Topic: Going back to the commute that made me start riding motorcycles  (Read 615 times)

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Offline Gone in 60

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Long, long ago, I lived at the north end of the 55, and worked at the sound end of it. It took 38 minutes to go 11 miles in a car. And all the while, I watched frustrated as motorcycles went whizzing by in the car pool lane. It didn't take long before I became one of those guys, and suddenly it took 18 minutes to go 11 miles. Not only could I take the car pool lane, but I could also take a semi-legal shortcut around a park within my complex where a car can't fit that cut out three stoplights before I got to the 55.

I was lured away from that job four years ago, and part of the appeal was that I'd be working in Rancho Santa Margarita. Twice the distance, but much of it through Santiago Canyon. I enjoyed it for the first two years... on Saturday mornings, I'd scoff as I watched the bikers meeting up at the gas stations along Chapman, getting ready to make a pilgrimage ride through the thing I used to get to work every day. In all of my time in the sometimes deadly canyon, I only had one close call, when a coyote darted across the road in front of me. A well placed pass could easily get me around any landscaping truck that hindered my speed.

Within the last year, however, looming housing developments in the Cooks Corner end of the canyon meant increasing fleets of dump trucks, cement mixers and contractor trucks plodding through the canyon, sometimes too numerous to pass. The commute became a chore. Within that same timeframe, the bank that bought my company got swallowed up by a bigger bank. The result was thirty brands under the same corporate ownership, and our company, being the smallest, is slated to me moved, possibly to Texas, possibly to Kentucky within the next few months.

At the same time, my former employer has grown, and I'm headed back. Back to the shortcut, the gridlock, and lane splitting the 55. But, I look forward to the 55-405 carpool flyover bridge. Nobody uses it, and it will once again become my personal Hotwheel track. Plus, no coyotes, and fewer bugs.
« Last Edit: 01/10/19 04:13PM by Gone in 60 »
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Offline Rd Todd

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That over pass is a real hoot in either direction as for the rest of your commute  the advice Id give is something "SNAPSHOT" told us during a Skillzday lesson.... We are ants dancing with elephants ALWAYS be on the defensive!
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Offline OCMCfan

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We are ants dancing with elephants ALWAYS be on the defensive!

 :17:   :7:   :30:

Offline IslandTosh

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Glad your employment situation is handled!

I have a love/hate relationship with the interchanges from 55N to 5S, and 5N to 55S - those are great when there is not traffic, but there's always traffic.

Offline Gone in 60

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Hard to love it in heavy rain... the bikes are in the garage on tenders and Iím stuck in traffic. But at least Iím dry!
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Offline 1fastrider

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Commuting isn't fun but at least I can ride.  I rode to work all week in the rain and with the right gear it's not bad.  I get grumpy when I can't ride
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Offline Gone in 60

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So, been back to this job for two weeks now, and I've been the only bike on the 55 during commute time so far. Used to be plenty of bikes. Drivers in the 55 gridlock treat me like Moses and part the way for me so they're used to bikes, but where are they?
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Online breakdirt916

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same...hardly see them down the 405

motorcycling is a dying industry...millenials can't afford bikes nor enjoy being outside the cacoon of a car

I see a commuter every now and then...still tons of people on meet up, facebook groups, and in LA
« Last Edit: 01/30/19 09:30AM by breakdirt916 »
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Offline FastMoto

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I think weather conditions have a factor also. Outside of a very few, I don't see many fellow bike commuters when the temps drop below 50. As the temps rise, so do amount of bikes I see.

But by enlarge, I too have notice a decrease in the amount of bike commuters over the years. I think a number of factors are at play. 1) Yes, I do agree with the most common theory of many young folks are simply not interested in motorcycles, along with not being able to comfortably afford them. 2) Safety factor is a concern for many also....even for me, who is a 15+year moto-commuter.

Not to be a debbie-downer but a inkling of doubt has began to set in. While I still commute almost daily on a bike, in late-2018, I came up on a multi-moto accident scene on the 405 near the 133, as I made my way to work that made me take pause and seriously evaluate the worthiness of bike commuting. I do not know the exact circumstances of the accident, but I did not need a news article to find out if the riders made it....it was very obvious. Being in 2-moto accidents myself, along with more than a couple handfuls of close calls, I do wonder when my time is up if I continue to commute on the bike. With that said, I still accept the risks of moto-commuting (and motorcycling in general) but not sure how much longer. What keeps me motivated to keep going is simply the time saved on that damn 405.

Offline Gone in 60

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Huh. I see your points, and I don't mind not sharing the road with a bunch of squids. I am in no way impervious to damage, and transitioning jobs, my insurance doesn't kick in for a few more days, so my pucker factor is slightly elevated, but I feel more secure splitting lanes safely than I do sitting in my Fiesta in gridlock traffic waiting to get rear-ended. I saw a nasty three-car accordion on the shoulder this morning on the way in.

One thing about sharing the 55 with a bunch of other moto commuters years ago meant that I passed some downed riders, and I stopped to help my fair share of them. It always made me think: Where was that rider when he went down?; When I've seen him before, how safely was he riding? It made me think about how I rode, where I chose to either pass or not pass (example - cars dive out of the car pool lane right before the 5, and most of the downed riders I saw were in that area).

I'm just happy to be back on this route. I feel my hyper-awareness kicking back in, and it's a bit of a rush.
« Last Edit: 01/30/19 12:03PM by Gone in 60 »
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Online breakdirt916

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yeah I'm moving closer to work this year to end this 405 madness...going to try cycling distance but will have to see if I bump into my customers too much or not...if I do, I'll just move one town over, which would still take the freeway 90% out of my commute...then sell the truck (no hov access anyways) and get a ford fusion energi (with a surf rack) which gets 50+mpg anways...better than the bikes...and you can get a class 3 hitch for it.  keep a plated dirt bike to putt around town/ride off-road, an economical street bike (like the ninja 500r) for canyon runs/mostly everything else, and just rent super bikes/touring bikes when I use them 2-3 times per year (I only want to tour spring/fall anyways).  keep AAA, and just rent a pickup truck or trailer the 1-2 times/month I head to the desert.
« Last Edit: 01/31/19 12:38AM by breakdirt916 »
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Offline 1fastrider

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So, been back to this job for two weeks now, and I've been the only bike on the 55 during commute time so far. Used to be plenty of bikes. Drivers in the 55 gridlock treat me like Moses and part the way for me so they're used to bikes, but where are they?
guess it depends on what time you're there.  I see maybe 2 or 3 when i go on the 22. if i take 405 to 55 to 5 I see a few more.
If you are offended by my posts that's your problem

 

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