Riding a motorcycle, even one as small as an 115cc scooter, demands that one be constantly aware. I often find myself reminding new riders in Singapore that the average driver they encounter on the street is partially blind. They do not see motorcycles or bicycles. The exception is bus drivers. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, even exceptions to the exceptions. Having said that, the one vehicle that I feel reasonably safe being near is a bus. Perhaps it is because most of them ride that they are on the lookout, I am not sure.
A common, and in my opinion most dangerous, attitude I encounter in other riders is the idea that being right is the most important thing when one is on the road. It is as if they believe that they “crossed no one, wronged no one. All the same, they’re [other drivers are] after me, determined to get me.” (Psalm 59.4)
Two observations. Being in harm’s way when you are right is no protection. In fact, thinking that being right is your best armor is dangerous. This leads to the second point; the being on the road is about more than one driver. It is always about the many. Besides, awareness at all times is far more important than being right.
The harsh reality is the as important and you or I might think we are, when you are on a bike you are a small fish in a big point of others that can destroy you.
It is easy to forget one’s place. The feel of wind and freedom is intoxicating. Once you have tasted that experience, it never totally leaves you. A conversation with a former rider brought a visible sense of longing to his eyes and voice. He missed the freedom. He missed the sense of being out in the elements, pushing an edge.
It is time to ride. Awareness, care, and caution are mantras that need to come with me. It will be a good day, especially if the rain to the north stays where it is.