Do You Believe in Luck? Fate? Angels?
Do you believe in luck? Fate? Coincidence? Are there angels looking out for you?
Sometimes I wonder.
Yesterday evening after dinner, I set out on the Tiger in the last of the day’s golden light. My route took me down Nicolls Road which is a 4 lane highway with an exit that merges on to the Long Island Expressway – a big 8 laner.
Exiting Nicolls onto the LIE eastbound involves a long sweeping ramp which would be lots of fun if the end of it didn’t mean exchanging places with fast-moving traffic that has just exited the LIE which now has to shlamonzeebrakes and move right to take the Nicolls ramp north.
While on the LIE east ramp, I was the third vehicle in the line moving towards the service road. I could see in the distance that there were no cars to alternate with at the merge. As I came through the turn, straightened my bike up, I put my left signal on, left hand out, one eye on the two cars in front of me – waiting for them to make their move, and then a quick glance in my mirror.
That quick look in the mirror revealed a car coming hot and heavy off of the LIE towards us. Within a matter of seconds, their grill was next to my saddlebag in the next lane and they stayed right there.
My first thought? “ASSHOLE!”
If they were going to take the exit – given the traffic flow and placement in the lane – their natural place to merge was behind me. If they were going to continue straight – they should’ve kept going right by. Instead? They were blocking me out.
Though the exchange only lasted about 3 seconds, my blood pressure rose in the way it does when someone in traffic pisses you off. You know how it is. Someone has WRONGED YOU! You swirl in the downward spiral of all-consuming righteous indignation. What the fuckity fuck is wrong with you, you fuckin’ fuck?!? (It’s not just me is it?)
And then, just like that… they dropped back and opened the lane clear for me to move left.
“WHAT… THE HELL?!”
In the time that it took me to look away from my mirror, process that I was now safe to merge left and began the motion – the spare tire mounted underneath the van two cars ahead of me released and fell onto the roadway. When the tire hit the road it shot left across the lane like a 50lb. hockey puck. The car directly in front of me missed hitting it as did I.
As I collected my thoughts it became clear to me that if that person hadn’t zipped up and boxed me out, I might’ve been taken out by that tire. It was like… they saved me.
A wash of guilt came over me. I need to get a hold of myself. So someone didn’t wait their turn? I need to take a deep breath and just let it go.
Mostly, no. But I have had those moments on the road where just one tiny thing that was different and I’d have been in a bad way. So, perhaps, it’s not so crazy to think a higher power was steering the ship.
yea, exactly! Sometimes the more likely thing would’ve been you plowing headlong into disaster. But then some invisible force comes along and says “not today.”
Wow! I used to get all upset and puffy when people blocked me in but then I came just shy of someone dropping a mattress, yes mattress from the top of their car and now I think, maybe God put this slow arse person in front of me to save me from something unknown… Ride safe!!!
Ugh. Scary to think about.
Ride safe, Tiffany.
Same kind of thing happened to me on the LIE except I was blocked from my exit and when I got around I just missed a plastic TURTLE SANDBOX in the right lane of the LIE! Could only imagine what could have happened if I hit that…
Holy crap 🙁
In addition to being glad that we’ve all avoided unexpected things in the roadway – clearly people needs lessons on how to secure loads to their vehicles!
Glad you dodged the tire — frightening to consider how different things could be with a few ticks of the clock. There is so much unexpected stuff on the roads today that I’ve found I ride defensively in places where I once may have had the throttle wide open. I’ve dodged cinder blocks on the road, big tree limbs, pools of liquid manure, and deer. I’ve only once watched something depart from a vehicle — some retread rubber from a truck. It squirmed by me in the passing lane but I’m certain I would have gone down had it it the scooter.
I suppose the lesson is to be calm, be aware, and accept what comes along as something to be negotiated.
I was traveling a straight road that ended at a T once and decided to test my braking skills, well before actually getting to the stop sign, since the road was clear at my 12 and 6. My ride sees me taking a right after the stop sign but through my brake test I managed to put myself clear of the out of control car that made a right onto my street and had fully gone into and through my lane of travel. Religion has no place in my head or heart (disbelieve) so I can’t chalk that up to someone looking out for me. Just a set of circumstances that worked out in my favor at that point. I could have just as easily tested my brakes and parked myself in the line of fire of an angry rabid buck charging from the treeline. 😉
Glad you didn’t eat that tire Fuzz. I had the role of being second in line behind a truck that ejected an underneath tire once. Car in front moved deftly out of the way feeding the front end of my car a tire for breakfast. Sucks in a car, life changing on a bike.
Wow, Fuzz, you certainly lucked out of that one—and I sure am glad you did. It can be overwhelming to consider all of the could-have-beens that each of us encounters daily. Over the last several years, our DOT and highway patrol here have campaigned heavily against unsecured loads, but I wonder if it’s making any difference: It is amazing the type and volume of crap that still ends up on the roads.
My brother told me about a co-worker of his (a rider) whose father lost a box spring out of his pickup on the interstate. It took out a motorcyclist—killed him. Though it’s horrible that a rider died for no good reason, it’s also heartbreaking how that occurrence continues to haunt the fellow who failed to secure his load: Daily he is faced with having caused the senseless death of another, and from what I hear—now years later—he still has not been able to forgive himself. What a bitch of a burden to have to shoulder every single day.
Amazing what the difference a few seconds make. Been there and done that way too many times. Just seems to be more real when on a bike. Glad your ride ended safely!!! Always have to have every sense we have in high gear just to make it to our destination, even if it is a short one. Take care 🙂
At the risk of getting all Twilight Zone on everyone. I do believe we have senses that we no long know how to use effectively.
I’ve had a few instances where “something” or “someone” has spoken to me and left me a message or altered my path. I’ve learned not to ignore those messages.
Glad you came through it unscathed