I'm a farmer and I ride a motorcycle. Two things that don't ever exactly scream safety on the entire scope of either things. Farming is still in the top 10 most dangerous jobs out there and you can seriously injure yourself on a motorcycle as well. Mind you I've always been sort of a thrill seeker in a way. I have scars, a chipped tooth, and concussions from dirtbiking and snowboarding. That doesn't include the sprained ankles and wrists along with other issues I've had.
Zimba and I were chatting about my blog the other day and he mentioned how he enjoyed my last couple and that they seem suspenseful like something bad might happen to me but it never does. Well that is pretty much the case I still have a lasting issue from an incident that happened on one of my very first five day trips on my old Yamaha motorcycle. Don't get me wrong the outcome probably is the best case scenario that could have happened because the other option is almost 100% death however I don't always run life good.
It was a warm day in the mountains in late June in the summer of 2003 as I pulled my VStar around switchback after switchback. The smaller 1100cc bike could really handle and was the biggest I could handle with my limited experience in the mountains. However I was thinking I would need to upgrade to a bigger Harley someday and get rid of the very electric sounding rice grinding horse I was on. I also remember I was sweating because as hot as it was I still wasn't taking off my kevlar jacket with full body armour and back plate. I was still in the stage in which over 80% of new riders take their backs down in due to lack of experience so I wasn't really into taking anymore of a chance than I all ready was.
I was cutting around the back end of a switchback doing about 35-40 mph when I spotted a large RV coming around the bend. I was still in the habit of easing into the outside of my lane in these situations to give myself extra time and space in case the geriatric behind the wheel crossed the line on me which isn't too common as they do have issues with those rigs on mountain roads. However as I started into the apex of the corner I saw the white car that was in my lane and pulled out to pass this RV. Pulled out on a blind switchback in the mountains right beside an RV and coming straight for me.
There are only ever a couple options in this situations especially in the mountains were you are either against a rock wall or going of the edge of the cliff. So you can either try and dodge whats coming at you, lay it down into the cliff, or hit them dead on. None of which are very good.
The guys behind me said they don't know how I did it, but I took my bike onto the non-existent shoulder of the road, as we passed three wide on the curve. I had about and extra four inches of road before the cliff dropped a couple hundred feet. Pretty much the width of my tire was on a soft piece of asphalt and gravel. I had less distance between me and the car. I'm sure I brushed it with my arm and the mirror of the car missed my elbow by less than two inches. I didn't have the room to turn around or else I would have and the guy in the white car would have not been in good shape but I didn't. I continued on having some quality alone time to think about the experience I just had.
I wish the story ended there but it doesn't. I acted like the whole incident didn't bother me but apparently it had a deeper psychological effect. I had never slept walked before that night, but that night, I got up on my bed in my sleep and jumped from it to the desk in the hotel room. I then commenced to rip the phone out of the wall and throw it. Obvsiously, this racket woke my father up who was on the trip as well. He says I was in a very ferrel position on the desk and looked ready for a fight. He asked me what was wrong and I kept repeating the man in the white car was trying to kill me. Eventually he got me off the desk and back in bed. I don't remember any of it until the next morning when I asked why I was so sore. I almost broke a leg when it made contact with the desk first and my hands had blood blisters on them from God knows what. I didn't escape quite as perfectly as I went in.
The sleep walking is now a habit I have never been able to shake and the doctor says there isn't much I can do about it but learn how to control it which I am getting better at. However last week during a little bit of stress(when it seems to act up the most) I found myself waking up with my 27" flatscreen in my arms. In my dream the TV was a rock and I was going to throw it through a window I needed to escape through. However deep down I guess Zimba is right I do always seem to escape dangerous situations with little or no consequences seeing as how that situation could have been much worse. Thats why now for me the road goes on forever and the party never ends. The video below is a reminder of how even though things are bad they could almost always be worse or leave you not breathing.