Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Share and Share Alike

We were coming home to Norwich, Connecticut mid-Sunday afternoon and had already taken 287 North into New York where we changed over to 87 wending our way on that long and winding road (Sir Paul McCartney sold separately) that takes us over Bear Mountain but long before we reached it, we got caught up in a traffic jam.

Traffic jams are eight gallons of cars and trucks trying to pour through a two-quart funnel. The jams are never helped when instead of taking turns the way we told our children to do when they were little and still thought we knew stuff, we try to barge forward at all costs. The gamble in this kind of traffic chicken is that the other motorist loves her/his car/truck more than you do yours and allows you to be evil and ugly but dammit, first!

It all had to do with Octoberfest (mit uns Amis gibt es kein "Ich" im "Team" und gar kein "K" im Oktoberfest) being held at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in Harriman State Park. I'm not sure "Mad" Anthony would have been at home at a beer-based bacchanalia, though I suspect he would not have approved of the horseless carriages getting in the way of enjoying some brilliant fall foliage, not to mention one another.

It's taken me eons behind the wheel to accept that traffic is one of the things I cannot change. I watch people zoom quickly into lanes posted with signs advertising they will disappear in 500 yards and have watched folks drive on the shoulders of a roadway untroubled by the brazenness of their own selfish behavior. In truth, when I wore a younger man's clothes (several sizes smaller than the ones I wear now) I was too often those very same bozos.

I now believe you get along by going along, or at least I say I believe. So yeah, at some level, I buy in on the concept that cars and trucks are much larger than motorcycles and so we who drive the former two should pay extra attention to our two-wheeled brethren and share the road.

My willingness to support that belief  Sunday was tested nearly incessantly by motorcyclists (plates from a variety of states to include Texas and New York) who threaded the needle, so to speak, by riding on the white broken line separating the two lanes of traffic as if it were some kind of motorcycle monorail as they made their way, I imagine, to the good times and cold suds.

All the traffic jam added was about a half hour to what was in total about a four and a half hour drive and if I were honest with myself( but why start now?) I'd concede it was the worst thing that happened all weekend. A weekend otherwise filled with family, and extended family (thinking of Katie, Jessica and Zooey), and warm and wonderful memories.

Though I was tempted to add just one more smile: what if I'd suddenly and swiftly opened my driver's side door as some Solo Suzuki or Other was rolling on by and stop 'em cold? Land sakes! Of course, I'm not sure how I'd have explained to my auto insurer I'd accidentally opened the door into a motor cycle. Forty-two or more times.

Share the road, Harley and Holly. How about you first? It's clutch time and later than you think.
-bill kenny              

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