Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

On a Night Like This

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The ladies and I agreed that we should ride out to find a restaurant that featured pie and palaver about matters both extraordinary and mundane. We did, and the meeting was fruitful, as was the pie.
Afterward, the Hot Granny decided to call the night a day and head for the barn. Jo, on the other hand, allowed as how she coveted a little wind therapy. Being the proud possessor a tank of gas and five-dollar bill, I felt a moral obligation to help her out.

You got to understand that, despite all the other attractions of motorcycling, there is nothing I enjoy more than a late ride under a clear sky and a full moon. Even having a sweet-tempered hottie on the snatch pad can’t diminish the pleasure. Thursday was such a night.

I reckon there is no sight as soothing to the savage breast as moonlight reflecting off of water and we had lots of both as we made the circuit around the bay, “riding the loop”, as it’s called, locally.
After we boarded the ferry to cross the Intracoastal Waterway, Jo looked over the rail and into the water to spot the huge Redfish that feed in that lighted area. Her enthusiasm for fishing was shared with the deck hand, newly emigrated from Nevada; I’m sure he thought us an unlikely pair.

We dawdled getting through Port Aransas and when I finally had the big yella bike pointed south on the state highway and headed home, it seemed as if we were the only people on the island who were awake.
I had the needle set on 65 mph, the legal speed, and was in that altered state familiar to road riders when head lights, seemingly out of nowhere, appeared in my mirrors.

The car overtook us so quickly that I might as well have been parked. There’s no telling how fast he was moving, but what was disturbing was the apparent intention to pass on the shoulder. He was pretty close when I could tell, for sure, that he was going around on the right so I gunned the bike and moved toward the center stripe, jarring Jo out of her reverie just as the car went by.
I flashed my brights without any illusion that the driver cared that he hurt my feelings but, seeing as how my pillion was a little rattled, I couldn’t see any advantage to losing my temper. Once sure that the distant headlights in my rear view remained distant, that is, that no one was chasing this moron, I settled down and enjoyed the remainder of the ride.

Now, I got home safe, as you might guess, since I wrote all this stuff down, but it could just as well have gone badly. The cager could have been so engrossed in his phone conversation that he didn’t see my taillight till he rear-ended and killed, or crippled, us.

Note that in Texas it’s customary to move to the shoulder to let faster traffic pass. Even though the highway was empty there’s the possibility that I might have quickly moved right to let him by just as he, illegally, overtook me on the shoulder. It would have been embarrassing to be killed at 3:00 a.m. on an empty road.

Your day can be ruined in a heartbeat, keep your hand upon the throttle and your eyes upon the rail (and rear views).


Written by fiddle mike

August 12, 2009 at 3:53 am

Posted in motorcycle

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