Thursday, June 30, 2011

A note from the Dept. of You've Got To Be Kidding...

Progressive Insurance just released it's list of the ten best states for motorcycle riding, and placed Florida in the #1 position.

I just got back from a week down there, and while there are plenty of bikes on the road (and obviously some solid motorcycle racing heritage in the state) I would not rate it #1 or even in the upper half. Sure it's warm enough to ride year 'round, but it's actually uncomfortably hot for several months of the year.

I guess I could dig taking a slow cruise down to Key West on some funky bagger - if I was in the right mood and could find a Jimmy Buffett station on Sirius. But most Florida roads are long, flat, straight concrete slabs cutting through miles of decaying exurban blight. No wonder stretched Hayabusas are about the most common bike on the road; it's just terrain you want to get through as fast as possible.

I remember riding from Dallas to Daytona one year for Bike Week, and the Florida panhandle was one of the most boring transects in motorcycledom. (Hey, don't complain to me; Floridians call it the 'panhandle' even though it's obvious that the whole state is a panhandle.)

In fact, helmet use is so rare down there that I assume most Florida bikers are dying to leave.Note to Progressive: Did you even look at Colorado? Are you sure you weren't listing states from the bottom up? Something's fishy here, but I did note that Progressive does a lot of motorcycle insurance advertising in Florida on local TV. Is it possible that they've got great market penetration down there, and they're just stroking Florida bikers?..

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