One of the things that I love about my job at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson® is that we are an advocate for motorcycle safety & riding aware. That's why I jumped at the chance to participate in the Fort Drum Motorcycle Safety Day, representing the dealership.
At the safety day I spoke about motorcycle insurance, motorcycle tires, and the Harley Owners Group. They had other professionals speaking about riding safely as well - blind spots around tractor-trailer rigs, most common accidents, motorcycling myths, etc.
Ironically, as I left Fort Drum to return to FX Caprara Harley, I put all those safety tips to the test. And sometimes the people who need to hear about motorcycle safety are the drivers (aka Cagers) behind the wheel!!
I was riding along on a 2-lane interstate and a construction zone had the left/fast lane closed off. So I'm in the right/slow lane and there's a silver sedan coming up on an on-ramp. With plenty of room, I was going to allow this car to get in front of me - but this guy had other plans.
The car started slowing down and I took that to mean that I was to go ahead and pass - so I did. And now I'm in front of the car, expecting to see him get behind me, and I'm watching my rear-view mirror to make sure that is what he's going to do.... but I don't see him.
And now the on-ramp/merge lane is coming to an end.... Where is this guy?? I look to my right and he's right next to me, smiling and waving..... and coming right towards me in his car!! I have no choice but to slow down and let this driver get in front of me - again!!
What made it worse, I'm wearing my waterproof gauntlet gloves and cannot give the proper finger.... so I just raise my left arm and my voice to yell at him. His reply: lifting his arm out his window to wave at me.... Wow, really??
Then the interstate opens back up to two lanes, and I immediately speed up to 65, move over to the left/passing lane, and pass this guy. As I'm riding past this driver, of course I'm looking at him - as if I'll magically be able to figure out his motive for trying to kill me. And he waves at me.... again!!!
I'm not sure why this driver thought smiling and waving at me as he
tried to crush me with his car was ok. Was he mesmerized by a woman riding a Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide? Did he think/expect me to just move out of his way? Did he want a closer look at my bike without getting out of his car? Was he playing a joke - albeit a bad one? Did he realize what he was doing??
Whatever the case with this driver, I'm here to tell you as a rider, this is the stuff our nightmares are made out of and in real life it's not ok. It is never ok for a driver to use his/her car to drive into a motorcycle and rider!! Please, for the love of all that is holy, watch out for those of us who ride!!! Thank you in advance!