May 10

France gets Orwellian with 150 newly installed Trip Average Speed Cameras

Viva La France…I think not.

Disappointing news from France as they take George Orwell’s vision a few steps further than imagined.  The country is installing 150 new Average Trip Speed Cameras throughout their beautiful nation.  What does this mean you say to the average rider who graces the roads of France?

Average Speed Trip Cameras take a snap shot with a time stamp at an entry point and an exit point along a specific section of highway.  It then calculates the time traveled between the two points and determines whether or not the rider has been speeding. The cameras can be spaced as far as 30 km apart!

Crazy that a nation that is battling austerity, massive budget deficits, and an unemployment rate around 10% has a government that can still find the time to micro manage and monitor their own citizens’ movements around their nation. I wonder if the newly elected President will keep these once in place?  They are due to be completely installed by 2014. Zut alors!


    • Brent VanDyke on May 12, 2012 at 07:13
    • Reply

    This kind of crap… It just annoys me.

    I hope they only use it for those behaving extremely dangerously. I know there have been a few times that I’ve seen people doing 130+ MPH for stretches at a time (usually in a 65MPH zone) and I feel that if THOSE people and up getting tagged and taken out of the general driving population, I wouldn’t feel negatively about it.

    My fear is that this will more likely be used against those doing 5-10km/h over as well, people just getting from point A to point B in as safe a manner as is needed. Perhaps it’s a money making scheme? Who knows.

    1. I second Dimo J’s sgegustion on the Suzuki Savage 650 (now known as the Suzuki S40). I started riding with one of these several years ago, and it was a great little bike. He’s right that it’s often looked at as sort of a chick bike, which is a shame since the bike is so much fun and is really capable of doing pretty much anything you ask it to do. I did some mild interstate touring on it. It’d handle 90 mph if you asked it, but that was scarier than I cared for. Interstate speeds of 70-75 mph were easily obtained without too much to worry about. The bike was dead-easy to maintain, too. It has a belt drive (no need for adjustment or lubrication), and it’s a single cylinder, so there’s only one carburetor to keep adjusted and one spark plug to change once in a blue moon. I rode it hard on four-lane divided highway to and from work every day and still got 55 mpg this AFTER I had re-jetted the carburetor and done a few more performance modifications that no doubt ate into my fuel mileage quite a bit.Anyway, enough of my boosterism for the Savage/S40. The bottom line is this: you probably want a light, low-slung bike with low- to moderate power to start off. I know plenty of women your size and smaller who have ridden bikes many of them ride more than I do. The Savage I used as an example is just a hair over 400 lbs soaking wet with a full tank of gas and oil in the crankcase. It’s easy to handle at low speed in parking lots and the like, too. You need something like that, so it will inspire confidence and teach you the basics of riding in a package that won’t scare or intimidate you too much. Then, you can move up to something bigger in a couple of years or you might never move up! There are times even I wish I hadn’t sold my old Savage (even though, at 6’3″, it was a bit small for me!)Some bikes I’d recommend you check out:* Suzuki Savage 650 / S40* Suzuki GZ250* Suzuki TU250* Suzuki GS500E / GS500F* Yamaha Virago 250* Kawasaki EX250 Ninja* Kawasaki EX500 Ninja* Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD* Kawasaki W650* Honda Rebel 250* Honda Nighthawk 250* Honda Shadow 600* Honda CB-series (pretty much any of the “standard” CB bikes up to 500cc would be a decent starter bike if you’re not afraid to do a little wrenching/restoring in the first few months of ownership often have to do this to clean up the laziness of previous owners with these bikes because they’re all about 20-30 years old, and like any bike of that age, they need some TLC.)Go to a few dealers and sit on a few new bikes to see what you like. I don’t recommend you buy new you will more than likely take a minor spill sometime, and to do so with a new bike will be both expensive and heart-breaking. I just recommend you use the dealership’s inventory to decide what seating positions feel good to you and don’t make you feel like you’re in danger of losing your balance when you stand the bike up off its kickstand. After you’ve done this, go out and find used bikes in the classifieds, Cragslist, etc. You can try to find a used model of the exact bike you liked the best, or you can broaden your horizons a little and scan the classifieds for used bikes with a similar seat height and overall “feel” of your favorite new bike.YES, you are definitely big enough to ride plenty of machines that “qualify as a motorcycle.” Get yourself enrolled in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Beginners’ RiderCourse ASAP, then start searching for something that feels comfortable to you!

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