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Old 08-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #21
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peddy's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
From: Sumner, WA

I Ride: V star 950
My input of Seattle. Ya you can ride here safely. Just look out for the Q cutters. They will come 3 lanes over on that last 1/4 mile to get here exit, and stop in lane 2 or 3 out of the blue to get over. And FYI they don't see my 80FT long fuel tanker. There not going to see you.

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Old 08-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #22
Banned Camp
 
Joined: Mar 2007
From: Seattle, WA
Blog Entries: 1

I Ride: BMW K1200GT, KTM 990 Adv, Ducati SF
It's dangerous as hell. I kiss the garage floor EVERY time I arrive home, thanking god and Odin that I made it through another gauntlet-of-death on the streets of Seattle.

Seriously . . . you should stay off a bike. You speak like you're afraid of your own shadow. A lack of confidence is deadly on a bike. Last thing Seattle (or anywhere) needs is another noob biker too scared to change lanes.

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:05 PM   #23
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Locutus's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
From: here going there.

I Ride: because I can.
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by FireDave View Post
It's dangerous as hell. I kiss the garage floor EVERY time I arrive home, thanking god and Odin that I made it through another gauntlet-of-death on the streets of Seattle.

Seriously . . . you should stay off a bike. You speak like you're afraid of your own shadow. A lack of confidence is deadly on a bike. Last thing Seattle (or anywhere) needs is another noob biker too scared to change lanes.
There is truth in this. He hasn't even got an endorsement.

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Old 08-05-2012, 01:43 AM   #24
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OP
 
Joined: Aug 2012
From: Houston, TX to Seattle, WA
Damn y'all, I'm rather disappointed with quite a few responses; some of you are just too presumptuous. In conclusion it seems Seattle tends to be a bit more relaxed than the hellhole that is Texas. I appreciate the serious replies, I'll be deciding after I arrive if I actually even need the additional transportation. I've already caught up on public transportation in the area I will be living, and my daily commute is easily short enough to cycle, so If I can go without the investment I will.

For those of you have yet to understand what I've been asking, I will explain just for future reference, should someone seek the answer to a similar question. I was asking for a comparison of the general attitude of drivers in the PNW compared to the attitude of drivers in Houston. I am asking not if it's "scary" or "too difficult", don't be so patronizing, you look like a fool. These are irrelevant factors I have no interest in, I don't give two fucks that it rains, I'm solely interested in the conduct of drivers in Seattle. If they're as stupid as they are here, it would be silly to take such a risk when I hold a responsibility to my family to provide. It is not a matter of "rider skill" or any of that ridiculousness, if you ride a motorcycle you are going to be faced with idiotic drivers regardless of your talent. If you disagree with me I fear for your safety, you obviously are not aware of just how pitiful the human condition is. I certainly will taking up riding in the future, when I am free from the obligations I currently hold.

To whoever assumed I was going to ride around without insurance, amen and god damn.


thanks for reading

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Last edited by sboman; 08-05-2012 at 03:40 AM..
 
Old 08-05-2012, 02:18 AM   #25
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Joined: Aug 2010
From: Shoreline, WA

I Ride: 2002 Suzuki Bandit 600S
The cars here, they have people in them. Some are good drivers. Some aren't. You could die commuting. You might not. It is wet.

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:29 AM   #26
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Joined: Jul 2010
From: Greater Seattle, WA

I Ride: 2009 Yamaha FJR1300
Never been to Houston but did live in the San Fernando Valley section of LA for about 15 years. Compared to LA drivers most of the Seattle drivers are pretty tame but we do have our share of people who shouldn't be driving anything. Maybe not even their feet for walking. I-5 from the south end of the downtown area to well north of the UofW is generally a parking lot. I think Seattle was recently rated #4 in the nation for traffic congestion. We also have an abundance of on-ramps that enter from the left and and left side off-rampts. I think Seattle is the only city I've driven in where I have come across that and it took some getting used to. You sound like you have give this some thought. My personal view is that I wouldn't want to be a new rider on Seattle area freeways or even most of the arterials.

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:25 AM   #27
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Joined: Feb 2012
From: Lacey, WA

I Ride: 1989 CBR 600, 1982 GPz 550
OP, driver-wise, they're better here than most other parts of the US that I've been to. As stated earlier, just be prepared for LOTS of slow traffic (drive by the Tacoma Dome at 1700...ouch) and lots of rain. When you get boots on the ground you'll see that there is a large year-round motorcycling community, especially among the adventure/sport touring crowd.

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Old 08-05-2012, 09:43 AM   #28
Training Wheels
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Joined: Jun 2010
From: Burien, WA

I Ride: 2001 DRZ400S/M
Get a supermoto and just bypass all the caters on the side walks, fields, construction sites, etc.

I sold my car and got a bike febuary of this year and have only had 1 person merge into me and one other try to hit me with his suv on purpose. I would say it's safer then phoenix but still be on your toes.

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Old 08-05-2012, 11:09 AM   #29
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Locutus's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
From: here going there.

I Ride: because I can.
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by inod3 View Post
The cars here, they have people in them. Some are good drivers. Some aren't. You could die commuting. You might not. It is wet.
This. There is only one way to find out. Lot of it will depend on what kind of rider you are. Darwin and Murphy will factor into it.

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Last edited by Locutus; 08-05-2012 at 12:30 PM..
 
Old 08-05-2012, 11:16 AM   #30
Permit
 
Joined: Feb 2011
From: Santa Barbara, CA

I Ride: Ducati Hyperstrada
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by inod3 View Post
The cars here, they have people in them. Some are good drivers. Some aren't. You could die commuting. You might not. It is wet.
I commute by motorcycle into downtown Seattle every day. So far this year, I've been killed 15 times!

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:48 AM   #31
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dragracer1951's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
From: Bremerton

I Ride: 07 XB12Scg, 03 Are See fiddy one, 05 DRZ470SM, 95 FZR1040, 69 Combat Commando Roadster, 73 Commando Interstate, 67 BSA B44, 71 BSA B50
I rode year round for 25 or so years. Now I mostly drive my truck but that's due to health reasons.
Drivers in Seattle have gotten progressively worse over the years.
They'll look right at you and move into your lane.
For the most part, they don't give a rats ass if you die.
Keep your head on a swivel.
Learn some street survival skills and go ride.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:22 AM   #32
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Joined: Jul 2010
From: Salem

I Ride: '12 Suzuki V-Strom DL650, '01 Yamaha FZ1, '10 Kawi KLX250S, '96 Suzuki DR650
I'm not in Seattle, but I commute year-round wherever I happen to be living. Right now I'm in Salem. I spent the last two years in SoCal, the previous six months in Salem, and before that, SoCal and the SF Bay Area. With some time in Reno now and then.

Riding in the rain isn't a problem with the right bike and the right tires. I would suggest a dual sport... a Suzuki DR650, DRZ400, even an older KLR650 (before they got heavy). Dual sport tires are cheap and the Shinko 705's I use are awesome in the rain. The bike is light enough to manage for a newer rider, it'a basically a big dirt bike so if you drop it, it's no big deal, insurance is SUPER cheap, and it gets 50 mpg. And they have enough power to keep you out of trouble but not so much to get you IN trouble. You can buy any of these bikes used in the $1500-3000 range depending on age/condition.

Since you're new, no endorsement, etc, take the MSF class. I consider it absolutely MANDATORY for a new rider. Take it as soon as you can, even if you're still in Texas. Then when you get to Seattle, find a bike.

Back to riding in the rain... you'll need good gear, and quite a bit of it so you're set no matter the temperature. I personally wear a Tourmaster (waterproof) jacket, Tourmaster (waterproof) pants, Alpinestars (waterproof) boots, (forge the brand) waterproof gloves, etc. Then when it gets cold, I add in the jacket liner, another undershirt, and then if it gets even colder still, a heated liner. The bike has handwarmers too. If you're cold or uncomfortable, you will be miserable and unsafe. Rain-X your helmet visor regularly.

Now, the whole safe to ride or whatever. It really is what you make it and your own skill level. At first, yeah it's gonna seem especially dangerous. This is partly where taking the MSF class comes in. That, and by riding as much as you do, you will learn to observe other cars and in time, you can predict how they will react. I actually feel safer on my motorcycle than in a car. I'm far more maneuverable, faster, smaller, I can get between cars if needed, etc.

Rob

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:30 AM   #33
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Wyckedan's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
From: Seattle, Wa

I Ride: 2012 RSV4 Factory APRC with OPRT
Here are some interesting articles for you to read. The first one describes the "Seattle Surrender" which is very very real. (#1 and #3 are hilarious)
http://www.seattlerex.com/the-worst-...-dissertation/
This one detailing accident rates:
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/artic...ad-2150920.php
And this one detailing very important rules you'll need to learn:
http://www.oz.net/~susana/drive.htm

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:08 AM   #34
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Joined: Mar 2011
From: Kirkland

I Ride: behind the girls.
Just stay in Houston.

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:10 AM   #35
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ninjaplay's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Sunnyside Wa

I Ride: 06 636 ninja xt 600 Yam enduro, Honda v65
People are People around the country. Generalizations do nothing other than label people superficiously. My thoughts are obviously different as I like the aggressive drivers. I'm one and it keeps me out of the sights of the stupid scared to be on the road types that do more for jamming me than the ones moving around which are more aware of their sourroundings!!! I fear not in heavy traffic or aggressive driving. Power and braking like a GP racer. Inexperience and being afraid of the unkown will keep you in the middle of the stupid drivers that are the ones that change lanes without really knowing how to look properly before changing or not seeing you come down the road and turning into you. Inexperience makes your reaction time to most any potential problem slow and slower. I'm not saying don't get a bike, I'm saying if at all possible try getting offroad experience first or at least very little traffic situations. Get up early on Saturday or Sunday when traffic is light. Every move on that bike should be automatic, no thought involved in controlling your bike completely. When I get on my bike it's like putting on a coat, I don't have to think about its purpose or operation. We were all in your position of inexperience at one time or another. I've been on bikes since I was 8, offroad first, it's a great sport if you can stay alive. No one is trying to keep you away from a sport that we all enjoy, if you find some of this forum talking down to you, they really aren't. Just pointing out potentials that might help keep you alive long enough to enjoy motorcycling. Money is not a good enough reason to jump into any sport unless it's paying you professionally. Dry pavement is also your friend along with warm weather. Practice in the best conditions possible. Fear is never your friend, I drive all over the country. Worse place I've ever ridden, Las Vegas, tons of tourist that are lost and they don't look before they turn when they see their destination from 4 lanes over. Every time I went out I would have been hit if I would have been inexperienced, usually 4 o 5 times. Don't like to generalize, but that is a place you have to use a lot of caution. You will learn that the gas will save you as much as the brakes and maybe more, but that only comes with time on the road, which we all hope you get plenty of it. Enjoy the sport, but don't get into it for the wrong reasons.

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #36
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Worldtraveller's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: Medford, OR

I Ride: Wearing ears.
Having driven (but not ridden a bike or motorcycle) in Houston, I think the drivers here, in general, are a bit more courteous. Not much though, and there are plenty of asshats, righteous rules lawyers, and holier than thou carpoolers, and the most common - left lane bandits.

I've driven bumper to bumper traffic around the ring of Houston at 80 mph, and didn't feel nervous at all, but that was back in the days before widespread cell phone use. Almost any comparison would have to be recent for it to have any real meaning, from that perspective.

Having said that, I commute mostly by bicycle. Most of my motorcycle riding is strictly for pleasure and errands where I don't need to carry anything, and only use my car when I have to. If you don't want to buy a four wheeled vehicle, learn the bus system as a good backup. Commuting year round by bicycle is entirely do-able here (just be prepared for a few days where you'll have to bus or drive), and drivers seem to a bit better around non-motorized two wheelers.

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Old 08-07-2012, 10:44 PM   #37
Licensed
Grankor's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: denial

I Ride: All the way there and back
The biggest problem with Seattle drivers, is that most of the baddies are in-attentive. Basically they just arent paying attention, or are too stupid to and need a bus pass.
My personal belief for it gettimg worse, is the influx of foreigners who come from countries where driving sucks even worse. Especially in Redmond/Bellevue...

I learned to ride in the rain, its not that bad if you take the time to learn and realise that you are responsible for yourself.

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Old 08-08-2012, 01:12 AM   #38
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YotaSupra's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2008
From: MLT

I Ride: Scooter
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyckedan View Post
Here are some interesting articles for you to read. The first one describes the "Seattle Surrender" which is very very real. (#1 and #3 are hilarious)
http://www.seattlerex.com/the-worst-...-dissertation/
This one detailing accident rates:
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/artic...ad-2150920.php
And this one detailing very important rules you'll need to learn:
http://www.oz.net/~susana/drive.htm
You forgot ....Which I am now convinced that Fremont drivers have enrolled there to get their licenses'. Especially after watching that Prius take 3-4 attempts to park....

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Old 08-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #39
Training Wheels
 
Joined: Mar 2011
From: Seattle Washington
I like it now, I didn't at first.
Once I adjusted my work schedule to 6AM to 3PM for riding things went much more smoothly.
Tried the 9 to 5 thing for awhile and it simply sucked, took way too long to get home and my bike would get stinking hot sitting in traffic during August.

I miss traffic both ways now and I've ever come across a drunk driver I didn't notice.
You'll hit a few Mariners or Seahawks game backups but the traffic cops here wave motorcycles through so it doesn't slow you down much.

I worry more about hitting deer and elk in the mountain passes than two legged critters hitting me.

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