Almost hit by a falling ladder on highway - Honda CBR 300 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-15-2019, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Almost hit by a falling ladder on highway

I was on the highway going about 70 mph (113 km) and saw a pickup truck with a tall ladder in the back. I switched lanes immediately (2 lanes to the left) and sure enough about 10 seconds later the ladder broke loose and it did not just tumble backwards, the wind and momentum took it into the lane 1 lane to the left.

A few lessons for us to learn:

1) Do not ride directly behind any vehicle carrying a load, a trailer, a bicycle on a rack, towing a boat, etc. Respect Murphy's Law that anything which can possibly go wrong WILL go wrong. Switch lanes right away or if there is only one lane then pull over and let a car or 2 get in front of you as a buffer before you resume your journey.

2) Give yourself plenty of following distance. This extra gap will give you more precious seconds to react to dangers. 1 extra second can mean the difference between a crash and a "close call". In my case this really helped me because the ladder first fell directly behind the truck and the started to tumble to the lane on the left. But I did not just focus my gaze directly on the ladder but rather I kept it in my peripheral vision because I also had to worry about cars that would slam on their brakes or that would abruptly switch lanes to avoid the obstacle. In many ways the cars themselves are more of a danger to me than the ladder was.

3) Wear all the safety gear ALL the time. Because you never know when a crash is coming. I talked to a guy at work that rode a Harley for 30 years and just wrecked last week on South beach (a car side-swiped him and then ran away from the scene). He decided to give up riding, saying it was "Just too dangerous in 2019, too many crazy car drivers". But he had no safety gear on and is lucky to only have suffered some road rash and bruises without requiring hospital treatment. The dude wants to blame the "crazy cars" but the truth is I have ridden with him and he is a sh!tty rider who sits in Neutral at each red light, blasts music with a bluetooth speaker, wears no gear and basically rides his bike with the same attention as a car driver drives a car (aimlessly and unaware).

That really is depressing. To see a guy that loves motorcycles decide to "hang up his riding boots" forever based on 1 crash. But if anyone wrecks and they cant explain exactly what happened or what they could have done differently to avoid the wreck......If you cant answer those 2 questions than maybe you are not ready to get back on the saddle.

But in my opinion this whole slogan of "Its too dangerous now in 2019 to ride motorcycles" is a load of bollocks. The truth is that it is no more dangerous than it was in the year 1999 either. Let me explain what I mean. The counter-intuitive truth is actually that it is getting more and more SAFE to ride a motorcycle as time goes by (In a big city I mean) and that is because traffic continues to get more and more congested as more and more new cars appear on the road. That reduces the speed that a car is able to travel. If you as a biker are willing to split lanes and to lane filter (even in countries where it is illegal) then it is actually getting SAFER and SAFER to ride a motorcycle.

Let me be frank here......traffic is only going to get worse and WORSE as time goes by. Our planet is extremely over populated and probably 30 babies where born in the time it has taken you to read this post so far. The amount of cars in your big city may even DOUBLE in 5 years. Not to mention all the redundancy of Uber drivers that are just sitting around waiting for a ping.

I have a CRAZY THEORY that motorcycling is about to make a HUGE comeback. YUGE comeback as more and more car drivers come to the realization that a motorcycle or scooter is the best commuting vehicle for 2019 in a big city. Its the most practical choice (for those that are willing to break the law and lane split/lane filter). I live in a state where lane splitting/filtering is 100% illegal. Yet I do this practice all day and every day. In fact it is the #1 reason I got back into motorcycling. I bought a moto because I got sick and tired of sucking exhaust fumes and sweating like a pig in a gridlocked parking lot for 60 minutes each way on my commute (On Miami's Palmetto Expressway)

Now the commute takes 20 minutes each way.

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-15-2019, 04:34 PM
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Nice write-up. And I'm glad your safe and sound. This is a good example why there really are very few "Lucky Near Misses". In this case, I'd say your observations and riding skills may have saved your arse. Well done.

To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-15-2019, 05:40 PM
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... Our planet is extremely over populated and probably 30 babies where born in the time it has taken you to read this post so far.
More. There are aprox 250 babies born a minute in the world and I'm a slow reader

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I have a CRAZY THEORY that motorcycling is about to make a HUGE comeback. YUGE comeback as more and more car drivers come to the realization that a motorcycle or scooter is the best commuting vehicle for 2019 in a big city. Its the most practical choice...
I hope your right, it's such an obvious solution. We need to copy the Mediterranean European and Asian cities where every second person is on a scooter or two wheels of some sort.

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post #4 of 15 Old 06-15-2019, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, we are getting to critical mass as far as traffic. Independent thinkers can see that a 2 wheel vehicle is the most logical choice to navigate these hoards of gridlock. When I split lanes (illegally) here in rush hour traffic there are some cars that get butt-hurt about it. But there are also others that get inspired by seeing me and it makes them want to buy a motorcycle and be just like me.

Bobbing and weaving like Sugar Ray around the endless line of cars. Its almost like that is what the CB300 was designed for: Carving thru the mess of the Big City traffic. In many ways I consider it the "Ultimate Commuter". Small enough to carve up the city streets and fast enough to keep up on the highway. Mates, we are truly blessed to own one.

The CB300 is the "King of the City". Smoking the rush-hour traffic like its nothing. Leaving the trapped cars in my rear view mirror to sit in hours of frustration while Im still moving.

Mainstream society is so locked in to the tired old narrative of motorcycles being "A death machine..........Too dangerous........You would have to be CRAZY to ride one...... Thats suicide.....Youre going to get killed........Dont ever even sit on one.......Thats for crazy people......You'll be dead inside a year........" and blah, blah, blah.

But times are a-changin'

People are getting fed up with sitting in the traffic and I predict that motorcycle ownership in the West will increase in a MAJOR way. But it will happen in the USA later than it happens in other countries. Because the poisoned narrative of motorcycles being Suicide Machines is so prevalent in the USA. That country i think is the most hypnotized with the fear.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-15-2019, 11:31 PM
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I'd take that bet. Over the past two decades I've been driving, the trend in the US that I've seen is toward larger and larger vehicles, under the pretenses of safety and comfort. People seem fine sitting in traffic now that they have phones and full-blown entertainment systems and climate control in their rigs.

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-16-2019, 03:40 AM
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I'd take that bet. Over the past two decades I've been driving, the trend in the US that I've seen is toward larger and larger vehicles, under the pretenses of safety and comfort. People seem fine sitting in traffic now that they have phones and full-blown entertainment systems and climate control in their rigs.
I tend to agree. As much as I want to see motorcycle sales grow there is no sign of it in the near future at least.
Further to the ideas you outline above, I also think part of the problem is modern parenting. The cotton wool brigade protect their children from anything that may hurt them regardless of how beneficial and stimulating it may be for them. Unfortunately, along with contact sports and such like, motorcycling also falls under this umbrella and is discouraged. And so the little Johnnies and Janes of this world grow up with an installed negative view of motorcycles.

Using my cousins across the seas in Australia as a snap shot in time I can report that their road going motorcycle sales were down 19 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. That's huge. You can only keep heading in a downward direction at that pace for so long. The glimmer of hope is that their scooter sales were up 26% so that's got to be down to city commuter growth surely? Hope so.

https://amcn.com.au/editorial/new-mo...le-sales-down/

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-16-2019, 08:25 AM
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Over the past two decades I've been driving, the trend in the US that I've seen is toward larger and larger vehicles, under the pretenses of safety and comfort. People seem fine sitting in traffic now that they have phones and full-blown entertainment systems and climate control in their rigs.
Larger vehicles, larges seats for our large asses to occupy, while we mindlessly play with our digital devices, so's we don't have to think. If we don't think, we can accept our surroundings, but never take responsibility for our mistakes, nor even acknowledge them.

To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-16-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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These are all very good points. And I dont really see any fuel crisis coming anytime soon. I think thats why cars keep getting bigger and bigger.

It never occured to me that people would just "accept" the traffic congestion, sit in it with air conditioning and electronic entertainments. So you think the people will just "accept" the sitting in long traffic the way that people "accept" sitting in a long line at the Drive-Thru Mcdonalds?

When I go to the drive thru in my car if I see more than like 5 cars in the queue I just park my car and go inside the restaurant to order. But I have noticed I am the exception to the rule, I saw a queue of 20 cars in the drive thru and when I went inside there where only 2 or 3 customers waiting in the line (standing on their legs).

Then I went to Supermarket that was crowded parking lot, hard to find an empty space...... I saw lazy people that will just sit in their car near the front with the engine running and WAIT. They would wait 15, 20 minutes or more for a space to open up right near the front door. And Im not talking about senior citizens or infirm......Im talking about just normal people, lazy as heck.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-16-2019, 11:46 AM
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... I talked to a guy at work that rode a Harley for 30 years and just wrecked last week on South beach (a car side-swiped him and then ran away from the scene). He decided to give up riding, saying it was "Just too dangerous in 2019, too many crazy car drivers". But he had no safety gear on and is lucky to only have suffered some road rash and bruises without requiring hospital treatment. The dude wants to blame the "crazy cars" but the truth is I have ridden with him and he is a sh!tty rider who sits in Neutral at each red light, blasts music with a bluetooth speaker, wears no gear and basically rides his bike with the same attention as a car driver drives a car (aimlessly and unaware).

That really is depressing. To see a guy that loves motorcycles decide to "hang up his riding boots" forever based on 1 crash. But if anyone wrecks and they cant explain exactly what happened or what they could have done differently to avoid the wreck......If you cant answer those 2 questions than maybe you are not ready to get back on the saddle.

But in my opinion this whole slogan of "Its too dangerous now in 2019 to ride motorcycles" is a load of bollocks. The truth is that it is no more dangerous than it was in the year 1999 either. Let me explain what I mean. The counter-intuitive truth is actually that it is getting more and more SAFE to ride a motorcycle as time goes by (In a big city I mean) and that is because traffic continues to get more and more congested as more and more new cars appear on the road. That reduces the speed that a car is able to travel. If you as a biker are willing to split lanes and to lane filter (even in countries where it is illegal) then it is actually getting SAFER and SAFER to ride a motorcycle...
I'm going to play devils advocate here...

There are a lot of people riding motorcycles today who, to put it bluntly, are incompetent in their riding skills & judgement and really have no business operating a motorcycle. By your description of the way your co-worker operated that Harley, it sounds like he's making a smart decision to hang it up.

A few weeks back we were heading home from a long road trip and driving through Denver on westbound I-70, when a squid* on a liter bike came up behind us and was lane splitting across all four lanes at high speeds (at least 90+ mph) through somewhat congested midday freeway traffic (traffic was flowing at a steady 65 to 70 mph). While some may not see a problem with the way he was riding, what I saw was just another ******* Jack Wagon operating a bike with complete disregard for the safety of himself and others on the road.

Not everyone "needs" to be riding a motorcycle, IMO. And yet there are many who are and clearly shouldn't be. Future Darwin Award winners? Perhaps.




* FWIW the only piece of actual riding gear he had on was a helmet. Every thing else he was wearing was clearly purchased at Squid's 'R' Us.

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post #10 of 15 Old 06-16-2019, 05:49 PM
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The only riders I ever see wearing riding jackets and pants (not t-shirts and Wrangler jeans) are on sport bikes. It's almost always the cruiser boys who wear half-shell helmets that don't protect anything but the cranium. Some do wear leather jackets...

I do hope motorcycling becomes a hit with Gen Z or the generation being born today. I think it'll have to, unless electric cars can become affordable ($15-20k out the door) with charging ports literally everywhere that only take about as long as it takes to fill a gas tank. I feel like those days are still at least two decades away.

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