Sep 07 2011

Stupidity kills

Talk-to-Stupid-People

I had another post that I started yesterday and I was on a good roll with it when I got interrupted and had to leave it for a while.  When I went back to it later, I’d lost the roll and couldn’t seem to get it back, so that one gets filed away in the drafts until I regain momentum on it again.  Today something else crossed my mind as I was out in the car.

Motorcycles.

I love them.  Someday I want to own one.  A big, road cruisin’ bike, black with electric blue flames painted on it and a big, fat back tire.  I’d want it to have a nice, low rumble, just enough to indicate its power but not enough to shatter windows as I pass by.  I’d like to have a lovely biker wench sitting on the back, arms wrapped around me as we hit the road and just cruise.

I hope to have not killed anyone before that.  I have quite a few friends with motorcycles and when I’m around them I hear a lot of complaints about how people in cars treat them while they are out on their bikes and their arguments are quite valid.  I’ll get to those in a minute, because what happened to me today lies on the other side of that fence.  I was on a 2 lane highway, going just under 60 in a 55 mph zone.  (I’m allergic to tickets so that is about as far as I’m willing to stretch the law.)  A motorcycle pulled up to a stop sign from a street on my right.  It was a younger man and a female counterpart on a crotch rocket style bike.  He stopped and he looked me dead in the eye as I approached.  He saw me, I saw him, and I thought we were cool.

Then he pulled out in front of me and nailed it.  Yeah, he got away from me pretty quick and put quite a bit of distance between us, but not before I’d locked up my own brakes to keep from hitting him.  He HAD to be in front of me that bad, I guess.  I’m not sure why.  I was the only other visible car on the road, so it isn’t like he was sitting there waiting on traffic.  I wasn’t the only one it scared, either, because as they pulled away from me I saw his girlfriend/wife/soon-to-be-ex smack the living shit out of the back of his helmet.  I thought about following him to his next destination and giving him a piece of my mind, but I could tell he was going to get it from her anyway, so I didn’t bother.

So, good sir, you’re welcome for saving your dumbass life today.

There are rules that everyone needs to follow so people that enjoy motorcycles can continue to do so for a long time.  So allow me to break them up by vehicle to help you out a little bit.

To the motorcycle riders:

So many captions I had for this picture, I don’t even know where to begin.

  • Yes, your bike is faster than my car, that does not mean you get to race me out of a stop sign when I have the right of way.  My car will still win on impact.
  • Yes, they did a very nice job at the body shop when they redid my back bumper a couple of years ago, you do not need a close up view of it when we are going 70 on the freeway.  You’re fucked if someone, say, pulls out in front of me on a motorcycle because we found out today, my brakes work GOOD!
  • Yes, I pay extra attention when I see a motorcycle on the road with me and I make sure to always know where you are.  Please stop cruising in my blind spot because you are stressing me the fuck out.
  • The double yellow line is not a “very narrow passing lane”, Dickface.  Neither is the shoulder.
  • I don’t think there should be laws requiring helmets, because I would have thought common sense would dictate that.  The law requires seat belts and helmets but cigarettes are legal, so it’s ok to kill yourself as long as you do it SLOWLY.
  • Back to tailgating, your very bright headlight for safety is directly in the middle of my rear view mirror and I am blind now, so I won’t be slamming on the brakes to avoid the deer I can’t see, I’m going to hit it and send it flying over the car into your face.
  • Your bike is interesting to me and I will want to look at it and I will try to end up close to it at a stop light so I can admire it.  That is all the distraction that is necessary.  Cover your ass crack.

    We’re all operating deadly vehicles, there are some distractions that are unnecessary and this distracts everyone, male or female.

  • Keep in mind that when you do something stupid on your bike around me, it can kill you and in the process probably ruin my life because I’ll have to carry that guilt even though it wasn’t my fault.  If you want to kill yourself, do what you have to do but don’t drag me into it.

To the car drivers:

Screw helmet laws, they should make this shirt a requirement.

  • The bike in front of you may be going slow to keep from tailgating someone else, which means he/she values their life.  Do not negate it by tailgating the bike.  Don’t worry, they know you’re there and they already hate you.
  • There is a reason we were taught to look over our shoulder before changing lanes, because it helps people stay alive.  A motorcycle does not have the same control when it is forced off the road that your car does.
  • I’m sure the guy on the very nice bike would love to tell you about it.  Please don’t roll down your window and discuss it with him at 70 mph.
  • Pulling out in front of a motorcycle is different than vice versa, because the motorcycle rider doesn’t even have to touch your car to end up getting killed.
  • Motorcycle riders that ride in pairs or small groups do so for their own protection, don’t break them up.  That space between them is their area of safety, not an invitation to put your ass into it.
  • Your vehicle will always win if it comes down to a clash between the two.  Don’t use it as your excuse to be a douchehammer.

There are stupid drivers, period, no matter what you’re driving and that stupidity can lead to a senseless death destroying not just the lives of the motorcycle rider and their families, but to the surviving driver and their family as well.  I know just about everyone has a story of someone they know that was killed or badly injured on a bike.  It is something people choose to do because they enjoy being out in the open while they ride.  The wind in the face and the “you and the road” feeling is a real rush and was meant to be enjoyed.  It is also something people do to save money, on gas and insurance, etc.

Don’t hold it against them for doing what they enjoy and have it be something that destroys their lives.  For those of you that choose to ride, watch yourselves as well.  You might take your own life in an accident, but you can ruin ours as well.

Have you seen the latest thing?  Airbags for motorcycles . . .

In the event of an accident, your life is saved by a giant inflatable vagina. How awesome is that?!

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Facebook post of the day:

This man has the largest collection of ICP shirts on the planet.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.opticynicism.com/2011/09/stupidity-kills/

4 comments

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    • KYouell on September 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    All of the same is true for bicycles sharing the road. I am extra supercalifragilistically careful because I know your giant vehicle can squish me like a bug. You do not need to honk at me, and I *will* be stopping at stop signs because my bakfiets is the size of a motorcycle and I am not a spandex-wearing douchecanoe that wants to be on the street but not obey signals. Also, I may be stopping to let a pedestrian cross the road as they have the right-of-way. Scooting closer to my bike does not make these pedestrians cross the street faster.

    Thank you. (And thanks for the loan of the soapbox.)

    • Meg on September 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I someday may want a bike.. but my family fears for me, and it may be my stopping point. I know it’s scary & dangerous, and I don’t really want to cause them more stress.

    I respect a person on a bike when I see them.. but then you have idiot bikers.. like the one that passed us like we were standing still, when we were doing almost 80mph. Two people on 1 “crotch rocket” as my hubby called it, and it had to be doing near 100mph, weaving in and out of traffic on the highway. It literally made my heart race in fear. I do not want to see smushed, scraped bodies all over the road. Yuck.

    • Shirley Wessels. on September 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I really enjoyed this. Used to ride a bike. Last one Suzuki Catana, 4in one Wildcat. Stopped riding because the bike was way too heavy for me and even I couldn’t ride myself ‘scared’ anymore.
    Decided if I was getting the nickname ‘Deathwish’ it was time to pack it in for the sake of my family.
    Still miss it tho.
    Seriously respect all road users believe it or not.

    • Lori on September 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Late to the party but I had to comment on this excellent post! As the exwife of a biker and friend of a biker I agree completely with all your points. I just had to add semi truckdrivers to the mix. My husband drove trucks for years and some of his experiences with other drivers were pretty hair-raising. If people driving automobiles (and probably motorcycles as well) would learn only one thing it would go a long way to protecting them on the road – DO NOT CUT OFF A SEMI. It isn’t a road rage thing, it’s a stopping distance thing. Those rigs do not stop on a dime…or even a quarter. Whenever I see or hear a news report about a trucker-involved collision I pray everyone is safe and then I wonder what the jerk driver of the car was thinking pulling in front of a semi doing the speed limit and taking up his safety zone. Okay, that’s not always the scenario but most truckdrivers I’ve known take their responsibility for operating the rig very seriously. Not only is it their livelihood, they know like no one else that it can be lethal. Thanks for the post and the opportunity to put in a good word for responsible truckdrivers!

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