Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hearing Voices

It is a dark, clear, cold November morning as I approach the intersection at about 45 mph. A semi is in the left lane about 50 yards ahead of me already in the intersection.  I slow a little, look left, then right, and continue when the light flashes to yellow.  I’m to close to stop, so I downshift and accelerate through prior to it turning red.  Catching the semi I’m comfortable and maybe not paying as much attention as I should be.  Then the morning takes a serious turn.

The car came from the left across four lanes of traffic from a side street.  The semi and I were both over 50 at this point with me just beginning to overtake it.  As the paramedics were working on the driver of the car she kept saying, “I never saw the motorcycle until it was to late.”

The semi driver, uninjured and mad, kept repeating it wasn’t his fault because the car never even slowed down and he had no place to go because I was there,

Wait; let me back up 10 seconds.  As I pulled up even with the semi and moved to the right of the lane something screamed, “STOP NOW!!!”   It was that little voice that I have learned to mostly listen to and when it screams I always listen.  I hit the brakes hard, just as I saw the front of the car come around the semi.  I wasn’t sure where it thought it was going, but it wasn’t going to get there.  Somehow, after running a stop sign and not seeing a semi, she saw me on the other side of it and decided now would be a good time to stop.  Slamming on her brakes put her directly in the path of a loaded semi without time for him to react.  There were squalling brakes, a big crash, and the car spun around the semi, slamming into the side of it.  They both were sliding toward the right of the roadway and I aimed for that opening. 

When everything came to a stop the car was pinned to the curb, resting almost under the semi on one side and a tree on the other.  I was pinched between the semi and curb, two inches from the front bumper of the car.  Not even enough room to fit my fist between Petunia and the car.

I’m not sure where that little voice comes from, but this isn’t the first time I’ve avoided a major incident by reacting so quickly.  The girl still doesn’t know she didn’t hit me and the trucker couldn’t believe he didn’t.  The police kept asking how did I manage to avoid getting hit.  Me?  I was thinking I was going to be late to school and have a new post for my blog.


  1. wow! That is just scary! I'm glad that you were able to post about it!

  2. Holy crap...I was all set to be bummed out about another brother down. Nicely written. Thanks for leaving out the part about befouling your trousers. Keep listening to that little voice...

  3. @#$% %^&* &*() !@#$ ....
    oh holy shit paul... phew....

    you have something here on earth left to do still it seems. im glad you are ok, and that it didnt turn out worse.

  4. Paul:

    WOW, you must have angels in your pocket. Scary . . glad you are OKay. I also have a voice which I listen to TOO.

    You had us preparing for the worse . . .

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Over the years I've had my little voice yell at a me a couple times.
    Glad you heard yours.

  6. I am sure you were glad to be listening to that little am I!

  7. Thank goodness your still here to tell us to listen to our own voices! I think it's our subconscious mind and peripheral vision working when that little voice takes over and screams at you.

    Very heads up riding, Dude!! Poor lady. She'll be wondering about that invisible semi-truck for a while!

  8. Man, that's scary. The older the biker, it seems the better they are at hearing that little voice. I know for me, if I get into a serious (or potentially serious) situation and didn't hear that little voice - that's when I get worried.
    Anyway glad to hear you (and Petunia) are fine.

  9. Glad the story ended like it did, and not like I thought you were going to say. Keep listening to that voice what ever it is.

  10. Holy shit, Paul!!!! Glad you're ok! No go wash your pants, please! :)

  11. You’ve still got the moves Dude!

    This isn’t meant to piss anyone off, just the observations of someone that has logged around half a million miles in an 18-wheeler. Early in the morning, women, especially women with kids’ car seats visible, are the most dangerous drivers I have ever seen. The stupid things I’ve seen them do just to get to day-care quicker. I’ve had many close calls but haven’t creamed one yet thank God. Anyone that has driven a rig will tell you that it’s just like riding a bike. You must believe that you “are” invisible.

  12. Ditto, Willy D

    As for the 'Voice' It has saved me many times over the years..In my Rig and on my bike...To list even some would take an entire post.

    Keep listening...

  13. I got goose bumps on my goose bumps - good save...and good for listening to the voices...

    ...sadly for me - the only voices I hear say "pull the trigger" LoL

  14. Holy cow batman! I, for one, am a huge believer in "the voice". It has been proven to me over and over again.

    Glad you are around to tell the story....ever more so that you listened to the voice. Yeah, you bet your ass they are real.

    I just had the same thing happen in Southern CA on Interstate 5. I'll post on it in a couple of days. Lets just say I made it through the car part like the millenium falcon through an asteroid field.

  15. People have commented that you were wise to listen to the voice. I say go back a step. I applaud you for having the voice in the first place.

    You've kept a running tally of situations you observed while riding. You kept your head in the ride and were aware of your surroundings. Based on getting good information you made an effective decision.

    I love these kind of success stories. We should not be helpless victims as we ride. You are a good example of taking care of yourself.

  16. Dang, you had my heart pounding while i read that. I am so glad you are ok. We need a drink!

  17. I am thrilled you listened to the voice and stopped. A delay of a second to think about it would have had dire results.

    Glad you escaped without a scratch and a great story to tell.