Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Night Ride Stories

You run into the strangest things while riding.
A few years ago my mechanic and I were out on a night ride at Red Rocks. We were on the road and came around a corner, and there was a pretty bad car accident right there in front of us. A Honda (as I remember) had spun out on the corner at a fairly high rate of speed, sideswiped a telephone pole pretty hard, and then ran into a dumpster. Totalled the car-just about folded it in half and bashed in on at least two sides, all the windows smashed, busted up the dumpster and maybe broke the pole as well. We thought there must be someone dead, but looking into the car we saw only broken glass and cassette tapes, miscellaneous trash. And blood. The driver had egressed through the moon roof, leaving a trail across the top of the car and the hood, to the side of the road, where he (she?) sat down to “pool” his thoughts. Or put his arm back together. Or something.
(This sequence of events I am reconstructing from the blood trail)
After sitting for a bit, he got up, walked (or crawled) to the car, and ripped off both license plates, evidently with his bare hands (again, surmising from the blood, and the fact that the licence plate screws still held the corners of the plates). Then took off down the road.
While examining the scene, we watched down at the bottom of the hill, maybe a half-mile away, a car pull over to the side of the road, sit a minute, then take off again towards Morrison. Had he called a friend?
We followed the trail down the road a few hundred yards, where it disappeared into the ditch-we guessed that the person had cut across the field to the lower road, right about where the car had stopped. Or maybe he saw us coming and jumped into the bushes? We had pretty bright headlights on our bikes, but saw nobody.
We rode down to the Conoco in Morrison, found a cop parked there, and gave him the story. He already knew, and was on his way there. Gave him our names and numbers, and never heard a thing about it again. I watched the paper for a week or two, but never found out what had happened.
Whoever owned that car, hopefully, got some cash from their insurance, and surely felt the loss anyway. But I can tell you, that thief got the short end of the stick. Big time.

Another night-ride story:

We were coming back from Apex one night, maybe 8 or 10 o’clock, and it’s just starting to get dark. Driving in the left lane on highway 6, maybe 65 mph, and RIGHT IN FRONT OF US (!) this SUV flips over, rolls twice, ends up on its side sliding backwards down the road.
Couldn’t believe my eyes. My buddy says something like, “Holy ShXX!, Did you see that?!”
Sparks flying. Broken Glass. A big gouge taken out of the asphalt where her tire had failed and the rim caught. It was a Ford. Bridgestone tires? I don’t know.
Well, I hit my brakes, turned on the emergency blinkers, and parked right there in the left lane. Got out, left my door open, ran up to the scene, I’m the first person there, and here’s what I found:
Two kids, a girl (maybe 10) and a boy (6?), standing in the window, on the pavement (were they wearing seatbelts?) absolutely terrified, panicked, crying, screaming, but OK. I lifted them out one at a time-some people had arrived by then, and they took the kids off to the side of the road to try to calm them down.
And a woman in the driver’s seat, still seatbelted in, still talking on her cel phone.

1 comment:

Heinrich said...

I've ridden home from work at night off and on for years. My closest call was coming home about 1 a.m. on a Friday night going south on Franklin Street just south of Buctel. Trees overhang the road there, so it's very dark, and at that time I usually used the front light only at intersections.

Some of those houses are rented to young people, who do young people type things. Like lying all together on their backs IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I saw them at the last second and came within a whisker of riding over them or crashing on top of them. I presume they were thinking they'd hear a car coming and jump up just in time. But they didn't hear me. Now I turn the light on for that whole stretch south to Yale.