Planning to be stuck in traffic has become part of my morning routine.
It seems that the Alex Fraser Bridge is greatly intimidating, add in to this a merge beforehand that also makes you turn at the same time and a mass parking lot is the result. I left an hour and 15 minutes early for work today, knowing traffic was going to be worse than normal since it was raining (seriously, this is Vancouver area, get used to driving in rain people) and I still got to work 10 minutes late. This is on a route that should take only 20 minutes total.
So, while I had such ample time to bond with my beautiful Tiger and think, I thought about a new blog post. And shockingly, it has to do with riding in traffic. I have a few tips of my own of course, and I have some that I have gathered from doing a bit of research and harassing my fellow co-workers.
1) Friction Zone. The sweet zone of feathering your clutch and throttle to enable you to creep forward at a snail’s pace. Note to self: work on balance.
2) Covering Brakes. Keep a finger or two on the brake lever, this allows for fast braking when required.
3) Low gear. Always try to stay in a gear lower than you should be in to allow for a power getaway if needed. This also only applies if you can get out of first gear.
4) Scan Everything. Constantly scan the drivers and cars in your view. This means behind, beside, in front, and the ones just coming into view. It will allow you to see the impatient driver that might jump into the same spot as you.
5) Watch Hands/Heads. Watching the hands and heads of drivers in cars might display their intended lane change/turn even when they didn’t.
6) Mirrors. Use your mirrors, but don’t fully rely on them. Exercise your neck muscles and swivel!
7) Left or Right. Always try to stay to the left or right of the vehicle in front of you. This will allow a getaway if needed, and you shouldn’t run over anything that they drive over and dodge.
In general, if you are stuck in traffic, try not to be in a rush. The 10 seconds you might gain by zipping around someone could end up with your bike and you getting hit.