Friday, September 9, 2011

A Little Sweatiness Was Worth It

Imagine, you’re on your motorcycle. It’s beautiful weather outside – sunny, blue skies, and the temperature has just crept up to 81F. You’ve just spent the whole day in a cubical, and now it is time to ride.

You are waiting to turn left out of a parking lot onto a one way street. The street has three lanes and each one of them is full of cars. The one-way street ends in another one-way street a half-block away. All the cars are trying to make a right turn, but they are on their cellphones and are quite sloppy. The car on the far right is trying to turn into the far lane blocking traffic. It’s a mess. He can’t go because the other street isn’t moving either.

You sit and watch while waiting for a chance to pull out. The light changes twice before you get your opportunity. While sitting on your motorcycle waiting, you notice a ant crawl past you. The light changes again, and you move five feet.

Traffic sucks. What do you do? Sit there watching the light change slowly creeping forward? If you’re in California or anywhere else outside of the US, you lane-split and this story ends. But, this story takes place in Minnesota no lane-splitting or filtering here.

You look up from the ant and notice in your mirror that the cross street behind you is open and flowing. If only this wasn’t a one-way street. hmm…  You pulled over to the side of the road and your motorcycle off. The people in the cars are looking at you now. What is he doing? Is something wrong with the bike?

They watch as you turn your bike around and pushed it up onto the sidewalk. With the engine off, and wearing all of your motorcycle gear, you pushed it down the sidewalk like it was a bicycle. They look on in envy. The street just one half block to the south is open and flowing.

You push it around the corner and back onto the street. Don’t worry, you’re only slightly sweaty now. Your leg swings over the seat, and the engine roars to life. You ride away into the sunset. A little sweatiness was worth it. A beautiful escape.


  1. It sounds like traffic really does suck but nice that you have some options. Even during "rush hour" there is rarely more than a dozen cars at any light. I'm not sure I would want to ride in the traffic you describe. When I lived in southern CA, I used to commute by bicycle to avoid the heavy traffic.

  2. Well done, and worth the exercise! I have also walked my scoot a few times on the walkway, as filtering is also illegal in BC. Much easier to maneuver 300lbs though.

  3. Sometimes I do envy the californian rider's ability to lane split, but have seen it abused as well by squids.

    Nice job of staying within the bounds of the law.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  4. Here I have seen 49cc scooter's do similar moves without getting off and pushing.

    One of my favorites is pulling up on the sidewalk to push the pedestrian button to get the light to change quicker. Not that I would do such a thing, of course.

    Anyway, good example of situational awareness.

    Thanks for the share.

  5. RichardM: traffic does suck. It has been extra crazy this last week. I think the kids must have started school.

    SonjaM: surprisingly easy. might have to try it more often.

    Dom: squids abuse everything. it'd be nice if lane splitting could be done in the other states too.

    Keith: You can ride on the sidewalk in MN too if you are "leaving your parking space and going directly to the street". I might have pushed the pedestrian button before... easy to do on a scoot. ;)