Friday, May 21, 2010

Dude, Really?

Innovative? Maybe.

Unstable? Oh, yeah.

This guy was tooling along at 70+ and could barely contain it to a single lane. He was wobbling all over the place.

But I suppose if you gotta get your bike there and all you got is a motor...

Ya gotta do whatcha gotta do...


Isaac said...

but... did he get a ticket?

Steve'nLubbock said...

At least it wasn't a folded wheelchair! I saw a guy on a smallish rice cooker hauling a folding wheelchair strapped to his back. If he lost it, the rolling wouldn't stop for a loooong time.

Melissa said...

Dumb idea. He clearly should have left the bicycle assembled and towed it. It's got wheels, doesn't it?

The bicycle weighs considerably less than a passenger would, he probably could have done fine if he'd considered things like 'center of gravity' and 'leverage' while putting it together. But no, it's easier to just duct-tape the car rack across the saddle bags...

Officer "Smith" said...

No, Isaac. He didn't. I was off at the time which is why I took a picture of it.

Officer "Smith" said...



Perhaps leverage and center of gravity never entered the equation for this fella.

Jay said...

Hey it could be worse. It could be the other way round.

Officer "Smith" said...

I hadn't thought of that Jay.

That has the potential to make the situation much more interesting (read destructive).

Brice said...

You people obviously do not ride either bicycles or motorcycles. I have a setup similar to this and have used it for a number of years and a few thousand miles. When engineered correctly (like the one in the picture posted) it is neither unstable or unsafe. If merely feels as if a passenger is on the back.

Speak not of what you do not know.

And "did he get a ticket?" That is the "dude, really?" question. Is that all the average lemming measures anything on? "He got a ticket, so it MUST be dangerous." Great logic. Morons like that also probably think your driving ABILITY is measured on how many speeding tickets you have.

All of this does not even mention the question of whether the rider even has a car. I didn't, thus why I created a rack for my motorcycle.

And on the ticket thing, I lane split and simply drove by, and had a number of conversations with countless LEOs over the years on my setup. Most actually think it is a cool solution.

Don't be "that guy" and speak of things you know nothing of.

Officer "Smith" said...


I actually do ride both motorcycles AND bicycles.

My statement of this being an unstable situation was not based upon HOW the bicycle was mounted upon the motorcycle. It was based upon the fact that I watched this guy weaving about in his lane, barely able to keep the bike running in a straight line.

Perhaps this arrangement was NOT unstable. Perhaps he was just a poor rider. Maybe he was drunk. I don't know. But I do know he was having very apparent difficulty.

As for being "that guy", perhaps you should not be "that guy" who thinks he knows everything, and everyone else knows nothing. You should not try to pass yourself off as an authority simply because you have some experience in the matter at hand.

To address your belief that he should not get a citation simply because you have done exactly the same thing makes it evident that you have no concept of the laws involved.

Yes, it is perfectly legal to place such a rig on a motorcycle. The issue arises when the load interferes with the operation of the vehicle, therefore creating an unsafe situation. Had I been at work and chosen to do so, I could have issued this fellow a citation for violation of 24002(a) CVC, which is operation of an unsafe vehicle or operation with an unsafe load. I could do this simply because it was apparent that he was having difficulty controlling the vehicle with the load on it.

There was no wind, rain or other outside force which would have created some reason for him to have such difficulty. It was either the load, or lack of riding ability.

Brice said...

Forgive me Officer Smith if I sounded very high and mighty, but the discussion seemed a bit more biased toward the average lemming who immediately judges motorcycles as being inherently dangerous as opposed to the greater danger of the majority of motorists in the US as being under-trained and in ill performing equipment. /rant

Now then, in terms of the legality of it, I use a "blinky" light on my seatpost for visibility and assumed I was not breaking any laws based never once receiving negative feedback from any LEOs. In terms of being "that guy" and wanting to pull him over for it, well, you are. Now I was not there and cannot- nor should I- judge the situation, but my frustration lies in the fact that the knee jerk response is that it is wrong. If he was obviously not able to control the machine, without question he should at the very least have been told as such and the situation rectified. But to immediately pronounce this as inherently dangerous is completely unfair.

Again, speaking solely from my personal experience, I rode in SF Bay Area commute traffic, including lane splitting, with no issues. As I mentioned, I must not have been doing too many things wrong as I was never once harassed by any LEOs. I also rode many canyon roads at a "brisk" pace often times chasing down kids on sportbikes (the bike I have the rack on is the same make and model of the one pictured) way outside their skill or experience level. If I may, your efforts to protect and serve would be better served addressing those kids rather than someone showing a touch of innovation that is perhaps away from the norm.

I may be uniquely qualified to be able to handle such a setup- thus perhaps why I was never harassed- in that I have spent a lot of time on the track on 2 and 4 wheels, and have a few hundred thousand miles under my belt on motorcycles, and worked in the development of an accelerometer based driver safety aid for a start up in the Valley, not to mention am a little larger than the average bear. But none of this negates the fact that I do not like to see people picked on for trying something new. Perhaps this person was on a maiden voyage, not used to the load, or as you said, a poor rider. I can't account for any of these, but again, do not like to see a knee jerk response by the public at large to proclaim it is wrong.

It IS safe at freeway speeds- regardless of wind. As I mentioned, it is no different than having a passenger on the back. It is stable- if designed correctly. I even had my initial design fail due to a moment arm that was too long, and even then neither myself nor any motorists were in danger and I was able to safely pull over and the bicycle was still very securely attached. With a design modification, it is now part of the motorcycle subframe, yet takes less than 5 minutes to attach.

So please don't mistake my discontent with the average response here as stubborn arrogance. Rather take it from one of the- seemingly few- responsible motorcyclists who wishes to be treated with the same respect as other motorists. After commuting for many years on 2 wheels (both motorized and non motorized) the average lemming behind the wheel of an SUV, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, reading the newspaper, texting, responding to Emails, etc., seem to me to be a greater danger to other motorists than a single person who is trying something new, as opposed to the gross neglect of responsibility that most Americans feel when they are behind the wheel. For example, the joke of a "hands free" law of mobile phone usage in CA seems like it would be a better area to focus energy than on this guy.

So this is not just for you, but some of the other respondents to the picture.

Officer "Smith" said...


Perhaps instead of defending this guy, who you were not there to actually see, you should take the post the way it was intended.

I was not trying to say the guy was "wrong". I was simply saying I had never seen such a setup before and it appeared to be affecting his riding. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Perhaps you HAVE been riding with such an arrangement, and it sounds from your most recent comment that you have the engineering prowess to do so safely, and I applaud you. This guy, however, was apparently not you.

I have done the freeway commute thing for some time as well, but never with a bicycle on the back. I have also done enforcement riding on both motorcycles and bicycles. I like to consider myself a very proficient rider on both accounts.

That being said, if I were to ride a motorcycle that I could not keep in a single wheel track I would like to think I had enough scruples to pull over, stop and reconsider.

If you'd take the time to read my post, you would see that I never once typed the word "unsafe", nor did I say that I "wanted to pull him over" for it. Therefore, your comment about me being "that guy" is again misguided.

What I said was that I "COULD" pull him over and cite him. Go ahead and look. I'll wait....

As for the "lemmings", Isaac simply asked if the rider got a ticket. Steve humorously commented that at least the guy wasn't hauling a wheelchair. Melissa (also humorously I believe) suggested that the rider should have considered center of gravity.

Nobody made any comments that should be worthy of your comments calling them "lemmings", suggesting they are "morons", or insinuating that they are commenting upon things of which they have no knowledge.

It seems to me that you do an awful lot of bitching, and even more bragging about your own exploits, over innocuous comments by other readers.

Let's move on.