Not quite so cool on my very first ride into town for my first shift of the long week. We were bombing along at 65 and I was at the back of a line of cars passing Baby's Coffee and I wasn't the least bit stressed. Someone in a big silver van was though. 65mph in a 55 zone wasn't fast enough for the Tweedledum in the driver's seat. The next thing I know he's trying to mate his people mover with my left saddlebag. I nearly fell out of the seat when I sensed something over my shoulder and looked around directly into the eyes of the dirigible driving the van. He couldn't hear me but my gestures were unmistakable. What I said in sign language was that this was not a passing zone and I hoped he burned in Hell for eternity at some suitably immediate moment. Rather him than me. In the next passing zone I passed, at absurd speeds, the next couple of vehicles in front of me while they were still doing a respectable 65 in a 55 zone and with that effort I hoped not to see the assassin again. My evasive maneuver worked.
Wow. Welcome home. November is in my estimation still a bit early in the winter for muppet snowbirds droning up the highway mowing down all comers, but this year they seem to be coming early with a new sense of purpose: kill Conchscooter.
The next morning a stupid rainstorm while leaving work was out of place but that wasn't the worst of it. I nearly succumbed to the classic "left turn in front of oncoming motorcycle." It was a silver Dodge turning into the Mobil station on Summerland Key. My seven inch headlamp was blazing in the dawn darkness, I was at the speed limit which either saved me or put me in harms way. The zombie at the wheel turned half way into my lane before he finished his tweet and suddenly stopped. I was bracing for the inevitable flight over the hood thinking it was either $300 wasted for my new helmet or thank heavens Nolan has a sterling reputation for good brain buckets. I swerved, yelling incoherent obscenities through my face shield into his open window. I hope he shit himself because I nearly did. New riders reassure themselves high visibility clothing and extra lights will save them. Learning how to ride defensively will do more, as will the armored clothing, gloves and boots I wore. I was lucky the zombie woke up and stopped else I'd be looking at large hospital bills despite my protective gear and my wide swerve.
I may have missed it but the Key West Citizen never reported the take down photographer Rob O'Neal suffered downtown early one morning recently. Word got out as he now is facing months of recovery from the scooter wreck and apparently has medical bills to deal with. I still don't believe bake sales replace proper health insurance because getting hurt is bad enough but not having coverage or being denied coverage, business as usual by our insurance overlords, makes everything worse. I was lucky this week,twice, me with insurance, sick leave and a lawyer for a wife. Beyond all that vigilance is everything and I do love my leather gloves because I always put out my hands when I go down and I can't type with hamburger for fingers.
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