Thursday, June 5, 2008

On double lines and slow cars...

In all fairness, I consider myself to be pretty much a law-abiding citizen. Seriously... I don't steal, I don't mess with other people or their stuff and I have a largely "live-and-let-live" philosophy with regards to my fellow creatures on this earth. Well... unless you're a radical, a threat to the security of my country / neighborhood or one of those BCICs (*).

So this morning I'm motoring along the beginning of the Rockcliffe Parkway. It was a little cool but just fine for riding. Baby was purring along at about 70 kmh and we had only five or six cars ahead of us as we swept along the overpass which crosses the 147. I eased off the wick slightly as a Mountie cruiser passed us heading for St.Joseph, as we engaged the sweeping right-hander coming off the overpass. We entered 'Deer Alley' at a rate of about 80 klicks.

Predictably, the lead car was a 'toodler' and it didn't take long for the rest of us to bunch up on his ass end. We had yet to go through the serpentine which leads to the first (and only...) passing area, so we resigned ourselves to waiting it out. Besides, the first parking area off to the left is a favored haunt for the Mounties when they're setting up a speed trap. Having reached and passed that point, I ramped Baby up a bit and she reached the triple digit mark as usual, with alarming quickness. We sailed past the short line of cars and resumed cruising in our lane at a sedate 85/90 kmh. The Parkway is such that this particular rate of speed is not excessive in the least. Even taking into account the presence of critters. The visibility is excellent on either side of the road.

We were fast approaching the end of the passing section when I saw them... Two vehicles dead ahead. Both of them 'toodlers'. I was out of room. Now ordinarily, if the vehicles ahead of me are maintaining a reasonably constant speed of advance, I have no qualms about simply following along. I'm not an unreasonable fellow. But as anyone who rides will tell you, you develop a flow when you ride. Or at least it's one of your goals to do so. When you reach 'the zone', where man and machine are one, swooping and bending with the road, matching it's every contour in an effortless ballet... Piling on the binders to avoid putting a whoring big dent in the ass end of a car in front of you, is not consistent with the whole 'flow theory' thingie. And today, I wanted to flow, goddammit!!

Besides, there seemed to be emmanating from these cars, this negative vibe. Almost as though they were intentionally slowing to a crawl, because we were now in a no-passing zone. They couldn't stand seeing me have so much fun (kind of like why women close their eyes during sex...), so they were going to slow me down to a crawl. Kind of a: "Take that, mister biker-man-out-having-so-much-fun-on-a-workday!!!" Who knows... Maybe these people get some sort of ephemeral sense of power by being able to hold up traffic. But I refused to be held up by these soulless louts who could care less if they ever reached their destination that day.

I checked as far ahead as I could see... We were well clear. Without so much as downshifting a gear, I swung Baby out to the left and twisted the wick. She lunged ahead as we thundered past them, double yellow line and all. The pass was decisive, surgical in it's quickness and cleanliness. It always feel so liberating to bend the confines of some of our more rigidly carved taboos. I didn't even bother to watch them fade into nothingness in my mirrors. I don't begrudge anyone wanting to drive at a slow rate of speed. God knows I do it all the time when touring. Just so long as they do it BEHIND me...

* BCIC: Blind C***suckers In Cars.

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