Morning Disaster: Avoided

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
On the way in to the office this morning, I had somewhat of a vivid reminder about an oft-overlooked riding tip that bears repeating, if only because this situation provided a first-hand reminder only a little while ago.

My usual commute takes me down various freeways for all of 37 miles. And while traffic on the 110 freeway was moving along at a rapid clip approaching 80 mph, I noticed some slowing up ahead. I was in the left-most carpool (high-occupancy) lane and began to lightly apply the brakes on our Kawasaki ZX-6R test bike when...

I noticed the hold-up: a dog was out for a leisurely morning stroll on the interstate.

It was jogging along rather happily as it approached the still decelerating Kawi and I, still in the left-most of two carpool lanes next to the four main lanes to our right. The pooch then decided to cut back across the freeway towards an off-ramp, as he'd apparently had enough.

Just as I was about to beging pulling away from the 15 or so mph I'd decellerated down to, I heard the unmistakable sound of squeeling tires, and it was getting louder, and it was comming from right behind me. A glance in my mirrors revealed a small sport-ute of some sort sliding sideways right towards me. So I accelerated into the next lane over and got the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of there.

Then I realised, this was the same person (I will not go into age, race or gender here as that's not the point) who earlier was holding up traffic, plodding along in the fast lane as they were getting constantly passed on the right. And then, when the carpool lane appeared, the driver needed to be there as well. And not only in the right-most of the two carpool lanes, but the fast lane of the carpool lane!

So, what have we learned here? Two things, actually: first and foremost, don't forget to check your mirrors whenever you're decellerating in or around traffic. The same drivers who are incapable of judging your rate of closure before pulling out in front of you are equally inept at judging the closing distance between themselves and anything in front of them.

Secondarily, history is bound to repeat itself. What this means is that a driver who does one stupid thing is probabaly not too far from doing another stupid thing, so put some space between you and them.

Just a little friendly reminder from your friends at MO to keep in mind and, of course, ride safe and have fun!

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Brent Avis
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