A Close Call & Lesson Learned
The story of my lovely adventure yesterday- amazing twisties, the river, crown point, followed by almost plowing into the back of a truck.
Went on a nice long ride with my best homeboy Chris Herrin- 78 miles of almost completely twisty roads with some amazing switchbacks and sweepers. Then a truck almost tried to kill me just as a cop showed up.
Sometimes not having a destination is the best way to find good roads. First we stopped at Dodge Park when we saw a nice spot to dip our feet in the river, then ended up on Bull Run which spit us out near Crown Point. It was the perfect day for a beautiful view so we stopped in for a minute, took a picture and enjoyed the sun, then headed back the way we came.
On the last stretch of road before home, we came up behind a large truck going slow through the twisties. We hung back for a while, knowing well that there was no where to pass or for him to pull off. When we got to the first straight with a legal passing zone, we sped up to initiate the pass when the truck driver decided to floor it up to 55-60 in a 45mph zone so that we couldn’t get by. This went on for another four to five miles, with only three or four opportunities to get by him even presenting themselves.
At the point the passenger started looking back and laughing at us, I became rather enraged and sped up, passed Chris, waved at them and gestured a “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY” flicking motion. At this point they slowed way down to piss me off, the double yellow became a dashed line and Chris looked at me to let me know he was passing and went by. Just as I was following, I saw a car in the distance approaching in the oncoming lane. Knowing that with 100 yards left in the passing lane, riding the XS400 that needs to be tuned badly, passing would have been dangerous if not impossible. I let off the throttle, slid back into the lane behind the truck, and continued to slow down to safe distance.
As we come around the corner probably 75 feet later, the truck slams on it’s brakes coming to a dead stop for the approaching car which now had it’s blinker on. Now, while the truck had a great excuse for needing to stop (the turning car) it really didn’t need to, and the driver knew damned well that he was putting me in serious danger and did it on purpose. In order to avoid slamming into the back of his vehicle, I swung left coming to a complete stop on the double yellow next to his rear wheel. My right hand came off the throttle as I stopped and I slapped his truck screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?” He edged forward and then stopped, egging me on to continue the battle- which I did. I pulled up to his open window and started questioning his douchebaggery, giving him a piece with logical and factual points of his error. At this point Chris, up ahead a few hundred yards, sees the hubbub and pulls a circle burnout to race back in case of… whatever. I asked the driver, in a rather annoyed tone, why he wouldn’t let us pass. I explained that he was going 10-15 miles an hour over the speed limit in the straights, and 10-15 under in the twisties. As him and his teenaged friend started playing dumb, a cop appeared behind me, turned on his lights and screamed at us to pull out of the road.
I asked the cop why, besides the obvious, we were being stopped. He told me, “because when I came around that corner you were in the wrong lane striking his vehicle with your hand.” I took a deep breath and said, “Sir, while I understand what you witnessed looked very bad. However please understand that I had just avoided colliding with the back of his truck after he brake checked me around the corner and hit his truck out of anger and to let him know I was there.” I explained as calmly as I could the drivers habit of blocking our passes and how I believe he intended to cause me harm. After he took all our ID’s, insurance, etc… he came back and told me, “Look, this ends up being a he said she said kind of scenario. I’m going to let everyone go without issuing any citations, but I really want to say that as a motorcyclist, you have to be the bigger person. You know, you can hang back and wait or scoot off on a side road and avoid situations like this. You’re the one that’s vulnerable.” He asked me if I was okay to ride, and let us go giving us a head start before the truck and passengers.
Thanks for the wisdom copper, and yes I definitely learned something. Here’s to riding another day.