Thursday, April 24, 2008

Angry Riding

Have you ever had one of those 'Angry Riding' days? It's not that you are angry or upset. There is just a feeling, a vibe of angriness and upset.

A long lost friend would at times e-mail or IM or call me when she was feeling vibes. She swore by them. Admittedly, I rarely felt more of a tickle, but there was something. Today it was obvious.

As I rode across Las Vegas, from East to West, it was almost palpable and quite unsettling. It started as a light ahead of me turned yellow. I didn't have enough power to accelerate and get through, so I braked. Unfortunately it was new asphalt and the small spot of oil was undetectable until I was right on it. Rear tire lost traction and we fishtailed to a less than perfect stop.

At the next stop light, an idiot cager on a cell phone decided to turn right in front of me. Brakes held and I swerved out of the way. Fantasies of a one-fingered salute swam in my mind.

Turning onto Sunset by McCarran Airport is where it really struck me. The anger nearly overwhelmed my senses. Wind and noise and heavy traffic and road and sun and this huge void of anger was an assault on my senses. Thoughts of fire and brimstone went through my mind, smelling the burnt rubber from landing aircraft

I ride down Sunset to my destination, nearly being run over twice. I even used my little horn a couple of times. Speeding cagers surrounded my little bike, all speeding more that ten MPH over the posted limit.

Coming back I choose a different route. It is no better. There is road construction and the typically three lane street narrowed down to one lane in spots. Cagers were jockying for position, one coming within a few feet of my rear tire. "Come on!!! Can't you see me?!?!? I'm wearing bright red and silver reflective mesh for gawd sakes!!!"

Typically arriving at home is a little melancholy. Not today. I was quite pleased to turn on the computer, put my helmet down, light a smoke, make some coffee, and do a little reading.

Angry riding days just aren't any fun.


Doug C said...


After reading your post I thought about my commute in and around the Columbus area and wondered about the similarities of the two locales.

Although similar in area and populations, the two metros are vastly different of course. (Your census data doesn't reflect all of the vacationers.)

While I've had my share of inattentive drivers doing everything, it seems, while driving, my experience so far has been positive with few, if any, opportunities to mutter anything inside my helmet.

After reading about your travels and those of others west of the midwest, I count myself as fortunate that most of my rides end a "little melancholy."

RazorsEdge2112 said...

Thanks, Doug!

A fellow on another forum, suggested that I was projecting internal anger outward.

Guess what...

I had been going round-and-round with my ex-wife for about three days. I didn't think there was much anger there, just more irritation and exasperation than anything. Well, I must have been wrong.

There is something even deeper about riding than I had thought. It's a good thing, I think.