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Idiots should not be allowed to ride motorcycles

Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 6:58 PM

Harsh title.

I have driven mucho miles in my middle age. I have driven in several states, several large cities and have driven my share of podunk roads. I have run over snakes, hit birds, and played baseball with a rather large deer near rattlesnake hill on Highway 6 and 34.

However, last evening I had my driving sense rocked by an idiot on a motorcycle. Now before I get a bunch of bike supporters lambasting me, I don't have a thing against responsible riders. I have good friends and family with bikes that travel the byways. In fact, I do like bikes myself but never have had enough moolah to ever purchase one in my adult years.

Any whoo... last night, my family and I were on I-29 north of St. Joe, MO around 10:15 p.m. It was a rather lovely evening to be out driving. There was one detour when construction crews were working on an overpass but other than that, the weather was fine. The moon was out and traffic was moving along nicely.

Nothing unusual in that. I had pulled into the passing lane to go around a big rig. I had my cruise set at 70 mph and there was a traffic group coming up behind me. I was just in the big rig's blind spot when I noticed the lights behind me were coming on really, really, really fast.

There were headlights from a bigger vehicle coming and it looked initially like there were three headlights. I looked again and realized one light was coming up by the vehicle directly behind me.

And in a split second, I realized there was a bike going to pass directly BETWEEN me and the big rig.


In the absolute split second it took for the idiot to buzz past, I had visions of him/her becoming road kill under that truck and the cars behind the truck. I tensed up and it took me a good long time to even settle down after I got home. It also freaked out my passengers.

The rest of us - the trucker and the other vehicles directly behind us - had some divine help because the weather was in our favor and there wasn't too much wind.

The idiot (and trust me, I am being as nice because I have much, much harsher words in my brain) continued flying past and shot off the interstate at the next exit.

Thank goodness the road conditions were in everyone's favor. Seriously, what idiot passes between vehicles on an interstate highway at speeds far in excess of the posted limits and at night to boot?

The driver needs to have any drivers license revoked. The only thing that saved his/her behind from getting arrested was at that speed at night - there wasn't going to be anyway to identify the bike or rider. It is just a bit tough when something flies past at speed in which I am guessing were in excess of 85 or 90 mph. The biker was lucky the death wish he/she was after didn't come true.

Thank God.

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Two wheeled operators shooting between lanes are one of the most serious traffic hazards in all areas of the country.

In urban commute traffic, they are rolling along the lane-marking lines morning and evening.

In some states, the practice is legal under certain conditions -- frequently traffic moving at less than 35 mph, and the cyclists slipping through at no more than 15 mph faster, or 36-50 mph.

Back in '67, I worked a sales and service route in one city where lots of streams caused huge diversions with four-wheel traffic.

However, frequent bridges for pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles eliminated many miles and hours daily, particularly with a motorcycle.

The problem was and is today, on the streets, many drivers do not see motorcycles or bicycles.

i.e. - Waiting at a stop light, feet down on each side of the bike, when a car is driven over the edge of the right foot, cutting between the biker and the curb for a left turn.

Or, at 2 p.m. on a sunny Saturday, as the only vehicle on an open, level six-lane boulevard in the outskirts of town -- literally pursued and rammed by a vehicle coming through a stop sign from a side street. Chased from the street, across two residential front yards and rammed.

That driver then telling police, "I didn't see him."

She said that sitting in her front seat, parked in the middle of a flower bed, with the rear wheel of the bike under her front bumper.

Shortly after I sold that bike to a short, slender businessman for his husky 19-year-old son, telling him the bike was too heavy for him but would be fine for the son if he was responsible.

Two days later, the father decided to try the bike on an unsurfaced hill country road.

He was three weeks in the hospital, in multiple casts for two months and on crutches for four months.

Idiots are idiots whether on two or four wheels, afoot or herding an 18-wheeler.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Fri, Jul 10, 2009, at 8:11 AM

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