Lane Splitting-Life Changing

I went on a group ride today. We got started late, so it was short ride up Pacific Coast Highway. On the way back the traffic was terrible, barely moving. The ride leader looked to me and gave me the nod as if to say, 'we're going down the middle' so I gave him my nod of approval.

We rode the middle of the lane for a few miles, and the cars were actually moving out of the way to give us additional room. If I did not need both hands on the handlebars, I would have pinched myself. Just when I thought I had experienced all the freedoms that come with motorcycling, the motorcycle gods gave me legal lane splitting. I have always been very comfortable with lane splitting. Perhaps it is because I grew up riding in the city and am accustomed aggressive riding that requires constant maneuvering and absolute focus. 

Also, I am certain my experience on the racetrack helps a lot. However, because it is illegal in Illinois, I refrain from doing it unless it is absolutely necessary.

I really cannot explain the joy I experienced today once I absorbed the fact that I was not doing anything wrong by lane splitting. All I needed to to be concerned with was the task.
So far California gets two thumbs up on having a mandatory helmet law and legal lane splitting.

I have heard a rumor that Illinois was considering allowing lane splitting for helmeted riders only. I am not sure what happened to that idea. I had mixed feelings about it anyway.
Lane splitting is not for everyone. It can be very stressful, and should only be done in ideal circumstances.

The traffic I was in today was very tight, so I did not need to worry that someone would cut over into the next lane abruptly. If traffic was moving a bit faster, I may have been a bit more cautious.
More stories to come as I navigate through Southern California on a Ducati Monster 696.

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  • The behavior of the car drivers is aggressive driving, Murph. Most American vehicle operators can use a healthy dose of education and recurring training, although I agree a strong PR campaign might help educate other road users to the collective benefit of Lane Sharing (LS).

    I read an article, written by a Motors Officer that tried to describe the different laws throughout the country with regard to Lane Sharing. California is the only state, currently, that expressly allows LS. There are other states, cities, and municipalities that do not prohibit LS, but have laws that prohibit reckless behavior while driving

  • The lack of legal lane splitting here in Chicago has been driving me absolutely crazy. The roads around here (and I'm out in the suburbs) become absolute parking lots several times a day. In the summer, my bike nearly overheats (and so do I). In the winter, it tends to stall. And more than once I've had someone almost hit me, either because they almost rear-ended me (way to pay attention, cager), or because they almost turned into me (mistook my spot as a "gap between cars").

    I would feel so much safer if I was allowed to position myself wherever I felt most safe and visible (and that allowed me to see further). I do ride as absolutely close to the center (single lane) or white dotted line (multi-lane) as I can in heavy traffic, without technically lane-splitting. This generally leaves me an escape route (and I have lane split at the last moment to avoid getting rear-ended before) and allows me to see what's going on ahead.

    I have also lane split in slow, heavy traffic on the expressway, and just hoped there wasn't a cop around. But I sincerely question why on earth it is illegal. You should see the traffic I deal with.

    By the way, why is it legal for bicycles to lane split, but not motorcycles? Isn't that a double standard, especially if the reason for banning it for motorcycles is "safety?"

    Wouldn't a motorcycle be easier to see/hear than a bicycle? And isn't a motorcyclist generally better geared for a crash (squids aside)? And motorcycles have mirrors and lights, while bicycles don't?


    It's legal in the rest of the free (and unfree) world. It's legal in California. It's illegal in the rest of the United States. WHY?

  • Why are Bicycles rider's not given ticket's like car's are i think its unfair.oprah had everone sign a no texing while driving contract. well i think they should have one for them too.i was comming home from work the other day i was at the enter section,of irving and damen, and this young man came into the middle of the street with earphones on and texing no hands on the handles. but thats ok right

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