Originally Posted by randyo
which tells me its a shitty place to live if ya have that much traffic
There is no traffic for bikes. Zero. None.
And the thing about lane splitting that most people don't 'get' is that it is not just a freeway thing. *Every* red light you ride to the front and have open road, all the time.
SoCal in general also has wider roads than most places, and drivers generally pull over for you. On the freeways they drive in the left side of the left lane and pull right in the next. At stop lights same thing, there is usually a 6' bike lane right up to the front of the intersection.
AND because bikes can and do appear out of nowhere, in larger cities in CA drivers actually do *LOOK* for motorcycles before changing lanes. There's still idiots, but on the whole a driver will actually *look* in the mirror and look back a ways before doing a crazy ivan turn right in front of you. Bikes get a *lot* more respect in SoCal.
It's very noticeable when you leave; particularly here in Wa you're lucky if they glance and once they decided there's not a semi there they will go three lanes over. Which brings up another point, if there IS a semi there they won't move into it, which makes that a pretty safe place for a bike to be.
California enforcement is also RADICALLY different than anywhere else, particularly SoCal. CHP in SoCal is so crazy outnumbered, they are looking for idiots. They are trying to keep traffic flowing smoothly, stopping reckless drivers, drunks, road rage, criminals... They are not just trying to generate revenue. When traffic is flowing I've been driving along with everyone else at 90+ and been PASSED by a cop. They can and will actually issue a ticket for going too slow.