Today I was stuck in traffic on a southern California highway. When traffic slows, that’s where my jealously rises. The 4 lane highway slowed into a parking lot and I found myself trapped in my 4-wheel cage. Then in the rear view mirror I saw one single headlight weaving through the traffic. Like a jaguar darting through trees, the motorcycle snaked its way between the ensnared autos. As the cycle split the lanes of the slow moving traffic, I wished that I could have the opportunity to ride that traffic gauntlet of death. From conversations I have had with locals in California, splitting lanes is not as dangerous as it appears. If done in a safe manner, the action can protect the motorcyclist from being in harm’s way. Think of it as being a proactive defensive rider who is guarding against being rear ended by a distracted 4 wheel texter. When you are between the cars, constantly moving forward, then you are sheltered from the rear by the cars surrounding you. So in actuality one can look at it as an action that reduces risk by taking risk.
In California, splitting lanes is a normal part of doing business in terms of riding motorcycles. In Colorado, splitting lanes means a reckless driving ticket. I figure the smaller the cycle, the better it could be used to weave in between cars in traffic. With that said, I did witness a big old Harley Road King doing a good job of it the other day near Oceanside, CA. I don’t like the feeling of being jealous but I really wish I had my motorcycle here so I could attempt this majestic endeavor. The weather has been foul here over the last few weeks, so I have not had the opportunity to rent a cycle, plus my work schedule keeps me busy till dark. I think would be a bad idea to attempt my first time lane splitting at night during a rain shower. That scenario would lead to certain ugliness.