When I started riding bikes, I quickly fell in love with it as it gave me an activity to stimulate my mind during one of the most boring moments that life has to offer: driving in traffic. It was fun. I could wave at strangers, direct traffic, and flirt with girls. Riding a motorcycle to work provided me with a method of endless physical expression.
As a result, I abandoned driving altogether, sold my car, and started riding everyday. Rain or shine.
I’ve had a total of four crashes in my short two years in the saddle. Some say I’m a slow learner. The first three did not involve exterior traffic, and they all occurred due to my own miscalculations of weather and road conditions. I walked away from all of them scratch-free. The fourth involved another driver, and was exponentially more painful.
I was on a large upswing in my life. I had just graduated, received a salaried promotion at work, and my love life became simpler as I switched from monogamous to casual dating. Life was good. But, life is also full of colorful ironies. I learned in an instant that you don’t always go just because the light is green.
It was my first day at my new job and it proved to be a tiring but exciting experience. I had the power to throw my weight around as a supervisor, while remaining cognizant that the only thing that changed was my role in company. I put in eight hours just to shadow a supervisor (who had pulled for me to get the job) and clocked out at around 11 O’ Clock P.M. I had every reason to leave the building and go home, but I decided to stop and talk to my new boss. I’m the type of person that understands the importance of establishing relationships, so I popped into his office for no real reason other than to chat and thank him for the position.
Then, I got on my bike and rode home completely high on life. Everything was right in the world. I had my headphones in and I was swerving the bike left to right with the music whenever I hit dry patches on the highway.
I watched bewildered drivers stare at me in disbelief while I passed them with my super fashionable high visibility rain suit. Drivers always watched as if I was teetering on the verge of catastrophe at any given second, but riding in the rain never presented any real danger to me. And I’ve ridden through some pretty gnarly torrential downpours.
Eventually, I exited the freeway and meandered through some residential intersections when I saw a silver Corolla in the lane to my left. A small part of me wanted to grip the throttle and blow past him to avoid having to merge after the next light, but the roads were wet so I opted to ride more conservatively and merged behind him. We coasted at a reasonable speed, and I tailed him to the next intersection where I followed him through the green light, when a Mini-Cooper in the opposing left-turn lane decided to blow the red. He pulled into the intersection thinking he could save a couple seconds after the Corolla had passed, but surprise, surprise, my happy ass was right there waiting for him.
I swerved right, but saw the concrete median and light pole and realized, “That’s going to hurt a lot more.” So I straightened the bike, took the hit, and went flying.
It kills me to think that this wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t just pop in to say hi to my new boss.