Friday, April 2, 2010

Now is when is gets scary

The beginning of the "riding season" here in Conn always makes me scared (read: attentive).  I have been back on the road since the ice on my tires melted, and just like every other spring, death for a rider is just a split-second away.

I heard a wise philosophy once that I have lived by ever since "Ride like you ain't got no brakes, and assume that God put every single car out there on the road specifically to kill you".  As we all know, there are dangers all around us out there on the road.   However, this time of year brings its own list of challenges.

First, the sand.  I live at the top of a hill, and every year the stop sign at the bottom is a sand pit.  All winter long, the town and state have dumped literally tons of sand on our road for us to slip on come spring.  The twisties that I love here in the Nutmeg State, right now, are still salted with crap that WILL break traction, and will suck you to your seat pan, if you get my drift.

Second, cage drivers have been more insulated from reality than usual over the long winter, and are even less likely to recognize a bike as a legitimate vehicle to share the road with.  If that lady that hit me a few years back "didn't even see a motorcycle" on a bright sunny clear day in the summer, imagine how self-centered they are now just coming out of hibernation.

Lastly, the great flood of 2010.  There are parts of the road that just ain't there anymore.  I was motoring along yesterday along RT85, a main route from Hartford to points S.E., and the pavement just disappeared into a brand new lake.  The water was swallowing Toyotas, I didn't dare try to set sail across it.  In Stonington, RT184 just drops off into the abyss.  A bridge vanished like it was abducted by aliens leaving a hole in the earth.  Think about cruising along enjoying the beautiful world around us ... and falling off a friggin cliff.

Do your spring maintenance, check your tires, put on clean underwear and stay vigilant.  That's what the Lone Ranger would do.


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