By Talya Adams
I recently took a trip back to my home town of Clearwater, Florida. While I was home, I noticed a lot of bikers on the road and the differences in styles shocked me. For some reason, I felt like riding would be the same everywhere. It’s not, and I had a week to observe all the ways it differs from my riding experience in Los Angeles.
An insight I made right away was that many riders didn’t wear helmets. Also, the majority of bikers didn’t wear protective gear. More often than not, I saw riders wearing shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. I cringed just thinking about the possible injuries someone could acquire in even the smallest incident.
Parking was also odd. The riders parked their bikes parallel to the curb like cars,(no idea why). The first time I saw it, I thought maybe it was a one off, but then I kept seeing bikes parked that way. It never crossed my mind to park this way.
Another few sour notes were the lack of lane splitting, random rain showers, and the humid heat is like none other. No matter if it’s overcast or not, it’s always incredibly humid and gross out. I don’t think I could deal with the weather. It rained a lot while I was there, and the heat was at times unbearable.
Hands down, I prefer riding in Los Angeles over Florida. At times it can feel like a hassle to put on all the gear, and ride in the summer months. However, I now know it could be so much worse. If I lived in Florida again, I’m sure I wouldn’t be riding my motorcycle year-round. There’s no way I would survive outside of the winter months.
I appreciate the state of California enforcing helmet laws because it’s a lifesaving rule. I understand the intense weather conditions can make riders just want to be free of gear, but it’s not a safe choice. My conclusion is that all riding is good riding, but it’s definitely not all on the same level.
As always, stay safe in these streets!