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Stay safe out there!

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been passed by dudes on crotch rockets who must have a crystal ball mounted to their windshields.

Why do “crotch rocket” riders have such a sense of entitlement and immortality? Their need for speed so often overrules common sense, it’s a wonder more of them aren’t scraped off the pavement each summer.

I edit a neighborhood newspaper. Last night was absolutely beautiful, the kind of evening Minnesotans store in their memory banks for cold winter nights. The air was balmy, and the sweet scent of apple blossoms and lilacs filled the air. I had a neighborhood meeting to cover for the paper. It was only six blocks from home, so I decided to walk.

There was one busy thoroughfare on my walk. It’s T-shaped. Normally, I hate to wait for the “walk” button to change the lights, but last night I pushed it. Good thing. Just as I stepped from the curb, three screeching crotch rockets came roaring down the long leg of the T.  The light was red for them. One of them checked for oncoming traffic to his right, but no one checked for the pedestrian on the left. As they roared through the light, I jumped back onto the sidewalk and yelled, “Assholes!” One of them turned back toward me and flipped me off. I silently wished he’d lose control of his bike, but it didn’t happen.

The previous day, I was sitting in a meeting at the newspaper office, which has a big window overlooking a very busy street. Suddenly two sport bikes came up close behind a car in front of them. They veered, one to the left, the other to the right, and passed the car.  My kingdom for a patrol car at that minute!

On more than one occasion, Ralph and I have ridden the Great River Road on the Wisconsin side. There are some blind curves, especially on the lower end near the southern Wisconsin border. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been passed by dudes on crotch rockets who must have a crystal ball mounted to their windshields. They’re a menace!

Motorcyclists have enough to worry about with semis, people who change lanes without signaling and drivers who don’t “see” motorcycles, much less fellow bikers who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

When I went to bed last night, I could hear the whiny, mosquito-like windup of a crotch rocket shifting gears on I-35. Stay safe.




The Gift of a Day

It’s a gorgeous summer day in Minnesota: 80 degrees, lots of sun, humidity well within the comfort range, and a nice breeze. Minnesotans recognize this kind of a day as a gift, one to be enjoyed and cherished, especially after a seemingly unending winter. It’s important to take advantage of this type of gift.

Motorcyclists understand that. As I pull up radishes that matured too quickly (no crunchy red roots to munch on!), I hear them traveling on 35W, about a mile from home. Cruisers, choppers, crotch rockets–they’re all out there, roaring down the freeway, soaking up the sun.

It’s a perfect day to take the motorcycle to work, as Ralph did. Or to explore a part of Minnesota you haven’t seen before. To visit Paul Bunyan in the Brainerd Lakes area, or pose for a photo next to Smokey the Bear in International Falls. It’s a great day to ride along a lake or river and let the breeze off the water cool you down.

It’s a great day– a gift– so get out and Ride Minnesota! If you’re not sure where you want to go, buy a copy of my book and choose a route.
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