Morning Ride Excitement

Posted By: CLong <>
Date: 6/22/2001 at 08:12:50


(Too entertaining an event not to pass on. And the Writing Muse has perched on my shoulder.)

Cruising in to work this morning on the Dragon. Enjoying the morning, running at speed in the left diamond lane, riding in the right hand track (keeps the jerks from seeing a hole between cars and trying to fill it), light traffic on the freeway at 06:30, morning sun / clouds were putting on a show, life was good. No cages immediately in front or back, one on my 5 just outside the blind spot but enough so I could see the front wheels in the right mirror.

Life suddenly changes with a simple sound. <TING> is heard over the Dragon roar.

Ting? says I. What the heck is -ting-?

Movement in the right mirror that *ain't* *right*. Low, fast, thin, coming up quick. Movement is out of the mirror before I can focus. Auto-survival mode kicks in and the Dragon starts to move to the left a little. Time starts that slow crawl. I can see birds flapping their wings a mile away, the dots on the road are inching by, can feel individual hairs on the head flapping in the breeze. Dragon makes the center track about the time TING is defined.

Beauty ring from a GM product goes rolling by on the right, still in the hammer lane but edging towards mine. Got speed, rolling steady, looks like it will pass me. Unprintable Adjectives start rolling through the brain about this time.

Given the sped up brain cells, a fast calculation is done and laser lines suddenly pop up in my vision indicating where current speed / direction of the Dragon and the ring will intersect. Not a good thing. Dragon suddenly drops speed a tad and I realize the brake hand and foot have reacted on their own and started to slow the Dragon down. Amazing how auto pilot kicks in.

What seems like an hour later, the ring is still rolling by and is even to the front nose of the Dragon when it catches something in the road and it's course is altered slightly more towards my lane along with picking up a slight bounce. Those laser lines correct the trajectory and the auto brake system engages one more time for a quick tap.

Ever really look at a highway? In the days since the current event started to unfurl, I was able to closely examine many aspects in great detail. Those little round dots between the lanes have a nice arch, rather large, evenly spaced, just perfect for a now slightly bouncing, high revolution beauty ring to use as a ramp. And use it as a ramp that shiny piece of aluminum did.

The ring launched into the air when it hit a dot. Not high, just about chest high to a rider on a scoot. Painfully accurate in it's altitude. Surprisingly, that slowed down time sense crawled to an even slower rate.

My mind seemed to split in two. One side was watching things happen with a detached interest, doing all the calculations, marking where things were going to connect, taking an inventory of things around me, planning various routes, wondering what time it was, working a problem at work, mapping the nearest hospital, trying to figure the tensile strength of the plastic windshield. The other side of the now dual personality was simply screaming OH THIS IS GONNA HURT.

The Dragon velocity dipped. Just a touch. That auto-pilot braking system activated and employed the engine to assist by dropping down a gear. Not enough to impact control or change the attitude of the ride, just a fast touch and an immediate reduction in the forward momentum.

That wondrously bright, glinting piece of bodily damaging aluminum that was a part of a GM auto product sailed into my path. Chest high as predicted. Spinning in an upright position, the dirty attachment clips whizzing around like little razor blades just begging to become part of my physical being.

And it sailed on past. Clanging into the concrete divider on the left and deciding to hug the concrete as the Dragon and I slithered past.

*Just* in front of the Dragon nose. Close enough to warrant close examination for non-existent contact scratches.

The car never stopped. Most likely never knew it was his. Time sped up to normal, the Dragon reclaimed the just under 10 MPH it lost, and the normally mundane trip resumed.

The day seems SO much brighter now. <grin>.

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