I came across this video on YouTube, and it sparked an idea.  First, check out the video; it is only 50 seconds long.

When you ride your bike, especially on congested roads, your head must be on a swivel, checking your mirrors and verifying who is in the lanes to your left and right.  Back in the day, when you were 16 and getting your license, one of the focal points was defensive driving.  On a motorcycle, you need to bump that sense up a notch and not only be defensive but also watchful of what a driver might do.  Always assume that every car is out to kill you.  Being prepared, awake, and alert is the only way you can avoid potential dangers on the road.

To add to your concerns is the numerous inconsiderate drivers out there, with many towing, carrying, moving material from one point to another.  How many shoes have you seen on the highway and then asked yourself, “how the hell does a shoe end up here?”  Well, from the video, you can see exactly how that can happen.   Why on Earth would anyone see logic in hauling a mattress in the back of a pickup WITHOUT tying it down.  How much thought went into the planning of the haul?  Does the driver understand simple physics?  The rider in the video was very lucky because at the speed he was going, not only could he have been thrown from the bike, but he also could have suffered serious injuries.  The sad part is the idiot driving the truck probably wouldn’t have stopped if the motorcyclist hadn’t flagged him down.

If you knew me in 2007, then you know that while going to work one bright morning, I happened to be following a flatbed truck as I was exiting 495 for Route 66.  As I approached the truck, I felt something hitting my face.  I was wearing a half helmet at the time.  As I got closer to the truck, the objects hitting my face increased and the pain felt from each object also increased.  I realized that it was brick particles from a previous load striking me in the face.  I had two choices: I could slow down and try to put distance between the truck and me, or I could speed up and attempt to pass the truck.  Well, in my pain-induced stupor, I opted for the latter and hit the throttle.  At that point, the pain was so intense that it was difficult for me to keep my eyes open, and before I knew it, I was on the shoulder and doing about 70 mph.  When I looked up, I noticed something black and big on the shoulder and realized there was absolutely no way to avoid it.  The next thing I knew, I was airborne and drifting away from the bike.  I landed on the ground and started rolling, hearing the bike hitting the ground behind me.  When I came to a stop, I was in the middle of the exit ramp with the bike laying behind me blocking traffic (I love that bike, gave its all for me).  I pulled myself to the partial safety of the shoulder and proceeded to call my wife, telling her that I was in a minor accident.

The point of the story is because a driver didn’t think, wasn’t considerate enough to clear off the flatbed, I, after making a foolish decision, ended up in bed for a month with a busted knee and a bent bike.  I still ride with a half helmet, but all of my bikes since have had windshields installed, regardless of how “wimpy” that may make me.

Well anyway, I am just saying to continue to be careful while riding and remain mindful that some drivers may not take the time to ensure their loads are secure or their vehicles are clear of debris.

Keep riding and be safe.

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