Thursday, May 18, 2006

Klose Karma. Or How They (Almost) Got Me Anyway ....

I'm working my new shift now and get off at 11pm. (That's 2300 hours for you non-Military/Nurse types.)

Riding the back roads at that hour can be a great way to unexpectedly meet many of God's wonderful creatures, so I make it a point to be extra careful and never go more than 40 - 45 mph.

Tuesday night while riding home I was thinking about how important the whole awareness and observation thing is in regards to safety in general and night time specifically.

I scan the sides of the roads looking for reflections constantly. Sometimes, all the warning you're gonna get is a little flash of reflection from an eyeball before Bambi and her friends (There's always more than one) decide to commit "Suicide by Motor Vehicle".

Skunks, Possum, Coons, Dogs ........ And out here in the country where I live, Livestock that has gotten loose. Think about how fun it would be to crest a hill and find 3 Black Angus Steers in the road at night. I know it happens, 'cause I took care of a young couple who did just that at speed. In a Chevy Vega. Left a mark on both of them and totaled the Vega.

Anyway, I was being hyper-cautious driving and thinking about a list of tips for riders for night driving.

SLOW DOWN.
SCAN the roadside CONSTANTLY for reflections from eyeballs.
Watch even closer, and slow down more, going over hills or around curves. Deer like to cross the road in areas where they will be exposed for the least amount of time.
Don't assume drivers are going to stop at stop signs on crossroads or at 4 ways. (Good advice all the time).
SLOW DOWN.
MSF course Instructors be damned - cover the front brake with at least one finger. I keep 2 on the front brake most of the time, but almost always at night.
Keep Scanning.

It had been raining earlier and the roads were still a little wet, so I was going about 35-40 mph. I thought the sky was clearing tho' and looked up to check the stars ............ DAMN!!!!

In the time it took me to look up, see the stars and look back down, a big fat Raccoon, came out of the ditch and ran right in front of me. Only by luck did I miss him. It was so close, I may well have run over his tail.

I screamed like a little schoolgirl. Scared the shit right out of me. You can be really loud, when you let out a yelp like that inside a helmet.

Then of course, I laughed my ass off thinking about how ironic it would be to have your ass busted by a damn raccoon, while thinking about night safety issues.

My Karma is seriously twisted or God just likes to make fun of me.

So, it just goes to show you, you just can't be aware enough. And luck is under rated.
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