Oddly enough I wasn’t part of the gang, but a victim. It was all very distressing.
We were coming home from our family trip to the hardware store (“Daddy, daddy! Can we go to the hardware store and buy some house paint?” “Yes son, we can.” “Yay!”) when it happened. There were a whole gang of crazy bikers, probably hopped up on goofballs. OK, there were three bikes (one with a lady on the back, the other two running stag) and they didn’t seem the worse for excess. They all obviously shopped together since all their bikes were equally loud (Harleys oddly enough), all their black helmets were equally cappish (like bike helmets the kids wear, only dorkier), all their jeans equally distressed (I’d say stone washed, but I could easily be wrong) and all their boots equally shiny new (as new as their black-black t-shirts). When they bought up their ensembles, they went for the full magilla.
We were sitting at a red light when the rode up in all their testosterone-drenched thundering glory. Oh how I wished I had a bike just like theirs. (Only, not so much really.) When the light changed the first guy rode off nice and steady, good lane position. The second guy dropped in behind him, staggered. So I knew these guys have ridden for a while and they knew what they were doing. The third guy was a little shaky on the start and he sorta drifted up and back in formation, but that could have been because of his rider. Or he was just new at the whole thing. But he was staying pretty much with the other two, so he should be all right.
And they were doing pretty OK. Until their lane ended. There was that big, yellow sign that said “Dudes, your lane is gonna end soon, so you might want to think about getting over” and then the road went straight until the lane actually ended, so you could see plenty far ahead and plan accordingly. I just figured they’d zoom up and get in front of everybody and that would be that. Yeah, they’d have to zoom up in front of me (like that’s a challenge) and the minivan in front of me, but then it was a quarter mile of nothing, so it seemed like a good plan. But maybe I missed something, because there was no zooming. OK, maybe they were going to drop back and slide behind me. No, no that didn’t seem to be about to come to pass. Oh, I see, the plan is to just sorta drift over and get into my lane right where my car is. Hmmm… that seems like the worst plan ever. I mean, if you’re going to play a rousing round of bumper-tag, a motorcycle doesn’t seem to be the vehicle of choice. The front guy (alpha-rider?) just sorta drifts over. (With the proper use of turn signal? It is to laugh.) Hmmm… that’s my front end right there where he’s trying to merge. So I beep my horn (it’s a Honda Civic, so it’s a friendly little “beep”), just to let him know “hey, I’m driving here”. And he goes back over in his lane. Only he’s running out of lane, so he comes back over. Speeding up might have been in his best interest, but there was that minivan right there. I guess to be fair, I could have slowed down and dropped back a little. You know, to give him some room. I thought of that and it seemed like a nice thing to do until I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw the pickup truck’s grill back there. Just the grill since the truck was that close. Nice.
Motorcycle guy is still merging. There’s still not a whole bike length between me and the minivan and I can’t slow down. So I give him another beep of the ol’ horn (“beeeeeep”) just to get his attention. He doesn’t really pay all that much attention, or can’t hear my horn over his rumbly bike, and keeps coming over. I slow down as much as I can (not much) and luckily the minivan speeds up just a little and he slides into the hole with a good four inches to spare. Then he slows down. A lot. So, of course, I beeped my horn at him real long (“beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep”) and he makes a Rude Gesture in my direction. Like it was my fault. Sheesh. It was even a Common Rude Gesture since we didn’t rate any novelty. That really hurt. I nearly cried.
After Mr. Big Shot Motorcycle Guy got in, I looked around for his friends. Hmmm… there they are! Behind the truck because they were paying attention to traffic and didn’t let themselves get boxed in and run out of lane and have to merge nearly running into my car. Good for them.
I’m still not over the Common Rude Gesture. I need to lay down in a darkened room and eat ice cream. It might be a while until I feel better and come out. Then I’m going to buy me my own motorcycle.