How fast is too slow - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 37 Old Aug 29th, 2016, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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How fast is too slow

The recent headline post about drivers hanging out in the left lane begs a question in my mind. How fast is too slow?

The video mentions that most accidents are because of drivers weaving in and out making lane changes trying to pass slower drivers. First let me say that if you are driving the same speed as the rest of traffic and you have the available space, it is being courteous and in abiding with the law to move over and let others pass in the left lane. ATL traffic needs all lanes possible all the time BTW.

Lets change that up and take into account the recently passed GA slow poke law.

If I am on the busy 285 circling Atlanta doing 75MPH in a 55MPH zone in the left lane, I am speeding and by definition, 20MPH over is considered reckless driving. Someone comes up behind me wanting to do 90MPH, clearly stupid in ATL traffic but they are on your butt none the less. Common sense says I should move over but in this case, the law may be on my side. There are only a couple of instances where I am required to actually move over, one being an emergency vehicle and the other, someone directly behind me while I am not overtaking traffic in the adjacent right lane. They are doing 60 next to me and I am doing 75 so I am not actually required to move over to suit some maniac even if there is enough space to fit my car in. I will if and when I can but i am not going to make a lane change into slower traffic to suit some more reckless driver. This person forcing others to get out of their way just to go faster is just as much at fault as someone doing less than or the same speed as others and having ample room to move over and doesn't in contributing to accidents caused by traffic moving rapidly from lane to lane. A forced lane change is the same no matter if it is the slower or faster traffic making it.

The safest situation is for all traffic to go at the same speed and use the left lanes for thru traffic and the right lanes for entering and exiting when you are traveling a short distance. Somewhere along the way, it changed to the passing lane but when I took drivers ed, it was the thru traffic lane and I was taught to get in and stay in the lane where I would make the best headway without having to change lanes and to use the right lanes for entering and exiting limited access highways and for short distances like a couple exits.

I get over when I can unless someone is being a real pain and I am in accordance with the law and overtaking traffic to the right. They can sit back there and fume as long as i am not breaking the law and I will get over when there is a space large enough for me to move over and not impede my progress. I think trying to slow down and cram myself into a small space in the next lane is more dangerous than letting the jerk tail gate me for awhile.


My question is, how fast is too slow. How much should I inconvenience myself for a dangerous driver.

I was really pissed off when GA passed the slow poke law until i actually went and read it. The problem is, most people have never read it and think it was a license to behave badly when the person in front of them is not actually doing anything wrong.

It varies by state so go read your law and know what you re required to do before you get pissed off at my question.

I will check back tomorrow to see what kind of a basting i get from this.

Gordon
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post #2 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2016, 4:41 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

I just got back from a 500 mile roundtrip from LA to Merced, CA and back in the cage with my wife (we were moving our son). I normally drive/ride 3 mph over the limit and on a 6-lane freeway/highway, I stay in the middle lane and jump into the left (fast) lane to pass slower traffic. Occasionally, I came up on a slow poke in the middle lane, and some speed demons were taking up the left lane, so I'd pass on the right lane, but normally, I'd pass on the left.

On a 4-lane road, staying in the left (fast) lane, while someone is coming up on your rear real fast is not healthy, as you can be dead right. In this situation, If I'm passing others on my right, but not going fast enough for the speed demon, I will continue at my regular rate and move over at the first safe opportunity to let them pass.
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post #3 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2016, 6:27 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

Left lane is for passing; period!

I do agree with your statement about you doing 20 over but you will ALWAYS have some one going faster than you. I think it is best to take the appropriate action as to not impede the person who is "really" breaking the law by getting out of his way when safe to do so.
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post #4 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2016, 7:18 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

It's as simple as this, no matter what lane you are in, you should be doing at least 5-10 mph faster than the vehicles to your left. At that speed differential it should only take a few seconds for you to pass the car on your left. If you're close enough to their speed that it takes you more than about 10 seconds to pass them then you either need to speed up or get over. If a slow moving vehicle forces you to change lanes you should accelerate as quickly as possible to match the speed of the lane you just entered. Whether the person behind you is breaking the law is not your concern unless you are a police officer.

The problem occurs because someone will get in the second lane from the left and do 70 mph while the flow of traffic in the left lane is 80. They will come up on someone doing 68 and get over to pass but insist on maintaining the 70 mph they were doing. They argue, much like you, that they are already over the speed limit so they shouldn't speed up to match, those crazy speed demons should slow down. Now they're doing 2 mph faster than the guy next to them so it takes miles for them to pass the car and get back over. While they're hanging out in that lane traffic piles up behind them and people start changing 2 or 3 lanes over to the right to get around the rolling road block you've created and then come back over. This is where the danger comes in.

I live in Atlanta too, and you are correct about needing every leave during rush hour, but outside of those times there's no reason for being in the left lane driving slow. The biggest problem during rush hour is people hanging in the left lane too long, getting really close to their exit and then literally stopping in the left lane waiting for someone to let them over to their exit. In reality, of everyone drive properly there is absolutely no reason why the left lane should ever stop, but it does, constantly.

Bear in mind that my comments are in relation to a multi lane highway. If there are only two lanes going in your direction the rules are different, but if there are 6 lanes, there's zero reason to get in the left lane if you are in any way concerned about your speed, rush hour wall to wall traffic or construction excepted.

One more thing I'll add to everyone. Please put your phone down and pay attention to the street signs while your driving. More and more I've noticed that people appear to have no idea what the speed limit actually is.

Cook, you just gave yourself away as being a bit guilty of this because you said you were on 285 and it was a 55 zone. About a year ago they installed variable speed limit signs and since then the speed limit on 285 is now 65 during normal times, so if you're doing 70 you're only 5 over, which is WAY too slow for the left lane on an interstate. Interstate travel is typically about 15 over on average, so if you aren't doing at least 80, your tires shouldn't even touch the left lane. There have been a number of other speed limit changes in the area, such as a raise from 55 to 65 on 85 and 75 north of Brookwood.
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post #5 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2016, 11:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: How fast is too slow

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It's as simple as this, no matter what lane you are in, you should be doing at least 5-10 mph faster than the vehicles to your left. At that speed differential it should only take a few seconds for you to pass the car on your left. If you're close enough to their speed that it takes you more than about 10 seconds to pass them then you either need to speed up or get over. If a slow moving vehicle forces you to change lanes you should accelerate as quickly as possible to match the speed of the lane you just entered. Whether the person behind you is breaking the law is not your concern unless you are a police officer.

The problem occurs because someone will get in the second lane from the left and do 70 mph while the flow of traffic in the left lane is 80. They will come up on someone doing 68 and get over to pass but insist on maintaining the 70 mph they were doing. They argue, much like you, that they are already over the speed limit so they shouldn't speed up to match, those crazy speed demons should slow down. Now they're doing 2 mph faster than the guy next to them so it takes miles for them to pass the car and get back over. While they're hanging out in that lane traffic piles up behind them and people start changing 2 or 3 lanes over to the right to get around the rolling road block you've created and then come back over. This is where the danger comes in.

I live in Atlanta too, and you are correct about needing every leave during rush hour, but outside of those times there's no reason for being in the left lane driving slow. The biggest problem during rush hour is people hanging in the left lane too long, getting really close to their exit and then literally stopping in the left lane waiting for someone to let them over to their exit. In reality, of everyone drive properly there is absolutely no reason why the left lane should ever stop, but it does, constantly.

Bear in mind that my comments are in relation to a multi lane highway. If there are only two lanes going in your direction the rules are different, but if there are 6 lanes, there's zero reason to get in the left lane if you are in any way concerned about your speed, rush hour wall to wall traffic or construction excepted.

One more thing I'll add to everyone. Please put your phone down and pay attention to the street signs while your driving. More and more I've noticed that people appear to have no idea what the speed limit actually is.

Cook, you just gave yourself away as being a bit guilty of this because you said you were on 285 and it was a 55 zone. About a year ago they installed variable speed limit signs and since then the speed limit on 285 is now 65 during normal times, so if you're doing 70 you're only 5 over, which is WAY too slow for the left lane on an interstate. Interstate travel is typically about 15 over on average, so if you aren't doing at least 80, your tires shouldn't even touch the left lane. There have been a number of other speed limit changes in the area, such as a raise from 55 to 65 on 85 and 75 north of Brookwood.
I knew someone local would hit me up about those new variable speed signs. I do my best to NOT get on 285 so I have only seen them a couple times and yes, they were at the time set to 60MPH. It was an example Most people on 285 rarely do the speed limit including me as that is dangerous.

As for speed limit changes, PIB changed from 55 to 45 a couple back and out came all the law officers to take full advantage of that change with often 3 to 4 speed traps along my path to work so I do the posted 45 or really close as Duluth officers really are known for handing out tickets. Most locals know this and do the speed limit now but there were many days i saw a large number of people on the side having their credentials checked and an award handed to them. In visiting a relative in Mobile AL, I was informed to make sure not to speed as they have a zero tolerance policy and will ticket for 1MPH over. I was actually followed by an officer for several miles being out of state. I know he was waiting for me to go over. He eventually moved on.

Leaning back on my early schooling on limited access highways, there are several things that make them safe to travel on at a high rate of speed.
1. There are no directly adjacent lanes of opposing traffic.
2. limited access on and off and no traffic lights ( yes, why does the left lane ever stop moving SMH)
3. All traffic is traveling the same direction and here is the important part, at the same speed.

I am all for a giant homogeneous mass of traffic hurtling at 70 in a 55 ( or 60) zone or faster to keep changes in the traffic pattern and lane changes to a minimum so who are the evil doers in that situation when the few don't want to just do 20 over and drive safely with the pack and starts behaving badly, weaving in and out of traffic, causing people to jam on their brakes because they did a too close hole shot wanting people to move aside for them so they can get 5 cars ahead before they make a wild 5 lane across exit? I wonder who taught them to drive?

My goal when getting on a limited access HWY is to travel largely unimpeded and un-harassed to my destination just like everyone else. That will include riding in the left lane in accordance with current laws speed limit being excepted siting all traffic moving the same direction at the same speed as we are all a nation of law breaking speeders, the worst of which are most likely the cause of those type of accidents and not those obeying it at least in spirit. I do try and be courteous to fellow drivers and allow them to pass when I can move over safely but the left lane is inherently the safest place to be if you are traveling more than a few exits as it is the farthest away from those getting on and off the HWY where most of the lane changing and action is happening. I think the video has it backwards and that these rolling road blocks are actually also caused by those wanting to go faster than the pack speed and causing traffic disruptions by unsafely trying to get around adequately moving to suit their own need for speed. It works both ways. I have actually been passed by people on the left shoulder when i had no place to move over to and was unwilling to go 30+ over. I will add a caveat for cars in the left lane not doing at least the same speed as the other traffic around them but it should not require you be faster situationally. The less that cars around you change position in relation to you, the safer it is to move at speed. Some people simply need to slow down to increase the safety on the highways and yes, some need to just get in the right lane too.


If they put up speed cameras and aggressively enforced the speed limits on LAH like they do for the toll lanes without your Peach or SUN Pass, I think things might change but until there is some measurable consequence to these marauders, there will always be someone creating havoc on the highways by trying to go faster than the average speed regardless of rush hour or not.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
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post #6 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2016, 1:50 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

You're right, there are some people who go too fast and drive like idiots. There are also people who drive too slow and insist that everyone bend to their will out go around them. I'm not saying you can't cruise in the left lane, I do it. I'm saying, and the law now agrees with me, that if you get in the left lane doing 70 in a 65 when every other car around you is doing 80, you need to get over.

Also, no matter how fast you're going, if you hit a stretch on your right where you can get over for a bit and there's someone behind you, you should move over and let them go, not expect them to go around you.

I could be wrong, but I think we're essentially saying the same thing, just talking about different extremes. Like you said, everyone should move together. It's not just speeders causing problems, and it's not just grandmas either, it's both extremes meeting each other that cause dangerous situations. What the slow poke law tries to do is separate them for everyone's safety.

If someone insists on driving slow, that's fine, get over to the right. However, for the follow of traffic and safety of everyone, if you get in the left lane, make sure you are passing people on your right. Doing that means that if a speed demon comes up on you it shouldn't be long until you hit a hole and can let them go. It's not an "I'm right and your wrong" situation. Clearing up traffic requires that we all meet somewhere in the middle. Give the crazy idiots a place where they can safely pass everyone, the left lane, and they won't cause accidents. They'll get speeding tickets and fund our highway improvement programs.

I understand the thought that the left lane is safer because it gets you away from people entering and exiting. Again, that's true with two lanes of travel, but if there are 6 lanes of travel and room around you, what does it hurt to be 5 lanes over and keep the left lane clear for passing? Yeah, some idiot will take it as an opportunity to run like speed racer, but that also means that the left lane will be clear for you when you run into grandma in lane 5 and you need to get around her.

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post #7 of 37 Old Sep 20th, 2016, 12:05 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

You are too slow if the car behind you wants to pass. It is all the driver's judgement you think 20 over is good he may think 30 over is more reasonable. It isn't your job to enforce the speed limit, if he gets stopped by the police just wave politely.

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post #8 of 37 Old Sep 20th, 2016, 1:09 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

I learned to drive in Houston. The law at the time was: if you are impeding traffic, you can get a ticket. If the speed limit was 55 and everyone else is doing 75, the person going 55 could get ticketed regardless of lane choice. The cop can't pull over the majority doing 75 but can easily pull over the one doing 55, which is very dangerous. I was on those roads going 75+mph with cars all around me, without having 2 car lengths between me and the car in front or the car behind. It was like NASCAR at slower speeds.

Oh man do I not like to be on a 2 lane going the same direction when the guy with his cruise set on 66 is trying to pass the guy who is going the speed limit of 65 and just as the 66 is about to pass, the guy at 65 catches a side draft and speeds up a little. This can go on for miles. Yes, I get tempted to pass on the shoulder but I don't do it.

IMO, the left lane should be for passing quickly a car on the right. If you are actively and quickly passing cars on the right, do so until there is a good opening on the right and move over, especially if cars come up behind you. In your example, if you are at 75 in a 55 and a car comes up to you at 90, find the first opportunity to move over to the right and let the 90 guy pass you. Then, get behind the 90 guy and go 90 with him... ok, that will risk a bigger ticket and possible impound... that was my younger days (of last week). If I am going 90 and you are going 75 but actively passing people going 55, I can relax and follow for a little while since you are actively passing others BUT if you have the opportunity to go to the right to let me pass and don't, at the next opportunity I will pass you on the right...but I don't drive like that too often anymore.

Watch some videos of the Autobahn and see how traffic is supposed to move. Cars going 100mph move over for those going 120mph who move over for the motorcycle going 135mph, etc. I've been in the car going over 100 in Germany and the ride was smooth as silk in the Mercedes Taxi with traffic moving along nicely and working together.
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post #9 of 37 Old Sep 20th, 2016, 12:56 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

Never mind the traffic laws, the dikheads on the road, the shoulds and woulds...drive to stay away from cars in the safest position on the road and look around 360deg continually.

It aint like it used to be no more, then again, they don't make 'em like they used to neither.
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post #10 of 37 Old Sep 20th, 2016, 8:25 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

In Wichita, it is really easy to drive (or ride) to stay away from cars, except for the 35 minute rush hour. In places like Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and other major cities, it is really hard to drive to stay away from cars unless you are going to snake along the side roads. If on a motorcycle going the speed limit at 55 when everyone else is running 70, that situation is crazy dangerous. Just entering the freeway with traffic going 70 and the plan is to go 55 - big, big problem.
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post #11 of 37 Old Sep 21st, 2016, 8:29 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

Logically speaking, I don't see how a Judge could enforce a ticket given to someone who was driving at or near the posted speed limit. If this is the case, it would open a can of worms for the legal system because fatality accidents that involve folks who are speeding are subject to not only criminal but civil judgements against them. I have talked to police officers about left lane squatters and they cannot /will not ticket someone driving in the left lane who is going at the posted speed limit. The reason is that a law cannot contradict another law: The rule/law "keep right except to pass" cannot contradict the posted speed limit.

Also, to be a bit of the devil's advocate here, why do people who break the law MORE than others think they have the right to own an entire traffic lane by themselves? If someone is driving 70 in a 60 and there are people doing 80 who want to pass, why would the law be on the side of the person who is speeding MORE? It is not logical. These are public roads after all.

What makes driving very frustrating nowadays is the large numbers of folks driving who are not paying attention to their speed or their mirrors. Even when I am in a car, I am constantly checking my mirrors and my speedometer. I also LOVE the cruise control. How someone can drive on the interstate for any distance without using their cruise control is unfathomable to me. It used to be that cell phone users were problem drivers, well now we have cell phone users, texters, facebookers, and twitterers among others. What is scary to me is that these people will not put the device down the entire time they are in their cars! And also they seem to think it is their right to use the device and to be tuned out. How many times have we all been behind the jerk at the traffic light who flips us the finger when we toot our horn at them to get moving when they are caught looking at their device? Imagine that same jerk now on the interstate doing 80 one minute and 50 the next. Now put about 75% of these people on the interstates all doing the same thing. It is insanity.

Oh, and while I am at it, we will have Trump or Hillary as our next President---What a crazy world we live in gentlemen.

PS: I try to stay off the interstates if on my mc. 285 is a roller derby anyway.

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post #12 of 37 Old Sep 21st, 2016, 9:15 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Originally Posted by WillH View Post
why do people who break the law MORE than others think they have the right to own an entire traffic lane by themselves? If someone is driving 70 in a 60 and there are people doing 80 who want to pass, why would the law be on the side of the person who is speeding MORE? It is not logical.

I think you are looking at it as a legal situation where it is more a matter of etiquette, why impede the speed of the progress of another driver because you have come to conclusion that 10+ is the appropriate speed for all drivers and those that want to go faster are just as big of an idiot as the ones going slower than me.

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post #13 of 37 Old Sep 21st, 2016, 11:10 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Logically speaking, I don't see how a Judge could enforce a ticket given to someone who was driving at or near the posted speed limit.
I got a ticket earlier this year while following the letter of the law. I am still waiting for my court date.
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post #14 of 37 Old Sep 21st, 2016, 11:23 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

WillH - In my example, 95%+ of traffic is moving faster than the speed limit. The ticket given is something like obstruction of traffic. If the traffic is doing70 and some guy is going 90, the guy going 90 is likely to get a ticket if seen, provided the police can thread the traffic to get to him.

The other night, we were driving through Dallas, just north of downtown. Traffic was moderate in number. There was a guy in a sweet Maserati. Looked at him and he was texting on his phone. He was going about 90mph and weaving in and out of traffic with a blinker constantly on while texting. I decided not to follow him because it is just a matter of time before he wrecks out. What a waste of a Maserati.

I listen to and respond to texts on my bike. I press a button on my helmet and say "Read that text." The text is read to me. I say my response and send it. Easy to do while I keep my eyes on traffic. Surely that Maserati has the same technology in it.
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post #15 of 37 Old Sep 22nd, 2016, 9:50 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

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I think you are looking at it as a legal situation where it is more a matter of etiquette, why impede the speed of the progress of another driver because you have come to conclusion that 10+ is the appropriate speed for all drivers and those that want to go faster are just as big of an idiot as the ones going slower than me.

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I'm playing the devil's advocate here. I have probably logged well over a million miles on public interstates in my working career as an engineer traveling to factories all over the world. There are people who view speeding as reckless and dangerous and these people will not have any sympathy, much less courtesy, for people who are speeding. These people think they are in the right because they are driving at or near the posted speed limit. And legally speaking, they may be in the right.

Herein lies the conflict: We all think we are in the right. This is why we have laws and the law has to side with the person who is obeying the law.

The simple fact is that as motorcyclists we do not have a greater right to the road than anyone else and we should not expect drivers to behave any differently just because we are on a motorcycle. And if we are on a motorcycle and speeding, we are even more vulnerable to the "rights of way" of motorists (especially when they are obeying the law) and we are thus in no position to be self righteous about driving behavior.

There was a video posted here a few weeks ago with the guy who went bezerk when the lady tried to force a merge at the very end where her own lane ended. Does this not happen to us all the time in our cars? My thought was that she was doing nothing different than she normally does. People do this all the time and this rider thought she should behave differently because he was on a bike? Same goes for us speeding in the left lane - we cannot expect people to behave any differently just because we are on a bike.

I am guilty of speeding. In fact, I rarely drive the speed limit or below; However, my own personal opinion is that I am breaking the law if I am speeding and I think most everyone will agree with me because we all slow down when we see a police car.
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post #16 of 37 Old Sep 22nd, 2016, 10:41 am Thread Starter
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Re: How fast is too slow

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I'm playing the devil's advocate here. I have probably logged well over a million miles on public interstates in my working career as an engineer traveling to factories all over the world. There are people who view speeding as reckless and dangerous and these people will not have any sympathy, much less courtesy, for people who are speeding. These people think they are in the right because they are driving at or near the posted speed limit. And legally speaking, they may be in the right.

Herein lies the conflict: We all think we are in the right. This is why we have laws and the law has to side with the person who is obeying the law.

The simple fact is that as motorcyclists we do not have a greater right to the road than anyone else and we should not expect drivers to behave any differently just because we are on a motorcycle. And if we are on a motorcycle and speeding, we are even more vulnerable to the "rights of way" of motorists (especially when they are obeying the law) and we are thus in no position to be self righteous about driving behavior.

There was a video posted here a few weeks ago with the guy who went bezerk when the lady tried to force a merge at the very end where her own lane ended. Does this not happen to us all the time in our cars? My thought was that she was doing nothing different than she normally does. People do this all the time and this rider thought she should behave differently because he was on a bike? Same goes for us speeding in the left lane - we cannot expect people to behave any differently just because we are on a bike.

I am guilty of speeding. In fact, I rarely drive the speed limit or below; However, my own personal opinion is that I am breaking the law if I am speeding and I think most everyone will agree with me because we all slow down when we see a police car.
I watched that video several times and clearly the lady was in the wrong by speeding up or not slowing down and trying to fill the safe following distance space the rider was leaving between him and the truck IMO. Mo one these days wants to let that car in and do a proper merge and it is very frustrating. That being said, we do deal with this every day with all the impatient drivers out there with a sense of entitlement. One more car ahead or get out of my way in their mind gives them a feeling of accomplishment where there really is none. It is almost impossible to keep a safe following distance without some other driver filling the spot and if you keep things closed up tight, and something happens in front, then you have chain reaction accidents.

My personal feeling about these slow poke laws are that they should be rewritten to state that you must not travel in the left lane when slower than the posted speed limit and as a courtesy you should move over for vehicles that want to go faster than you are. Anything else is a contradiction of the pre-existing speed laws as stated earlier and they make criminals out of law abiding citizens.

I think very few of us do not speed at times and in my case, I go with the flow ( car or bike ) so that changes around me are not happening at such a pace that I can't keep up with them. The safest lane on the highways is the far left lane as things only change on one side of you. Yes, move over when you can and I do but I am a left lane squatter if traveling any distance simply for safety reasons and I try and go fast enough to not be a nuisance and move over if I become one or find one behind me.

By the way, you will get me to move over faster by not being a jerk about it.

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post #17 of 37 Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 8:46 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Yes, move over when you can and I do but I am a left lane squatter if traveling any distance simply for safety reasons and I try and go fast enough to not be a nuisance and move over if I become one or find one behind me.

By the way, you will get me to move over faster by not being a jerk about it.
Years ago I had a shift job in Marietta and I had to travel a good portion of I-75 as I commuted back and forth from Decatur every day. We used to joke about the left lane being the slow lane in Canada because of all the snowbird Canandians that would drive in the left lane through Atlanta. I now understand why they did that: It is because of all the merging local traffic that they encounter in the major cities. Back then I-75 was only 4 lanes (2 each way) so they would drive left because of all the merging rush hour traffic. I was one of those impatient local commuters and would get frustrated with these Canadian drivers: Why don't you move over! Well, now in my old age, I find myself wiser and staying out of the right lanes for that very reason.

We now have A LOT of tractor trailer trucks jamming the roads now and this is another reason that motorists will sit in the left lanes longer (especially if their eyesight is not good and they do cannot tell closing speeds very well - or just don't care or are tuned out).

I am like you I think, I will only be in the left lane if I am overtaking traffic. But I will be damned if I am going to take my bike or car out of cruise and move over just to let some clown who is not paying attention to his speed blow by me doing 85 only to be on this same jerk's bumper a few miles down the road while he/she is doing 55 in the left lane facebooking/twittering to his/her buddies.

The problem is there is no lane discipline and speed discipline. In Europe it is better but driver education is mandatory and the cost of driving/operating a motor vehicle are much higher there. Here anyone can drive and many drive even if they don't have a license. I even know a guy that is 65 years old that is driving occasionally with his license suspended (DUI). Imagine that. And look at the way police officers are so careful with traffic stops nowadays. These same drivers are what we too are riding side by side with, every day.

Like the old Hill Street Blues TV show says: Let's be careful out there.
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post #18 of 37 Old Oct 6th, 2016, 9:47 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

Sorry but this has always been a pet peeve. If your on a multi lane highway and in the left lane AND not actively passing someone, you're a jerk. Actual speed does not matter. Here is where we can learn from the Europeans. They do not do it and in many countries it's illegal to be in the left lane (right in England) and not be passing.

Yes it requires much more driver education.
Yes drivers should pay for the education.
Yes you should be retested every 5-8 years (every 2 over 70).
Yes it should be expensive to get a license.
A drivers license is a privilege, not a right.

Off the soapbox now.
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post #19 of 37 Old Oct 9th, 2016, 9:34 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

Lead Follow or get out the H*** out of the way........ Hehehehehe I myself try to run two lane roads if possible,That way you only need a short open stretch, Game over and I'm Down the road with out Dealing with Jackwagons thinking I'm riding to fast,And I don't Speed that Often.......
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post #20 of 37 Old Aug 27th, 2018, 11:45 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

Everyone should keep in mind that fast lane is a misnomer, the left lane is the passing lane. In my state it is illegal to be in the left lane if you are not passing another vehicle. Unfortunately like all other driving laws other than the speed limit, it is rarely enforced unless there is an accident. Seems like the government is more interested in easy money than safety.
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post #21 of 37 Old Aug 27th, 2018, 2:25 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

An old timer once told me “It is much safer to be BEHIND a jerk than have one tailgating you.” His attitude was to always allow the crazies on the road to be as far in front of him as possible. Stands to reason, as far as I know, impossible to be hit from behind when they are ahead of you. (I wonder if Einstein has some crazy formula on relatively for that one? Ha ha)

Another way of looking at things- Each time you do something nice for someone on the road by allowing them to pass or merge as a GIFT from you vs. them TAKING something from you. It always feels good to give but not so good when taken.
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post #22 of 37 Old Aug 27th, 2018, 11:21 pm
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" But I will be damned if I am going to take my bike or car out of cruise and move over just to let some clown who is not paying attention to his speed blow by me doing 85 only to be on this same jerk's bumper a few miles down the road while he/she is doing 55 in the left lane facebooking/twittering to his/her buddies." And the OP, park your egos and move over if someone wants to go faster. The left lane is not a through lane, it is a passing lane. Do your business an move back to lane #2
Lanes are numbered. Left lane is #1 and on to the right 2,3 etc,. So much F..K you in this thread. Get over it and drive faster or move over.
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post #23 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 12:59 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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The recent headline post about drivers hanging out in the left lane begs a question in my mind. How fast is too slow?

The video mentions that most accidents are because of drivers weaving in and out making lane changes trying to pass slower drivers. First let me say that if you are driving the same speed as the rest of traffic and you have the available space, it is being courteous and in abiding with the law to move over and let others pass in the left lane. ATL traffic needs all lanes possible all the time BTW.

Lets change that up and take into account the recently passed GA slow poke law.

If I am on the busy 285 circling Atlanta doing 75MPH in a 55MPH zone in the left lane, I am speeding and by definition, 20MPH over is considered reckless driving. Someone comes up behind me wanting to do 90MPH, clearly stupid in ATL traffic but they are on your butt none the less. Common sense says I should move over but in this case, the law may be on my side. There are only a couple of instances where I am required to actually move over, one being an emergency vehicle and the other, someone directly behind me while I am not overtaking traffic in the adjacent right lane. They are doing 60 next to me and I am doing 75 so I am not actually required to move over to suit some maniac even if there is enough space to fit my car in. I will if and when I can but i am not going to make a lane change into slower traffic to suit some more reckless driver. This person forcing others to get out of their way just to go faster is just as much at fault as someone doing less than or the same speed as others and having ample room to move over and doesn't in contributing to accidents caused by traffic moving rapidly from lane to lane. A forced lane change is the same no matter if it is the slower or faster traffic making it.

The safest situation is for all traffic to go at the same speed and use the left lanes for thru traffic and the right lanes for entering and exiting when you are traveling a short distance. Somewhere along the way, it changed to the passing lane but when I took drivers ed, it was the thru traffic lane and I was taught to get in and stay in the lane where I would make the best headway without having to change lanes and to use the right lanes for entering and exiting limited access highways and for short distances like a couple exits.

I get over when I can unless someone is being a real pain and I am in accordance with the law and overtaking traffic to the right. They can sit back there and fume as long as i am not breaking the law and I will get over when there is a space large enough for me to move over and not impede my progress. I think trying to slow down and cram myself into a small space in the next lane is more dangerous than letting the jerk tail gate me for awhile.


My question is, how fast is too slow. How much should I inconvenience myself for a dangerous driver.

I was really pissed off when GA passed the slow poke law until i actually went and read it. The problem is, most people have never read it and think it was a license to behave badly when the person in front of them is not actually doing anything wrong.

It varies by state so go read your law and know what you re required to do before you get pissed off at my question.

I will check back tomorrow to see what kind of a basting i get from this.

IMHO, you are asking the wrong question, because expecting (especially cagers) to drive is a civilized and logical manner is a lost expectation.

The question in my mind would re-direct: How can I be in a safer spot.

The answer is by getting out of the way of someone who is driving faster than you. Essentially, (though it may not be a law) the ethics of the interstate is: slower driver to the right lane.

If someone is driving faster than you, the appropriate and most importantly, the safer thing to do, is to move to the right lane until you encounter someone who is driving slower than you.

That's just my opinion, just an opinion. Its the way I do it. I don't want anyone riding on my butt.

I also do not ride on anyone's butt. If there are numbnuts driving slower than me on the left lane. I back up, bid my time until I can pass safely. There is no use getting aggravated by people who don't know what they are doing.
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post #24 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 1:31 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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.... If there are numbnuts driving slower than me on the left lane. I back up, bid my time until I can pass safely. There is no use getting aggravated by people who don't know what they are doing.
or worse, by people who do know what they're doing (belligerently staying in the #1 lane).

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post #25 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 4:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How fast is too slow

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The question in my mind would re-direct: How can I be in a safer spot.
Well, baring dumb ass speeders who's only purpose in life is to make everyone in front of them get out of their way regardless of the general speed of traffic, the safest place is as far away from all traffic entering and leaving the highway where the least changes in automobile positions around you occur. That just happens to be the left lane where you should only have to worry about the traffic to the right of you. Yes, I move over to allow faster traffic to pass but I prefer the left lane as far away from the chaos of entering and leaving as possible. We don't live in an ideal world where everyone is courteous and drives the speed limit and those idiots exist tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic hell bent to get in front of you at all costs, bikes included so we just have to deal with them as best we can. When I was in drivers ed , I was taught the left lane was for through traffic ( not called the passing lane) that was not entering or leaving the highway any time in a mile or so and not to change lanes often as that increases the chances of an accident where someone isn't paying enough attention and doesn't realize you have moved and tries to occupy the same space. Things sure have changed in 40 years. It doesn't seem to matter where you are, someone wants the space you are in and wants you to vacate it yesterday. Drive/Ride safely if you can.

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post #26 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 4:54 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

"Things have changed in the last 40 years"...ah? does the bear kaka in the woods? Were there any mexicans at the Alamo?

40 years ago you did not see the current caravan of 18 wheelers I run across on some interstates. Many times I come up onto an elevation on Interstates when I can see well into the horizon, and I am confronted with a line of 18 wheelers as far as I can see.

If you take the pretty roads they are typically packed with tourist. In cases like the Dragon, they are packed with all degrees of idiocy: cops, racing bikes, racing sports cars, slow sight scening folks, and occassionally unwelcome animals.

That, compounded by vacationers on mobile homes, people on cell phones, assorted tech distractioning capabilities on the modern dashboard, the legalization of pot in so many states, radar and laser detectors...and yes, its becoming more cumbersome to tour on a motorcycle--if not aggravatingly discouraging.

If you want to top that, you can add the fires, the storms, floods, tornados, and the triple digit heat.

This ain't what I signed up for--that's for sure!
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post #27 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 8:04 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

I have a theory: they can't hurt you if you're nowhere near them! So my approach on an interstate or other is to keep maximum spacing between me and the next closest moving object. This means I could be in any lane, going any speed, according to what is required to keep maximum space between me and disaster. Another benefit of this approach is you become more visible to more people on an interstate for example. We also exploit the full wide of a lane to keep a narrow profile and to help make ourselves maximally visible earlier to whomever needs to be able to see us. I aim to glance the rear view mirror and monitor every 5 seconds or so.
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post #28 of 37 Old Aug 28th, 2018, 11:42 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

1200, it is against the law in Washington State and several others to hang in the #1 lane, (left lane in your parlance). Pass and move back. I do realize you are trying to hide and play save with no one on your left. Of course using all the lanes to capacity helps flow. But sitting there at your speed makes you the problem.

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post #29 of 37 Old Aug 29th, 2018, 4:00 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

To add to the discussion, a study was done a few years ago that found most accidents happen in the right lane, most fatal accidents happen in the passing lane, and the least accidents happen in the middle, or number 2 lane. That is why I try to stay there unless passing, you have 2 options to avoid a problem if you are in the middle, right or left, so it makes sense to me.

Used to be people were courteous, and only used the passing lane to pass, now states have to make laws to get people to have good manners.

I was a professional driver for over 20 years, starting in 1969, and that is one of the reasons I changed professions, I was tired of dealing with all the rude jerks the highways are full of now.


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post #30 of 37 Old Aug 29th, 2018, 8:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: How fast is too slow

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1200, it is against the law in Washington State and several others to hang in the #1 lane, (left lane in your parlance). Pass and move back. I do realize you are trying to hide and play save with no one on your left. Of course using all the lanes to capacity helps flow. But sitting there at your speed makes you the problem.
Georgia's law allows me to ride in the left lane as long as there is no one directly behind me wanting to pass or approaching emergency vehicles or if I am overtaking traffic to the right. Once I am safely able to move over, I do and let anyone wishing to break the law more than I am , do so at their own risk and hope they don't take anyone with them. I do understand that is not the case in all states and people going at the normal flow of traffic ( everyone at the same general speed) are not the real problem even if in the #1 lane. Here in Atlanta, all lanes are generally full all the time during normal waking commuting hours anyways so it isn't much of a concern to have to move over, there is nowhere to go. If I just sat there and didn't move over, then I would indeed be a problem but otherwise, I disagree and yes, using all lanes does improve overall flow and allows for a greater spacing between vehicles assuming that you don't just want to tailgate for fun.

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post #31 of 37 Old Aug 29th, 2018, 12:37 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Georgia's law allows me to ride in the left lane as long as there is no one directly behind me wanting to pass or approaching emergency vehicles or if I am overtaking traffic to the right. Once I am safely able to move over, I do and let anyone wishing to break the law more than I am , do so at their own risk and hope they don't take anyone with them. I do understand that is not the case in all states and people going at the normal flow of traffic ( everyone at the same general speed) are not the real problem even if in the #1 lane. Here in Atlanta, all lanes are generally full all the time during normal waking commuting hours anyways so it isn't much of a concern to have to move over, there is nowhere to go. If I just sat there and didn't move over, then I would indeed be a problem but otherwise, I disagree and yes, using all lanes does improve overall flow and allows for a greater spacing between vehicles assuming that you don't just want to tailgate for fun.
How does riding in the HOV lane apply to the left lane law in Georgia? I ride in the HOV lane going through downtown Atlanta every Friday . When traffic is stopped in all the other lanes I do not run faster than I can safely stop while going by the stopped traffic as someone in a car (by themselves)will cross the double solid white lines without looking to try to use the HOV lanes to pass the stopped traffic. I get other cars tailgating because of my cautious speed. Some will even flash their lights , etc.. ,I won't put myself in danger of being side swiped. If they're in that big of a hurry they should have left sooner. It's the mentality of some drivers today..' It's 5 after 8 and I have to be at work at 8, so I'll just drive faster and I'll get there on time' It's like they think that by driving faster they can turn back time.
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post #32 of 37 Old Aug 29th, 2018, 1:31 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

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... If they're in that big of a hurry they should have left sooner. It's the mentality of some drivers today..' It's 5 after 8 and I have to be at work at 8, so I'll just drive faster and I'll get there on time' It's like they think that by driving faster they can turn back time.
Expecting the general driving public to live/drive by your personal values in a good recipe for a wreck. You 'll be right, but you 'll be in a wreck.

I would expect that no person should be insane enough to walk into a populated environment and start shooting innocent people with a gun. Ask me how that is working out for me?
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post #33 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 8:15 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Expecting the general driving public to live/drive by your personal values in a good recipe for a wreck. You 'll be right, but you 'll be in a wreck.

I would expect that no person should be insane enough to walk into a populated environment and start shooting innocent people with a gun. Ask me how that is working out for me?
Lighten up !!! Guess you don't see the humor in that statement I made about it's 5 after 8..... DUH !!!1
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post #34 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 10:55 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

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Lighten up !!! Guess you don't see the humor in that statement I made about it's 5 after 8..... DUH !!!1
My bad, I missed the humor.

I just rode with a guy on a Wing who actually feels that way. There were 4 of us; he took the lead and placed his tail (the rest of us) on the left lane on the freeway doing the speed limit.

I eventually got out of that lane and drove on my own. During a stop, an argument ensued. His rationale was that he "was doing the speed limit like he is supposed to and any idiot who did not want to follow the law could just go around". Needless to say, I ain't following him anywhere ever again.

At any rate, my apology for missing your meaning earlier.
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post #35 of 37 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 11:24 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

Most afraid I have ever been on a motorcycle was in Dallas. I was with a small group of riders going down the road with four lanes on our side of the road on our way to the motorcycle show. The leader, who happened to be on a 1999 K1200lt, was going the speed limit. Everybody was zipping past us on the left and the right, going 70+ mph, including 18-wheelers. We weren't in the left lane but in lane 2. People were not happy with us, neither was I. Some people get crazy, honking horns, swerving, cutting the leader off because we were so slow. Good news is: we left the show on our own time and didn't follow that guy back. Bad news: I missed a turn and had a crazy time getting where I needed to go since the roads had changed a lot since my last time on them.

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post #36 of 37 Old Aug 31st, 2018, 12:28 am
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Re: How fast is too slow

Good for you Jim, riding your own ride. There are a couple of riders in our "group" (15 or so) that are not allowed to lead. (we seldom ride in groups larger than 5 or 6, I prefer 3 at most) They are too slow or cautious to the point of danger. They have to ride their ride too. But somehow they tend to follow the faster leaders when further back in the group (and we all keep hundreds of yards apart unless in traffic). I get a little frustrated as I like to share the responsibility of point. Those who won't take it, cause me serious heart burn. We have solved the problem in general. A three night/4 day ride, I pick towns and motels, post them and tell folks ride your ride, see you at the motel for dinner and get together. There are some folks I enjoy having lunch with but will not ride with them at all, no way. I'm sure they think the same way of me. I ride the pace but enjoy moving along. Not crazy but I do pass on double yellow any time it is safe for me and will not endanger the cars. Maybe I'm a prick but I do not speed in rural residential areas (they don't live on a race track) I don't cut off people, I let trucks in, and seldom think about tossing a beer bottle at a car.
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post #37 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2018, 6:18 pm
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Re: How fast is too slow

I once did some research into group riding. I found that there are generally 3 modes of riding in group: side by side like the outlaws and cop do, scattered as recommended by GWRRA, MOA and other major Chapters: that's where you are on the left/right side of the bike infront and about 2 seconds back.

Then there is the 'packing' (I might not be right on that label) where you get together in a group at some joint, then someone hollers the next stop and everyone takes off to that place. then 'you'r on your own'

I would say if you have friends you feel comfortable riding with, particularly travelling with, you consider yourself lucky.
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Rather longish, but good tips & info! vvk Bike Talk 7 Jun 19th, 2011 4:43 pm
fast intermittent turn signals Jabrown K1200LT 7 Apr 8th, 2008 11:26 am
How fast have you gone on the new GT? kemmons K1200/1300GT (The Next Generation) 31 Jun 13th, 2007 10:22 am
Do Goldwings have same slow speed handling issues? flyby K1200LT 20 Jun 14th, 2006 6:42 pm
What I have since found out - New LT owner usmctpdog K1200LT 25 Apr 3rd, 2006 12:05 am

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