After a 90some mile ride with Mr. Slow I went to the mall, sweaty and no doubt smelling like a real biker chick, to get my hair done. On the way home I decided to stop in and get my nails done, too. Promptly was talked into a pedicure. Truth be known, my dawgs could use a little TLC; they’ve spent the better part of the past two years in motorcycle boots. Now they are all nice and soft, and sort of womanly looking. My little monkeys haven’t looked this good in a long time. Two hours after entering the salon, I was standing in the parking lot hoping I could get my race gloves over my newly acquired claws. Tight fit. I should have had her trim them shorter. Texting is a pain in the arse and so is typing. Not to mention I have to take my track tires off tomorrow and put the street rubber back on the Pirate’s feet. We shall see how strong this gelled-in acrylic-bonded stuff really is. My cats do seem to enjoy the new finger weapons. Better belly scratches. 🙂
Of course, I get caught after dark on the first day I’m using my new tinted face shield. This ought to be interesting to say the least. There’s a dude across the parking lot watching me as I get my gear on and my bike warmed up. What the hell? Well, I suppose those nails and the new do, all coordinated in team colors, are already working their magic. Another dude pulls up, waiting for me to back out of my space so he can shove his car in. Uh, dude? There’s an empty one two spots down. It’s the American way, can’t risk walking an extra 12 feet and burn all those extra calories.
The dark smoke face shield isn’t all that bad at night and if it wasn’t for that huge pile of bug guts front and center I could see just fine. It’s cold again, so I cruise along tucked behind the windshield with my chin resting on my tank bag. Yeah, going 35 mph doesn’t really do anything for me. But it’s cold, the line is a double-yellow and I’m feeling a little funky about the levers. Those nails act like little tension springs every time I curl my fingers. Eh. This will take some getting used to.
A few miles down the road I make a huge error in judgment. I’m cruising along at 5 miles under the limit behind a car and finally run out of patience. These people really should know that this road has a posted speed limit of 55, but no… the majority of motorists traveling this stretch of asphalt insist on doing 45 all the way through. That’s just unreasonable. There’s gotta be some sort of electromagnetic interference in the area that short-circuits everybody’s need to go 5 over. Oh well. As I reach the start of the dashed line, I see headlights up ahead, but judge them to be of no concern, since they are still quite a distance away. Wrong! As I lay into the throttle my error in distance/speed calculation becomes quite self-evident. I give it all she’s got and get back over on my side of the road just in time, but not before I make the poor bastard I’m passing activate his brake lights. Now I’m slightly embarrassed, so I keep up my speed a while longer just to make sure the dude behind me doesn’t get another chance to read my tag. Gawd! It’s been awhile since I had a brain fart of this magnitude. I’m only human, too. I consider making an unobserved right turn and lose the guy but then decide against it. Hell with it. I screwed up. If he should catch up with me at the next red light and give me a scolding I’ll just have to apologize and tell him that’s a lonely one point for his team since I’m already two points ahead in the stealing of right-of-ways and attempted vehicular homicide by inattentive driving, in the past four days alone.
At the next intersection the light changes to green as I downshift into first gear, so I get back up to speed when a pickup truck turning right onto the street from my right decides to prematurely exit the turn lane and occupy my lane space instead. I swerve into the yellow striped no-zone that divides the two lanes of traffic and immediately get on the gas to clear the danger before I run out of space and find myself in oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, the sand that the county tossed all over the main intersections during our Annual Snow & Ice Day was still there, collecting in all the places where traffic doesn’t disturb it any further. I probably would have seen it, if it hadn’t been for that blasted tinted visor. The rear immediately stepped out, loosing traction due to me being hard on the throttle and I ended up in a violent fishtail.
All I could think of was how weird it felt; as if the bike was anchored by its front end and shaking its rear back and forth; all I could manage to do was not think about it and stare up the street where I wanted to be, all the while musing at how snappy the entire motion really was. I thought that if I hadn’t trained myself to hang onto the bike with my knees and thighs pressed up against the tank and keeping my upper body loose, I probably would have been bucked off. Yikes! I don’t remember really, but muscle memory must have modulated the throttle enough to keep it under some semblance of control until I cleared the sand and made it all the way past the offending vehicle and back into my lane. I found myself turning around in my seat, looking at the dude in the truck, as soon as the rear was back in line and behaving itself. That’s the second time today that someone really envied me my lane space and decided to take it over.
Earlier, on the way to the mall, I had to use the shoulder to get away from another moron, this one of the female persuasion in a huge SUV. Lady, if you can’t see over the damn steering wheel, you should consider downsizing. Seriously.
Thank god for 193 horses and 83 foot-pounds of torque. I freaking love this bike!
Tomorrow I’m going to get my foils done and I’ll have my newly renewed Girl Card ready for Tuesday’s photo shoot with Papa Razzi. Go Team PLD!
Since we had some crap weather heading our way, I arranged to have the Sponsor’s truck to drive to work and leave the Pirate at home. I was working nights and was not a happy camper when I was rudely ripped out of Dreamland not three hours after arriving by Mr. Slow’s announcement that he has to go to work early.I grumpily roll my tired self out of bed and throw on the first set of wrinkled clothes I find in the dark room. I am pre-coffee and not quite awake. As I shuffle down the hall to grab my phone I mumble something along the lines of an official refusal to drive. I stumble down the driveway and climb into the passenger side of the truck and off we go.
A while later, I am jarred out of my sluggish too-damn-early-for-this state of mind by the telltale noise of tires bouncing over the interstate’s rumble strip. What the hell? I look over at my husband eyes cast down, playing with his phone, which he is holding in his right hand resting on the center console.
“Are you freaking texting?!?”
He response: “No. I’m just checking something.”
That does it. “You should know better!” I’m incredulous. “I have to dodge assholes like that every time I go to work and you are one of THEM?!?”
“I wasn’t texting.”
Now I’m pissed. I try to snatch the phone out of his hand, he’s faster, but I’m more tenacious and finally succeed in grabbing his phone and shove it into the little space on my door handle.
“What the hell does it matter what you were doing?!? You are weaving all over the damn road! Texting fucking kills. What would you do if some asshole made your wife wreck herself? Or worse, kills her.”
He is starting to argue the point; I can see it in his body language. Then he finally hangs his head: “I’m sorry. You’re right. You are absolutely right. I’m a professional driver. I get overconfident when I’m in my own truck.”
“You do that shit when you’re driving in the big truck?”
“Hell, no! I can’t afford to.”
“You are forgiven. Don’t let it happen again. You know I’m gonna shred you on my blog, right?”
“You have every right to. I deserve it. I know better.”
Jamie, thank you for this invaluable resource for all those dumbasses who can’t drive and have not the common sense to apply applicable traffic laws to keep us all from chewing on our forearms: Driver’s Education – A Refresher…..
So, I’m on my rocket propelled Samsonite, looking for an early morning with Miss Busa. Love of my life waiting for me (read as sleeping). So I’m westbound on I-20. There are three lanes of traffic. I’m in the granny lane, the license plate DOES read “Mr.Slow.” I see a white Lexus coming onto the interstate, so I move to the center lane to allow the car ease of entry. In other words, white paint transfer on my Connie won’t look very nice. See, I’m a nice driver: make room for others, mind my manners, all that bull shit that is about to go out the window.
Mr. Lexus, with the now visible aviator sunglass, decides that the granny lane is not good enough for him anymore. He wants my lane now. So without a glance at me, he comes on over. Of course I do notice this, mostly because I’m allergic to road rash. Screw that, I dodge to the hammer lane, and look dead at the guy. He must ‘feel’ me staring at him, because he looks at me and throws both hands into the air in the “WHAAAAT?” gesture.
That pissed me off a little, so I decide to show him what for! Ok, squid warning. I know that this makes no sense, but I’m really ticked off now. So I decide enough is enough, I pull my bike hard toward the Lexus piloted by the aviator sunglasses wearing, cool breeze jerk. I think I surprised him a little. Maybe. He pulls his luxury Toyota into the right lane, surprising me; then really astonishing me, he goes all the way to the shoulder. As I accelerate away, I’m laughing so hard, that I have tears running down my face.
The Lexus driver got back on the road, I made it home with a tale to tell: everyone happy. Just so no one is worried, no Lexus drivers were harmed during the making of this blog entry. If the bastard had pulled over, it may have had been different.
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!