In my previous installment of Risky Business, I looked at being vigilant and acutely aware of the hazards when riding on the street. This time let’s take a look from the other perspective, making yourself visible to other vehicles on the streets with you.
How often have you heard someone involved in an crash say “I never saw the other driver, rider, etc”. More often that you would think, this is actually a true statement. The driver may have actually been looking right at motorcycle and their brain never registered the bike as an object to avoid or be concerned with.
Drivers can get used to just looking for cars and other hazards on the road. Let’s face it, motorcycles just aren’t as plentiful on the roads as cars and trucks. It’s hard for some motorcyclists to understand this but as riders, we often take note of other bikes. Being on a bike seems to make us “tuned in” to see other bikes where drivers of cars simply aren’t.
So what can one do as a rider to mitigate this phenomenon? Let’s learn how to be seen. The following are some ways to improve your visibility on the road.
I like spending time inside the track at Barber when I’m here, but during the vintage festival there’s always excellent opportunities to get photos of cool, awesome, and sometimes just whack motorcycles. The vintage festival is a melting pot of motorcycle enthusiasts ranging from cruiser riders, sport bike enthusiasts, vintage experts, off road and trial riders, and just everything motorcycle. Take a few hours to walk the paddock, the swap meet, and the fan zone and you’re bound to see something you’ve never seen before (or maybe never wanted to see). Hit the continue reading link to see more photos from our first day here at the vintage festival.
Kevin and I had the very unique opportunity to see and hear a 1913 Sears Dreadnought Deluxe motorcycle this morning here at he Barber Motorsports Park this morning. This weekend Barber is hosting their 12th annual Vintage Festival and while there are plenty of “old” motorcycles around the facility and grounds right now, this particular bike is a living piece of history.
It is estimated that there are only ten of these bikes in existence at this time with one of them currently residing at the Guggenheim. For this weekend at least, we know where a second of those ten are. As we walked the paddock this we came around the corner facing the BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta tent. Out front we saw Bill Kurtz, a master technician and vintage specialist for the dealership with the Dreadnought already started and running.
Kevin was keen to find out more about the bike, which at the time we had no idea what a treasure it was, so he walked over to discover more about the Dreadnought and Bill. We had a great conversation with Bill and Kevin is busy writing up his thoughts to be published here later this weekend. We have some video footage of our time with Bill too but it was very loud in the paddock so we’ll see what we can make out. In the mean time here are a couple of photos of the machine and the man in question.