Motorcyclists Also Need to be Aware of Non-Motorized 2-Wheelers
How are you! Are you in Sturgis? Are you mad you’re not?
Damn I know I am!
Instead, I’m sitting here, chained to the keyboard and sweating like crazy with the heat.
You know, last month, I talked a bit about safety and being smart when it comes to things like maintenance – yes, my eyebrows are growing back, but I want to talk about crazy for a second.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the chance to take a ride up into the North Georgia mountains – not a long hop for me, but a solid day trip. I had told a friend that I was going and his reaction was that he would meet me there at a certain time.
This guy lives in 8 hours from there.
When I pointed out that the math did not work out well, his reaction was that he had done a lot of law enforcement training for the state and if he got pulled over, he probably knew the cop and he wouldn’t get a ticket.
Go 95 on the interstate and the only issue he thinks he’s going to have is the police officer he’s going to meet?
Go 95 on the interstate and the most likely problem you’re going to have is getting stuck in the bumper of the driver that says he didn’t see you. Loud pipes may save lives, but darting in and out of traffic will make you a statistic.
Now, the good news in this story is that my buddy didn’t get the chance to show up – his wife had other plans for him that day, and he ended up handling “honey-do’s” instead of his Buell.
My real problem came while I was up there and I had to deal with idiots.
There happens to be a really beautiful lake up there that has a state highway wrapping around nearly half of it. Some nice curves and some beautiful views, and it looks like the place God got His ideas for Lake Tahoe. As I was motoring around there two Sundays ago, I learned (again) that if you give a man a ten speed bike and some compression shorts, he can’t hear.
There I was, loping along in third, in that sweet spot before you really put the power down and lugging the motor, and out of nowhere comes Johnny Rocket on his pedal-powered bicycle, doing thirty-five in the middle of the lane.
Now, I know all of us two-wheelers are targets, but this guy is occupying the road just like a motorized vehicle, no brake lights, no helmet, no leather, earbuds in (!) and, as we started up the next hill, he didn’t pull to the side!
Right in the middle of the lane, doing ten miles per hour.
Double yellow line, curve ahead, and I’m thinking to myself “this guy’s asking to get a Darwin Award or he’s trying to help somebody else get one.”
And no horn can reach him, because he’s rockin’ out to his iPod.
My choice was simple – blow by the guy in a blaze of hydrocarbons or wait quietly to see what comes around the corner.
And that was when three kids in a Honda made the decision for me.
They whipped around the corner coming towards us – mostly in my lane – driver using a cell phone and going at least fifty.
At the next good place to stop, I pulled the bike over and had to get a smoke. I noticed that my hand holding that lighter quivered a little when I stuck the flint.
Be safe out there. It appears the idiots are everywhere.