Author Topic: As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves  (Read 2545 times)

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Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« on: March 27, 2009, 06:44:00 pm »
Often when I ride in and around this congested metroplex I live in, I very frequently encounter aggressive drivers and witness acts of aggression on the highway. Over the years, I have learned how my own actions can either trigger or prevent these actions in other drivers. Some drivers are more prone to become aggressive than others, and it may not take much to cause them to become aggressive. I have found that simple acts of kindness go a long way toward preventing aggression, like changing lanes to let a vehicle enter from an entrance ramp, or slowing down to create a space in front of me so a car that is trying to change lanes can get in. Many times folks will try to speed up to close a gap to squeeze the guy out in the next lane that is trying to get over, or speeding up to get in front of a car coming down an entrance ramp. These are actions that can trigger an aggressive driver, as are many others. I have learned that I can greatly reduce aggressive driving incidents by simply trying to avoid maneuvers that will trigger them. Basically it comes down to common sense (which isn't so common these days) and practicing the Golden Rule you learned in kindergarten. Be kind to others and they will reciprocate. Cut them off, and suffer the consequences. While all this may sound pretty trite, it is surprising how easy it is to forget, and how quickly you can find yourself in a bad situation due to something that could have very easily been avoided.    I also have found that simply driving a sports car or motorcycle seems to almost invite others around me to do silly things or try to challenge me, so I have to be even extra careful as a result, and I have learned to identify and categorize specific models of vehicles to steer clear of (for me, thats Mustangs and red pickup trucks among others).    It reminds me of a bible verse in Mathew 10 that says "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." As a motorcycle rider, I really find this applies. We have to be very weary and alert at all times of our surroundings, but at the same time, we have to make sure that our actions are never perceived as hostile by other drivers.    I also have noticed that I have several "modes" that I can slip into and out of while driving/riding. I have a "relaxed mode", a "hurry mode", and an "aggressive mode" as well as a few others. After living and driving in the middle and far east for many years I also have an "overseas mode", and no you don't even want me to go into that one, cause it is pretty scary. What I have found is that while it is pretty easy for me to slip into these modes, it is harder for me to break myself out of them. Once I get into the "hurry mode", the only way I can really get out of it is if I stop somewhere. It's sometimes hard for me to even recognize I have slipped into this mode, which can make it even tougher to break out of it. Lately, I have been making a concerted effort to force myself into a more relaxed mode, and I find that when I do that, I generally tend to be more courteous to others on the highway. I won't say I am an angel on the road, far from it actually, but I think I am getting better. But it does take constant vigilance on my part not to let the wolf come out.    Just felt like sharing this. Food for thought anyway.      
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 09:53:00 pm by Fred_Harmon_TX »
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Offline norm-9688

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 07:27:00 pm »
Well said Fred, Since I've taken a job that has me on the road all day I can agree with a kindness goes a long way and how people can become upset over small things like you say. Its easy to react when others drive poorly and much harder to ignore them when they do.  CT AAD  COG #7011-A  2003 Concours-Mary Ann  1995 Honda Nighthawk 750 wifes  

Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 07:38:00 pm »
Another point worth mentioning, is that riding a motorcycle that has a much higher horsepower-to-weight ratio (particularly the C14) and can out accelerate most any other vehicle on the road by leaps and bounds tends to make it even easier for me to fall into the "hurry" or "aggressive" modes (Why is everyone going so S L O W?)     I find I really have to guard myself against this. Sometimes I am more successful at it than others. It's a work in progress for me.    I also recognize that there are times when being slightly aggressive can keep you out of trouble as well, but it needs to be applied sparingly. More and more I am finding I actually have fewer traffic problems when I just slow down a little and back off the throttle in traffic. Car drivers are accustomed to normal vehicle speeds and acceleration rates, and speed differentials and sudden acceleration can just as easily get you into trouble as it can get you out of it. Cars in front of you may not understand just how fast you are accelerating and may change lanes or turn right in front of you, because they were predicting your closure rate based on what they are accustomed to.      
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 10:42:00 pm by Fred_Harmon_TX »
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Offline Robert_Elliott_GA

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 07:42:00 pm »
Fred,     Like you I have an "overseas mode", more commonly referred to as "Autobahn mode".  Driving for too many years in Germany sometimes makes it a more conscious effort to regulate my speed and behave accordingly.  Still watching out for those "left lane" parking jobs.      Robert Elliott  Cornelia, GA  COG # 7598  CDA#0293
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Offline Zorlac

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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 12:32:00 am »
Good stuff Fred, I can identify quite a bit.  Anger and excessive hustle don't work well riding or driving.  The zip of two wheels slaloming through nicely spaced traffic unfortunately has an addictive appeal to me at times.    
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Offline Froggz

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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 09:50:00 pm »
One that I find myself in often, that I will call the "pace" mode, is when you're on the highway keeping a steady pace at roughly 5mph above the posted limit  and all of a sudden this cager decides to pass someone at 5mph "below" the posted speed and proceeds to stay at that speed and in the left lane, even if it's clearly stated on signs for slower traffic to use the right lane.  You are then forced (well at least I am) to use what Zorlac said, which is the "slaloming" mode, and I do agree that this mode can be alot of fun, but is not one you want to use for any extended lenght of time because I'm sure the police and the other drivers for that matter do not appreciate that kind of riding.  But boy those kind of drivers just rub me the wrong way, but thanks to the C10's & C14's good acceleration, you don't need to stay in that mode too long.....until another one pulls the same trick.     :eg:  Claude / BC, Canada  COG #8173  2008 C14 aka Ribbit II
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Offline Greg Habel

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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 12:53:00 pm »
Great discussion Fred.  I am typically a non agressive rider/driver.  I leave myself extra time to get to my destination.  Key for me is recognizing when I start becoming more aggressive.  This usually starts by seeing a decreasing distance between me and the car in front of me.  I back off and chill.  Sometimes I pull off the road and wait to make a big enough gap to enjoy the ride.  Be alert but relax and ride.  Greg H from Mass, Connie Droppers Anonymous Awards Dude  COG# 7010,a Tracey  CDA 120  99 Connie "Herrin Christabelle", 05 Ninja 250  
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Offline davedz

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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 01:15:00 pm »
I prefer the humble vs. arrogant driving posture.  I like to keep a buffer zone around me.  That does pose a problem when cages behind you get closer than comfortable.  The problem I've seen is if you speed up, they do likewise, but if you slow down they ride your tail.  I've pulled over to let them by when its possible.  I appreciate the post, Fred!  ..dz..      2003 Concours  1983 Honda Silverwing  2008 Yamaha Majesty (new)  2003 Honda XR70 (son's)  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 04:15:00 pm by davedz »
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Offline smithr1

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 02:28:00 pm »
I find I slip from one mode to another quite quickly.  I can be aggressive toward some guy going slow in the fast lane and then a few seconds later I am in the slow lane just telling myself I am in no hurry.  What bothers me a lot lately is the higher numbers of self serving drivers that are fine with risking my life to get where they are going 2ms faster.  It has gotten so bad that most days I question why I choose to risk riding at all.  I am fine with riding when I feel I am in control of my fate the majority of the time.  I feel that way till I get in big city traffic.  It is funny those thoughts only come up when I am in the cage. When on the bike I just do not think that way for some reason.  Austin used to be a nice driver town.  That sure has changed in the years I have lived here.   ----------------------------------  South Central Area Director  Email scad@cog-online.org    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Offline Brett0769

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 05:15:00 pm »
You can miss a lot of beautiful things out there if you're in a hurry. When I got Connie and decided on the daily commute with her, I knew that my gear would slow me down. I knew it'd take longer to get ready and get un-ready at my destination. I told myself that I needed to take that time, that I needed to spend it in exchange for being out of the cage. I have and it's always been worth it. If you're in a hurry, you might be missing something very important. Let yourself have the peace and enjoy the ride, you deserve it.     Oh... you also don't have to be in a hurry to go fast. Sometimes that's part of enjoying the ride as well. :)  
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Offline HawkeyePierce

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As wise as serpants, but as harmless as doves
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 12:11:00 am »
This is a slight departure from the subject matter, but not a complete derailment, I Hope!  I have not bought a headlight modulator for this reason. I think a lot of people see it as a nuisance. I really don't need to come up behind someone & have them think a LEO is behind them, or they may just get irritated by the flashing.  I am, however, going to buy a brake light flasher to hook to the 3rd brake light on all my cars.   Don  Don  Marysville, WA  87  C10 170K & ready to go!  
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