RTOD 30MAR2009 – Slippery Riding, and Off-Roading on a Shadow

RTOD 30MAR2009 – Slippery Riding, and Off-Roading on a Shadow

Uh boy…  Riding on wet roads.  What can I say…

I can say that it’s no fun to be rolling down the highway and suddenly get splashed by vehicles coming the other direction.  That sucks.  It also sucks making turns on the wet tar.  You know, the crap they use to fill in cracks that show up on the road?  Yeah, when they’re wet, don’t try to turn on them.  They are as slippery as wet leaves on the road, and that’s about as slippery as ice! 

I bring this up as yet another safety announcement in favor of motorcycle riders!  See, it’s wet outside.  We know it.  You know it.  We’re all trying to just get to our jobs, our dates, or companions, but we have much less rubber on the road.  So, we’re gonna be slow.  We’re gonna take our time making turns that we’d usually be ripping through.  We’re going to be giving you the wide berths, so we have time to stop.  We’re just trying to be safe, so please give us the extra room!  I can’t tell you how many times I was sweating bullets because the idiot driving the white late-model Toyota Corolla (and I’ll be looking for your ass) was right on my rear fender!  Yeah, I know, you’ve got such an important thing to be getting to that you MUST scuff your paint with my rear tire!  I promise, the location you’re heading towards WILL STILL BE THERE, and I ain’t speeding up to help you! 

Next topic…

Ah, warm weather.  Means people are happier.  They see sun, and warmth, and say, “Hey, let’s go for a ride.”  Right?  Of course!

Now, when you’re driving your car, and you pass your turn, whoops, there it was, oh no, I missed it, what should you do if you’re in the middle of three blind turns within 300 yards of each other?  Why, you go to the NEXT driveway or pull-off, back out safely, and turn around, right?  Not according to a late-model powder blue Toyota Camry driver!  No!!  Instead, we’re going to pull  3-point turn coming out of a blind corner on a 50MPH highway!  So, here I am, casually rolling along DE Rt 15, admiring the warmth through my vents, carefully letting off my throttle so I don’t let the back tire loose, and I come around, and all I see is a wall of BLUE!  So, what do I do?  Naturally, I try to stop.  Problem is, on a bike, tires lock up fast.  I get the back tire rolling again, which I was lucky enough to NOT high-side into the idiot, and the slide aimed my Shadow at the gap on the right side of the road, since the oblivious idiot had gone ahead and backed his car up.  So, I see the gap, and I can safely roll through it, preventing an accident and injury.  Or, I would have, but the STILL OBLIVIOUS driver hits the gas HARD.  My gap closes, and I’m still doing 35MPH!  Where was I to go?  In a last ditch effort (no pun intended), I re-aim the bike into the ditch, landing along the ditch, and rolling forward, not touching the brakes, until the ditch came level with the road and deposited me back on DE Rt. 15.  Dropped the bike back in gear, and powered forward to the stopsign. where I sat for five minutes catching my breath.  As I was entering what was MY last turn of the set, I look in my rear-view, and the idiot is tuning into the development!  All that stress and danger, when there was a turn-around 10 FEET from where he’d started his 3-point turn.  Seriously, a parking lot he could have entered and safely turned around.  If I had been driving the car, I would have slammed into his!   What kind of ignorant person does this?  I’ll tell you, the kind that assume that they own the roads.  The ones that talk and text incessantly on the cell, the kind that is too busy listening to his GPS to look at the road, the kind that is shaving or putting on make-up, since it’s obviously the best place to be doing all this!  How about the just plain ignorant kind that shouldn’t even have a license?  Yup, they do it, too.  Yes, we motorcycles are smaller, quicker, and can slow down faster, but that doesn’t make us immune to (I almost said your) the idiots that make the roads dangerous!  Your lack of caring or attention puts everyone, not just bikers, at risk.  What makes it so different for bikers?  Simple, we’re more likely to DIE for your lack of attention, and I personally find that reprehensible.  If you’re going to be on the road, do it properly.  That means watching for every danger, including the ones you’ll be adding.

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