I have long hair and love Three Dog Night tunes.
That’s as close to a tree-hugging-hippie-enviro-nazi as I get, but these plastic t-shirt bags are a threat to all humanity and must go.
I got a call from the fine folks at Eurosport Cycle this morning letting me know the parts I ordered had arrived and were awaiting pick-up at the shop.
At lunch I saddled up and headed out from my Las Colinas office complex to the edge of Fort Worth, not without incident.
Traveling along SH 121 somewhere around Haltom City, I observed a t-shirt grocery bag floating like a little helium balloon on a thermal about twenty feet above the highway. It drifted in slow motion as I approached at a leisurely rate of 65 mph, only five above the speed limit.
When you approach airborne objects on a motorcycle, they always seem to be moving very slowly until the second before you cross paths with them. In that last second they suddenly appear to accelerate into sonic barrier-breaching velocity and go whizzing past (if you’re lucky) in the blink of an eye.
The plastic grocery bag followed this evident natural law to the “t” (no pun intended), but it didn’t go whizzing past. Instead, it expertly caught a tricky downdraft and descended like lightening, darting directly into my startled oncoming eyes.
It smacked straight into my face, and stuck there as if it were freshly hung wall paper covered in paste. I swore at it, and it responded with a hearty “screw you!” and continued to stay right where it had landed.
Somehow, in a wickedly sardonic combination of physics, the shapes and totality of sunglasses, half-helmet, visor, and facial features all worked together to defeat my attempts to dislodge the antagonistic plastic bag by turning my head and nodding first up, then down. I was totally blind to the four lanes of heavy Friday lunch time traffic and had been transformed into a 65mph wheeled missile toting a payload of meat and bone by less than a micron of petroleum by product.
I grabbed at the bag with my gloved hand and pulled it away from my face. Releasing it back into the wild I returned my attention to the road and the cement truck that I was rapidly approaching.
I applied pressure to the brake lever and began a rapid warm-up of the front disks, glanced quickly behind me to see if any vehicles were overtaking me (there were none, but there was a Ford Focus with it’s wipers flapping to dislodge a t-shirt back from its windshield) and swerved into the left lane.
With a sigh of relief I continued on my way, reminded once again that it’s not just mobile phone yacking cagers that are a threat when riding.
Things that would be merely a nuisance in an automobile can often become the equivalent of a bullet when you’re in the wind with nothing between you and your environment except a few microns of leather, textiles, and a brain bucket.