"Why should I take two pairs of gloves? I always pack too much crap. No rain in the forecast. . . these mesh gloves are fine," I told myself.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
With temps down in the low 40's (F) at 4,140 ft. elevation, The Tecate Divide demanded winter gloves. I looked over at Highway and deeply coveted his black, waterproof, lined Alpine Stars. Once we reached the eastern side on our ride from San Diego to Yuma, I was overcome with gratitude for the 60 degree temps. My hope was that the weather would warm up before our return trip.
After a few great days relaxing in Yuma, we mounted up and headed to my least favorite store, WalMart. Cold weather will push a person to some extreme things, I suppose. Not only had I left behind my warm gloves, but my rain gear as well. Highway had just checked and a storm was stretched from El Centro all the way to San Diego, over 120 miles long, and exactly where we were headed. So off to WalMart we went to improvise and adapt.
Scarfing lunch, filling our tanks and checking the weather, we were ready to hit that last stretch. The sun was shining and the weather radar indicated the storm had passed, so we both decided against the "rain gear" and hit the Interstate again. As we merged into the lanes, the smell of gasoline overwhelmed me. I looked down to see gas leaking from my gas cap, spraying all over me. I slammed my hand on the cap, passed Highway to get his attention and pulled the bike onto the shoulder. We stopped at an opening of an offramp, off to the right shoulder, out of danger. While tightening the cap he assured me that he had perhaps overfilled it, but I would be fine now.
He mounted his bike and began to pull back onto the Interstate. I saw him pass me, looked back over my left shoulder, throttled my bike to take off and realized he was stopped right in front of me. Screaming, I ran right into the back of his bike. Somehow I managed to keep from hitting him straight on, veering to my right but still keeping my V*Star upright.
Squeezing the clutch and front brake, I felt a slight impact, banged my elbow on his trunk, twisted my left knee as I threw it on the ground to keep the from dropping, mashing the rear brake and then slamming my right foot down with a BANG!
Then the screaming a sobbing began.
I'm ashamed that I reacted so badly, but I was utterly terrified. My mind was racing with the possibility that I could have hurt him. I was sure if I had hit him hard, he would have been pushed into the lanes and hit by oncoming traffic. It was that thought that flooded my senses and caused me to start shouting. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to articulate what my fears were, but I spewed accusations at him, blaming him for the whole thing. When I regained myself, we both just started the bikes again and took off.
20 miles later I pulled past him, motioned to him, and pulled over, yet again. He reluctantly lumbered to my bike, most likely expecting another outburst, as I flipped open my helmet.
"I'm so sorry!!" I bawled. "I was so afraid I would hurt you!!"
Explaining my fear, he patted my back and gave me hugs. There we sat on the roadside, in the middle of nowhere, as I fell completely apart. Highway understood my fear, reassured me, and offered to help in any way he could. After a few minutes I looked into his eyes and asked for only one thing.
"Take me home now, please?"
I will follow him anywhere. Perhaps in the future though, I won't follow so closely.
|My turn signals will need to be adjusted now, but that's the only thing that hit Blackbird. Amazingly, they both work fine.|
|Blackbird's only damage sustained is a large scratch on her right sidebag from my turn signals|