A shot of the Spice Market in Istanbul, just south of the Galata Köprüsü (bridge) around 11:00AM. - May 2016.

Des Informations, des Idées, et des Opinions Suspectes - rarement mises à jour et de qualité douteuse.

Motorcycle near miss...

...yet again!

Stephan Hoppe catching some shut eye on his bike.
Stephan Hoppe catching some shut eye on his bike.

The other day, I'm heading out to meet a friend at a restaurant for lunch. I decided to take the bike. It was really hot outside so I ignored one of the cardinal rules of motorcycling, which is to dress properly, and instead I just wore my t-shirt and shorts. No gloves. I did feel more exposed than normal but what the hell, it was a short ride.

So I am tooling southbound on Armour Road. It's a 50/kmh road and I'm doing 60. There are no cars in front of me but there are a couple behind me. As I approach Rogers Street coming up on my right, there is an old fart at a stop sign, waiting to make a left in front of me. Of course he doesn't see me, and of course he pulls right out in front of me facing the other frigging way looking for cars. And I don't know why, but even though I saw it all unfolding in front of me, I was actually surprised once again because I can hardly believe how fucking stupid people are! I slam on my brakes, trying to keep from fishtailing, completely forgetting about downshifting, forgetting to honk, about the cars behind me, forgetting everything. I'm just saying "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" over and over, not even saying it loudly as I try to keep the bike under control and all the time acutely aware of how I'm dressed realizing that even if I'm not really moving I will be seriously hurt if I fall off the bike for any reason.

So eventually, the piece of shit decides to actually turn his head to see where his car is pointed and lo and behold! There I am! So he stops. But he's in front of me now, in the middle of the road. I'm already stopped and trying to stuff my heart back down my throat into my chest cavity. You know what he does next? He shrugs! Sort of like: "Hey, these things happen!" I'm so shaken and stunned, I just put the bike into gear and move around the front of his car and continue to the restaurant.

A few minutes later, I'm at the restaurant and I'm shaking pretty badly. NOW, I am ready to beating the living crap out of the jerk, but of course he is probably miles away by now not seeing another motorcyclist. I strike up a conversation with some guy in the parking lot. We commiserate and share a couple of horror stories because hey, this is not a unique situation here. In this old-folk town (Podunk, Ontario) stuff like this happens DAILY, it seems.

And here we are now a couple of weeks later and as I recall the moment, I'm getting shaken all over again. It's getting so that I can no longer ride, because lately as I ride along, I can no longer relax enough to enjoy the ride, and every single car I see now represents a potential collision. I don't know what to do anymore, short of being a loud and reckless jerk when on the bike, because that's what it takes it seems to get car drivers' attentions. I swear to god, one day I am going to rob a BANK, and then jump on my motorcycle and get away at the most leisurely pace, because I know I will be completely invisible to everybody!

I've given this problem some thought and as I see it I have to do something - I have two choices:

  1. Sell the bike.
  2. Try to stay on the highways, and get one of those things that make the headlights flicker on the motorcycle. They're very eye-catching.

I'll think I'll try choice #2 before I go for choice #1.

Motorcycle near miss...

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Maybe read No Big Deal, a story I consider to be the very best thing I ever wrote.