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Thread: Keeping up with Traffic

  1. #1

    Keeping up with Traffic

    Just back from the World Super bike Races in Monterey. Heading South on Hiway 1 was a real joy with no fog and just mid week beach traffic. Coming home just a bit different. Took the inland 680/880 route to avoid the inland heat to Sacramento and was surprised about the surface speed of traffic. No problem with my RS keeping up but median speed of traffic hovered all afternoon in the 75 to 85 mph range, regardless of CHP monitoring.

    Heavy haulers were in the 65-75 mph zone as well, oftentimes in the center of 3 lane traffic. No wonder everyone is trending to larger displacement bikes. I have a few early 80's former 750 Super bikes that would be thoroughly punished at these sustained speeds. There is no mercy out there, either keep up or pull well to the right and battle the merging traffic. Better yet, look for the secondary routes if you want to enjoy a slower pace. Zoom!

  2. #2
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    I've adopted the practice of always being slightly faster than general traffic on divided highways when on my RT. This Spring, I've done some riding on Northeastern US Interstates (I-95, I-90, I-84) and local speedy highways (MA24, MA2). 74mph used to be good enough to keep me ahead of most cars/trucks. Clearly, that's not enough any more. Mass State Police Troopers sit in their Ford Explorers and watch us zoom past. A radar car is rare.

    That said, bizarre driving behavior is also rare, at least up here in the NE.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  3. #3
    The more I tour, the faster I seem to go.

    I clock in the 90/s with few 100 spurs to pass

    In the desert, everyone is doing 90 on the Interstate.

    I find the GT handled these speeds much better than the RT.
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

  4. #4
    Insatiable Cruiser rtwiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    The more I tour, the faster I seem to go.

    I clock in the 90/s with few 100 spurs to pass

    In the desert, everyone is doing 90 on the Interstate.

    I find the GT handled these speeds much better than the RT.

    I used to ride like that. I don't like that much stress anymore, especially riding long distances. I hate being pulled over. 78 in the midwest is generally tolerated unless you have to drive like a banshee in and out of lanes to do it. I set cruise there and just ride. I don't make a spectacle of myself, keep it under 80 and no worries, generally. Construction and special conditions excepted...slow down when I should. I strive not to be a tool and they let me ride.

    Out west, one can go faster, but one can still get a big entertainment tax if the officer so pleases. They're less prone to speed traps in the west unless it's an urban trouble spot. But, if going extreme speeds or riding in a way they consider dangerous, they'll take notice and use the radio. Keep doing that and one of their co-workers will ping you on up the road.

    I find the east coast is the worst for speeding. They really hunt you down out there and the speed limits are lower in a lot of the eastern states.

    I pay a lot of attention to the condition of my tires if I'm going to rip it out in the heat. Safety first!
    2017 R1200RT; Carbon Black; all the goodies...no mods yet!
    -2005 R1200RT; Black repaint; Wilbers adj. susp; Bar-baks; Sargent seats; 94K 6/2018.
    -2000 Aprilia RSV Mille R; 20K 6/2018

  5. #5
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    We rode thru Seattle a couple of weeks ago. What a zoo! There some highways where the police are relegated to cleaning up the mess after the accident. Were they to try to stop speeders they would cause chaos. I am happy to live in a place with high speed limits and generally light traffic.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  6. #6
    My take on Traffic:

    As the years pass, and I have been touring cross the USA, the traffic just about everywhere seems to be getting worse.

    The Interstate, riding in and out of metro area, now contain a constant caravan of 18 wheeler. It is becoming more and more difficult to even do the speed limit and its more erratic driving to speed up to get ahead, and slow down when you get caught on the inside.

    Interstates by the farmlands and on the desert are still clocking at 10 to 15 over the speed limit but there, seems to me, that the amount of trucks there is also increasing.

    I deem some metro areas a nightmare to drive through: The corridors between Portland and Seattle are a horror. Any little anomaly, even a flat tire, causes a major traffic back up, and you can forget going/coming through work traffic hours. Other nightmarish metro areas are MD belt loops, anywhere, anytime in NY, LA, Frisco, even Sacramento area is cluttered really bad in traffic hours. I won't and have never driven through Chicago just based on the stories I hear from my buddies who tour. Some cities in Tennessee, Dallas and the Houston area can be nighmarish.

    If you take the sight-seeing smaller hwys, these are typically filled up with tourist, often with constructions one lane blockage. You can be backed up by mobile homes, trailer houses, touring looking around and construction

    You now have to keep up with the fire locations while you are touring in case there is a potential for a fire to cross a road you are planning to ride on. Same goes for land-slide, one of which buried a few people in CA last year.

    The way I been doing it lately: Say I want to cross LA. I try to do it on the weekend if my riding schedule permits it; either way, I usually bed down right outside LA-- around Lost Hills or so (if coming from North, San Clement if coming from South) get up at ungodly hours of the morning and hope to be across before too much Sun has risen. That is pretty much my praxis to cross any metropolitan area. I think touring (and by that I mean by touring is staying on the road for weeks or months at a time) is becoming less fun and more difficult. If you ride from here to there and come back home in day/s, ah! then you can plan for solitude better.

    This year I did not know I was riding in states that have legalize pot smoking. I meant to avoid going through CO for that reason, but come to find out I was riding through states with legalize pot smoking. This is the first year ever that there have been more fatalities with druggies people than drunks.

    And if you account for all recent distractions: stone, drunk, on cell, Its a jungle out there now.

    Sorry, but I don't have a pretty picture about touring on a bike anymore. Maybe I been doing it for too long, it maybe time to hang up my cleats, or ride shorter trips
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

  7. #7
    Registered User cwroady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    My take on Traffic:

    This is the first year ever that there have been more fatalities with druggies people than drunks.
    Curious if this is based on speculation or statistics? Not arguing the point, simply not something I’ve heard before.
    Chris - 2015 BMW RT / 1972 BMW R60/5 / 1973 BMW R75/5 / SCBMWRC
    There ain't nothing like a friend who can tell you're just pissin' in the wind.
    Neil Young

  8. #8
    This is not opinion nor speculation, it was on the mainstream news for a couple of night in a row referencing the Something rather or other Traffic Statistical Analysis.
    I am sure you can find the actual research resource if you google it. The way I heard it, it was broadcast referencing a reliable source.

    This is the first year that more traffic fatalities have occurred attributed to drug use than alcohol (drunks), which previously was the number 1 culprit.

    about 9 US states have legalized marijuana use, altogether, if you count the medical marijuana stepping stone, there are around 23 states where you can expect people driving high on pot. If you consider the propensity for people to get stone a permissible place and cross state lines to a prohibited while high on pot, you could conceivable stretch the count. Research has been clear on the impairment results of driving high on pot. Not to mention the current ongoing Opioid usage crises in several states...when the data is in, you got yourself a road full of druggies. Where I live, one motorcyclist a month dies. Last year, from Jan--Nov of 2017, 12 motorcyclists were killed.

    Albeit, before you get too scared, you 'll have to consider a lot of those 'gone-to-the-other-side' bikers were youngsters speeding on crotchrockets and bikers drunk themselves. I am not sure if there is a research on dead good-guy-bikers who tour perfectly sober--like I ride, with eyes on the back of my helmet, scanning every cage around me like the Terminator.

    Is not a cake-walk-in-the-park riding a bike cross country anymore; then again, you gotta consider my age: in my case, you could apply the mentality: "it ain't like it used to be anymore, then again, they don't make them like they used too neither". Its the Brave New World, if you are from the New One, you might not even feel it. I am from another time-space on Earth.
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    This is not opinion nor speculation, it was on the mainstream news for a couple of night in a row referencing the Something rather or other Traffic Statistical Analysis.
    I am sure you can find the actual research resource if you google it. The way I heard it, it was broadcast referencing a reliable source.

    This is the first year that more traffic fatalities have occurred attributed to drug use than alcohol (drunks), which previously was the number 1 culprit.

    about 9 US states have legalized marijuana use, altogether, if you count the medical marijuana stepping stone, there are around 23 states where you can expect people driving high on pot. If you consider the propensity for people to get stone a permissible place and cross state lines to a prohibited while high on pot, you could conceivable stretch the count. Research has been clear on the impairment results of driving high on pot. Not to mention the current ongoing Opioid usage crises in several states...when the data is in, you got yourself a road full of druggies. Where I live, one motorcyclist a month dies. Last year, from Jan--Nov of 2017, 12 motorcyclists were killed.

    Albeit, before you get too scared, you 'll have to consider a lot of those 'gone-to-the-other-side' bikers were youngsters speeding on crotchrockets and bikers drunk themselves. I am not sure if there is a research on dead good-guy-bikers who tour perfectly sober--like I ride, with eyes on the back of my helmet, scanning every cage around me like the Terminator.

    Is not a cake-walk-in-the-park riding a bike cross country anymore; then again, you gotta consider my age: in my case, you could apply the mentality: "it ain't like it used to be anymore, then again, they don't make them like they used too neither". Its the Brave New World, if you are from the New One, you might not even feel it. I am from another time-space on Earth.
    You and me both - we come from an alternate reality, compard to what touring is like these days. Yet, I still soldier on and manage to smile.

    Today, I returned to WI from a weekend of riding with my son in Colorado, including Canon City, Salida, Carbondale (a mile from the Lake Christine fire), Aspen and Monarch Pass. Not too bad with mountain traffic (OK - one idiot riding my tail with his Land Rover while I am snaking my way up to Independence Pass @ 12,000+ ft on a very narrow road!), and yet freeways (I-25, I-76, I-80) were predictable and survivable.

    I guess it's what you make of it and a little bit of luck as well. I just enjoy touring, as so far this year, I've ridden to Dayton, OH ("Memphis Belle" now on display), Indianapolis (kissed the bricks!) and Mason City, IA - home of Meredith Willson, of "The Music Man" fame. More on the drawing board yet for 2018 - I just deal with the traffic hazards as they come, and mitigate most of them with proven techniques and experience.

    Wish you a safe touring season, and a shout out to the dozens of BMW riders who waved at that white Gold Wing today, as I was eastbound from the Des Moines area and they were hustling to the Rally. Have a great time, despite the heat. I've been to the Iowa State Fair twice in the last 4 years - a great facility!!
    Last edited by greenwald; 07-11-2018 at 10:39 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  10. #10
    ...don't have 'likes' on this board. Well I liked that post above
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

  11. #11
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    Its not that bad everywhere. I am now about 3500 km into a trip that will run to 7000 km by the time I get home. The only traffic problem I have seen was crossing Denver on I-25 midday on Saturday. Today and tomorrow I am between Denver and Des Moines. I took US 24 then US 6 and mostly had the road to myself all day. It was straight and flat with endless corn fields but pretty nevertheless and almost no traffic.
    Will
    MOA #2607 - 2015 R1200R Cordoba Blue
    Previous: 1999 R1100RT Tundra Green • 1987 R100RT Grey • 1970 R60/5 Black • 196? Honda 305 Super Hawk • 195? Sears Allstate 50 cc Moped

  12. #12
    DigtlArtst
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwroady View Post
    Curious if this is based on speculation or statistics? Not arguing the point, simply not something I’ve heard before.
    Drunks are druggies.
    John
    '16 R1200RT - MOA 109871

  13. #13
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    ...don't have 'likes' on this board. Well I liked that post above
    I liked that post too, but am happy to see that we don't have a like button lest this site turns in another Fakebook thingy ... Just my 0.02 its...
    MOA # 108516
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    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wethead View Post
    Sorry, but I don't have a pretty picture about touring on a bike anymore. Maybe I been doing it for too long, it maybe time to hang up my cleats, or ride shorter trips
    Just route yourself away from all major cities even if it adds lots more miles. We just did 3300m in 10 easy days and had so little traffic the entire way it was marvelous. In fact my riding buddy got bent out of shape because for a few, very few, minutes we had to move in bumper to bumper slow speeds to get into Lake Louise on a Sunday evening a few weeks ago, which as you may know is a popular tourist destination. Very fortunately for us once we got to the parking area which was being directed by lots of park people we were ushered immediately into a lovely parking space for bikes. You have to choose routes and times very carefully but touring can still be highly doable. We saw so much lovely scenery it was a total hoot! Thanks to Daboo who gave us a personal tour of the lovely North Cascades Highway & National Park--thanks Chris!

  15. #15
    Registered User cwroady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digtlartst View Post
    Drunks are druggies.
    Agree ... so many more of them too which is why the comment caught my attention.
    Chris - 2015 BMW RT / 1972 BMW R60/5 / 1973 BMW R75/5 / SCBMWRC
    There ain't nothing like a friend who can tell you're just pissin' in the wind.
    Neil Young

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