Another Interesting Ride Home - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
Never let your guard down This forum is for discussions on close calls and other safety issues.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 Old 09-22-2011, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
OverDrive
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,331
Another Interesting Ride Home

Well, not a true "close call," but "close enough."

I was riding home tonight about 11:30PM, travelling a 2-mile stretch I have to do on Interstate 29.

I had just started up a mile-long grade, at the top of which is my exit.

I saw headlights up ahead and instantly thought, "Something just doesn't seem right about those." I see car headlights coming the other way here all the time and these looked different.

As we closed on each other, I realized it was a car driving the wrong way on my side of the interstate. After muttering some obscenity-laced exclamation of surprise, I had a few seconds to figure out what to do.

I did have time to observe that the car did not appear to be weaving and I could tell it was in the other lane; i.e. the left lane in the direction I was travelling: to the car going the wrong way, it would have been the "right" lane.

I figured since the car wasn't moving erratically about the best I could do was get over on to the shoulder as far as I could, so that's what I did.

There was another car about 1/4 mile behind me. When the car went past me, there were no brake lights, but I think when he began to realize there was another car coming toward him, he figured out something was wrong and hit the brakes because I saw the red flash in my mirror.

So, definitely the most unusual thing that's happened to me on my commute and something I've never seen in 30+ years of driving.

Could have been worse. At least the car wasn't in the same lane I was and wasn't weaving all over the road and I also had a few seconds of leeway to figure out what to do.

Had it been all over the road, I probably would have slowed as much as I could and then gone off the left side of the pavement into the median and hope it wasn't too rough or I didn't hit some debris. There was a guard rail on my right so going that way wasn't an option.

In retrospect, perhaps it was foolish to fence myself in by getting on the shoulder and close to the guard rail, leaving me with nowhere else to go.

But I guess with a closing speed of probably 150 miles an hour, (each of us doing 75) unless the car was travelling a straight and steady path, I never would have had time to react and swerve around it if it had veered toward me at the last second. The only thing I could come up with to do at the time was to just get as far away from the car as I could.

I guess sometimes you just have to react to an unexpected situation like this the best you can and hope you do the right thing and it works. And then throw away your underwear when you get home.



planalp is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 09-22-2011, 12:52 AM
Threadjacker
 
Lockjaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Benicia, CA
Posts: 6,750
Sounds like you done good. What a trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Well, not a true "close call," but "close enough."

I was riding home tonight about 11:30PM, travelling a 2-mile stretch I have to do on Interstate 29.

I had just started up a mile-long grade, at the top of which is my exit.

I saw headlights up ahead and instantly thought, "Something just doesn't seem right about those." I see car headlights coming the other way here all the time and these looked different.

As we closed on each other, I realized it was a car driving the wrong way on my side of the interstate. After muttering some obscenity-laced exclamation of surprise, I had a few seconds to figure out what to do.

I did have time to observe that the car did not appear to be weaving and I could tell it was in the other lane; i.e. the left lane in the direction I was travelling: to the car going the wrong way, it would have been the "right" lane.

I figured since the car wasn't moving erratically about the best I could do was get over on to the shoulder as far as I could, so that's what I did.

There was another car about 1/4 mile behind me. When the car went past me, there were no brake lights, but I think when he began to realize there was another car coming toward him, he figured out something was wrong and hit the brakes because I saw the red flash in my mirror.

So, definitely the most unusual thing that's happened to me on my commute and something I've never seen in 30+ years of driving.

Could have been worse. At least the car wasn't in the same lane I was and wasn't weaving all over the road and I also had a few seconds of leeway to figure out what to do.

Had it been all over the road, I probably would have slowed as much as I could and then gone off the left side of the pavement into the median and hope it wasn't too rough or I didn't hit some debris. There was a guard rail on my right so going that way wasn't an option.

In retrospect, perhaps it was foolish to fence myself in by getting on the shoulder and close to the guard rail, leaving me with nowhere else to go.

But I guess with a closing speed of probably 150 miles an hour, (each of us doing 75) unless the car was travelling a straight and steady path, I never would have had time to react and swerve around it if it had veered toward me at the last second. The only thing I could come up with to do at the time was to just get as far away from the car as I could.

I guess sometimes you just have to react to an unexpected situation like this the best you can and hope you do the right thing and it works. And then throw away your underwear when you get home.



"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
Lockjaw is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 09-22-2011, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
OverDrive
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,331
Seems like all "car going the wrong way" accidents you read about are pretty horrific, so I was actually glad I was on the KLR. It's not like being in the Tacoma would have saved me and, on the KLR, I took up less room on the road and was more maneuverable. I joked about the underwear, but it all happened so fast and was so unexpected that it just struck me with disbelief, not fear.

I think the first thing I muttered after the car passed me was, "Well, there's something you don't see every day," followed by "I hope to hell he sees that car behind me."

It's 7 miles past the exit I was taking to the next one, so I'm guessing the car came down the same off ramp than I took and I was the first vehicle it passed.

I checked the news this morning and no reports of any accidents on the interstate so I guess it ended well.



planalp is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 Old 09-24-2012, 11:28 PM
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 86
Glad your OK, Planalp! The last wrong way accident that I heard about happened on I-90 about 20 miles from my parents place in WY. Granny didn't make it through that one. I don't know, but I would like to think that she didn't suffer much. She popped up over a hill on the interstate (after driving 80 miles the wrong way!!!) and took a loaded semi hauling 85,000 lbs. of crude oil head on. We just have to keep our heads in the game, and stay focused on the ride...

BTW, she wasn't MY Granny, in case there was confusion...

Maverik

If the Lights are a Flashin', STAY OFF the tracks!!! It might be me at the Throttle...
Maverik is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 02:19 AM
2nd Gear
 
ArcticKLR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: No. CA
Posts: 366
Glad your ok and thinks worked out Planalp. Life is always interesting eh? I just had a "interesting" moment where I was glad things worked out too. Makes you think about riding ( not in a bad way, just realistic that our margins for error is less) with my wife and I. All that matters is you are home to post maybe a little wiser from the experience. The benefit of mine is that my wife now understands a little more why I keep my bike in the best shape I can.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
ArcticKLR is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
OverDrive
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticKLR View Post
Glad your ok and thinks worked out Planalp. Life is always interesting eh? I just had a "interesting" moment where I was glad things worked out too. Makes you think about riding ( not in a bad way, just realistic that our margins for error is less) with my wife and I. All that matters is you are home to post maybe a little wiser from the experience. The benefit of mine is that my wife now understands a little more why I keep my bike in the best shape I can.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
Indeed. Just posted in Lockjaw's "Target Fixation" thread about an error I made the other night and have hopefully learned from.



planalp is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 08:37 AM
Missed Gear
 
Cabrito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 415&707
Posts: 1,193
That's just plain creepy. Pulling over was probably best.

Sent from my rotary phone
================================
Track me here -
https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...354a61e5f3997a
Michael G in SF | 2018 KTM 1090R Adventure | 02 XR400R (Plated) | 2011 FJ Cruiser Army Green |
------------------------------------------------------------
"If you have the will and not the way, you wont get very far."
Snakeboy66
Cabrito is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 01:09 PM
2nd Gear
 
armedmissouri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 141
No use in trying to determine the best course of action after the fact. You came out safe so your chosen course of action was correct.

A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work...
There's no such thing as enough storage space...
armedmissouri is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Found This Interesting planalp The Off Topic Lounge 2 07-09-2011 12:05 PM
BMW R1200GS Fly and Ride Home Paper Other Bikes 19 06-08-2011 05:00 PM
A trip with BMW riders-interesting observations john37 Travel Log & Trip Reports 20 03-25-2010 03:00 PM
DALLAS: In Need of Help, Interesting Situation.... Great-Escape-Tours Deep South Riders 0 04-09-2009 01:17 AM
Interesting lawsuit josbek Jokers Lounge 1 05-01-2007 09:40 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome