I’ve been riding a motorcycle for the past 4 years now. I started riding when gasoline hit $3/gal. of regular gasoline the summer following Hurricane Katrina. Now, while I believe that speculation and greed were largely responsible for the spike in oil prices that summer (and the summers prior to that) there is also some logic to the fact that demand for gasoline traditionally peaks during summer months. But, I believe that the increased demand is a cop out reason the oil companies use to jack up prices and gouge us at the pumps. Oil production certainly isn’t slacked off the rest of the year, and the refineries have the extra capacity usually to keep up with summer demand. So, they just use the convenient excuse to make some extra money, it’s the American way, no?
But, what I really wanted to write about here today is the fact that because I ride a motorcycle out there in traffic, and since I saw this new advertising campaign from Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) that is trying to get motorcycle riders to wear their safety equipment, I started wondering why all the drivers out there are in such a bloody hurry? It just makes no sense! Where are they going and what does it really get them to get there 30 seconds earlier than they would have otherwise (besides heartburn and high blood pressure)? I mean, most of the time it’s a a case of hurry up so you can stop!
You just get to the next traffic light one or two car lengths ahead of the other guy (me) and who the heck cares? Are we that stupidly competitive in our society that we consider it a good thing to beat somebody to a traffic light or get ahead of them on the freeway because they aren’t driving 20mph over the speed limit like all those others? Riding my motorcycle has made me hyper-safety conscious I guess, and I just get increasingly disappointed by all the stupid things I see people doing out there.
Trust me, I can look right in your car window and see you texting and driving, and I can see some people reading. One lady I saw one day was opening and reading her mail! Can you believe that? When I lived in Los Angeles, I used to see people reading books in traffic. Well, in the land of massive traffic jams, and in the day before books on tape came out, I guess you had to do something. That was before cell phones too. These days, folks watch movies on their drives I guess.
But what is all the hurry about? Are we so programmed competitively that we think being in a hurry on the road all the time is a good thing and that it’s going to get us some sort of prize? Where in the heck do you think all the road rage comes from – being stupidly competitive obviously! Slow down! Let that guy go and get in front of you. Today I was being tailgated by a gal in a black Cadillac. What the heck is up with that? I just slow down so they go around me. Silly people. Where are you going? Why are you in such a hurry? Slow down!
Notice folks around you fidgeting and fussing while they drive. If folks just slowed down and drove, trust me, we’d all get there much faster. Why can’t we all just be courteous and kind on the road like we’d be if we were meeting each other for the first time in some restaurant somewhere?
Slow down people! Smell the flowers (so to speak), look at the scenery a bit more, stop trying to cut the guy off in front of you. If you’re going to get over to get off the highway, why not slow down and go behind that guy in front of you, instead of speeding up to cut him off just so you can get in front of him and hit your brakes? Where did courtesy go? Where’s our common sense?
Keep your distance from others, stagger your position in traffic, and for heaven’s sake, watch out for those poor folks on motorcycles, they’re just trying to get somewhere and stay alive!