September 4th, 2016--I was rolling north on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles--just past the 405, headed to a Labor Day BBQ. I noticed a car in the fast lane going considerably slow—creating a bizarre, significant distance between the cars moving forward in front and a line of stacked cars behind. One by one, everyone navigated around this jackass and carried on.
I ride a motorcycle. I made my way up to “slow driver in the fast lane” and glanced over to see both of his knees at the wheel—no hands—not even one--both typing on his phone—at something that must’ve been incredibly important. And a female passenger—apparently okay with this, glancing at me with a big smile as I shook my helmet head. (And yes, I did extend my middle finger—it was well deserved.)
I’d love to say this is a random happening…that I see it here and there--but I see 75% of drivers on their phone--every-fucking-day—because I ride, every day.
Is it really THAT important that you have to fill your time with nonsense—while you’re driving a motorized vehicle? Is it THAT important that you reply…to something you just read while operating a moving vehicle? Surely, it’s something that can wait. If not, pull the fuck over—get over your insignificant self and stop rolling the dice.
Its people like YOU, that think “I got this—I can multi-task.” Guess what? You can’t. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong. You are the problem—you are the reason innocent loved ones are ripped away from families and friends—that’ll never be able to make any sense of it. They’ll never understand why you chose to “like” a selfie—or take one--when they had no choice in losing a loved one.
You’re not special. You are not talented. You are a selfish asshole. And when you take a life—a son, a daughter, a grandmother—maybe even someone in your own car--good luck sleeping at night. No, really—good luck.
And to my friends and family who are reading this and are part of the problem? I sort of want you around—so please stop. The life you take could be your own. And if you take a life—you’re probably going away for a while.
I’m beyond exhausted hearing about a life lost because someone was so desperate “to leave a comment”…pathetic. People on their way home to see their families—hug their children--maybe give their parents a smile—gone forever--because you wanted to “be in the social moment”…again, pathetic.
Don’t we have enough heartache in this fucked up world to have tragedies occur that don’t have to?! Come on people. The statistics--of deaths--related to distracted driving are astounding.
And the motorcycle statistics? Astronomical. People like me, that have been riding their entire life are being subjected to unbelievable encounters. And yes, we know what we’re getting into when we get on a bike, but this is insanity.
I’ve been riding in in Los Angeles for over 25 years. Only since cell phones, has it become an utter fight for your life behind the handle bars. By the way, we will always split lanes. It’s really no big deal. Believe me, we’ll be down the road before you know it—so kindly let us pass. Yes, there are AssHats that split lanes too fast, but most of us do it with a rhythm and fluidity, that doesn’t require anyone to panic. And thank you to those who move over a smidge for us—especially the monster trucks—we heart you.
Let’s forget about the land-splitting for a second. How about taking a look--period--before you even change a lane? You remember Drivers-Ed, right? “Mirror, signal, blind spot.” Common sense mate. Mind blown how many jackasses just yank the wheel and change a lane, without EVER taking a gander behind them. And the ones that cross the SOLID line into the carpool lane. You’re an ASS. You’re the ones who take out my friends on bikes. Solid line=Don't cross.
Bikers today have to assume every-single-car is on their phone now. When I see a car start to veer—I lag back…and I wait--for the right time to pass. 9 times out of 10, when I glance over, they’re looking down at their phone. 9 times out of 10. Epidemic. (Don’t get me started on the drunk drivers.) And grown men in suits trying to run me off the road—because they don’t like the fact that I’m getting to work, or home, before them? Sad really.
It seems every other week, I see an Instagram post: “#rideinpeace _________”. Someone that was a seasoned rider—gone. Only to find out it was because of a distracted driver.
Don’t be someone who fills in the blank. Just stop. It’s okay to admit you have a cell phone addiction. It’s an epidemic. Find a meeting and replace the word alcohol, or drugs, with mobile device…and save a life—maybe even your own—maybe mine.
As I write this, I’ve heard at least ten Harley’s roaring down the freeway. There is no way to describe how it feels to ride...bliss personified. Please be kind to us out there. The majority of us are good people—with families--who’d welcome you around any campfire.
Many thanks in advance.
Peace & Blessings.