It was Saturday, and I was driving the motorbike along the highway on my way home.
The roads here aren’t always amazing. In this particular area, the two lanes of highway end abruptly at a ledge, which drops down to a wide shoulder. The shoulder is for pedestrians and cyclists and anyone going the wrong direction; the road is for cars and trucks. Motorbikes are free to choose where they want to roll.
I picked the shoulder since we had just taken off from a stoplight and I was currently outnumbered by vehicles.
The trick is, once you have chosen the shoulder–or the road, really–you can’t just switch. At high speeds, you can’t just take the ledge at an angle without hitting the pavement.
Or at least I can’t.
On this particular drive, I was on the shoulder and approaching a cyclist. I had plenty of room to go around him, so I didn’t think much of the car approaching on my right at the same time.
I was going a little over 50km an hour, so I was gaining on him quickly. And just as I was nearly passing between the cyclist and the car, a pedestrian walked out into the road, and the bicycle swung out toward me.
I didn’t have much choice of where to go. I obviously didn’t want to hit the cyclist, but to attempt the ledge seemed stupid–particularly with the car going 100km to my right. I suddenly felt my helmet was going to be very little protection.
So I screamed.
I just screamed bloody murder.
You might suggest that I had used the horn, but I didn’t have time to think of that nor find the little button. Screaming was much faster.
And it worked! The cyclist looked at me like I was an absolute idiot while he swerved back so I could pass.
So I just laughed the rest of the way home.