffic is heavy whilst at the same time negotiating the corner. But something told me that this motorcyclist, who was “stuck” behind the truck, was going to cut into the fast lane at any minute now.
I slowed down and for good reasons, horned aloud just when I was about to pass this motorcyclist and the truck – I was pretty sure, the idiot heard me. And suddenly this motorcyclist cut into my lane, as usual, without any warning. For a moment there, I thought I was going to graze him (it was too late to avoid him) and probably throwing him onto the path of the on-coming traffic which I was pretty sure will not be able to stop in time.
Just seconds before I would have hit him (I guess), good sense must have knocked into this motorcyclist (or probably he could see that there is no way he is going to go through whatever space he had between my car and the truck). He backed off in time and an early morning gory death on the highway “unfortunately” was avoided.
(The problem with some dumb motorcyclists is that they think that they are invincible especially when they are not wearing any helmets. Initially I felt the same way too but I recognize that it was nothing but a mirage – unlike those driving cars, you have nothing to protect you from serious injuries. That is why I always ride sensibly and with a good measure of protection – proper jacket, gloves and helmet and abiding traffic rules all the time. Image source: http://www.ssqq.com)
I wrote about pesky motorcyclists sometime ago and this menace on the road remains a menace despite the numerous safety campaign and statistics highlighting the number of deaths involving motorcyclists. How many times you have encountered pesky motorcyclists cutting into your lane without any signal whatsoever and into the narrow gap between you and the car at the front of you? Sometimes, these idiots even weave in and out of traffic at great speed (at certain places, without wearing helmet too), cutting several lanes at one go without considering other road users who risk their safety by slamming on their brakes.
And at certain time of my driving life, I have closed my eyes, intending to mow down a couple of brainless dungus on the motorbike, I sure do not want to waste time with the police, insurance company and workshop and the money repairing the damages to my car. I guess that is why I have stopped myself (with great restraint) from actually executing my “good deeds”.
I was angry this morning – angry of another pesky motorcyclist who almost caused damage to my car and who robbed the tranquility of a joyful ride in the morning. But missing one today does not mean these idiots will remain lucky tomorrow. Sooner or later, we are going to see another idiot contributing to the statistics.
Damn, I am longing for the day when pesky motorcyclists are banned outright from our roads forever…