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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 17:28:37
Subject: Road Manners (long ramble..)
From: Luis Anaya
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Hello:

I have no good way of starting this so I'm going to start rambling a
bit. It has been about a month since I started riding my moped on a
regular basis. Mostly used for my commute, 4 miles in a suburban
setting with different kinds of terrain. My average speed is about 25
miles per hour, expected for a Tomos Targa-LX stock. There are times
that it does not go higher than 20, specially going uphill against the
wind, other than that I complete my trip in about 15 to 20 minutes.

An average, motorists usually pass me by without too much incident.
However that I have discovered that turning left is a challenge,
specially when you have to claim the lane in a 40-50 mph zone, or if
you have to take a left only in a two lane strip. Starting from a
stop can be also a nervewracking. Acceleration is not one of the
moped's strongest suit. I usually take the middle of the lane
approaching a stop sign or a redlight and then bear right when turns
green so I'll allow other motorists to pass me on the left. My concern
is that you can not take too much of the right, otherwise a motorist can
cross in front off you and then you become roadkill, you are still going
at 30 mph. I have on ocassion ridden on the middle of the lane, and
sometimes I do that if I see that a motorist want to turn right.

I do not ride on shoulders, well, sometimes I do for a short period of
time to allow someone to pass and he/her is not sure of the distance
between the two of us. I do not think that you are allowed, however I
do not think that it would be a good idea anyway. You are still riding
twice the speed of a bicycle and three times the speed of a pedestrian.

So far I have managed ok but there are times that I think that motorists
do not have a clue on how to share the road with a moped. Probably
because you are not wearing a bicycle helmet and might think that you
can go faster. I have only been blown a horn was, and it was a polite
warning from an 18 wheeler operator, and I am still walking in my two
feet.

I personally think that someone that will ride a moped should take an
effective cycling course or read John forester Effective Cycling. Even
though you are not riding a bicycle, most of the techniques used to to
ride on pavement I think apply while riding a moped.

Well, with that said, how are you guys doing in terms of sharing the
road with other vehicles and handling tricky situations on the road???

Regards,

Luis

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