Copyright © 2011 by Ralph Couey
The past couple of weeks have been mostly meteorological nirvana for motorcyclists in the region. After a hard winter and a frustrating April, the sun and warmth of spring have finally arrived in the Laurel Highlands.
But it’s also a hazardous time. Drivers are still growing their “motorcycle eyes” as evidenced by the numerous near-misses I’ve seen already this month. Every year, PennDot and motorcycle groups like the American Motorcycle Association and ABATE issue cautionary statements urging drivers to look carefully for those single headlights before pulling into or across traffic, or changing lanes. Usually it’s June before I see a general improvement in people’s observational habits.
Drivers are not the only issue. All motorcycle riders experience that joie de vivre of the ride, but some take that joy to extreme. Speeding and weaving, pulling stunts in traffic, riding impaired, and tailgating are some of the actions I have come to call “riding stupid.” You’re having fun. I get that. But you not only risk yourself, you risk other people on the road who may have to swerve out of your way, even getting into accidents themselves.