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Old 09-26-2010, 12:24 PM
135 posts, read 361,013 times
Reputation: 106


I am sure anyone who has traveled the highways and byways of our state during the farming related seasons has come across a piece of equipment as big as a small building and capable of crushing a house trundling down the road.
You also probably noticed that said equipment, as large and obvious as it may be , had bright colored SMV ( Slow Moving Vehicle ) triangles placed somewhere upon its rear quarters and a flashing yellow light so it would be even more readily visible.

You may have even encountered our Amish residents trotting along in their various modes of transportation with like SMV devices also.
Then we have those pesky mopeds though capable of sustaining speeds around 30 plus mph which have to have a bright orange flag around five or six feet tall obnoxiously flapping as they utilize public roads.
A few years ago I discovered that all "mopeds" are required to fly those SMV flags , regardless of if the operator is a semi licensed minor in training or a long time veteran licensed biker with thousands of miles under his or her belt.

I discovered this while riding my little nieces newly acquired means of transportation home from the place of its purchase.
Thankfully I recieved nothing more than a warning for my ignorance , it appeared the officer was enjoying the site of me riding a little moped so much that he felt it was punisment enough for my wrongdoing ,, and I agree.

Last but not least , here in the small town upon which I live nearby, elitist snobs in posession of pasture pool carts are allowed to traverse the cities roadways, HOWEVER NOT THE STATES , ( a condition of their use those of us owning fourwheelers who are denied an equal right to use those same streets diligently keep a watchful eye upon for violations ).

My own two wheeled pride & joy which is capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph is required by law to have its running lights on as soon as it breathes to life so it to will be more visible to those I share the road with.

Now we are told that all of these various vehicles and means of transportation are required BY LAW to be adorned with these SMV devices or running lights for their own safety , as well as that of other drivers using the roads.
It makes them much more readily visible to drivers of vehicles traveling faster than they are capable ( in some cases ) we are informed.

We are all supposed to sleep better at nights knowing our nanny state is ever diligent in its vigil to protect its precious citizens from harming themselves or each other.


Upon leaving home yesterday afternoon for my self imposed hiatus and escape from,,, pancake day ,, and its associated B.S. I witnessed something that defies every bit of the above "logic" and in fact screams of complete stupidity because of its practice.

As I drove through our quaint hamlet on my route out of town I came across three young pedal pushers laborously traversing one of main streets various inclines on bicycles riding three abreast and completely blocking the northbound lane.

The total sum of their combined ages probably would not exceed thirty six, and I would be willing to bet even less.

Did their bikes have a bright orange flag flying at around five to six feet above the ground mounted on any of them ?

Were there any triangular brightly colored SMV signs mounted on the rear of their bikes ?

Did any of their very slow moving pedal operated modes of transportation have a bright orange flashing light that would be visible for a long distance bolted anywhere on them ?

Were they wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing at least !
No, unless you consider black metalhead T shirts and blue jeans as brightly colored.

The fact is, they are not required to.
Or more correctly, the lack of it.

Quite recently our state has created new laws giving bicyclist a so called wider barrier of protection that it is verbotten to violate.
Yet they continue to ignore this blatant stupidity !

Instead of making idiotic laws supposedly protecting pedal pushers from people who more often than not simply do not see them until its to damn late , why not bring them up to code and make them ( and you liberals should love this ) "EQUAL" to the rest of the slow moving vehicles out and about sharing our states highways and byways ?

Last edited by Mercruiserdr; 09-26-2010 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:30 PM
60 posts, read 194,225 times
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I'm sure it has something to do with the lack of a motor. I'd be frustrated if they wouldn't move for me.. As someone who uses a bicycle more miles per week than a car, I go out of my way to let cars go about their business because I've been hit by a car twice (ever so lightly, but one time ruined my bike and hit and ran). Most cars simply aren't paying attention on the road which is much scarier, in my opinion, than not having flags on bicycles.

I was riding down the sidewalk once and a car was turning right on red, and since I had the little WALK symbol I continued across the street, but the right-on-red car was only looking left to check for traffic, not to the right. Think about that for a second. I'm sure most people have done this before. For one, what if it wasn't me on a bike, what if it was an expecting mother or a small child? If you actually look at it for what it is, it's people not looking where they are going. What good is a flag in that situation?
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:35 AM
135 posts, read 361,013 times
Reputation: 106
Like I said I ride a motorcycle , I am well aware of the stupidity and blindness of the average driver.
However as I stated the lights on my bike are on as soon as it is fired up , and for a reason.

Amish buggies have no engine or motor , yet they are required by law to have SMV equipment , and I admit, it does make them much more visible from a greater distance even during the daylight.

So why not apply the same ideology to bicycles ?
A flag like mopeds are required to have would suffice , or even require bicyclist to wear a bright emergency orange vest or jacket as we do hunters and crosswalk guards.
And if they wish to ride into the late hours then they should have an amber flashing light just like every other SMV.

As for ignorant or stupid people operating transportation equipment , they can be found on all types.
I have been hit TWICE by people on bicycles !

While living in Dallas I pulled up to a stop sign in my car waiting for the cross traffic to allow me to proceed.
While sitting there fully stopped a little girl on a bicycle comes flying downhill on the sidewalk to my left , she apparently realises she is about to cross a road and goes into panic mode !
Instead of applying her brakes she instead puts down her legs and drags her feet in an attempt to stop , to no availe.
While doing this she locks up with fright and veers directly towards the side of my car coming across the yard on the corner then the curb and slams into my drivers side door and across the hood of my car !

I saw the whole thing unfold but there wasnt a damn thing I could do about it, a car directly behind me made it impossible for me to back up out of the way.
She ended up breaking her wrist and getting several cuts and bruises for her inability to control her bike.
Then if it was not for the lady in the car directly behind me as a witness I probably would have been charged with something and found myself in a lawsuit from the girls parents.
It seemed like everyone involved from the cops to the parents had decided the car and driver were at fault even before they arrived on the scene and heard the account of what had actually transpired !

For my part I ended up with a nice dent in my door that MY insurance and MY wallet finally ended up paying for !

The second idiot on a bicycle to HIT ME was some community college import from a third world nation late for classes.
I was on my motorcycle I owned at the time , an 1100 Yamaha , minding my own business cruising down 18th abiding by the speed limit of 35 mph when this moron runs a stop sign and flys right into my path !
I slammed on the brakes and slowed down a bit before impact otherwise I would have hit the idiot full broadside , instead I caught the rear wheel right at the axle and sent him flying across the pavement.

I was able to keep control of my bike so I didnt end up with a laydown Thank God , but wonder boy didnt fare so well.
He broke his arm and got ripped up a bit.
When the police got involved we discovered he thought bicycles didnt have to stop at stop signs , an obviously very flawed concept anyone with a lick of sense should be able to realise was extremely dangerous !
However one I have noticed that very many pedal pushers of all ages seem to believe in.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:00 PM
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,255 posts, read 28,460,273 times
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People still ride mopeds? LOL I didn't even know you could buy them anymore. I had a couple of them over the years way back when. Also had a Honda Express which was like a moped accept it didn't have pedals. You cranked a pedel on the engine loading a spring and hit the release to fire it up.

I get your point though and agree with you on that.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:43 PM
135 posts, read 361,013 times
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To be exact it is not a "moped" with pedals , in fact it is a scooter , "Yamaha Razz".
Moped has become a generic one size fits all term for about anything with two ( or in a couple of cases three ) wheels that can be legally operated by a kid unit.
Her grandparents found it for her and her uncle who has ridden and owned motorcycles since he was six years old was assigned the task of giving it an inspection for mechanical condition.

I was amazed to find the thing in pristine condition and extremely low miles with the exception of one missing mirror.
Most of the Razzes I have seen were trashed in no time by the little brats who rode them.
Then I found out why it was in such mint condition , it didnt belong to a Hells Angels wannabe , it was the P&J of the little old lady from O Town who only rode it to the grocery store down by the corner every now and then.
And it looked and ran the part, so to a new home it went.

Im proud to say my Niece has taken equally good care of the little yammer.
It is still in very good condition and now scoots her around Iowa City for college and work transpo , flag and all.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:18 PM
135 posts, read 361,013 times
Reputation: 106
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
Also had a Honda Express which was like a moped accept it didn't have pedals.
That brings back memories.
Do you remember the competition for the express the "Yamahopper" ?
At the time they came out with those I was in my late teens , and living in a huge clearspan basement of an old building just off of the Centerville square.
It was the hangout for almost every kid in town.

The old basement had a big rollup door and ramp from the alley on its west side so you could pull a vehicele down into it.
The old building was originally constructed to be an armory sometime in the early 1900's.

Anyway there were several of the kids who hung out there who rode,, mopeds ,, amongst them was a group of girls that alway ran around together.
I am not sure why, but they all rode Yamahoppers.
One of them with an ornery streak asked me one day If I knew any way to make hers faster so she could beat this guy on a Honda express who was always giving her a bad time.
( I know this may be hard to believe , but at one time I was rather infamous for my anitcs on motorcycles in this area , however old age and acquired wisdom have slowed me down ,, a little bit anyway. )

So we took a look at her little yamahopper , after removing the carb and exhaust and doing a little tinkering I was amazed just how easy it was to put a bit of kick in the little yammers engine.
The thing with her skinny rear on it would actually take off spinning the rear tire after I did my magic to it !

After taking a short spin on the hopper she returned to report it was now capable of exceeding 45 mph ,, which bothered me when I thought about it , so I warned her to be very careful, those tiny little brakes were never meant to slow that rig down from such astronomical speeds.
So with a brief safety warning she went on a hunt & seek mission looking for mr. honda express.

Yep, you guessed it already , it didnt take long before the rest of the Hopper girls wanted their rides speed tuned also.
After learning what to do the first go around the rest were easy , it normally took less than thirty minutes to get the big ponies snorting out of that 49 cc engine.

Then one day I discovered something.
While stopping by the local Yamaha shop to pick up some oil for my own personal ride I was thanked for helping sell so many Yamahoppers by the owner.
It seems the wild women running around town smoking any and everyone else confined to a moped made yamahoppers the moped to have.

Before long the little buzzbombs were everywhere !
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