Print Story Well, isn't that interesting.
By nightflameblue (Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 05:31:38 AM EST) (all tags)
On my way home from work on Friday I saw what may be the dumbest human being I've ever had the misfortune of interacting with. Considering I drive in Sioux Falls, SD, home of the "I'm the only fucker on the road ever" attitude, that's saying something.

I met up with a guy on a big blue Harley out on the interstate on my way home from work on Friday. He pulled around in front of me as he came up behind because, you know, Harleys must ride first. (I attribute this attitude to him in retrospect. At the time, I just figured he was going faster than me.) Then we got off at the same exit, him right in front of me.

We take the corner, heading back towards town from the little bridge exit, and suddenly he lets go of the throttle and reaches across with his right hand jerking around on the left bar with his right hand. My mind jumps through the possibilities. That would have been a place where a shift was warranted, so I figure it's probably something to do with his clutch. His bike begins swerving as he jerks around on the bar with both hands on the same side. I hit my emergency blinkers, hold a steady line behind him, and tap my brake to signal to the rather large crowd of vehicles behind us that we've got a problem. Bikers gotta watch for each other, and the only thing I could think of to help was warn others behind us as he swerved around in the lane.

About thirty seconds of this, him barely moving now, still swerving, and suddenly I see what happened. Cell phone flipped up to his ear with his throttle hand. Yeah, that's right. Riding a busy street, he takes his hand off the throttle to fuck with a cell phone, and then proceeds to have a conversation, still swerving all over the road, idling down the road at around 10 MPH on a forty, holding up traffic and just generally being a butthole right during the afternoon rush.

My sympathy and feelings of fear for my fellow biker quickly wash away in a rage I've seldom felt in my life. I click off my flashers see a huge opening in the other lane, switch over and fly past him screaming, "GET OFF THE FUCKING PHONE!" as I go past.

When I got home, Mrs. NFB could tell I was rattled. Badly rattled. Just, having your emotion wrapped up in fear and good feelings for a fellow in distress and then instantly flashing to anger at someone creating a situation that didn't need to be created, it takes something out of you. That's stupid on a level I've never really seen before. Even in traffic.

That's the first time since I started riding again that I've really felt that feeling of, "you're going to get what you deserve someday." I hate myself for thinking it, but what the hell else can you think about something that dumb? I think talking on the cell in a car is bad, but on a bike?

I'm sorry fellow biker dude. You don't just disappoint me, you disappoint the human race.

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Well, isn't that interesting. | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I can only envision riding and talking on a cell by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 05:36:17 AM EST
if I had a hands free setup and some big ass highway cruiser (Goldwing or Concours or ST1100) on a lightly trafficed interstate.

I can't even hear my phone on my bike, between the wind, full face and earplugs.

If I'm sitting at a stoplight, I'll hear it ring. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 05:40:03 AM EST
If I'm moving, forget it. If I hear it ring, depending on how I'm feeling, I may pull over to get it. But, most likely, I'll ignore it until my next planned stop anyway.

[ Parent ]
getting the gear off takes too long. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 05:55:33 AM EST
I'm busy on the bike. I might look at the caller id at a light, but that's it.

I think the same thing about guys smoking on their bikes. You're driving down the road with a big headwind, and you think it's a good idea to have flame and ash 2 inches from your face?

[ Parent ]
Yeah. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 06:37:41 AM EST
I keep my phone in my saddle bag to discourage even looking at it while on the go. If I really want to stop to get it, it's a glove and a helmet removal to call/get a call. Enough pain that I don't do it often.

I knew a guy that was big on smoking on his bike. He lit up on a road he'd taken a thousand times and in the process forgot about that upcoming corner. Went through the ditch and slammed a silo doing about twenty-five when he hit. He never rode again. Didn't drive for about four months even in a cage. However, he did give up smoking altogether, so it wasn't a total loss.

[ Parent ]
Harleys by wilsley (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:20:09 AM EST
have a habit of getting into crashing I'm starting to see why. 

It's not so much having a Harley. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:42:33 AM EST
There are some guys and gals on Harleys that are pretty good riders. The problem is that the "NAME" stands out, and even the novices want Harleys. The people that see riding as some sort of right, or obligation or something. The "I OWN THE ROAD" fucktards that get into riding because they think it makes them super elite.

Not everybody that owns a Harley fits that mold, but a surprisingly large number of people who fit that mold seek out a Harley, because THAT'S THE NAME!

[ Parent ]
See also: by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:47:25 AM EST
BMW. Not bikes, cars.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Around here. . . by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:51:47 AM EST
that'd be the larger Cadillacs. Same basic principle.

[ Parent ]
Harleys by wilsley (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:17:41 AM EST
tend to be the assholes of bikes.  Just because a lot of them seem to want harley for the name and image like you say. 
It's the weekend dress up biker office types that tend to be the worst of them for the most part.  Not sure why but met couple hells around and they seem more respectful on the road then the rest of the people. 

[ Parent ]
Hells Angels is good people. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:46:44 AM EST
I had a buddy that broke down in the middle of South Dakota once and a group of Angels stopped and got him rolling again. Even tossed him a free part for his bike. Most of those guys spend enough time of the bike that they HAVE to have respect for the road AND the people on it. Otherwise, they'd be dead.

[ Parent ]
And to extend the catalogue. by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 12:49:34 PM EST
See also Bayliner. To the point that I know many boaters who will avoid Bayliners whenever possible - not just for purchase, but on the water - because of the stigma associated with it.

[ Parent ]
Bayliner by Herring (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 01:01:27 PM EST
Don't know if it's the same around your way, but if you#re up to anything serious, then you might call the coastguard and let them know - in case you don't turn up in the West Indies or whatever. Anyone we wer leaving Southampton for Honfleur (under sail) and had the VHF on. This Bayliner shot past us and we heard over the radio "Southampton coastguard, this is the motor launch Massive Dickhead leaving Southampton for Cowes, 4 people on board, expected crossing time 30 minutes. Over." To be fair, the coastguard did answer and not just with "Whatever".

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Not really by notafurry (4.00 / 2) #13 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 03:31:51 PM EST
Too much traffic. Here you only call the CG if you're in trouble, see someone in trouble, or otherwise have something out of the ordinary to report; smart boaters have someone on land who knows where they're going, timetables, crew list, etc., but the CG neither knows nor cares.

It is fun to listen to the guard channel though on a busy weekend. The CG operators tend to get just a leetle stressed with the idiots and the lectures are fun to hear. Though admittedly they're quite professional.

I recently had the joy and pleasure of seeing someone quite possibly give up boating forever; I was sailing in to the entrance channel of our marina, which is bordered one side by a large naval base. The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln's home port, in fact, and the AL was in port at the time. The result is that you have a narrow window to aim for; too far to port (west) and you are on the rocks of the breakwater jetty. Too far to starboard (east) and you're up against the navy pier, in a restricted security zone, and serious young men and women with automatic weapons are very, very interested in your intentions. Of course the Navy chooses its guards for that part of the perimeter carefully, and in several interactions (it really is impossible to avoid the security zone from time to time) I've never had a single complaint about their courtesy, professionalism, or demeanor - nor, amazingly, their ability to separate the strict letter of the regulations from plain common sense, e.g. that it's impossible to remain 500 yards from the security zone when the channel is only 100 yards wide, and when the deep part of the channel is on their side, sailboats with deep draughts are not even going to try to stay on the other side of the channel.

But on this day, a 40+ foot Bayliner came roaring up from behind, cut the corner through the shallow areas behind the entrance buoys and roared into the channel at full throttle. Four problems were immediately apparent -

  1. I would have to tack to avoid a collision unless the boat changed course immediately.
  2. The wake this boat was throwing - in a strict no-wake zone - would be a potentially serious problem since it would come from dead upwind for me, and I was already close to the Navy side of the channel.
  3. There was a Navy guard boat lazily keeping an eye on me and other traffic - right in the space I would need to move through to successfully complete 1.
  4. There was no one at the wheel of the Bayliner. The idiot was coming in on auto and trusting his GPS.
As this sank in, I saw the Navy NCO on the guard boat take in the situation as well. My radio came to life - "Notafurry, please hold your course as long as possible. We will assist. Everett, we have a security situation. Flaming Idiot, cut power immediately and prepare for boarding."

The guard boat drifted back to give me room to tack if necessary and continued hailing the Bayliner, which didn't respond; Navy looked over and gestured to me, I tacked, and found the guard boat breaking the wake for me; not perfectly smooth, but doable, and they also stood by in case I got hung up in irons and started drifting into the pier.

Meanwhile, two other guard boats and a truck on the pier have appeared. The guard boats smack up alongside the bayliner and turn it up the channel, none too gently. The truck has a large machine gun aimed into the flybridge. Two minutes later, as I sail past a few yards off, they have the idiot down on the deck, hands on his head, while a dozen heavily armed sailors start ransacking the boat looking for, quote the NCO in command, "anything that might make me unhappy". He then perched on the deck next to the idiot and proceeded to lecture him - loudly - on his shortcomings as a sailor.

I'm not sure what all they did, but the Bayliner came into the marina under its own power about an hour later. It hasn't moved since that I'm aware of and one of my fellow club members reports it has a brokerage sign on the bow now, so hopefully that's one idiot we'll never have to deal with again. :)

[ Parent ]
That's a lovely story by Herring (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 01:34:02 AM EST
Cheered me up.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
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Bike and cell by duxup (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 05:46:59 PM EST
Mrs. duxup used to drive a ways home from work.  Traffic slows down around 5 of course so it isn't to fast maybe 30 mph at most.  She has a dude pull up next to her in the other lane swerving.  She thought he was having a heart attack because his head was cocked to one side awkwardly.  No he was holding his cell to his ear while talking... and driving all over the road on his bike.  WTF?

I hate to wish ill on my fellow bikers. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 02:51:28 AM EST

But that guy's asking for it.

[ Parent ]
Well, isn't that interesting. | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback