Riders, Beware

(This was originally published on my old (self-hosted) blog January 6, 2006. I miss my old blog. *sigh*)

Here we are, beginning a brand new week and I’m left wondering, where did the past two days go??

Weekends are usually pretty quiet here, we spend the days catching up on housework, talk about working on those pesky little projects (but never start) and in my case, take a nap, wake up and then waste two hours trying to make my brain wake up so I can actually get something accomplished before Monday rolls around.

The weather was perfect – sunny and mid to upper 60’s. We took advantage of this to go motorbike riding on Saturday. Hubby only has 400 miles to go before he can ride faster than 50 mph. I’m sort of dreading that day, truth be known. It’s comforting now to know he CAN’T go any faster for fear of damaging his brand new engine.

He hasn’t taken it on any trails yet (I don’t think he can stand the thought of marking his baby up) but that hasn’t stopped him from exploring the back roads. He took Mushroom King out first,

and then came back to take Game Dude. (By the way, Game Dude DID wear a helmet. This was taken after they got back).

I had just put on my hiking boots and jacket when the doorbell rings.

It’s my mother-in-law wanting to borrow our heavy-duty needle and thread (hubby had to stitch our torn awning from our old Jayco pop-up trailer). We got to talking about her upcoming cruise (I’m so jealous!) and pulled out our cruise photos. I WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER CRUISE!

We’ve only been on one cruise; we went to the Caribbean on our 10th wedding anniversary. I figure our 20th wedding anniversary will be here in four years, plenty of time to save up money, right? (EDITED TO ADD JULY 14TH, 2008: I think we’re actually going to take GD on a cruise for his graduation present in three years. I’m working on convincing the husband that we MUST go to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary in 2015. Think I can wear him down in seven years? 😀 ).

While talking about what clothes my mother-in-law should take on the cruise, hubby and Game Dude pull up on the bike. We go out to meet them. I jokingly taunt my mother-in-law to ride hubby’s bike.


Imagine my surprise when she calmly, as if she’s done this her entire life, takes the helmet from my hands, hands me her glasses, and puts on the helmet.

I about had a cow. For once, I was speechless. My mother-in-law is a classy lady and I never, in my wildest dreams, EVER saw her on a bike, let alone a dirt bike. Not implying of course that people who ride bikes aren’t classy but….oh, you know what I mean.

Hubby is thrilled and I have to admit, my respect gauge goes up several notches. The boys are tickled that their grandmother is going riding with their dad.

When they get back, her cheeks are flushed and she’s laughingly smoothing her hair down (and I must say, she’s the ONLY woman I know who doesn’t have helmet hair. HOW DOES SHE DO IT??).

We bid my mother-in-law a fond farewell along with well wishes for a safe and fun cruise. It’s now my turn to ride.

We traveled down numerous side roads until we finally ended up at the Nature Center. The parking lot is packed and I can’t help but sit up a little straighter when several people stop what they are doing and look at us. It’s a curious phenomenon – people on motorcycles are simply fascinating, either that or really stupid. The expressions on people’s faces are rather blank, as if in a trance. Are they envious? Are they wondering what sorts of people ride bikes? Are they wondering if we’re cold? Are they worried we’ll crash? Do they think we’re insane? Or all of the above?

Next, we zoomed toward the lake. We rode around the perimeter and through some neighborhoods I hadn’t been to before. We rode along a road right next to the lake and I nearly broke my neck looking at a series of trees growing sideways and over the water. It was the weirdest sight and I wished I had had my camera so I could show you what I’m talking about.

Bikers are a tight-knit breed. We saw quite a few people out on their bikes Saturday and everyone waved at us as they passed. It’s like we’re in a secret club – a club we weren’t aware we belonged to.

On our way back around the lake, we noticed several cars parked along the road and people running across the street. Hubby slowed and when I finally figured out what was going on, I caught my breath.

It was an accident.

A motorcycle accident.

You know the old saying “someone just walked across my grave?” That’s what it felt like. A coldness crept into my bones and I shivered.

I couldn’t really tell what happened as we skirted the scene quickly but carefully, but it looked to have involved a woman on a pink scooter. The woman was lying face down in the grass along the side of the road and she wasn’t moving. Several people were crouched down next to her. There wasn’t a police car in sight, so it must have just happened.

Hubby and I returned home, silent and thoughtful. When we dismounted the bike and took off our helmets, we just looked at each other. The first words out of my mouth were:

“Thank God you didn’t have one of the kids with you.”

Hubby just nodded. We quietly discussed what we thought might have happened. Judging by the skid marks, it looked like something pulled out in front of her and she lost control of her bike. Hubby had wanted to stop, but there were already so many people there we would have just been in the way.

We made an agreement not to mention the incident to the kids.

As Hubby and I got into my car to go get some frappicinos at Starbucks, we heard sirens. Lots of sirens. Again, we just looked at each other. Should I mention this was the VERY reason I was against him getting a bike to begin with??

On our way back, we noticed about six cop cars blocking the road in front of us, their sirens silent, the red and blue lights lazily rotating.

We looked at each other.

The police directed traffic around the accident and as we passed by, we noticed it was ANOTHER motorcycle accident.

There were two guys sitting on the side of the road, one guy had his head in his hands, the other guy was staring at some point to his left. A car was parked along the side of the road, one tire perched carelessly over the side of the curb.

The motorcycle was on its side, twisted and mangled, a lone helmet sitting a few feet from the guys, but no sign of the motorcycle driver. It was eerie.

True, one of the guys sitting by the side of the road could have been the driver, but somehow, I don’t think so. Judging by the shape of the bike, I would bet the driver had been hurt and already shipped off to the hospital.

Another officer was out in the street with a large brush, sweeping broken glass to one side of the road.

Again, hubby and I looked at each other. We were silent the rest of the way home.

Hubby broke the silence when I drove up into the driveway. “I think that’s enough riding for one day.”

I heaved a sigh of relief and nodded my agreement.

**UPDATE: The husband just came home for lunch and told me he read about the motorcycle accident in the paper today. He knew the guy! He had done some business with him at his previous job.

The car was going southbound, the bike guy was going northbound (and speeding, according to the article). The car turned left, never seeing the bike guy. The bike guy couldn’t avoid him, hit the car, flew over the car and landed in the road.

The man died.

He was my age, too. And we passed the scene shortly after finishing our bike ride. Is anyone else creeped out by this?

***UPDATE 2: I’m happy to report, two and a half years later, that the husband has not had one accident on his bike. In fact, he’s pretty anal about being OVERLY cautious – I’m not complaining. However, he still hasn’t taken his bike on the dirt trails yet and doesn’t plan on doing so. He’s now thinking about trading in his dirt bike for a street bike. *sigh* Men must play with their toys. All I can do is stand back and pray.



Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme – July 14th

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday morning. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Monday Morning Meme at

July 14th Questions:

1. Do you ever change the ring tone on your phone? What is your current ring tone? What cell phone service do you use now? Are you happy with said service? What sort of phone do you have? Are you happy with your phone? How often do you use your cell phone in a 24-hour period?

2. The year is half over (can you believe it?!) – think back, where were you at midnight, when it became 2008? If you made goals for ’08, what were they and have you met them? What would you like to accomplish before ’08 is over? Tell us ONE thing you absolutely MUST have done before the year is out.

3. It’s Saturday – are you going to lounge around the house and be sloppy? Or are you going to be social and run errands and catch up with friends? Sloppy or social?

4. If you could live one day in the life of your favorite TV character, who would it be and why?