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Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

There have been numerous ads and campaigns meant to raise awareness for our two-wheeled companions on the road.  I myself drive a 4 wheeled vehicle, it’s safer, drier, can carry my stuff and I can turn my head ever so slightly, see my beautiful wife, and hold a pleasant conversation without wind carrying our voices to the nethersphere.  Personal preference.

Now, I’m aware there are many types of vehicles, and the motorcycles of the world are smaller than a car, so harder to see.  I can give in on that point.  I might even slightly concede that some people out there who drive cars, trucks or SUV’s tend to not be very… polite… when sharing the road with motorcyclists.  I personally don’t care what you drive, there are rules, and laws, and if you abide them, we’re good.

One ad showed a particularly tear-jerking scene.  It was a child, crying amid what we can only assume is her recently deceased family, with motorcycles lying nearby.  Powerful to be sure, but… there was nothing in that scene depicting what happened.  I didn’t see any other vehicles, just motorcycles and dead bodies.

How do we even know what they did?  We don’t, but most people won’t see it that way.  We’re expected to feel bad and sorry for the little girl, which I do.  We’re expected to feel some sort of sympathy for the dead motorcyclists, which, from a human standpoint, I do.

That said!

The other night, as I was driving with my wife over I275 and the Courtney Campbell Bridge on our return home from dinner with friends, I was witness to something that made me literally say, “There is a person that deserves to die.”.  If you know me, I don’t say things like that.  I’ve been a soldier, sure, but I don’t wish death on anyone lightly.  To qualify for that, you truly have to be a f$%#tard, a superior piece of shit who puts no value on others, and endangers them through your actions.  I don’t mean an occasional mistake, I mean a willful disrespect to other humans and their safety, well being, or life in general.  Let’s put it this way, not to get overly political, but I don’t wish this for any member of our current government or anyone who has run for office in the past.  That’s just how much of a shithead you have to be for me to wish you dead, even politicians and lawyers don’t get that treatment.

Even with all of that, for me to say someone should die does not in any way mean I would have a hand in or take part in any way with their demise.  In fact, I’d avoid it if possible, and knowing me, try to prevent it if I could.  Even this asshole I will tell you about next.

So we’re on the bridge, and if you’re not familiar, this is one of three main bridges connecting Tampa to St Petersburg.  At the time we were travelling, roughly 8 PM, there was a fair amount of traffic, not enough to slow the road down, but PLENTY of vehicles in every lane, and it’s like this pretty much ALL the time.  It’s a very trafficy road.  That is now a word, I just invented it.

Suddenly, I notice a lot of taillights, and cars swerving to other lanes.  Not really that unusual as like I said, traffic, and lots of vehicles.  Then, Derica and I noticed what appeared to be two people hanging off of or standing on say… a pickup truck or something.  It was getting dark and we were still far back.  As we approached, we noticed a pattern to the swerving cars, they were all getting out of the middle lane.  Odd, I thought, and we were in the far left lane at the time, so we stayed there.  Traffic was moving at about 70 MPH, but something in the middle lane was ever so slightly slower.  As we got close enough, I was able to discern what we saw.

There were 2 guys on motorcycles, riding wheelies at 65 MPH in the center lane of a busy highway with dozens of cars all tightly packed together around them, trying to get away from the freaking morons.

One of them gave up on his stupidity and rode like a somewhat reasonable human being as we got closer, the other continued his stunt for a mile or two longer that I could tell.  If you are saying in your head, “Well, that’s impressive.”.  You need to think a bit more about what you’re thinking.

I want to know, or hear from anyone who thinks this is a “fun thing to do”, or even a remotely “good idea”, or at the very least the rationale behind the choice to do it at that time.  The utter stupidity displayed by this piece of shit makes me question how human beings have survived on this planet for so long.  This person not only put their life at risk, which, they forfeited IMHO the moment they lifted their front wheel off the road in traffic.  Doing this one act forced everyone around them to react, and we all know that humans generally react badly.  The chain reaction of this idiot’s wheelie sent a wave backwards for over a mile, affecting hundreds of vehicles and putting thousands in danger.  By definition, that could be considered terrorism, except the asshole probably had no agenda other than, “It was fun.”.   At least two instances occurred where cars trying to avoid this scene nearly crashed into each other, and in general, it was a dangerous place to be.  I remind you, all this was at 70 MPH on a three lane Interstate Highway on a Bridge, loaded with traffic.

How can anyone who doesn’t need to be locked up in a padded room think this is fun, or a good idea?  I might be getting old, and I know in my youth, I did some pretty crazy shit, as anyone who knew me then would attest.  I never, not in a million years would have done anything remotely like this.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it were an isolated incident.

Sadly, we see variations of this at least twice a week, sometimes more.  It’s almost as if they are trying to outdo each other in stupidity.  Well, guess what?  They win, they’re fucking stupid.  As stupid as I’ve ever seen.  I read about a woman arrested for having cocaine in her bag.  She told police the wind blew it in there.  She is a genius compared to these two.

I genuinely want someone to explain to me why this is a good thing to do, or at least why it’s good enough that people continually do it.  Really.

So next time someone tells me to “Watch out for motorcycles!”, I will, but it won’t be because I pity them, or worry for their safety, it’s because they are a menace, and I truly wish the police would do something about them.

I had a motorcycle for a very short period of time.  I had to learn the laws, and rules, and after an incident that could have changed my life in a not so positive way, I decided to remove that from my life.  As an aside, I don’t see guys on Harleys doing wheelies.  I never would have thought that brand meant so much to the stupidity of the driver.  Then again… Lexus, but that’s for another day.

And now I am really that guy that sits on his front porch and yells, “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!”.

Thanks for reading.

-B

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