the post date is actually 10/12/15 – the 1/1/2010 date is for database sorting purposes. I apologize for the confusion
I have been a motorcyclist for almost half a century (48 years to be exact). Motorcycling is about the anticipation of what’s about to come and predicting the actions of others around. You don’t put your feet down as the motorcycle stops, you put your feet down before stops – anticipating the stop.
So at about 515 this evening I was dropping off my wife Catherine (we live at 2618 Walton) and I see coming towards me – meaning traveling the wrong way on a one-way street – is an adult on a motor scooter with a child standing up on the driver’s foot rest.
The potential for scraping brain matter off of our Escapes headliner became high when I mentally visualized, as the scooter was coming at me – the little black dog that I’ve caught twice because it can squirm under the fence from across the south side of Walton
I clearly saw that dog in – my mind – cross Walton – surprising the driver of the motor scooter. The driver probably being inexperienced would grab the right front brake, flip the motorcycle on himself and the child.
Catherine looked at me and said “it’s not your issue.” When the driver of said motor scooter turned around and came back with another child – I made it my issue.
I am passionate about three things in life – my wife, my business and motorcycles.
I dropped off Catherine and pulled up in front of the house on the north side of the western end of Walton where there was a line of 10 or 12 children waiting to take this death ride.
I got out of the car walked over to the man who was a captain of the motorscooter – his wife holding a glass of wine in her hand came forward to listen to the conversation. She could have stayed where she was – she still would have heard me quite clearly.
I said something to the effect of “I’m a motorcyclist with 50 years of experience (I exaggerated) you are putting these children at risk if I find you doing it again I will disable your motorscooter personally. If you wish I will wait here and we can call 911 and get their thoughts on the matter?” No one made the request – I drove off in the WindyCityParrot.com mobile – you know where you can find me.
(I became a grand father Saturday) – To all those adults standing there along the line with the children – what is the message you are sending to these children about willfully ignoring motor vehicle laws – that ignoring the arrows on either end of the block is perfectly all right as long if you’re having fun? Hey kids adults drinking alcohol makes this motor vehicle riding event even more fun – don’t forget that when you get your license!
To the operator of the motorscooter who wore no protective clothing nor had the child(ren) wearing any
allow me to provide some engineering and math for you.
I did not notice the make of your motorscooter but as a longtime student of two wheeled motorized engineering I can tell you with certainty the engineers never counted on an additional 30 to 40 pounds of weight in “front of the driver” on the drivers foot rest. That re-engineers (on the fly) the center of gravity of the scooter
It also places enormous stress on the front-end of the vehicle and alters the steering dynamic which relies on an 8 in tire to negotiate the direction of 500 plus pounds of steel, plastic, flesh and bone.
It also places the motorcycle at odds with it’s own breaking system. Because of this unexpected weight placing unexpected results when the scooter was designed only for rear “passengers”. If you;re a geek what you altered was the Clamping Force (Fn) – the i Braking Force (Fb) and Braking Torque (Tb) which is what that little front wheel expected from the moving frame in order to be efficient
Traveling at a mere 15 ft./s – that’s 10 MPH a 30 lb child coming to an abrupt stop is catapulted (if not trapped) off the vehicle with a force of 300 pounds.
I’d heard the group of adults saying they should just go to a parking lot – which would not change the engineering of the motorcycle – but would change the engineering of the surface (vs Walton).
If you were motorcyclist you would know the term “tar snake”. That’s the tar they lay over cracks in roadways and school parking lots. They will prevent you from stopping quickly and enable you to flip a two wheeled vehicle if you turn into one at the wrong angle. If only you knew to avoid them.
The only way to ensure never getting injured an a motor bike – is to never ride one