Sunday, August 29, 2010


Ripped from the headlines

Sometimes, topics for these pages come from the news. Sometimes they come from other things I’ve read, here and there. Sometimes they come from the past. And sometimes... sometimes they come straight from the day. Today is one of those days, and today the topic came by motorcycle.

On the way back from a hike on the west side of the Hudson, I crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge this afternoon, going through the E-Z Pass lane at the toll booths. In the other lane, paying cash, was a group of motorcyclists, maybe a dozen of them. As each paid his toll, he drove his cycle through and waited for the others; about half had gone through when I paid my toll in the fast lane, and crossed the bridge.

Soon after crossing the bridge, with cars behind me, I saw the group of bikers weaving their way ahead in the line, as we made our way down the very winding, narrow road. Damn!, I said, These guys are crazy!, as I watched in my mirror as they went into the oncoming traffic lane (against a double-yellow line, of course), to pass whomever they could. The road is full of blind curves, and they couldn’t possibly see anyone coming at them until the last moment. When the first three passed me, the third had to cut back in quickly to avoid a collision. Should he have failed, who might he have taken out with him?

They soon passed a few more cars and disappeared, and a couple of others dropped in behind me, ready to try their hands at it. Just as it seemed that they might go for it...

...we came around another curve and found a wrecked motorcycle leaking bike juice (Gasoline? Motor oil? Both?), and its driver coming out of the bushes — I couldn’t tell whether he was holding his shoulder, or just brushing himself off, but he seemed either uninjured or nearly so. His bike, though, was hopeless.

His compatriots behind me stopped for him, and the two who’d been ahead with him were found stopped further down the hill. The driver in front of me paused and told them what had happened, and they turned and went back up the hill. At least, I thought, they all stuck together with their bud.

It seemed that the wrecked bike was the only thing damaged. It seemed that no other car was involved, no other people hurt. It even seemed that the rider was OK. Given that, I couldn’t feel sorry for the biker. Was it OK that he wrecked his bike with his reckless behaviour? Could this have, maybe... just maybe, taught the lot of them something? Might they not be such lunatics in the future?

One can only hope. But I’m very glad no one was badly hurt.

1 comment:

Frisky070802 said...

My father used to say, "the world is full of shitheads ... and they all drive".

Still true.