Our last post detailed our theory that warm weather climates=aggressive drivers? Just last week that theory was confirmed in a way that could have led to a motorist's death.
I was driving on I-10 east of San Bernardino in California, on the way to Phoenix. The interstate was three lanes wide, and I was in the far right lane. The construction vehicle in front of me was driving slower than I, so I checked my mirrors and turned on my turn signal to merge into the center lane. In that center lane, about 4-5 car lengths behind me, was a motorcyclist. Because I had clearance and my turn signal had signaled at least six times, I began the merge.
Apparently this was extremely offensive to the motorcyclist, because he immediately sped up alongside my trailer leaving me straddling the dotted line shared between the center and far right lane. Obviously I could not now complete the merge as this ticked off biker was just a foot or two away from me (by the way, his bike was a crotch-rocket, not a Harley...from a generalization of what we've seen on the road, bikers on Harleys are laid-back and do not try circus stunts at a speed of 60 miles per hour. Crotch-rockets, on the other hand, are high-strung young males that need serious attitude adjustments and lessons in highway safety).
He continued along my tractor until he got in front of me, and then proceeded to “stare me down” and flip me off. What came next? He dropped his speed from 60mph down to 25mph in about 3 seconds, all while continuing to stare backwards and flip me off! His bike was so close to my bumper that I could not even see his rear tire. Had their been debris in the road ahead of him or had he simply lost his balance, his life would either be over or it would consist of eating food from a straw. Thankfully, we had a light load and I could slow “quickly”.
I think there are a few kickers to this entire incident:
The far left lane? It was completely open. This guy just didn't want me to get in front of him.
Traffic was not thick, but it was heavy enough that had someone behind me not been paying attention (in either the far right or the center lane), we could have had a rear-ending frenzy of vehicles.
What point did it serve for this young man to perform this circus act? He sure didn't get to his destination any sooner, although I could have sent him to his final destination.
After this biker had enough of speeding up and then slowing down, speeding up then slowing down, speeding up then slowing down in front of us, he finally sped up for good and was out of sight. I merged back into the far right lane with my four-way flashers on until I could resume the highway speed. I was visibly shaken, upset, mad, and ready to cry. Ben was on the phone with the state police to report this act of indecency and to give the biker's license plate number. They did not seem to care, unfortunately (would they change their tune had an accident occurred?).
We've seen some crazy feats of driving by crazy people out on the road, but this one takes the cake. I am not even sure it can be topped! Thank God no one was hurt—our guardian angels are certainly looking out for us!
Present location: Salt Lake City, UT
Where we're headed next: Portland, OR
Fun loads as of late: Nintendo, T-Mobile cell phones (Andrew V., this one's for you!), and Amazon