Young And Stupid
When I ride home from work at night in the dark, I rarely even see another vehicle except for on a short, 2-mile stretch of Interstate I ride.
Strangely enough, on the last two nights, I've been accompanied by fellow motorcyclists on what is usually a solo trip.
The night before last, I wound up behind a motorcyclist who was maintaining the same relative speed I was: around 50 or so. I followed him for about 15 miles and stayed a respectful distance behind him so my lights wouldn't bother him. We finally got to the Interstate and he went one way and I went another. He was riding what appeared to be a Gold Wing-type bike and waved back at me as he turned one way and I turned another.
Tonight, at an intersection I saw some reflections I'd never seen there before and as I passed, I saw a group of bikers along the side of the road in the dark with their lights off. I couldn't see exactly what they were riding.
I continued on, at my sedate pace of around 50mph and after about 5 miles, I saw single headlights rapidly approaching from my rear.
Then, three whining sportbikes blasted past me one at a time. I couldn't see the operators, but each bike had a girl perched on the back wearing nothing but a helmet and some light clothing like jeans, windbreakers and tennis shoes. On a warmer night, I'm sure they would have been wearing shorts. I would estimate they were doing about 80mph.
Mind you, this was at 11:15 at night on a dark, twisting, country two-lane.
Hey, I realized their machines were more street-capable than mine and, for all I know, they were better riders than me, but all I kept thinking of was, "What if an animal runs out in front of them?" I'd go around the next curve hoping I wouldn't see them involved in an accident.
10 more miles down the road at a T-type intersection I saw the ones that had passed me again stopped on the shoulder, waiting on one of their compadres who was lagging behind but still came up on me at a high rate of speed just before the intersection.
They went one way, I went the other.
I've done a lot of stupid things and have risked my life on more than one occasion. It's not my lot in life to preach safety to others and dictate how they ride and what they wear, (granted, I strongly endorse ATGATT) but seeing those kids on those sportbikes tonight was kind of shocking.
I've had a lot of animals run out across the road in front of me on that ride home, mostly smaller ones like possums, raccoons and coyotes, but any of those are more than capable of taking out any bike if hit the wrong way.
I'm assuming they either hadn't thought of that, or were willing to take the risk for the thrill of riding that fast on a country road at night.
As noted, I've done a lot of dumb things in my life and I try not to be judgmental, but this bugged me. Maybe I'm just getting old. I found myself saying out loud, "You f-ing idiots!" as they passed me.
It's one thing if you want to go out and do that stuff on your own, but with your girlfriends perched on the back?
It just really bugged me. Thus ends my rant.