I got a taste of the "other side" yesterday afternoon.
I like to think that as a motorcyclist, I am much more conscious of bikes on the road - I always make sure that when I see one while driving, I keep my eye on him, keep track of where he is in relation to me, and just basically keep in mind that he's smaller and harder to see than I am in my big truck.
Yesterday afternoon, on a bright sunny day, I was leaving my subdivision while driving my truck. To leave my subdivision, you have to go through an unsignaled T-intersection, but the road is straight, and you can see a quarter mile in either direction. I came up to the intersection, and I looked left. I looked right. I looked left again. No traffic. I began to pull out, starting my left turn, and - THERE HE WAS! To my horror, coming from my left, not more than 50 feet away from me, appeared a shiny red dresser Harley. Where did he come from? I didn't see him! I even looked TWICE! How could I not have seen him? I slammed my foot down on the gas and got my truck out of his way as fast as I could, and I saw his headlight dip at the same time, as he came down hard on his brakes. I scooted across the road, and he rode past behind me. I didn't even have time to communicate "sorry" to him in some way. I felt embarrassed, and I'm sure I gave the rider a shot of adrenaline as he saw a large SUV suddenly pull out in front of him. I KNOW I looked down the road, I did NOT see that motorcycle...and I pulled out right in front of him as a result.
Thankfully it was a happy ending, but it still makes me think. I was driving, paying attention, looking for traffic, the weather was perfect, and STILL I didn't see him. How about the 16 year old girl, talking on the phone and adjusting the radio, pulling out? What chance do we have that she saw that bike?
A couple weeks later, at the same intersection, I saw another motorcycle coming towards me. This time however, I saw him a good quarter mile away. Why? Because his headlight was flickering. The flickering light caught my eye and drew my attention right to the motorcycle. What was the reason for the flickering? He had a headlight modulator on his bike.
I stopped at Cyclemax that very day and bought one for my GL1100...and I will never again ride without one. It's a Kisan Pathfinder, cost $100, and was quite easy to install. It plugs right onto the back of your headlight, with a separate wire connecting a light sensor that senses sunlight, so that it won't operate at night. It operates when the headlight is switched to high beam, and it modulates the high beam intensity from 100% to 20%, four times a second. They are legal in all 50 states and all Canadian provinces.
Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
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