It hurts my feelings when you splash me. Photo: Sylvia Liber
Wait, no, now it is you. Why are you driving so close? I said I needed space! But that doesn’t mean we should stop seeing each other – could you please just turn your lights on?
Nothing makes me want to break up with drivers more than their terrible wet weather habits. And Canberrans seem to bring out the worst in me.
No it’s not funny, and yes it does hurt my feelings. Hitting those big puddles at speed...
Perhaps my bias is borne from the fact that I primarily commute on two wheels – no, not wearing lycra, but yes, with a 600cc engine between my legs.
I think we should see more of each other... so turn your bloody lights on! Photo: Rohan Thomson
As a motorcyclist, you become hyper-aware of potential threats on the road, mostly because their deadliness is uber-apparent. You might survive a slight slide in the comfort of your four-wheel, completely-enclosed car, but as soon as I lock my wheels in the wet, I’m going down.
So here are five habits you should break, should you value your life, my life, and our relationship:
Being apart makes the heart grow fonder
It's not you... it's me. Wait, no, now it is you... Photo: Jay Cronan
I’m not sure if it’s a sign of friendliness or aggression, but Canberrans seem to love being close to one another. That’s fine when you’re cosying up in a queue at the warm, dry coffee shop, but not so when we’re out on the wet roads. In fact, the closer you drive to my saturated butt, the slower I’m going to go because I’ll need the extra stopping distance ahead to account for your lack of stopping distance behind.
I think we should see more of each other
Visibility in the rain is, obviously, reduced. So just turn your bloody lights on, please? It’s not so you can see the road ahead (although it will help at night), but more so I can see you and we can avoid that awkward moment when we bump into each other casually changing lanes on the Monaro.
Give me some kind of sign, girl or boy
We all know this can be a chronic issue on the capital’s roads – a lack of indicating. Using your blinkers when it’s raining is even more important, because I can’t easily slam to a halt when you decide to turn right in front of me in the roundabout, nor can I predict your next move when you’re weaving lanes perilously close to other cars up ahead.
I'm already wet, so let’s not get wild
No it’s not funny, and yes it does hurt my feelings. Hitting those big puddles at speed might look like fun, especially when you get a chance to splash the hapless biker, but it can actually be really dangerous. Hydroplaning or aquaplaning is when water comes between your tyres and the road – good luck steering when your wheels aren’t on the ground. Slow down, especially when there’s standing water on the road, and don’t try to zoom through newly-formed ponds.
Just because we’re comfortable, don’t let yourself go
Yes, you’re in a comfy, dry car, you’re warm and snug and couldn’t care less what’s going on outside in the pouring rain. But please, I beg of you, keep your car in shape. Broken headlights, indicators, taillights or brake lights, or tyres that are bald or have the wrong air pressure, and broken side mirrors are all going to affect your ability to see, be seen, steer, and stop in conditions which already make all those things tough. Do us all a favour and get your vehicle’s health checked regularly because I don’t want to catch any of the deadly funk that can come from a dangerously ill-serviced car.
Drive sensibly, and maybe, just maybe, we can all get along.