Motorcyclists Use Common Sense (and Courtesy)

The trip home this past week was almost a completely relaxing ride for a holiday weekend. Almost. That is until 2 motorcyclists tried getting themselves killed using Rosie and I as the vehicle.

Before I go into my whole rant here I will say that I have been on bikes since I was big enough to hang on behind my dad. By age 12 I was riding dirt bikes all over the countryside, and by the time I was 15 or so, I was taking my dad’s ’84 Softail with his permission of coarse (and to my Mothers dismay) on rides down our country road, ape hangers and all. I have been on 2, 4 or 18 wheels ever since.

With driving any vehicle comes responsibility and my dad instilled that in me at a very early age. You have to know what you are doing. And secondly you have to take responsibility for what you don’t know. If you don’t have experience or are not comfortable (be it in a car, on a motorcycle and especially in a semi truck) then you don’t put yourself in a situation that you can’t handle (no matter how cool you think you are) because it can get you or someone else killed very quickly.

Saturday afternoon I had come up to an intersection in which I needed to make a right hand turn. There was no one coming from either direction, but I did have vehicles a ways behind me that most likely would be going the same direction that I was going, which was towards Fort Randall Dam in South Dakota. These two motorcyclists were in that mix.

I made my right turn, slowly bringing Rosie up to speed all the while keeping an eye on who was behind me, because we were on two lane road, traffic was busier that normal, and usually people are impatient and will go around a truck because you know, we are holding up their WHOLE day. Surprisingly though, the cars and pick ups sat back respectfully and let me get going, but two stupid and foolish motorcyclists decided they were in a big hurry. Actually it was the guy out of the two (the other being a woman) that decided he couldn’t wait any longer.

The guy or stupid son of a bitch as I call him passed two cars and Rosie leaving his partner behind because there were oncoming vehicles. When she finally got the guts to pass us all, I was pushing 65 mph which was the posted speed limit.

When she started to pass me I could tell right off that she had little to no experience on a motorcycle and it pissed me off that this stupid son of a bitch ahead of me had just put her in this position. I slowed down so she could get around me because of the two lane road and the fact that she was barley going faster than I was. When she came back into my lane she was so close I could barley see the top of her head out in front of Rosies hood. Had I not slowed down, I’m unsure if she would have hit me. And to say the least, she was in a very unsafe position for the both of us. I swore, and slowed even more to give her room so I that I could get her out ahead of me and see her hoping they would both then take off, but to my surprise which made me swear even more, both riders brake lights came on and they slowed down even more to 50 miles an hour.

At that point they had put me into a situation that I didn’t want to be in, not to mention now they were holding me up and the 15 vehicles behind me. I was working, not out on vacation looking at the sights and I didn’t want to be anywhere near these two assholes for my safety as well as theirs.

Finally I had an open spot where I could pass and did just that. I moved safely out and around them, but it didn’t make me feel any better about what had just transpired. It was a foolish move for those two riders to even get as close to a semi as they did.

I had a million thoughts running through my head, but the main one was WHAT IF? What if a deer would have run out and either of those two had slammed their brakes on?  What if I couldn’t get stopped in time? What if they had lost control? Guess where they would have been? Under Rosie.

And sure, I wouldn’t be physically hurt if I ran those two assholes over, but I would have to live with that thought & vision the rest of my life. Not to mention everyone would have blamed ME because I was driving the killer truck. I may have lived to tell the story, but it would have ruined my life which most people who fuck with trucks never think about. I also kept thinking of my Dad, who is a top notch driver in not only trucks, but on motorcycles and he would have NEVER put my Mother in a situation like that.

The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got.

As I crested the hill that drops down onto the Fort Randall Dam though, a lightbulb came on in my head which made me smile a dirty, mean little smile. I remembered there was bridge work going on, and that the highway  ahead of us was closed down to one lane, with a stoplight on both ends making each lane take their turn at crossing the dam.

I put a little lip gloss on, made sure my hair was looking good and slowed Rosie down, all the while keeping an eye on the two assholes behind me, and the stoplights out ahead of me so that I was sure to get a red light when I got close.

And I did.

As soon as I came to a stop I hit my parking brake and jumped out of Rosie quickly walking back to the motorcyclists. There was one other vehicle that was able to get around the motorcycles after they had slowed down so I gave him a nice smile and a wave and he gave me what seemed to be a knowing smile back as I walked stomped past him and up to the stupid son of a bitch on the bike.

The big bad bikers both sat there with their mouths wide open as I walked up to them. I’m sure they never in a million years thought anyone would call them out on their stupid, stupid actions. I’m even surer that they weren’t expecting ME.

I am proud to say I pretty much kept my cool although the adrenalin pumping through me at the time made me want to grab hold of their brand new Sturgis t-shirts and rip them off their fucking Hondas. I told them how stupid they both were in passing me like they did. And that if they are passing another vehicle they had damned well better get out ahead of that vehicle by a good half mile or better and keep up the pace, not slow down 15 miles an hour under the posted speed limit. I warned them that they may think they are cool on their scooters, but when they are being peeled off the highway because  a truck ran them over due to their own stupidity, they wouldn’t look or be so cool.

She never said a word, but started crying. He just kept saying I’m sorry, I’m sorry, over, and over, and over.

I started to turn to head back to Rosie since at that point I had a HUGE audience but I had one more thing I had to say which was that he should never have put her in that situation like he did. She obviously had no experience and I don’t care how god damned fast he wanted to go, he should take care of his partner first and foremost, and not put her in a situation that could potentially get her or them both killed.

Then I stomped back to Rosie. I was so pissed at that point I could hardly hold onto the grab bar to get in… but once in I composed myself, released the brakes when the green light came my way and then laughed a dirty little laugh feeling like I had made a difference. Even if it was just a little one.

I don’t get the chance very often to correct a situation or to tell people how much their actions weigh on me, but I did this time. And I will do it again if given the chance so beware.

That being said, and I don’t care what you’re driving, please, please for my sake and all the other drivers out there that want to go home safe and with good memories of the road, use some common sense around trucks. And remember a motorcycle weighs 700 to 800 pounds. A semi 80,000. You are out of your league. I can only do so much to keep you safe when you put me in a predicament like that. The rest is up to you.

 

 

Bethany About Bethany

I am a prisoner of the highway, farmer and lover of Mother Nature, the moon and stars, my long and low, flat-top Peterbilt, chickens, cats, dogs, horses, cooking, photography, tattoos, tea pots and vintage barnifacts…among other things. I’m also a very, happily married, third-generation truck driver. My career choice is both demanding and rewarding, just like most things in life that are truly good.

Comments

  1. Paul Hawkwind Wyrick says:

    Have done the same thing except I was bobtailing and followed this lady how when she cut me off on very wet pavement cuz she was in a hurry to get home and have another drink.
    My old Pete looked good in her neighborhood.

  2. What you said. And did.
    Glad you had the opportunity to make a difference before another YouTube crash video escaped. Guaranteed the lady will mouth that scolding around her circle, and Mr Newly-Humble cannot contradict his witness. Early in my own 2-wheel career, shortly before my 18-wheel livelihood, my leader did much the same, but I dropped back, and eventually just drove myself home, then out of his life.
    I applaud your actions and restrain of tongue.
    Ms Hanson recently posted..A Life Written On The Road: Wyoming Back RoadsMy Profile

  3. No words to say how incredible your actions were. Thanks for all of us on the road.
    Christina recently posted..AMTRAK TICKETS AND DISCOUNTSMy Profile

    • Bethany Bethany says:

      Thank you Christina, I’m just happy to give people an idea of what a lot of truckers deal with on a daily basis.

  4. Sandie Wyles says:

    what an ******** you were magnificent! this should be made into a movie…hope these ********* get the message writ LARGE…having a beer right now and cheering !!

  5. I can only tell you how proud I am of you daughter. I know what a careful and thoughtful driver you are. I have traveled with you across our great country and felt as safe as if I were driving with your dad. Your reaction to this situation and swift action will hopefully save lives beyond this couple and to others that read your story. I am sure she will never get on that bike again and not think about the consequences of her actions. And I’m sure he fervently hopes he never runs into One Girl Trucking again! Kudos kid!

  6. Well played. I have too short a fuse for such a classy dressing-down; I’d've ended up yelling at them like they were errant kindergarteners. I am impressed!

    • Bethany Bethany says:

      Thanks Gus! I don’t know how classy it was (I’m still waiting for a youtube video of my performance!) but I am glad I did confront them. Hopefully it will save their life.

  7. I like it very much. Its a very useful article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks

  8. You go girl!! I would pay money to see those faces after you’re speech! I think you need an awesome off road truck to ride over wimps like that… Check them out!
    Cheréne Pienaar recently posted..The best off-road vehicles 2011 – 2012My Profile

  9. My favorite post so far! Making my husband read this one Beth! THANK YOU!!!

  10. As a biker who always tries to be safe and sees both knucklehead drivers and bikers I can only say “Thank you!!” You had the chance to speak during a “teachable moment” and took it – a position I have wished to have many times!

    • Bethany Bethany says:

      Thanks for reading Dan, and you are more than welcome! I think these days we all need to take the time and chance if we get it to correct bad driving when we get it!

  11. Steph in Oregon says:

    So sorry this happened, Bethany.
    These 2 were REALLY lucky it was YOU in Rosie and not someone else with less experience/expertise.

    I dread the warm weather months for the reason that there are so many people that use it as an excuse to cut loose on the road (and probably in others areas of life as well).

    The only way I can preserve my sanity and keep the blood pressure low is to imagine that driver that just did something really dumb or dangerous has just suffered some tragic news or they have been with a loved one at the hospital all night. Yes it is an excuse, but sometimes it’s all I can do. This of course does not work with the 2 you had to deal with.
    I’m just glad all is well.

  12. Jimmy Guiste says:

    I’m glad things turned out the way they did Beth, versus the alternative. I guess this just proves what we all say, that’s “it’s not so much ourselves that we’re worried about, but the other guy”. We can be as careful as we want, but when others choose not to be, as did this dude on the bike, it forces us into a corner, an unsafe corner. I’m glad that you went back and talked to them. Making a difference, is making a difference, whether great or small. Good job!

  13. What a great picture of you on the bike with your Dad!!
    That brings back memories of the good old days!
    Important message – thanks for being such a good driver!

    • Bethany Bethany says:

      Oh I love this picture Laurie and so true about the good old days! Thank you so much for the compliment! I love to drive, and I have always wanted to be the best, so it’s easy for me.

  14. I worked in a law firm early on in my career. One of our clients sued a trucker for personal injury. The trucker’s defense was that this guy (our client) had majorly cut him off and that left him no room to control his truck, ultimately causing him to jackknife. A major accident ensued and beyond, what I’m sure will be something the driver will never forget, he also had to contend with taking time off from work to attend depositions and trials and what not. That was years ago and I still remember it and I always, always thought it was wrong that our client won.

    People are such jerks on the road, but there’s never an excuse to cut a trucker off, not even in the worst of traffic. Every single trucker on the road that I’ve encountered, and I’ve driven a lot of miles in my little Miata, will back off and let me in when I signal properly.

    Good for you for standing up for yourself and maybe making a small difference.
    Jammie J. recently posted..Driving Home.My Profile

    • Bethany Bethany says:

      Thanks for the comment Jammie. This is so true and what most of us fear in an accident. Even when we are not at fault we are usually guilty anyway and our lives are ruined for anthers stupidity. It is something I worry about every day, and a good reason I try so hard to stay away from people!

  15. How nerve wracking! It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a set way to call others out on bad driving (except for using your horn, which usually just makes people defensive). Glad you were able to take a rare opportunity to make the road a little bit safer!

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