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Thread: Near misses

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    May 2016
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    Near misses

    It seems that 3 PM is happy hour for drivers rushing home after work.

    Yesterday I had gone up to Chicago for an appointment. I had taken the tollway up there and traffic was pretty normal, i.e. too fast, but fairly civilized. On the way back I decided to take I94/I57 back home through the heart of the city, That was a big mistake. It was like almost like watching one of those races where cars smash into each other on purpose, only in this race, it was all about near misses. People were flying through traffic sweeping across multiple lanes of traffic, back and forth only to have to slam on their brakes for the cars in front of them.

    I was driving (in a car) in the middle lane of 3 lanes when a car to my left zoomed up and made a hard right turn across all 3 lanes to an exit ramp. In the process he/she almost slammed into the front of my car with the side of theirs. The front of my car was almost touching the side of his/her car just behind the front door of their car. It would have happened if I had not swerved to the right, basically following their path (only for a moment) into the lane next to me. I don't see how we didn't collide, it looked like we touched. If he had hit me, it would have spun me around in the middle of rush hour traffic. I was lucky there was no one next to me when I swerved into the next lane. Had I been on the bike, I would probably been sliding down I94 breaking bones and getting road rash, maybe worse.

    I can't explain it, but it's like a full moon syndrome. Ever so often, for some unknown reason, everyone goes crazy and drives insanely. Even when I got back home, people were driving the same way. This has happened before. The last time it happened (same place in Chicago) a Harley rider was riding on the shoulder because it was too dangerous to ride in traffic.

    When I'm on the bike, I avoid the Interstates that go through large cities for the reason I spoke of above. I used to drive a truck for a short while and I saw this behavior all the time. These people disregard safety and put themselves and everyone else at risk to save 5 or 10 minutes on their way home from work. I call it amature hour.

    OH, on a lighter note, a few days ago I saw a Golden retriever riding a motorcycle... Dont ask it... NO! he wasn't driving, but he was wearing eye protection.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ponydrvr's Avatar
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    I lived on the southside of Chi-town for over ten years. I lived in Flossmoor and worked in Carol Stream. If you think I 94/I 57 are crazy try I 294 at rush hour. I believe the traffic was a primary cause of my heart attack in 2004. So glad I'm not there anymore.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Woodswoman's Avatar
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    Let me begin by saying how glad I am that you're OK, Steven.

    I whole-heartedly agree with you about city and interstate traffic. I've been caught in some scary stuff in the Chicago area more than a few times -- got family I like to visit in Mount Prospect -- and it's just not a good time. My sister probably isn't going to stay there much longer, now that her children are off on their own. Says living in MP isn't what it used to be. Just too many people in too much of a hurry.

    Experiences like yours are why I'm going to entirely cut off "downstate" from my planned ride next month of the borders of New York. Much as I'd love to see Montauk again, which I haven't visited in 30+ years, I don't want the stress and risk of taking my motorcycle out there. Hell, I know I wouldn't even enjoy taking my car there these days.
    2014 Honda CTX700ND, "Flicker"
    ------------------------------------------------
    Former rides
    Cruisers: Victory Cross Roads, Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic, Suzuki Boulevard C50, Suzuki Marauder 800
    Scooters: Suzuki Burgman 650, Suzuki Burgman 400, Honda Elite 80

  4. #4
    Super Moderator MJC's Avatar
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    Wow, Stay out of those places. I feel the older I get the more I have to stay away from any road that people drive more then 50 MPH. Gives me a better chance to stay alive when they drive like nuts.

    I worked in NYC, LI, and Westchester for 30 plus years and had to drive a Van. I remember coming home (the ride was 60 miles north of NYC) I would reach just north of Westchester and think "Safe Zone" I had left the nuts behind. Over the years my Safe Zone has moved more and more North, just past my small town, that now takes 30 minutes to go from the parkway to my home, still only 5 miles but the drivers and traffic is crazy.

    Steven, the Full Moon Syndrome is real, we would have a Full Moon ride and had to stop doing it, the crazy people would come out and try to kill my riding group...

    Was that Golden Retriever wearing a helmet? LOL. I may have to wear a helmet in my car if things keep going they way they are!

    Woodswoman, tell us about this Border of NY Ride. sounds like fun. Agree you should stay out of downstate area.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    FMS...Full Moon Syndrome. Now, there's a concept! If you don't believe it exists, do a poll of your local bartenders.

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