Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

A lot has occurred on the subject of lane splitting (or filtering depending on where you are) this year to include the following:

>  A complaint from one person forced the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to remove lane splitting guidelines from their website.

>  In Australia, New South Wales is now allowing lane splitting and Queensland is will be legal in 2015.

> has a petition to make lane splitting legal in the state of Virginia.

>  UC Berkeley issued a study, commissioned by the CHP, finds the practice does not increase safety risks.


The most important item of the year on this subject is the UC Berkleley/CHP study. The study shows that lane splitting is, mostly, as safe as riding in a standard lane. I can see this report supporting the movement to allow lane splitting in other states in the very near future. The report, titled “Safety implications of lane-splitting among California motorcyclists involved in collisions” studied the “prevalence of lane-splitting among approximately 8,000 motorcyclists who were involved traffic collisions in June 2012 through August 2013”. Some of the highlights of the UC/CHP study: (LSM=Lane Splitting Motorcyclist)


>  The practice of riding in between marked lanes to filter through slow-moving or stopped traffic, is just as safe for riders as traveling in normal lanes

>  Riders who split lanes are less prone to getting rear-ended; however, the likelihood of a rider rear-ending a car is greater.

>  Danger level does increase for riders who are splitting at speeds of 10mph or faster than the surrounding traffic.

>  They found that lane splitters were splitting at lower speeds and in slower moving traffic than they had been previously.

>  Time of day also varied greatly by lane-splitting status 59.5% of LSM were involved in collisions between 6-9 am or 3-4pm, compared with 37.3% of motorcyclists who were not lane-splitting.

>  Patterns of injury were significantly different comparing LSM and other motorcyclists. LSM were notably less likely to suffer head injury (9.1% vs 16.5%), torso injury (18.6% vs 27.3%), or fatal injury (1.4% vs 3.1%) than other motorcyclists. The occurrence of neck injury and arm/leg injury did not differ meaningfully by lane-splitting status.

The authors of the report have promised further analysis on the data they collected. They plan to look at things such as age, gender, rider characteristics, and roadway conditions to further dig into what exactly is and isn’t dangerous on the roads.

You can read the summary of the UC Berkeley/CHP study yourself at this link.

Last Saturday I rode with the Northern Virginia Motorcycle Club (NOVA MC) to the Route 11 Potato Chip factory.  Debbie had to work so she missed out on the fun.  WP_20130914_007

The start point was in Manassas, VA with a link up time of 8 AM but I left the house early in order to stop and have breakfast with Debbie.  We stopped at the Chick-fil-a in Leesburg to have a quick meal I then went to ride and she went off to work.

We had eleven bikes, several with passengers, show up for the ride.  After a short safety brief from the road captain “Chaz” we started to roll out…. But, one of the bikes had a malfunction, it would not start.  After a few attempts at “bump starting” it was apparent it was not going anywhere.  We confirmed that the rider had the issue covered and then set off.

It was a bit cool when we hit the road, around 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) and of course even cooler as we road down Interstate 66.  After the merge of I-66 and Interstate 81 we took the first exit (Route 11) and headed south.  We rode though the towns of Strasburg, Woodstock (where we noticed that the temperature was now around 55 degrees), Edinburg, and Mount Jackson.

Turns out that I-81 was the major interstate replacement for Route 11. 11 begins at the Canadian border at Rouses Point, NY and ends in Louisiana.  Route 11 is 1,645 miles or 2,647 KM in length.

Turning off Route 11 we hit Wissler Road (VA 720) and rode through Meems Bottom Covered Bridge.  The bridge was a bit tricky, it had raised wooden planks for cars to traverse, which caught me a bit off guard.  Going into a dark covered bridge with dark sun glasses trying to keep a good distance and pace while riding on raised planks….interesting!

A few miles from the covered bridge is the Route 11 Potato Chip factory.  It is out by itself, you have to want to go there, which we did.  They were not cooking chips that day but I have to admit that for a place that deep fries their product it was remarkably clean!  The owner gave us an overview of how the operation works which was interesting and we sampled all their different types of chips.

I liked the BBQ chips the most and bought a bag for myself.  I also bought a small bag of their “hot” chips, Mama Zuma’s!  Now that was a spicy potato chip!

After the visit to the chip plant we stopped for lunch at Johnny Appleseed’s restaurant.  The food was nice and the lunch conversation was better.  After we ate it was time to head back.  We took VA 340 North and I followed the same path as when Debbie and I visited New Market Battlefield (click here for that ride).

All in all it was another great ride with the NOVA MC!

This past weekend was not one for any serious motorcycle riding for us.  Saturday we attended an afternoon wedding and took care of some household chores.  Sunday we oversleep and finished our chores. 

We did get a short ride into town to pick up a few small items and get some lunch.  We decided to eat at Payne’s Biker Bar (aka The Downtown Saloon), one of the few “biker bars” in Northern Virginia.  The “décor” is biker themed and the menu has items named for bikes (Softail, Sportster).  One of the most amusing items is a neon sign in the window (see pic) that states “Better off here than across the street”…well across the street is the county courthouse!

 We have eaten there a few times in the past as well as visited when they have had live music.  Debbie and I both had burgers which were served on cedar boards (different).  The food was good and service was great.


The weather in Northern Virginia has not been conducive to riding motorcycles of late.  Today was the first day, in about the last ten, which I have had a chance to ride, and it was just commuting to work.  But hey, any day riding is a good day! 

One of things about becoming a good blogger, I have read, is that you need to post frequently. Due to the fact that we have not been “out and about” over the last few weeks I thought I would write about something related to riding.  

We collect bike related stick pins.  Mostly Harley Davidson Dealer Pins, but rally and event pins as well.  We have nearly 100 different pins so have I nearly 100 days’ worth of material to post/discuss, LOL. 

The pin displayed today is from Roanoke Valley HD near Roanoke, VA.  I stopped at this dealership (off Interstate 81) during a business trip to Oak Ridge, TN.  I don’t remember much about the shop itself but the pin is cool!