As little as I want anybody breaking down on the side of the road, I consider it a wonderful opportunity to share in moto-camaraderie when I see a moto stopped on the side of the road. I’m usually waived on – nothings wrong, and always with a smile. It’s funny to feel the human bond in such an alienating world. It’s almost like we need extreme circumstances to show our humanity these days. Regardless, I have a story about rider-helping-rider I want to share.
I was heading towards Boulder on CO-119 going to work this past spring. A guy had a jacket bungeed to the back of his bike. That jacket got caught in his chain, locked up the rear wheel, and he skidded the thing to a halt. As is usual on 119, everybody’s in a dog-eat-dog, get-to-work-yesterday mind set. We all hurl down the road at a pace well above the posted speed limit. I see a skid mark and the fellow who must have left it next to his bike not half a second later. I proceed to jam on my brakes as hard they would go, even chirping the rear tire a few times. I come to a stop 10 feet from him. He didn’t even look up, something was very amiss here.
Leaving my indicator on I jump off the bike and as cars are speeding past one sly morning commuter barrels passed us in the median. I guess he thought he was going to get the drop on the others by cutting into the turn lane early. To bad we were parked just on the side of the turn lane, and he was much to wide to fit. I just notice the headlights in time to see him lock up the brakes and after surmising he’s going to his us, swerve dangerously off the road and pull some sweet rally action to get back on the road. God bless seasoned drivers, but we gotta get out of here with a quickness! We yank and pull on the jacket, try turning the wheel, but nothing. Stuck shut!
I ask him if he wants to keep the jacket in tact, and upon his hurried response of “no”, the pocket knife flashes out of my pocket and through the jacket with a glint. The rider-in-jeopardy has a turning wheel once again and a jacket in 45 bajillion pieces. He quickly stuffs the pieces into a tank bag. We look at each for a brief moment, both smiling, and while he’s hurriedly putting back his helmet to get out of this “death-zone”, I run to my bike and do the same. Off we go our separate ways.
Other than the question about cutting the jacket, there was a brief exchange at the beginning and end of the episode of “Hey ya, what’s the prob”, and a “Have a good day, ride safe!”. Total time, 8 minutes. 8 minutes I do not want to ever repeat. Inertia is scary as hell when it’s embodied by coffee induced, crazed maniacs in 3 ton cars swooshing past the entire time. But damn, did I feel like a super hero!
No long drawn discussions of this and that. No BS, no politics, no heed to safety, just jump in and get it done. What also surprised me was the immediate presence of manners and politeness. Wow, all I can say is wow. It’s times like these that makes being a human feel oh-so-good! Needless to say, the rest of my day was glorious! Never caught the dudes name though….