Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Evading Enforced Squishiness

This morning I split lanes on the freeway for the first time. It wasn't impatience, or a desire to go fast that inspired me to dart between the cars in front of me.

It was a desire to avoid become the jam in a car sandwich.

As I've mentioned previously, there's some gnarly road construction going on along my route to work. Traffic in this particular stretch is bad anyway, and now it's extra exciting.

So I was puttering along in tightly packed traffic, and things sped up a bit. I, naturally, also sped up. Then the car ahead of me slammed on its brakes. So I also applied maximum braking to avoid giving that car a Triumph enema. And then I heard something no biker ever wants to hear: squealing tires getting louder behind me.

I did not check my mirrors. I did not check my blind spots.

I did let go of the brakes and accelerate between the yellow Jeep and white whatever-it-was which were still braking. Instinct told me I didn't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the others also running from it.

I felt kind of bad cutting around the Jeep, but mostly relieved I didn't get smooshed. I didn't hear a crash, so I assume the skidder got himself under control again.

Needless to say, the adrenaline rush didn't make it easy to maintain a reasonable pace on my way in to work.

So, since I've now had two close calls along that same stupid stretch of road I'm going to go ahead and start using a different route in the morning. Seems prudent.


gael_cee said...

Definitely not a good feeling. I have a total paranoia when sitting at a stop light. I always line up with the gap and keep the bike in gear. Just in case I hear that sound. What really is scary is that you may not hear anything. Watch that mirror.

Noam Sayin' said...

Dude. Just reading that made my bum cinch up.

Baron's Life said...

a Triumph enema...Good one should've given him one and then helps the digstive tract after a heavy Pizza..anyway, glad no one got hurt...great post by the way...wonder who mysterious gael_cee of your many secret acquaintences?

Danny said...

I had to do that once and I am glad I did. The two vehicles actually hit. There wasn't much damage to either but if I had still been there...

Arizona Harley Dude said...

They sure drive nice here in Arizona and so very motorcycle friendly. But, I agree with watching the mirror when stopped and I flash my brake lights to the approaching vehicle. It is surprising the number of people who roll up to stopped traffic at speed and stop at the last minute.

Wolfie said...

Congratulations on remaining hardcore, rather than squishcore!

mq01 said...

enema's, not fun.... glad you were lucky and no other vehicle swerved the same direction as yours. happy you're ok.

gael_cee, i agree completely, i stay in gear. ironic you coworker was hit from behind this week and had no warning. all vehicles were totaled. fortunately no serious injuries.

irondad said...

Maybe you actually wanted to split lanes and used the sound behind you as an excuse? Was the Jeep driver someone you wanted to get a closer look at?

By the way, you still headed up here end of month?

Lucky said...

gael_cee - I do the same thing.

Noam - Yeah, good thing I have nerves of steel, and boxers of stain-resistant kevlar.

Baron - Why would you want pizza to hurry through your digestive tract?

Danny - Yikes. Glad you got out of the way!

AZ Harley Dude - Yeah, every ride is an adventure here. I blame the good weather; no one has a contingency plan

Wolfie - Thank you, sir

MQ01 - Yeah, an untimely swerve by another driver could have been bad.

Irondad - Honestly, I didn't see who was in the Jeep, but apart from the death-avoidance-adrenaline, lane-splitting does have a certain charm.

Yep, still headed up there. I'll send you an email with whatever details I've got.