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Grand Road Trip of Graeme Lowen

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Excerpts of Travelogue, Riding in the USA

Graeme explores the States as changing roads and places bring new adventures in differing weather, and happy company.

Text and Photos by Graeme Lowen

After last night’s fiasco trying to find camera and getting back to the motel, I did some more work with google and found a Walmart only 10 miles or so away that sells cameras.

The stop at the gas station and its method of pre-pay was quite a novel experience. I was instructed by the young female assistant to put the cash into the machine , as much as I needed, hit enter and out came a receipt for the amount as well as a code number. I went out and filled the bike up and went back to get my change.

Read this wonderful “view” of USA from a tourist’s perspective – only at Bikernet.com

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READ MORE TRAVELOGUES ON BIKERNET.COM — have a look at:
https://www.bikernet.com/pages/travel_stories.aspx

 

Why motorcycle lane-splitting is Legal in California but Not in 49 other states

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Why California lets motorcycles legally split lanes while 49 other states do not
from https://ktla.com by Tony Kurzweil

If you’ve ever been startled out of the doldrums of your afternoon commute by a thundering, lane splitting Harley Davidson and cursed whoever is responsible, you’re not alone.

But before you blast the California Highway Patrol with emails listing all the reasons why that congestion-cutting biker should be given a ticket and told to stay in his lane, there are some things you should know.

First, not only is lane sharing or lane splitting legal in California but the CHP wrote the safety guidelines as instructed in AB51, which was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016.

In fact, although lane sharing occurs in other states, California is the only place where the practice has been made legal.

But why?

Well, one reason is that lane sharing has been going on in California ever since motorcycles have been on the freeway, so it was important to set some ground rules, CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said.

The second, and maybe more interesting reason, is that it makes time spent on the freeway shorter, not only for motorcyclists but for us four-wheel motorists as well.

“As motorcycles are moving through, splitting the lanes … that’s one less vehicle occupying that lane,” CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said.

“It’s saving the average motorist in a car time … If we were to all of a sudden not allow lane splitting anymore, that’s a motorcycle sitting in the lane ahead of them,” O’Toole said.

But just because the motorcyclist has the CHP on their side when it comes to lane sharing, it doesn’t mean they can recklessly speed past you.

“It’s still a privilege … We’re the only state left, so it’s a privilege for us to do this,” O’Toole said

The CHP’s guidelines say bikers should only split lanes when the flow of traffic is 40 mph or less, and not travel more than 10 mph faster than the vehicles surrounding them.

However, nothing is set in stone, O’Toole said. It is always up to an officer’s discretion as to whether the motorcyclist’s actions are deemed unsafe.

Also, like motorists, motorcycles are not allowed to cross in and out of the carpool lane unless there is a designated opening.

“You’re not any more privileged than a car would be to jump into that carpool lane,” O’Toole said.

Motorcycles are supposed to be sharing a lane on one side or the other and cross over only when there’s a broken line marking an entry and exit point.

As for drivers, they can help out too.

“Move over to the left or right, depending on which lane you’re in, and create a little bit of a gap for motorcyclists to safely pass. It’s a win-win situation for both,” O’Toole said.

Ultimately, riders and drivers need to work together to save everyone time on the freeway.

BANNED : Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers & More

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from https://mrf.org/

Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers… What’s Next?

Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill into law banning the sale of all off-road, gas-powered engines, including generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. Under the new law, these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they will have to be either battery-powered or plug-in.

This law is particularly concerning because of the status California holds within the national economy. The population and market size that California commands often forces manufacturers to react by changing products nationwide, to conform to California standards. Additionally, states with like-minded legislatures often follow with similar laws and regulations of their own.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is concerned that this action by California, will begin a cascading effect that will eventually result in the demise of the internal combustion engine and the fuel supply tied to it. During the legislative agenda setting meeting, held at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, in Atlanta, Georgia this very issue was debated. Working with our state partners, the MRF is currently evaluating how best to address these concerns.

The final 2022 MRF Legislative Agenda will be made public in an upcoming American Biker Journal.

To read more on the bill click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. Visit the Website https://mrf.org/

U.S. moving to block California vehicle emissions rules

By General Posts

Two U.S. agencies are preparing to submit for final White House regulatory review a plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards and declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own vehicle rules, two people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: Two U.S. agencies are preparing to submit for final White House regulatory review a plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards and declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own vehicle rules, two people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

The Environmental Protection Agency in August 2018 proposed revoking a waiver granted to California in 2013 under the Clean Air Act as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards through 2025.

The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to seek approval to finalize the first portion of the rule dealing with California and other states before completing action on setting yearly fuel efficiency requirements. The plan would not revoke California’s ability to set low-emission vehicle standards that has been in place since 1990, the sources said.

The move comes as President Donald Trump has expressed anger with automakers over the issue. In July, four major automakers, including Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG, said they had reached a voluntary agreement with California on fuel efficiency rules.

California and other states had vowed to enforce stricter Obama-era emissions standards, after Trump proposed rolling back the federal rules. Automakers had worried that court battles between state and federal governments could create years of uncertainty for manufacturers.

The plan, also backed by BMW AG and Honda Motor Co Ltd, is more stringent than Trump’s proposal but looser than the Obama-era rule. California, the most populous U.S. state, accounts for about 12% of American vehicle sales, and if the administration recognizes the deal, it would allow automakers to operate under one set of rules.

An administration official said it was close to submitting a rule internally dubbed the “One National Program rule” aimed at ensuring a single national level for fuel economy standards.

But other automakers, including General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp, have declined to back the deal. Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board, told Reuters in July that the four automakers had agreed not to legally challenge California’s vehicle regulatory authority.

Under Trump, federal regulators backed freezing emissions requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026. Administration officials say its final regulation will include a modest boost in annual efficiency requirements but far less than what the Obama administration had set in 2012.

News Source: Reuters