I live within walking distance of a lot of hot startups. Working in the San Francisco Bay Area and rubbing shoulders with all the entrepreneurial royalty, it’s easy to start feeling like everyone has an MBA. Hell, I’m pretty sure the barista downstairs from my place has one to go along with his attitude, and I’ve interviewed lots of folks for very junior roles who had their MBAs in hand before they got any real work experience.

I’m a no-MBA, learn-by-doing hooligan, so this poll on LinkedIn caught my eye. The results are interesting – and for me, reassuring. The included demographic info is worth checking out. Sorry, no spoilers, you’re gonna have to click through to see the results. By the way, the LinkedIn poll tools are slick.

I don’t think the question is as simple as “Should I get an MBA?” You want an MBA? Go for it. It’ll definitely open doors. You want to be bad ass, work hard and do cool stuff? That’s awesome too. Me? I’d rather just jump right in, take stuff apart and put it back together again, whether it’s a motorbike or an online marketing campaign.

Does this mean they're sending me an iPad? As I’ve mentioned before, I subscribe to a lot of emails. Marketing research and all that. Wading through my “lists” inbox tonight, I noticed that the Costco has a Kensington iPad case with a built-in battery. Now, I don’t even have an iPad, but Angelica does, and I reckon with its already amazing battery life and the extra five hours this thing claims to provide, the iPad oughtta last us through the next nuclear winter, at least. And, it’s got a freakin’ kickstand, which according to that annoying animated billboard on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

So I click through, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A free iPad from Costco!

Ok, it doesn’t actually say I get a free iPad, but it does say “iPod not included,” which I’m assuming is intended to clarify (for the non Tech Crunch readers) that you get an iPad, not an iPod.

AWESOME. Placing my order now.

I’ve been riding motorbikes a long time, and I’ve been lane splitting since I started riding on the street. For me, it’s an integrated part of street riding. I’m not sure I’d want to ride on the streets if I couldn’t filter through traffic.

I’ve also done a lot of commuting by motorcycle, in some cases very long commutes (over 100 miles each way). My current commute is quite leisurely, at least in terms of distance. I ride from SOMA – across the Bay Bridge, some of the most hectic traffic I’ve ever been in – to Berkeley and back each day.

This evening on my way home, I encountered a new situation just off the Bay Bridge, coming into San Francisco. Filtering between a mid-size SUV and a passenger car in slow traffic, I came upon a large chunk of retread in the road. I’ve heard horror stories of motorcyclists being struck by these pieces of truck tire debris and have always had a  slight fear for them. Today I was sandwiched between a couple of cars with only a few inches to either side and I didn’t have much choice other than to attack it head on.

I quickly stood up and prepared to ride over it, as if on a dirt bike, veering slightly to the left. I narrowly miss the retread, but it hit my right foot. It felt surprisingly weighty and substantial, but didn’t hurt much. I wear pretty good riding boots – Sidi On Roads – so I’m pretty well protected, but I think if it had been a bigger chunk or it had hit my foot more squarely, my foot could have been injured.

Looking back, I suppose I could have braked hard and tucked in behind one of the cars to either side in an attempt to completely avoided the retread. This could have opened me up to a rear end collision, though. I also could have lifted my foot, which would have left me without two feet on the pegs – a bad way to be if I had ended up riding over a big part of the retread. I think I did the right thing, but I was surprised by the substantial weight of the tire, although I really shouldn’t have been.

When I’m lane splitting, I’m constantly scanning the activity of other vehicles. I obviously wasn’t paying enough attention to other hazards. Lesson learned: remember to look at the road, too.

Written on September 25th, 2010 , Motorbikes Tags: , , , ,

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Surj Gish – eCommerce & Online Marketing Expert / Gearhead / Musician