Dodging the RoadkillClarksville, Tn — Ok, what was the first thought you had when you read the title of this post?  It probably reveals more about how you feel about the big rigs than you think.

So let me be clear,  this is not an article about “bashing” trucks.  It’s a discussion I want to share because it’s a topic that bikers will invariably have. 

I’ve been traveling on my Harley for about 18 months and as I’ve noted before, I don’t proclaim to be any sort of expert on ANY topic related to motorcycles.  This blog is just documentation of my personal journey and the people and places I see along the way.  In the beginning when I started traveling, I found myself getting VERY upset at traffic, especially trucks.  Read that article here.

As I’ve settled into a mindset of negotiating interstate traffic, I’ve accepted the fact that there are all types of road hazards waiting to trip us up, and 18 wheelers are just part of that scenario.  

Trucks are very important to delivering the goods and products that we depend on everyday.  Truck drivers are a unique bread.  Long hours, a lot of miles and no respect.  They’re under the gun to get from point “A” to point “B.”  They don’t make as much money as you might think, and they spend a lot of time away from their family.  

I have several friends who drive the big rigs and I admire them for a lot of things.  It’s not a lifestyle for me, but as they say, “somebody’s got to do it.”

I don’t get any more anxious about trucks on the interstate than I do about the slow poke leading the parade in the left lane.  Or, the “weaver” who is constantly jumping from lane to lane to get to where he’s going, with no regard for his safety or anyone around him.  

My favorite is the guy who speeds up from behind as if I’m supposed to know he’s coming and I need to just “GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!”

What makes trucks different is the obvious.  They’re HUGE and they’re traveling at a high rate of speed.  They can’t see us bikers very well, and when they switch lanes, by God, THEY’RE SWITCHING LANES.  They will NOT get off the governor.  It’s just the way it is. They’re entitled to the road just as much as I am.  It’s up to me to work my way through traffic and that includes negotiating my way around trucks.

They can be frustrating because it takes them all day to pass another truck and we get real anxious about having to wait until they get around.  But it’s unfair to let it cause me to get upset, or to “flip” them off for holding me up. 

There are a lot of different personalities on the road and they’re just one part of the equation.  Yes, they’re big and intimidating and sometimes they can cause some anxious moments, but not any different than the guy who just won’t get over in the cruising lane so the rest of us can get around.  

The road is a dangerous place for bikers, but it can also be one hell of a nice ride.  The bottom line is that we have to be smart and very attentive to our surroundings and ride as safely as we can.

I don’t get too bent out of shape over trucks.  I’m grateful for them.  Some of the best conversations I’ve had while traveling, has been with a trucker.  They’re wise, and they’re very helpful.  

Be careful when you’re on the road.  A motorcycle is not the most popular vehicle in traffic.  Not everybody loves and appreciates bikers.  And some people flat out don’t like us.  But truckers have a more pressing issue, and that’s their livelihood and getting from point “A” to point “B.”