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Planning Your Trip

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Enrgkid, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Hey all, So from next friday I will be commuting to and from work and you know generally riding everywhere, because I'm licenced (Just want to get a bit more confidence around home before big rides so set myself a goal).

    So I'm trying to think of the best way to get to work, and obviously want to avoid jumping into the heaviest traffic in the mornings on my first commute, and rather ease myself into it.

    So my question is how do you guys normally plan trips and also, how did you go when you first got your licence and were worried about traffic??

  2. I just dived in, with no issue.

    if your worried the easiest way would be to commute before and after the peak, gradually moving your travel times closer to the normal peak
  3. I just dived in. Made 1 practice run outside peak hour to see if I could do it, then went for it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Sounds good, Im just trying to find ways to ease, I mean For the sake of keeping the girlfriend happy that is
  5. I did the route early Sunday morning a couple of times. Thought about where the issues might be - merging lanes, where people will cross 3 lanes to turn, narrow old roads as I approached the CBD (Melbourne).

    I'd driven that route for years in the Car & thinking about riding, I realised that it wasn't a very risky route for motorcycles. That was actually one of the tipping points to finally get a bike.

    The second Sunday test ride was really just to keep the Missus happy & an excuse to just go for a ride;) . I was real worried about riding in Melbourne's CBD and actually got my bike delivered from there 'cause I didn't want my first ride on the road after getting my L's was picking up a brand new unfamiliar bike, from the CBD, in the rain.

    I started commuting mid-week early when the traffic was light (and still do that actually) - in by 7am.

    Last Friday I had a Doctor's appointment in the evening in Richmond and was concerned about which way to get home - Hoddle street with 4 lanes each way and one of Melbourne's busies inner arterial with lots of crazy merging or Bridge road Richmond then Kew junction - old original Vic roads with tram tracks, weird intersections &c... Went the second choice 'cause I thought there'll be less traffic & slower. It was a doddle.

    When I was choosing my bike I asked a mate who used to have all sorts of hairy Ducatis when he lived in Sydney, why he got a scooter for commuting down here for the last 10 years. Forget that answer - he said he drove the route from Williamstown a few times in the car before he first rode, And this is a guy who'd rode in NSW for decades.

    This may be controversial & may not apply in Sydney, but I've commuted all over Melbourne in the Car for 30 years and I've formed the opinion that mid-week commuters are actually better drivers than those on weekends when the triffids come out (Triffids: vegetables which move). Commuters mostly are interested in keeping things moving, getting where they want to go, know how to behave. If you are nice to them, they are nice to you, usually.
  6. Second thought:

    I started off trundling around the local suburb, getting confidence & running the new bike in before first commuting (procrastination?). Dead quiet laps around the same dozen blocks. After a while I got out of the quiet back streets and ventured onto the nearest busy main roads, often in the evening when rush hour was still going. Easing in to busy traffic with just short loops around the suburb. Left turn on to a busy ride, than left off again in to the quiet streets after 10 minutes.

    Get in to it.

    Good luck.
  7. I agree completely. Commuters are also generally driving the same route, day in day out. They know what traffic conditions to expect, they know where they're going, and they're not stressing out about anything because their drive into work is part of their daily routine. It was much the same when I lived in Perth, too.

    Late night traffic through the inner suburbs on Friday/Saturday can be pretty hairy - taxis, pedestrians, and designated drivers who aren't completely sober. Traffic to and from AFL games is nasty too.
  8. avoid traffic
    if you stop make sure you don't get rear ended
  9. Yeah don't know if it' still there, but there used to be a bar on Wellington parade near the MCG (Cricketer's Arms?) and on AFL nights the un-sober would spill out onto the road when the crowd got large and happy.
  10. I started by riding outside of peak hour (left at about 6am and left work at 4pm, I have an hour commute from Gisborne to St Kilda) and my boyfriend followed me the first few times. It's easier to avoid traffic on the way to work but coming home it is generally busy even leaving at 4pm. I didn't do any filtering or splitting for first few weeks either and eased into that gradually. I was worried about traffic so just stayed behind it mostly and left big gaps between me and cars. My boyfriend was behind me and they tailgated him instead ;) Usually I will go through traffic to try and be going at the speed limit but if a car was doing 10 under in the left lane I just stuck behind them.

    It didn't take too long to get comfortable and now I am fine with riding in the heaviest peak hour. Saves lots of time :)
  11. Hi,

    What I did was get the map out and look at what was the easiest way to get from home to work without having to do right turns at uncontoled intersections and so that I crossed tram tracks at right angles ( Not an issue for you )

    My logic was if I knew the route I was taking I would not have to be thinking about where do I go next as i rode along. That way I could be concentrating on what I and the traffic was doing and not get flustered if I missed a turn. My route was about 15k's going towards the CBD. I did avoid the freeway for a while and took two lane suburban roads instead.

    Same as when I went to a new place I would plan the trip before I got on the bike using google maps and pick the leasst complicated route even if it wasa bit longer.

    Still do the same 15 months later if I am going somewhere for the first time.

    Cheers Jeremy
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. I live in Sydney too, and cross the bridge every day. I just dived into commuting, but FWIW here's a couple of tips.

    Make sure you're really confident at really low speeds, so you can oozle forwards with your legs up and in control. This way your feet aren't out to the side and potentially under someone's tyres.

    Adjust your clutch so it's as easy on your hand as you can get it. You'll be working it a lot.

    If at all possible avoid riding in the rain when it's dark. The cars all seem to speed up, the lines are harder to see and slippery if you hit them, and it's just a bad scene all round.

    As dgmeister said, don't get rear ended when you stop. But don't focus on your mirrors at the expense of the road ahead. When I stop I leave a bit of a space in front of me and have a planned space to escape to, if I see someone coming up too fast. It happens.

    Bus lanes are your friends, but be careful at side streets because cars are looking for buses, not bikes, in those lanes.

    Get an anti-fog visor (and keep it super clean). The extra stress means you'll be breathing harder and faster when you first start commuting, and you won't be moving enough for the normal venting to clear it.

    Once you get used to it, it's not really a big deal. Plus, if you use the bridge, your bike can get unlimited crossings for $90 for three months, which has got to be just about the cheapest deal in town.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I learnt to ride in Saigon, most of the time on my Vietnamese (then) girlfriend's little bike, with her as pillion telling me "you very terrible" when I forgot to cancel the indicator. Conditions were something like this:

    Once I got licensed in Melbourne, I found the traffic here a breeze.

    Once you're comfortable with controls, handling, etc. Just go for it. Start with shorter trips so you don't get fatigued, pay extra attention to traffic, don't push your limits, make sure you position yourself on the road so you're visible, and do NOT assume that driver has seen you.
  14. Thanks guys, Particularly @Huges, Seeing as he was particular to Sydney, I like the leaving an escape space, I'm already comfortable at low speeds I spent and entire day over in a new development doing u turns, and figure eights as well as going nice and slow in straight lines.

    I have used a little trick known as detergent on my visor and seemed to have worked so far.

    Thank you for your advice guys Ill be using all these suggestons, thank goodness I don't have to cross the bridge yet