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Everyone makes mistakes, even bikers. Some people willingly take risks while others make genuine errors. Even when we do dumb things, we bikers might not own up to it, or correct our behavior to prevent such acts in the future. Considering the risks of riding a bike, especially in an era with drivers distracted by smart phones, identifying and remembering the dumb things you or other bikers do can increase safety in the long run.
Yeah, some bikers own impressive motorcycles. We might even possess ample experience. Every once in a while, we might encounter someone on the road—maybe an attractive driver or passenger in a nearby car—and the urge to “strut our stuff” overtakes us. Whether it’s popping a wheelie or standing on the seat while in motion, these actions are a recipe for disaster. Any imperfection in the street could cause us to wipe out. A busy street could only compound the danger.
This is standard procedure for drivers of bikes or cars on the highway. It transforms into a dumb thing to do within city limits, especially on crowded streets. A driver parked on the side of the road could fling open their door as we’re switching lanes. Other drivers could hop lanes without realizing we’re in the process of doing the same. Either action couldn’t be pretty.
Search any online video site and you’re bound to come across a biker pulling this stunt only to realize a previously unnoticed cop just witnessed the entire thing.
In some cities, especially metropolitan cities with an abundance of sleek skyscrapers and mirrored windows, some of us might peel our eyes from the road to glimpse ourselves on our bikes. Sure, it might look sweet, a man—or a woman—on his or her bike. Anyone who’s ever driven a machine with a motor, especially a two or three wheeled machine can instead realize how such an act will translate into the opposite of safety. Pedestrians, bicyclists, open car doors, or stalled traffic can end things fast.
Riding too closely behind a vehicle always offers an opportunity for potential disaster. If a car rides another car’s bumper, it could be in trouble if the car in front must abruptly stop. If wee ride too closely to a vehicle, we can experience far more dangerous repercussions. If the car or truck ahead slows down unexpectedly, or stops altogether, our impulse might be to swerve, which can drop us like a sack of potatoes. There’s nothing dumber than a biker and his or her bike sliding down the street when they could have easily avoided it.
We could go on and on about dumb things we do—from forgetting to raise our kick stand, to playing with our visors while driving. These 5 are more serious, though, and can land an otherwise responsible biker in a world of pain, or legal trouble.