|Why wouldn’t you outlaw this?|
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this: if I’m ever riding in Minnesota and find myself in a situation where I deem filtering to be appropriate, I’m just going to go ahead and do it. If any drivers shout at me, I will say this: “Actually, it is legal. Check Minnesota Statute 169.974, particularly subdivision 5, clause E. See, the reason I know that is because a lot of people think it’s not legal, but, really, it is. I’m sorry to have frightened you, though.”
|This may be the last thing you read.|
And want to take a guess at how many such asteroids are floating in our solar system? Oh, at least 25 million. Or, well, the fact is, NASA can’t reliably spot anything smaller than 100 feet across, so there are at least 25 million of those asteroids. Smaller yet still-totally-deadly ones? No clue.
Also, there at least 8,000 asteroids that move directly through Earth’s orbit each year, roughly 1,000 of which are 1 kilometre across or more! A kilometre-sized rock would fuck Earth up, yo.
In ABATE’s reply (b) they said that I was only the second person to have ever raised the issue with them. But I got the feeling that their overall attitude toward filtering was as lacking in enthusiasm as that of the American Motorcycle Association. And in that reply I was offered this beautiful gem of a quote:
“It is important to remember that the average motorist in Minnesota is not as talented as those in… England. This is fact not opinion (we can’t even begin to grasp the concept of a zipper merge at road construction sites). This would make lane splitting very dangerous in Minnesota.”
|An actual “road” in Swindon|
The UK has roads that in some cases were designed almost 2,000 years ago, when the Romans were here. Look, here’s a map of Roman roads, and here’s a map of UK motorways. Note that the motorways are in exactly the same places as the Roman roads were. And that’s just layout. In some parts of the UK, the actual width of the road has not changed, despite the fact the modes of transportation have (for an example of narrow roads, check out this guy riding in northern Scotland). And on all UK roads, maintenance is notoriously appalling. The street where I live, for example, looks as though it hasn’t been taken care of since the Nazis bombed it.
Meanwhile, on top of our narrow, poorly maintained and overcrowded roads, and alongside our multitudes of angry, inattentive, aggressive, selfish and usually distracted drivers we have the joy of British weather. It is always cold. It is always wet. It is always blowing a gale. If we held to the standards of some of the American riders I’ve encountered, our “riding season” would consist of approximately one day.
|The best way to commute.|
I suspect that all of these things are reasons that motorcycling faces so many challenges in the UK. Many people simply prefer the all-weather shelter of an automobile. But that’s a truth that serves as a sort of filter: there is a natural weeding-out process to motorcycling in Her Majesty’s United Kingdom. And those
tough enough stupid enough to put up with all the chaos and climatological misery display a dedication that I think, on the whole, results in their being better motorcyclists.
As an American it pains me to admit that, but I think it may be true.