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.