Friday, September 10, 2010

You've got to watch out for morons on motorcycles

One of the country living skills required in rural Missouri is the ability to watch out for out-of-state motorists.
I ran into one of those today. Well, actually, that is figurative language. I didn't run into him, but he nearly ran into the rear of my car.
When driving home from work, I stay on Historic Route 66 as much as possible, because there are idiots behind the wheels of the cars and trucks on the interstate. To get across the Big Piney, though, I have to get on the interstate from Jerome to Sugar Tree Road. When I turned east onto the on-ramp at Jerome I noticed a motorcyclist stopped on the shoulder. He appeared to be looking at a map while seated on his Ducati. I accelerated onto the interstate, drove east, exited at Sugar Tree Road and was driving through Doolittle where the speed limit is 35 mph. I was stopped once and given a warning, so I always drive under the speed limit through Doolittle.
Suddenly I looked in my rear-view mirror and I saw the single headlight of a motorcycle in the distance and in no time at all it was almost on my bumper and still moving rapidly. The "biker" couldn't go around me because there were two cars coming the opposite direction. I veered off onto what little road shoulder was available, but the "biker" had slowed down enough that he stayed behind me. I stopped at the stop sign and waited for traffic, then went on across. He followed and flew around me. I don't think the word "flew" is figurative. The speed limit, by the way, is still 35 mph there.
I noticed his license plate was not from Missouri. I couldn't tell where it was from, though.
"Go ahead, you out-of-state moron. Do us a favor and kill yourself," I muttered. Not very Christian of me, but I was still a bit shaky from almost being rear-ended by the Ducati; I could picture the "biker" flying over my car if that had happened.
I puttered along at 45 mph once I got out of Doolittle, eventually crossed the one-lane bridge and took the curve to the left. As I headed along that straight stretch, I saw a motorcyclist up by the Moose Lodge and it was turning around and flying back towards me.
"Is that the same moron?" I wondered.
Sure enough; as he buzzed past me in the other direction I saw it was the same fool with a death wish. I puttered on, looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that he had gone to the curve and turned around. He was headed back!
I puttered on up Martin Spring Drive at 45 mph. He seemed to be holding back, but then as I passed the new barbecue joint, Bandana's, I saw that he appeared to be accelerating and soon he was zooming past me again. By the time I got to the top of the hill and was stopped, waiting to turn right, I saw him again, this time heading back out of Rolla on Kingshighway, waiting at the stoplight.
What that moron was up to, I can't tell you. I hope he got out of Missouri without killing anyone.

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