An unbelievably weak rant about a dipstick on a motorcycle.

I have ridden motorcycles. I defy you to find a red-blooded american male (in a rural or semi-rural area) who hasn’t. I’ve even ridden without a helmet or a license, because, er, well duh…

I state this, for the record, to illustrate that I have at least a modicum of knowledge about what one should or should not do while operating such a conveyance. In the course of my commute home this evening, I encountered a suicidal dipstick.

I was driving down The Longest Exit Ramp In North America (aka Exit 8 [Defreestville] of the dinky free part of I-90 that runs through/past Albany) when the aforementioned suicidal dipstick did something suicidally stupid.

Once again, for the record, I should note that I drive a compact little Ford F-150 pickup, and dipstick had his ass to the breeze on a huge-assed Honda (I think, I didn’t get a good look) two-banger (small displacement).

Thanks for hanging in here with me folks, I’ll get to the rant now.

I was coming up to the stop light at Washington Avenue (told you it was a looong exit ramp) with no vehicles ahead of me, and braking in a prudent fashion so as to roll up to the stop line in a civilized manner. I wasn’t really thinking about Dipstick because when I passed him I was in the right-hand lane going east into North Greenbush, and he was in the left lane behind a long stack of cars going west into Rensselaer.

Then, and only then, did Dipstick decide he was in the wrong lane. So he guns his little wheezer, and drives on top of the lane markers, between a lane of traffic that is stopped, and one that is moving just as fast as he can, and cuts into my lane just ahead of my front bumper.

I had to brake. Hard. Not only to keep from punting Dipstick into the bushes, but also to maintain the “courtesy distance” that everyone should allow when stopped behind a motorcycle. I am, and shall eternally remain, grateful that I didn’t get rear-ended.

When the light turned green, Dipstick did it again. While charging up to the next (red) light, which is all of two hundred yards away, albeit around a broad curve, Dipstick cut to the left just in front of a very startled older lady driving a Civic.

I figured I was done with Dipstick, but I kept half an eye on him anyway. It’s a good thing I did, because he skinned my front bumper and slammed to a stop again, just to get ahead of me at the light at Rt. 4. Once again, I left rubber on the road in an effort not to kill him.

Thankfully, the Best Road light was green when he got to it, so the last I saw of Dipstick was his taillight going away at about 90 mph.

So, some other poor sap will be unwittingly involved in his death.


Yikes, Exgineer! I’m glad you were on your toes and didn’t mess up your truck with the idiot’s motorcycle!

Most of the motorcyclists I see are pretty cool. Some are jerks, like the one you saw.

And not just to pick on motorcyclists – some bicyclists can be pretty stupid in traffic too.

Glad you’re ok!

Motorcyclists scare the hell out of me. I drive 20 miles on a major highway to work each day, and not one day goes by that I don’t see one flying by at 100mph, sliding in and out of lanes. When I hear them coming, I hit the brakes by instinct.
There are many Harley riders in my neck of the woods, and they never speed. It’s the guys on the crotch rockets that freak me out. Hey, I don’t WANT to kill you - please watch it!
And put on a damn helmet. Yeah, I know it’s not required by law, but do it anyway.

That exit ramp is 1.3 miles, pretty long, but I have always considered the exit 21b3 off the NYS thruway to state rt 22 to be the longest at 24 miles.

Okay, I may be wrong about the Longest Exit In North America, but I will stand by the rest of my post to my death.

Is this serious? :confused:

Yes, I’m terrified I’ll hit one by accident as they swerve around me – did my statement come off differently to you? I avoid them and slow down when they’re in the area (i.e. hit my brakes).

OK, I see your point. I humbly suggest that the wisest course of action would be to not make any sudden changes in speed or direction for no apparent reason.

Being a crotchrocket rider myself - that always wears her helmet and appropriate gear - I must admit that I have on occasion bent the rules of the road a bit. Not to this extreme however. This guy just sounds like a chump that makes the rest of us look bad and makes it difficult to find reasonable insurance because they insist on getting themselves splattered on the sidewalk.

My guess is that he just saw that movie Biker Boyz (the Fast and the Furious for motorcycles) or whatever it was and thinks he’s a little badass.

And Blonde, please don’t hit your brakes, just drive normally. It scares motorcyclists when drivers act erratically.

Just to be clear, I’m cool with motorcyclists. I’m fully aware of how much fun the things are, and the vast majority of riders are solid citizens who follow the rules.

This particular guy, however, seemed determined to die under my wheels.

I get really pissed off when I see a motorcyclist slaloming or driving between lanes, whether traffic is stopped or not. Motorcycles are motor vehicles and should not be veering in and out and in between just because they fit. They are not special, and if there is traffic, well, suck it up and wait your turn. I swear, when I am in my car, sometimes I am tempted to edge a tad one way or the other when I see that kind of behavior in my rear-view mirror. Sometimes suddenly, so as to strike fear in the rude, idiotic bastard’s heart. But I never have… It’s probably not worth killing him for.

For the record, I have spent (and intend to continue spending) a lot of time riding on the back of a motorcycle. I know how, more than occasionally, car drivers cut us off, or start to, either because they don’t see us or don’t realize that motorcycles actually go as fast as cars.

Exgineer, glad you weren’t the poor sap who was unwittingly involved in his death! This guy should be punished severely for putting you and others in the position of having to take more responsibility for his safety than should be warranted due to his arrogance, idiocy, etc. I guess he was assuming people would watch out for him. Never assume.

Did anyone else think this was about the actual dipstick, like it broke off in the engine or something?

I did. I thought maybe the oil dipstick wasn’t reading right, or it kept falling out or something.

Err, Aglet you do know lane splitting can be legal right? Purposely edging closer to a motorbike is rude, dangerous and could be illegal.

In Ontario lane splitting is illegal but I don’t really care. It should be legal IMO. As long as it’s done slowly (I believe the law in California is less than 15 mph difference in speed).

I should add “I don’t really care as a car driver”. It’s funny because during my M2 license training (for my bike license) they played a video that taught how to lane split…but they mentioned it’s now illegal.

Legal in some places, from what I gather, but that wasn’t really my point. I am only calling those cyclists who do that in a manner that is rude and unsafe idiotic bastards. And it does bother me that they can’t wait in line with everyone else who shares the road with them. I just said it pisses me off; I made no comment as to legality.

And I wouldn’t edge closer to a motorbike. I am well aware that it is more than rude and dangerous. I said I was tempted to edge a bit one way or the other when they were viewed in my rear-view mirror, and I perhaps should have clarified that I only wanted to give them pause from a distance… I wouldn’t do anything to cause harm to prove a point. And I expect the courtesy of someone else not making my heart jump in my throat due to their careless or selfish actions.

The OP was talking about a specific person and a specific instance where it wasn’t done slowly or safely. I was sympathizing.

Yeah, what badmana said - lane-splitting is legal in CA and many other states and, from the rider’s point of view, much safer than you would expect. As long as the rider is looking ahead (which should always be the case) it’s really easy 90% of the time to predict the actions of auto drivers in slow traffic. But you can’t forsee the type of action Aglet describes - “sometimes I am tempted to edge a tad one way or the other when I see that kind of behavior in my rear-view mirror. Sometimes suddenly, so as to strike fear in the rude, idiotic bastard’s heart. But I never have… It’s probably not worth killing him for” - no, it probably wouldn’t be worth the manslaughter charge!

It’s necessary for many bikes because most motorcycles don’t have the same kind of cooling system as cars - they are dependant on the constant flow of air to keep from overheating. Also, the rider doesn’t have the luxory of air-conditioning, so sitting still “waiting their turn” especially in full protective gear can be very bad for the rider’s health.

Having said that, the rider in the OP is a true Dipstick.

Had a buddy who was a surgeon specializing in spinal injuries. Used to see people who rode like the OP rider in question, and say to his kids in the back seat, “Look, kids, there goes your college education!”

I didn’t know there was a actual term for this, I just considered it “riding like an asshole”. I used to mind a great deal, now I actually like that they do this as it removes a vehical from the traffic jam.

I still don’t like it when traffic is very heavy but moving at or close to the speed limit and they do this and think it should be legal to give them a bump under these circumstances.

Mrs. UES Guy is a critical care nurse for a hospital unit that takes care of heart-transplant patients, and she refers to the bikes driven by asshats like the one in the OP as “donorcycles”. :slight_smile: