Posted Jul 17th 2012 4:56PM
The best motorcycling advice anyone ever gave me was simple: ride like everyone is out to kill you. This sort of hyper-paranoia is great for keeping both bike and rider in one piece, but it can also easily tint your view of the rest of humanity. When an absent-minded teen wanders into your lane or elderly driver calmly ignores a stop sign right in front of you, the instances serve as proof of everyone's murderous intentions. It's as if a tiny light bulb illuminates inside your skull, underscoring in living colour that yes, these people really are doing these things on purpose.
Of course, that's not the case nine times out of 10. People are screw-offs behind the wheel because the perceived stakes are so low. But on a bike, the difference between coming to a complete stop and rolling a red light can separate getting home to the family in one piece and wondering where your right leg got off to.
Not every rider embraces this sort of uber-paranoia, though. We're beginning to think it's a cultural marker. The two videos below beautifully underscore the difference between angry-riding Americans and the often forgiving Canadian counterparts. Check them out to see what we mean and see if you can guess which is which.