With gas prices soaring through the roof, I decided it was time to try commuting from my home in Grand Prairie to the Star-Telegram office in Fort Worth on my new bike, a 105th anniversary edition Harley Sportster 1200. I traded a Harley 883 Sportster in for this beautiful new ride on Saturday.
But Tuesday was a freaky day that now has me wondering if someone is sending me a message.
I drove a back route, Pioneer Parkway through Arlington, cut over to Division Street, which becomes Lancaster in Fort Worth. I didn't want to jump on Interstate 20 to Highway 287 and into downtown Fort Worth. Too many crazies on the highway, especially at 6:30 a.m.
The traffic was light, but in an eye blink, I lost a contact despite wearing sunglasses. That made vision a little more difficult, although fortunately, my distance vision was OK.
I sit down to the computer and one of the first e-mails I open is about a friend and his wife who were in a horrible motorcycle accident on Memorial Day along Interstate 20. Both are lucky to be alive. From the e-mail chatter, I learned that they flew across the median on I-20, but oncoming traffic avoided hitting them.
The two are in the hospital with multiple injuries, although fortunately none life-threatening. Still, the injury list is sobering: both are missing some teeth and have broken ribs. His knee is shattered; she had surgery to remove her spleen. He will require facial-reconstruction surgery.
Both had on half-helmets. He had on jeans; she was in shorts.
Next, the rain started coming down. Hard. Great.
I don't like riding in either rain or on wet streets. The forecast said only a 30 percent chance for rain. Jeez.
Then a co-worker stops by. We talk bikes. I pass along news of the accident. He tells me about one of the first bike accidents he came across. Guy was wearing only a half-helmet, flew over the handlebars and scraped off his nose and chin -- which is why, my co-worker said, he always wears the full helmet.
I wore the half-helmet on Tuesday. On the ride home, to say the least, I was a little jumpy.
Now I have friends trying to talk me into getting rid of the new bike.
I drove the car today. Things to think about.
I'd love to hear from others who commute on motorcycles. Please post some comments.