Riding a Bike in Thailand


Riding a bike is a risk, but it's a measured one based on our own perception. We're not supposed to but we make assumptions all the time. We assume that cars don't jump lights which have been red for half a minute or more, or pull out from side roads without slowing of looking, or drive on the wrong side of the road.

It happens - you not have to wait long to see drivers expressing shocking road behavior in Thailand. But if we though about it too much we wouldn't leave the house at all, never mind ride a bike. The world would be too scary.

Generally other vehicles can only do two things that may cause them to conflict with you: change speed or change direction. All you have to do is assess their options and weigh up the likelihood of either happening, then be on your way. It's that easy.
Except when there's endless queues of traffic in each direction and only a few meters, or a few centimeters, between you and them, that's an awful lot of thinking to do, plus pedestrians and other motorcycles, and other unpredictable 'Thai-style*' of road usages to worry about. Input, assess, act, move on - it's a conveyor belt of information. The faster you can process it , the faster you can go.

Experience, makes the difference between thinking something and knowing it. It's hard to appreciate or explain the value of experience until you've got it. To want-it-now rookie drivers the notion of building an arsenal of experience through years of practice and applied, conscious learning is repellent and unnecessary, but it's the most valuable tool in the box.

* With Thai-style of road use we mean noodle or other push cars, which, without any warning lights are pushed around early morning, when the sun is not completely illuminated the town, around the streets of Bangkok.
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How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

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