Clarksville, Tn — There are many dangers we face as bikers. Since we’re subjected to all of the elements, we take every precaution to protect ourselves.
Wearing the proper riding gear, headgear, and having a motorcycle that’s running at peak performance are just a few of the things we all do to insure the safest riding experience.
But what lies in the middle of the road could be the most dangerous thing we encounter.
In the three short years I’ve been on this journey, I’ve seen my fair share of interesting things in the middle of the road. Obviously, roadkill of all varieties is pretty common. Skunks, deer, dogs, cats, and even an armadillo or two are not uncommon for most bikers. Huge pieces of rubber are also fairly common, and they’re hard to see at night.
Most of these “obstacles” are easily seen and can be avoided, but if you’re in some heavy traffic, then some of these dangerous objects can cause a biker to go down, or at the very least, cause some serious damage to the motorcycle.
Sometimes there’s no avoiding them!
Riding at night or the early morning is the most difficult for me. A combination of 65 year old eyes, and it being dark, and I just don’t see some things as clearly. Plus, things happen really fast out there, so my reaction time has to be quick.
My favorite time to travel is the early morning. I love to watch the sun come up while on the back of my bike, but until the sun comes out, I’m always extra cautious of what lies ahead. Not only does it appear “out of nowhere” but if an animal leaps out from the side of the road, I don’t see it as quick as I would like.
The first year I had a motorcycle, I was traveling with some friends from Texas. We had stayed the night in Macon Georgia. Our plan was to leave early in the morning to avoid the disastrous Atlanta traffic.
We left at just after 4am, and as we were winding our way through Atlanta, the three of us were merging onto a major artery. As we were going through the gears, the lead bike merged into the lane, and I was suddenly greeted by a huge piece of rubber. A “shark.”
There was no avoiding it. I just ran right over it, trying to run over the middle of it. I didn’t have time to swerve, I could only hit it head on and hope for the best. I pointed my bike right down the middle of this “beast” and no harm, no foul.
Things happen REAL fast on the motorcycle.
Last year, I was coming back from a group ride with three other bikers. We were on a four lane highway just south of Nashville. We were running “staggered” when all of a sudden, the lead bike swerved sharply and there it was, right in front of me, a recliner.
A RECLINER! A FREAKIN PIECE OF FURNITURE FOR GOD’S SAKE!
I wasn’t going to run over the middle of that damn thing and survive. Luckily I was able to swerve and miss it, but I was lucky. The cars behind me weren’t so lucky.
The point of all of this is just to reaffirm to you and me that we must be ever diligent in our pursuit of this passion. We must concentrate on being our very best AT ALL TIMES when riding a motorcycle. We can’t be distracted and we must pay attention.
I often worry about objects that fall out of the back of trucks. Pickup trucks specifically. Here in the south, we see a lot of them. I see a lot of loose objects just swirling around in the back of those trucks, and I worry that something would fly out and hit me.
My most paranoid “fear” is the old rubber actually tearing off the wheel of a truck while I’m riding behind it.
All of this is to just remind us all that we must be diligent while riding our steeds. There are so many things working against us, it’s imperative that we be at our best. Don’t be distracted and pay attention.
I love the journey I’m on and I appreciate all of you who share it with me.
If I could live forever, I would ride forever.
Not just rubber ON the road…but rubber in the AIR! Coming back from Gainesville, TX to Dallas yesterday, there was some roadkill retreads in another lane. I tend to not follow behind trucks (kick up, low visibility, air wash), so the truck was to my right. HE hit the rubber, and 18 wheels shredded it up into my lane on the left. I had to duck my head (nowhere to swerve, traffic … and I was hauling my new Roll-a-Home trailer)…
Full daylight, but your point is certainly valid about riding in the dark. Just thought I’d shared to say “you’re not always safe just because you don’t hit it!”
Thanks for your comments.