This is Tukwila, a city barely South of Seattle. Interstate 5 is straight ahead up the hill. Interstate 405 is off to the right of this picture. Motorcycle commuters here face heavy traffic every day. Real danger lurks at literally every corner. Besides sounding romantic, it's quite true. Mental skills are sharpened as riders watch for bogies. High awareness levels are rewarded by another trip that concludes safely at home or work.
Here's some bike parking in a busy college town. This is the spot in Corvallis near the Oregon State University campus that Stacy told me about in a comment. Yes, that's Sophie in the middle of the group. Here's another shot.
Besides dealing with traffic, those who use a for bike regular transportation learn to deal with inclement weather, dicey traction, road hazards, and many other things. This results in real "experience". To quote the Mastercard commercials, getting this kind of experience is "priceless".
I should take a moment here to plainly state something. This isn't meant to say that commuters are better than recreational riders. What I'm trying to say are these two things:
Recreational riders need to be honestly aware of what their "experience" really consists of. Not having an accurate assessment is like thinking our insurance policy covers something it really doesn't. A false sense of security prevents pursuing valuable loss prevention measures.
Secondly, when a rider's slogging through the rain, the cold, heavy traffic, putting on gear, and trying to carefully pack the bike, thinking of the great benefits can make it a little easier to deal with the harder times.
Speaking of benefits, there's another aspect, too. When we go riding for fun, whether as part of our route home or on a free weekend, we're going to be a lot better off having this experience. How so? Stay tuned for Monday. Here's a sneak peek in the meantime.
Miles and smiles,