July 26, 2004 at 07:18 PM
Short, practically meaningless entry – an observation from the evening commute.
I was not quite half way up the 5 today, heading home from work. I hadn’t entirely completed our long-term project to pervert the democratic process, but we’d made a pretty good start on it. Should be done in time for the election, if things don’t go our way.
Traffic was moving pretty well, after getting off Coronado – there was the usual naval air station “TOOT – yabba dabba doo!” backlog there which I navigated at 5-10 mph with what I was forced to admit was gratifying ease and skill.
Oh, maybe not Lance Armstrong winning his sixth Tour de France skill, but still.
So back to the 5 – moving easy at around 70 mph, just keeping pace with traffic. There were no escape routes in the dense knot in which I was moving – no momentary gaps to exploit. I was just another bit of plaque in the arteriosclerosis which is southern California traffic at rush hour.
I was in the left-most lane, because over there, you’ve only got to worry about the people directly ahead, to your right and behind you. And you’ve got a place to bail on the left, should things go amiss. I was left to bide my time, check six and await an opportunity to break free. Because if you’re not going faster than the folks in the cages, what’s the point?
Just then I was startled by a CHP motorcycle cop at my right elbow – close. He was weaving through traffic, splitting the lanes between cars at nearly 80 mph. Gently rocking the bike from side to side as he passed first one SUV, then another pickup truck. A nice bike too – a BMW R1150RT *.
And he moved with such skill and fearless elegance that I was momentarily transfixed.
I would never attempt to lane-split at 80 mph – it wouldn’t even occur to me. But here was a man who made his living on a bike in traffic, in his short sleeve shirt and open face helmet, treating it like it was nothing more than a casual trip to the loo. I admired his skill, said a brief prayer for his safety, and stayed in my lane.
Because sometimes you have to accept your limitations.
** Link had to be changed – Ed.