Why does there continue to be issues between cagers and motorcycle riders? Is it hate, envy, jealously, or just assholeness (I’m pretty sure I made that word up)? Trust me, there are a lot of a-holes out there, to the point that I even wrote a book titled “Asshole You Are.”
Our Annual Ride
Last week I led our group, M.S.A.R., to Everglades National Park to visit the Nike Missile Silo. Trust me when I say that few residents in south Florida know of the silo, including those that have served in the military. Visiting the silo is an amazing experience since it was an active silo during the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This has become our first ride of the year, and this year we had forty-eight motorcycles and four cars attend. At some point while riding south on the Turnpike, the traffic was bumper-to-bumper because of all the snowbirds that visit the Florida Keys during this time of year. With a tour that started at 2 p.m. and the last one until the end of the year, we realized no matter what, we would be late. So we got off on the first available exit and took the back roads.
We blocked traffic at two stop signs so that all the motorcycles could get through. We arrived late, but we arrived safely. The following night, a friend of mine that also rides but was unable to attend, told me police were called because bikers were blocking traffic. I have to admit I was surprised.
Blocking Traffic- Yes or No?
First of all, this is a subject I have written about previously. I wrote several blogs on how a car driver interprets the actions of a biker. In my first piece, I explain why a motorcycle rider may accelerate to stay ahead of a vehicle. My second piece focuses on blocking traffic and why it is done. It was followed by the final piece with a video that shows why blocking is necessary at times.
Part of the reason for blocking traffic is safety. We all know it is illegal but the reality is we have to choose between the lesser of two evils. It is not like we can get police escorts every time we ride or we can shut down the road. If you see forty-eight motorcycles riding together, common sense dictates they are together.
The issues between cars and motorcycles extends to the bicycle riding community as well. I have seen how close cars get to bicycles while riding and just like motorcycle riders, when a bicyclist is hit, it seems the norm is leave the scene of the accident.
Hit & Runs
Last year alone I represented three bikers who were victims of a “hit and run” and the drivers of the vehicles were never found. I also represented four bikers who were hit by vehicles and the drivers tried to leave the scene but were either blocked or chased down by good samaritans. Even HBO Real Sports did a segment titled “Biker Wars” and the issues between drivers and bicyclists.
Thanks to social media, another video has popped up now that shows how a truck crosses over the oncoming lane of traffic and forces the driver to ride to the far right of the lane, inches from the swale.
This is yet another instance of a driver displaying road rage to a motorcyclist for no reason. I have experienced this numerous times myself and fortunately for the drivers, I did not catch it on video because I would have sought prosecution.
The last time this occurred was only two weeks ago riding east on US-41 from Naples to Miami. Apparently, the driver could not stand the fact that she was behind ten motorcycles, so she tried to pass us up. I saw her coming and warned my friend riding to my left. He hit the brakes but from the oncoming lane were two other motorcycle riders who also had to hit their brakes to avoid a head-on collision.
I admit, I chased her down and so did my group. She missed hitting my friend and the other two bikers by fractions of a second at over 65 mph. When we caught up with her, realizing it was a female, we just jumped in front of her and rode home the rest of the way below the speed limit. She “got the picture” and did not pass us again.
Thirty miles later, we reached traffic and she got of her car to apologize, mind you, she was still very close to us, as a matter of fact, tailgating. She said she rides with Vets and my response was simply “then you should know better.”
My friends in Miami always say the drivers here and motorcycles don’t mix, but I always reply “you haven’t ridden out of Miami or the state for that matter.” I have experienced enough road rage outside of Florida to confirm this, but don’t take my word for it, just try a You Tube search.
I wish it was only a Miami thing, but unfortunately, it is a worldwide problem. I don’t know how to fix it, other than educating the public and serious penalties for drivers that exhibit dangerous, aggressive behavior towards motorcyclists for no reason.
Be safe and cagers, take my word from it, from a legal perspective, one second could change your life forever and that is something you do not want to experience, especially from behind bars just because you wanted to get to your destination five seconds faster.
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