Our filtering behavior

Here, on the land of koalas, kangaroos and “oh crap I didn’t know I was a dual-citizen” politicians, most of our states have finally decided to legalize what most mottorraddicts have been doing for most of their riding lives: filtering.

I’m not going to discuss (this time) what I think of each of the different aberrations… pardon… implementations of the filtering laws in each state (never-mind the fact that they are different per se).

What I would like to point out are a few facts that “we” (the blokes and gals on two wheels) seem to forget while taking advantage of that privilege:

  • Most people on cars don’t like you, the fact they are stuck in traffic and most certainly the fact that you are not.
  • Most people on cars aren’t aware that you are coming in-between vehicles or in the emergency lane.
  • A lot of these folk are not aware that filtering is legal and they most certainly do not know the specifics of the rules.
  • A small percentage of them are just absolute idiots that have no place on the road (and that’s ok because a small percentage of “us” are just idiots that have no place on the road).

I think most of you agree with this facts.

Having that into account, taking into consideration the risks associated with the task (to filter) and the benefits for all of us if we can reduce the percentage of drivers in the categories above, it strikes me as… let’s call it short-sighted the behavior we sometimes produce while filtering.

Instead of trying to point out all the things that you might be doing that annoy the drivers, I thought I would put down a small list of things that might put us all in a better light:

  • When a driver moves to the side to give you some room, give him a courtesy nod or a wave. We all like some positive reinforcement.
  • Filter at a small speed differential from the cars around you. Not only that will save you from being the next star on the latest youtube video named “Mum, I butt-raped a van!” it will prevent you from scaring the crap out of drivers that are not expecting you.
  • Indicate when moving from behind vehicles to filter and to/from the emergency lane.
  • Avoid snaking around between lanes. You are already faster than those poor folk on their cage-mobiles. No need to show them your Gymkhana skills.
  • Check your mirrors regularly for other riders while filtering. Let them go by if they are of the impatient kind.
  • Finally, if you find an idiot obstructing you, wait patiently and ignore him. A confrontation of any sorts is what he’s looking for and any of those episodes of road-rage just serve to stress you and everyone around you. Nobody likes stress.

Happy commute.

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