If I Had A Cage… I’d Be Done By Now.Posted: May 4, 2010 Hubby and I decide to go on a little photo shoot to take some pics of me on the new bike. I suit up in my Yu Lady onesie for the first time in who knows how many weeks. I’m sweating as I pull that thing up, since I haven’t been exactly living the healthy lifestyle by eating right and working out. Phew. A little tighter than I remembered, but I’m still sort of in Dainese shape. I have to get gas and we agree to meet at ‘the corner’ to get busy. On the way over there I feel sort of off… I don’t know how to explain it. Just off somehow, not in tune… as I make the first pass by hubby (he had set up while I was fueling) I know I’m not feeling it. I do several more passes, at one of which I have an encounter of the blue kind and am glad I’m sort of going the speed limit, my feeling of ‘offness’ intensifies. I finally pull up next to hubby and ask him to meet me in the church parking lot. There I tell him that the corner sucks balls and I want to go somewhere else, that I’m not feeling it and I can’t get enough lean on this curve on the S1000RR. He isn’t happy, but he humors me. He wants to know where I want to go… I think for a while, then tell him about the spot I have in mind… I place it wrong from memory, but he figures out which corner I’m talking about and tells me to follow him. We get on the Interstate and a few miles down the road, I have an experience that I’d rather forget.
Traffic is medium-heavy. I’m following behind hubby’s truck, changing into the fast lane when I see a semi-truck pulled over on the shoulder, which is the reason hubby’s changing lanes. He passes another semi-truck in the ‘Granny Lane’ (the right lane) and as I come up on him, I see that he has his left turn signal on, apparently he wants to get over, too. Decision time. My first impulse tells me to speed up, get out of this guy’s way, followed by the thought of ‘you always speed up; slowing down is never an option for you’ spoken in my hubby’s voice from a conversation we had after he bought me the Beemer and chewed my ass for a good four hours while I was at work. Mind you, this wasn’t a lecture, this was a serious conversation about riding style, skill, and being a squid and I had it coming. He just held his tongue for almost a month until he had purchased me another bike, so I wouldn’t think it was about the money or the wrecked Hayabusa. I deserved it. I was an idiot by riding what is essentially a drag bike the way I did. I dragged tail pipe, in a left turn from a stop at an intersection. I’d say this lecture was long overdue. However, I didn’t like to hear it. Meanwhile, I’m rolling towards uncertainty, torn. My riding in traffic has always been proactive, decisive and aggressive when need be. I read patterns, I see, I act to stay out of trouble. My riding style and how I deal with traffic around me is certainly different from my husband’s. When we ride together and traffic gets bad, it’s each (wo)man for himself. I pick my way, he picks his. I usually end up ahead of him, because I use my power and maneuverability I have over cars to my advantage. There’s a reason why I refer to this as ‘Combat Commuting’. He doesn’t like it, but neither do I like the way he rides in traffic. I think his way is dangerous, he thinks my way is. We agreed to disagree, since we’re both keeping it rubber side down and out of harm’s way. Our respective methods work for us. Torn, I make the decision to slow down, but the semi is not getting over. His turn signal is still on and he’s progressively slowing down. I don’t know what he’s going to do. I CAN’T READ HIM!!! I am now past the point of gunning it past him and I do NOT want to end up in his blind spot when he finally does make a move. Suddenly, I hear horns blaring, I jerk my head left and see a silver SUV blowing past me on the left-side rumble strip, which is too narrow to be called a shoulder. He’s throwing up rocks as he whips past me. At this moment all sanity leaves me. My overactive imagination treats me to a mental video detailing what would have happened if he had hit me squarely in the ass. I see myself exploding and body parts raining all over I-20 West. I would have died not knowing I was dead. I would have just ceased to exist. I don’t want to die like that. I want to stare death straight in the face and see it coming! I want a transition between life and death, for crying out loud! Body parts. I shake myself and rip it like I’ve never ripped it before. I pass the SUV, who no doubt had not paid attention to the massive slow down that was caused by the bottlenecking of vehicles around the stopped truck on shoulder. I wonder if he had dropped his phone while he saw my tail lit up by brake lights closing in on him at a surreal rate of speed. I can’t shake it. My breath is rapid, but yet I remain calm and in control of my machine. I’m not scared. I don’t know how to describe what I’m going through. Not fear. Not shock. Maybe awe. I don’t know. I’m dumbfounded, really. I feel disconnected from my decision and I recite in my head over and over that I should have went with my first instinct. Gun it and get the fuck out. Yeah, that was one hell of a bad judgment call. ONE HELLA BRAINFART!We get to our destination and I make a u-turn, pull up next to hubby and tell him that I’m not feeling it and I just want to go the fuck home. He looks at me with concern: “Something happen?” – “You could say that.” – “You ok.” – “Yes, I’m fine.” – “What happened?” – “On I-20… that truck…” – “What?” – “Can’t talk about it right now, let’s just go.” He follows me. I’m going the wrong direction. I’m frustrated. Ah, hell with this. I get back on I-20, then get off on the next exit and pull over at a lane for a mobile weigh station setup, which is currently unused and vacant. I park my bike and get into the truck. I explain. We get into an argument, he apologizes. I apologize. Other stuff comes up, we’re a mess. We both apologize again.
Fuck me, if this doesn’t fall into the ‘ride your own ride’ category. He feels like I’m blaming him. I’m not trying to, I’m just trying to make him understand what led up to the brainfart that could have made me go bye-bye in the most glorious of meat explosions ever. No Special FX needed. I shouldn’t have brought it up. I knew how it would sound, but I also needed to talk to my best friend, the one person in my life I trust implicitly. But some things have no place there. This is one of them. I’m at wit’s end. Two in a row! TWO IN A FUCKING ROW! Yesterday, I came within fractions of an inch of a collision with some jackass who decides to cut me off at the last possible second. Now this? If I had a car I’d be done with street riding. I really am not having any fun at the moment… and I’m still not scared. WTF?
I feel like the life got sucked right out of me. Now what am I going to do to keep my sanity? Do drugs? Become an alcoholic or pay a shrink $150/hour? Meh.
I’m better than this.
Hubby told me later on that these trucks belonged to the same carnie outfit, the one with the left turn signal on? Wasn’t his turn signal at all. He had his four-way flashers on, but had a few bulbs out. Same goes for his buddy on the shoulder (who was still moving, DRIVING very slowly), four-ways on, but a few bulbs short of a proper signal. SOMEBODY GIVE THESE FUCKWADS A GODDAMN TICKET!