Monday, October 22, 2007

Asphalt Alligators, Wheel Ruts and Self Racking

I went for a ride this weekend. Went to see my brother, in east Tennessee. Odometer puts me at 895 miles. Not bad for leaving at about 1400 Saturday afternoon and getting back about 2100 Sunday evening.

On the way down, somewhere around Lexington, cruising along at about 80, in heavy traffic, I catch a van out of the corner of my eye, he swerves suddenly. Before you get all panicky, he was two lanes away, but still, swerving your car near a motorcycle rider will get you 'looked' at... I realize he was dodging a piece of truck tire and not on a mission to freak out the motor cycle guy two lanes over.. *deep breath*. He missed it, well most of it. Clipped a little piece and sent it flying up in the air behind him. Keep in mind all of this happened in a second, maybe less. When I refocused my attention back to the task at hand and my lane... there, right in front of me was the rest of the tire. OH SHIT!!! Do my own version of the swerve manuver and thankfully missed the tire. PHEWWW!!! That was close. Bad enough hitting one of those alligator bastards while driving a car, but on a bike... at 80 mph... I don't even want to think about it.

You know how wheel ruts can pull you along some times... kinda like keeping you in your lane or pushing you out... Some where else on this ride, I found some nice big ruts. You know the kind, left by the double wide tires of 10,000 semis. Again, I'm just cruising along, minding my own business, probably 80 again... maybe a little more... turn signal, check mirror, look past shoulder, move to the left to pass. OH HOLY SHIT!!! HANG ON!!! This crazy wheel rut throws me into the next lane like I was on a sport bike. Sling, zip!! now I correct the sudden movement and ofcourse come back the other way... Got way to damn close to the car I was passing. Like "reach out and touch the fender" close. Nothing like wheels going sideways and a rapidly approaching car fender to wake your shit up.

And lastly, I hit a hole. Good gawd it was a hole. Some times they are bone chairing and can make that cracking sound in your neck. But this one, this hole in the road was an over achiever. Front wheel hits "slam"! Head snaps forward, shoulders are stressed. The sudden impact has started a momentum change, I'm kinda slouching down, head and body leaning forward from the drop in the front wheel... then the rear wheel hits "crash"!! The bike falls out from under me and as I fall trying to keep my seat on the seat, the rear wheel hits the other side of the hole and comes up to meet me, smacks me in the ass and launches me into the air. I have no idea how far or how long I was hovering above the seat, but it was long enough in the zero gravity area of a free fall that the 'boys' moved... no longer in a nice tucked in spot on the seat sublimely enjoying the rumble that IS Harley Davidson... NOooo!!! They decided to go on a "walk about". Crush!! *sound of glass breaking* (at least that is what it felt like...) Oh God, I'm gonna throw up! (the guys can relate, I'm sure. ladies, ask your fav man about being hit so hard you feel like up-chucking...) I came down HARD on my own shit... That was like 6 hours ago... they're still sore. And I think the left one is swollen...

If this was my last ride for the season (yeah right!!) it was a good one. Got to visit with the lil'bro, had some Jack, had some wings, some Jack, a hot dog... more Jack. Watched The 300 and..... ummmm more Jack (he says I drank half a bottle. I think he poured it down the drain...) Ran over to the parents house, said hi. Visited for an hour or two. (the next morning... wonder if they could tell I was still... toasted) Made it home in time to watch the Steelers loose, bastards!

So, how was your weekend?


Jan said...

Good grief!!

Just reading this made my teeth on edge, and butterflies in my stomach!

I am always drawn up in a knot, when I see motorcycles traveling in heavy traffic, and when they are traveling side-by-side with those huge semis, it is just almost more than I can bear.

I want to say 'please be careful' but I know that you are as careful as it is possible to be...but I'd sure hate for anything to happen to my bud!

Anonymous said...

wow, you ere lucky it wasn't a whole lot worse. Glad you're OK!