Pet peeves

I’ll be the first to tell you that, at heart, I am a deeply judgmental person (well, Peter may actually be first, but I’d run a close second!). This can be awkward and annoying in, say, any kind of social situation, but let’s be positive and see if I can use it to my advantage in creating an amusing journal entry.

blah blah disclaimer blah.
Please note that absolutely none of these map perfectly to individual people; they’re conglomerates and etc etc etc. Also note that I fully admit to having been each and every one of these — with the exception of the JERK that PASSED ME in my OWN LANE — at one time or another. How else would I so well be able to describe their actions? ;)

general riding pet peeves.

  • First up on my list of motorcycling pet peeves is what Kim so eloquently descibes as hovercraft foot — that habit of letting ones feet hover 1″ off the ground for an inordinate amount of time after the bike starts moving. To me, this is the #1 sign that, no, sorry, you can’t ride. Pick your damn feet up!

  • Lane manifest destiny. Hey, buddy, just because I’m on a motorcycle and you’re on a motorcycle and we’re both commuting does not mean that I want you to suddenly go WOT on me and zip past me in my own lane. Just chill for a second and I’ll change lanes and let you pass. Christ. (OK, I lied; this one maps DIRECTLY to that one jerk who did this to me just yesterday and made me remember that I frickin’ hate this. Hey, jerk, if you’re reading this, I’m talking to you! Yes, you!)

  • Kum Bah Ya. I’m sorry. I am a cold and heartless person. See, unless you are a brand-new rider or have suffered some sort of injury, I do not want to hug you and hold your hand and sing your praises anymore. I want to go riding with you, not give you a cookie every time you pump your own gas. Though…mmmm, cookie.

group riding pet peeves.

  • Death by blind spot. This one may not be entirely fair, but it drives me utterly batshit when the person in front of me rides at the exact speed that will place me SMACK DAB into someone’s blind spot. If I speed up, I’ll be tailgating my friend; if I slow down, I’ll be lagging too far back. Ugh! I can physically feel my blood pressure rising whenever this happens.

  • Speedy Gonzales, our optimistic leader. Hi, yes, if you’re leading a group ride (which is defined by me as two or more riders intentionally going to the same place), you won’t win any friends by waiting for an exactly-one-motorcycle opening in traffic and then gunning it and leaving the rest of us at the stop sign. (note: this doesn’t bug me when everyone involved knows where we’re going and it’s a “destination ride” kind of thing — only when the leader really is supposed to be leading)

  • The fastidiously unprepared. Darwin had a name for these people: the dead. I am your road trip friend; I am not your mother. Yes, OK, fine, you can have some of my snackies, my water, my maps, my bridge toll money, my sweatshirts, my ibuprofen, my sunscreen…

  • Unnatural attachment to right hand lane. Cars enter and exit the freeway in the right hand lane. Group rides do not go in the right hand lane. Group rides go in the left hand lane. I do not wish to die now, thanks.

  • Time warp riding. I feel older. I am older. I am older because we are moving at the speed of evolution. Entire civilizations are born, rise to power, and fall, and yet we are still on this road. Please. Accelerate. Just because we are in the right hand lane of the freeway (see above) does not mean we need to be going 45mph. Please. I age.

OK, what are some of yours? I know y’all are just as petty and judgmental as me; s’why I love you. So fess up! What drives you crazy about your fellow two-wheelers?

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20 Responses to Pet peeves

  1. B12Bill says:

    hmmm…. Trying to think back to the few group rides that I have been on with Blue…Am I guilty of any of those? God, Hope not. ;)
    Biggest peeve, if in a small group and passing a car, make sure there is enough room and opportunity for the sweepers to also pass, otherwise your group can be spread out for miles.
    Good points, I have been effected by some of these which is why I rarely do the group ride thing anymore, and only with select people.

  2. Michael says:

    Pet Peeves:
    -The rider that stays in my blind spot…I don’t care if we are best friends…stay out of my blind spots! I might need to miss a deer or raccoon or groundhog or something.
    -The rider that rides beside me…yes it happens…and no! My lane!
    -Don’t Touch my Helmet. Ever. My Helmet and I have a special bond and have no use for you. Go away.

  3. Lowell says:

    My pet peeve is when you get behind someone on a group ride who just can’t keep up. This happened to me a few weekends ago on a 150 mile ride through the Florida countryside. The rider to my front right breaked for every curve and allowed the riders in the front of the formation to get nearly a mile ahead of us. It is bad manners to simply pass the clown and rejoin the group. I was worried that they were having mechanical problems. But no, they were just slow and self absorbed. As a result the thirty odd bikes behind them were separated from the thirty odd bikes in front of them. When I finally figured out the biker was just a poor rider and not having technical problems I left them in the dust to rejoin the rest of our group.

  4. Kim says:

    Having been a returning rider so many times (have I ever actually ridden for more than 6 months straight? hmmm) I can sort of understand the kum bah ya thing. It’s not really in my nature to want that for riding things the way I did for, say, showering standing up after my leg issue. But there’s totally that time when you _know_ something is a non-issue for anyone who does activity [X] all the time (be it riding or walking around on sound legs), but you feel like you’d like a prize for doing it nonetheless, ’cause it was hard for _you_.

  5. A. J. says:

    - Don’t wear my gloves. Drop them, and step away slowly. I suspect where your hands have been, and I don’t know if you’ve washed. My gloves. Mine. Getcher own.
    – Worse than the bike passing you in your lane: the minivan passing you in your lane. Lotta sparks on this side, Dad.
    – The Following Throttle-phobe: Whether you’re the leader or the tail, there is occasionally That Rider who rides with enough space in front of them to park an aircraft carrier, leaving the rest of the group a distant speck on the horizon. Its not tailgaiting when you can see the next rider, I swear. Don’t be That Rider.
    Great article.

  6. Dave says:

    - Poor grasp of the time/speed/distance equation and how it relates to space cushions. One of the groups I used to ride with (note past tense) preferred to ride in tight staggered formation (no points for guessing what style of bike they rode). At pre-ride meetings, the leader would say something like “Keep a 2-second space between you and the bike in front of you.” That would have been fine, except that everyone insisted on riding 20 feet, or less, behind each other. Two seconds at 60 mph is 176 feet! I explained this fact, and was countered with the untouchable logic: no… adequate following distance to ensure room for response and braking time is unsafe because . . . because . . . it doesn’t look cool. Or something.
    – “Ignorance is bliss.” In the same group were a couple who no only rode two abreast in a lane (looks cool, I guess…) but insisted that leather was the best raingear money could buy. Leather chaps, to be specific. I’m glad I never went on long rides with them. Also, no, the Bandit is not a sportbike, and yes, being covered up in hot weather is more comfortable than roasting in the sun.
    And one that hits close to home because, well, it was me.
    – When the leader passes another vehicle, and then returns to the traveling lane, he should maintain a higher speed than the passed vehicle long enough to leave room for the next riders to also get in front of it. My bad.

  7. Stephanie says:

    The worst recent offender was the sportbiker on 92 who was too damn cool to keep both hands on the bars while lane splitting through first gear traffic. The hand on the thigh thing was not cool in between packed cars, it was obnoxious. I didn’t want to be anywhere near the moron when he finally screwed up, lest I be implicated too.
    And non-riders, it is NOT ok to sit on my bike and pretend you are Steve McQueen. It is particularly NOT ok to do so when I am not present and therefore “won’t notice.” It is not my fault your wife won’t let you get your own.

  8. Kim says:

    Oh, that hand on the thigh thing in dangerous conditions annoys me, too. Particularly if I’m behind the rider in my car (i.e. I’ll be the person to crunch him when he screws up).

  9. Ed says:

    I only have one pet peeve: group rides.
    I never go on them. :)

  10. Inkman says:

    Peeves? Too many to write down here, but a few for ya.
    1. This is the worst in my book. On a group ride with a newbie or two (we ride cruisers…GASP!!) and the idiots on 2 wheels who pass the group on blind curves in the same lane. A disaster in the making, simply to suit the ego of the few. If that is the kind of ride you want, buy some tires that last longer than 2000 miles and go far away into the mtns to do it. Then again you might see us there too.
    2. Those “other” cruisers who putt along and will not even pull to the right on a two lane road to allow the faster riders to pass. I’m talking about in safe passing areas like long or forward view straights, not on blind curves. Like in no 1. go do that kind of riding far away from us. You go slower than the fellow in the diesel pusher towing a jeep. Speed it up or move over.
    3. Group rides….be honest about your skills and we’ll ride appropriately. B.S. us and we’ll have questions for you when you catch up.
    4. Show up gassed and ready to go. You know what time we meet. You know to show up with a full tank. Why didn’t you do either? Don’t show up 2 minutes before leave time and walk out of the coffee shop with a 20oz Caramel Frappachino whining about not getting to drink it. Get there earlier if need be.
    5. Go pee. Earlier, not when we are geared up and sitting on our bikes.
    6. Don’t whine. Period. About the road or the restaurant or the weather or the nite before that you spent with your aunt. Voicing concerns and whining are two different things. You can whine at home or at the office. You can voice concerns during the ride if need be, just don’t whine. Have fun on the ride and think positively. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy your time with your co-riders. Talk about the cool things you saw and smelled along the way. Talk about the cool roads.
    Just don’t whine…
    I’m done.
    BTW Miss Bluepoof…love your writing and i check in here daily to see what’s new. The pics always rock too.
    Have fun and be careful out there.
    Al~Bad Al today…

  11. Eric says:

    When I’m loading my top box for a group ride I have to have ice cold beer. No warmies allowed period. No Cubes either…
    has to be crushed ice and packed nice and tight. Also, cheeze puffs are a MUST.
    Not the crunchy ones either! Has to be the Puffy ones!.
    Also there must be Fruit stripe gum and sunflower seeds in my tankbag on all rides, becuase I enjoy sharing.

  12. sharad says:

    Biggest peeves? got 2
    – idiots who, while stopped at a red light, open their door and leave their Big Gulp/empty fast food feed bag on the road and leave. Thanks for making the world your garbage can.
    – people who don’t secure stuff on their cars or trucks or trailers. Nothing like having a couch or a sofa or piece of plate glass coming at you at high speed.

  13. MikeD says:

    My pet peev is with organized rides such as poker Runs. Clubs or organizations are wonderful and most people in them have big hearts and do countless hours of work raising money for worthy causes…HOWEVER when there is advertised food/feed or meal at the end of the run and you get there and there is 3 hot dogs, a half pound of patato salad and 2 cans of soda sitting on a table out in the sun for 3 hours i tend to get slightly P.Oed! You know what i mean. At the end of a Poker Run you would have thought these bikers have not eaten in a week. Its like feeding time at the zoo! some folks are in such a hurry to get to the food (or bathroom! ok thats another pet peeve , but there is not enough room for my rant on THAT sunject) that they are running across the parking lot to get in line for this wonderful meal. I ALWAYS bring my own sandwich and drink now and rest quietly under a tree while watching this demonstration of the wild kingdom.

  14. Kim says:

    Ooh, I’m reminded of a new one today — people who wheelie excessively in traffic, particularly when riding in close quarters with other bikes. Today I was in my car when I was behind the offender, but I remember the summer before last being stuck on the YZF600R behind a bunch of kids pulling wobbly wheelies on the way out of Laguna Seca. I spent the whole ride until my turn off prepared to avoid hitting a fallen squid.

  15. Alex says:

    Pet Peeves? Hrmm.
    I suppose the one I hate the most, are the new-age ricers in ’89 Honda Accords, or other such crap, completely riced out with thirty-five foot wings on the back, and body kits that scrape the ground, who constantly have a pressing urge to try to race me.
    There I am at a stoplight, just tapping my tank to AC/DC, enjoying the day, and suddenly over my iPod, I hear “bwaaahhhh….bwahhhh” and some homie-g-funk who traded food-stamps to get a plastic medallion painted gold is twisting up his fingers, and revving his engine.
    I mean, really. Interruptions in the AC/DC “Zen” phase of my motorcycling day, are not welcomed, whatsoever.

  16. Dale says:

    Great list. How about the gas station shopper? I want to ride in, gas up and go. They ride in, dismount, wander around, stretch, light a cigarette, fill the tank, go inside, wander around to see if this convenience store has anything all the others don’t, come back outside to get their wallet, go back in, buy a drink, wander around, go the the bathroom, wander outside, put their jacket, helmet and gloves back on, wander around, start their bike and then ask you if you’re ready to go. Even better if they have a passenger.

  17. carolyn says:

    Ha! Dale, I think I’m definitely guilty of that one. *innocent*

  18. Rachel says:

    My pet peeves:
    1) Motorcycle parades-group rides of a bazillion people going 5 below the speed limit. Having been stuck behind one too many times, I strongly feel that large groups should be broken up into bite size groups according to speed.
    2) Seeing anyone on a bike in flip-flops with a cigarette hanging out of his/her mouth. While you may look really cool…NO, you do not look cool.
    3) The people who approach me to ask why I am wearing a riding suit or if I am on a snowmobile (in the middle of summer)
    4) Most people.

  19. Jamie says:

    My personal pet peeve is the rider who plays UP the stereotype. Particularly the passenger who wears a leather halter top, studded leather Daisy Dukes, and a helmet (obviously a novelty) too small to even pass as a yarmulke.
    She’s usually found sitting behind a guy with a food-stained beard wearing worn out jeans, worn out sneakers, and a black leather vest (no shirt).
    Of course, they’re riding a V-twin with straight pipes. For safety, you know…

  20. Stephanie says:

    Not to mention the girl perched behinid the squid. Same mindlessness, different outfit.
    The Duchess (Of Desmo, editor of Ride Texas) coined the term “possum girl” for them, and doesn’t it fit perfectly?

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