But as a normal means of day-to-day transportation, cars are inconvenient, ineffective, annoying, environmentally offensive, anti social, boring and expensive. When I look at the time it takes to get around the city in the car and then consider what I save with motorcycle, it is inconceivable to me that so many city commuters prefer cars.
My ride to work, split between highways and city streets, is about 25 Km one way. It takes at 25 to 30 minutes on a motorcycle on a normal day. It take at least 20 minutes longer in a car, though sometimes it takes almost twice as long . I normally waste an average of 15 minutes by commuting in a car. That’ half an hour a day.
And time lost is just part of it. On a bike I almost never have to pay for toll and parking charges. Fuel is just 25% comparing to car consumption. And parking in a car, the RM2.00 an hour that KL parking lots regularly extort is unavoidable. You also usually have to park much farther from your actual destination.
You’re also more likely to be a victim of someone stupidity in a car. This can take the form of being rear-end or sideswiped because there isn’t room for car to escape. More often it is the driver in front of you who decide to turn without signaling and make you sit through an extra cycle of traffic light, who are busy sending sms messages instead of moving, who simply decide to park at a no parking/waiting zone. On motorcycle you simply pass these morons.
Need anything be said about driving experience in KL after heavy downpour or when traffic is interrupted by accident upstream.
Malaysian driver s have a lot of ways to alleviate their suffering in traffic. They talk on their cell phones (while trying hard to hide it) , they read newspaper, they shave, put on make up. They turn up the bass/woofer and play their music loud to test how well-installed their windows are or are trying to share their music preferences, while they sit in a deepening layer of exhaust fumes and most of them listen to radio.
There are traffic report on radio. Traffic reports are supposed to help you avoid bad traffic. That’s impossible as all of KL is bad traffic. Occasionally the report do hold useful information, and I quote:”the only one getting through this mess are the bikers”.
I have asked people why they commute in cars. Most of them say they never have considered commuting on motorcycle and think I’m strange for asking. If I press, I get range of responses. Some concern appearances “I’ll mess up my hair”. "I couldn’t ride motorcycle well enough” is frightening responses; this is a person who belongs on the bus. “What if it rain?”.
A large more disturbing reasons given for not riding a motorcycle to work is image. "wouldn’t look good to the boss" OR “I’m not a motorcycle person" shows that motorcycling isn’t as acceptable as we like to think. You don’t want the CEO to think his executive is a rebel.
The most common answers concern the risk. Certainly battling traffic as heavy as KL’s with thoughtless and unskilled drivers, involves danger. But there’s an unsettling implication here that you don’t need to be sharp as in the car as you do on bike. Here is a person unwilling to risk operating 500 pound vehicle but will go out in a crowded city with a much larger two-ton vehicle that can do significantly more harm and not worry about it. Traffic still involve risk, even in car.
Of course, the person who offer this answer is referring to the risk to him or herself. No doubt about it, your chance of dying are greater on a bike. I figure that if you’re willing to throw away so much of your life in a car, you’re better already dead.
An average KL city motorist loses 3 years of his working life getting up in traffic jams. Also that millions of Ringgit are wasted each day in spare parts worn out in traffic jams in KL city.
In 20 years of commuting in KL , I have probably saved an average of at least 4 hour a week . That’s 200 hour a year, the equivalent of 35 working days each year.
The Best Part Of It Is … It’s FUN
Don’t Waste Your Life and Money….
Ride A Bike And Get Our City Moving Again