Thursday, April 10, 2014

Where's my road?

So it was lovely day. A day where one just had to pull out the motorcycle and go for a ride. Yup, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and Blueberry was rolled out. Gear was put on and I was ready to rock and roll.

It wasn't until I got to the end of my driveway when I realized that there would be no adventure to be had for there was no road to drive on. It done gone and left. I gazed at the rubble that was once my road with a broken heart. My driveway, and those of my neighbors, was blocked by busted pieces of road. 

Isn't the county supposed to notify you when they decide to tear up your perfectly fine road? Like a letter stating: 

"Dead Resident of the perfectly-fine road, 

Please don't have an emergency requiring hospitalization (or a life) on such and such day because you won't be able to leave until the cows come home.

Those who love to waste tax-payers' money on tearing up perfectly fine roads."

I mean, would that be too much to ask for? I now understand the incentive of a lifted pick-up truck with off-roading tires. Ah, I guess it's the world's way of telling me to get on those repairs.

Happy adventures, and send me a picture!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The closest call of them all

Okay, so that's not entirely true, but I haven't experienced something like it yet. It was a lovely, windy, dusty evening in Oklahoma. And, I took my theoretically garaged Blueberry to school. As luck would have it, my class was canceled due to our classroom having been commandeered by some pay-to-be-in-it society. All those Phi Kappa Phi's and what not. So it was a sign in and split class. Just what I love to drive 25 miles to find out. As I was leaving, someone had started some little conversation that for some odd reason I felt the need to quip in. My two cents were given and not 20 seconds later I was out the door. It was kind of nice, the wind hadn't picked up to the 45 mph wind gusts and it was still light outside. 

I made my way back to the interstate and took my spot on the inside turning lane where people, theoretically, are least likely to turn into your lane. Theoretically. I've had that happen a couple of times before. Not as often as when they're on the inside lane. Some people really need to learn how to drive. All of a sudden those hours and hours of driving school in Germany make sense, but I digress. 

I sorted in behind a little Nissan and off to the interstate we go. And, off the winds were, too. Boy, I haven't ridden in such a gusty gale in a long time. A couple miles down, the car behind me starts to pass just where the speed limit increases. I was about to pass as well. But, as he passed me and the little Nissan, I noticed the deer in my peripheral vision coming from the right.

It all happened so fast, and I have no idea how it all ended so well. I couldn't tell you all that happened other than that my focus was on reaction. That poor deer skipped in front of the Nissan and right into the car that had just passed us. 

Car parts flew everywhere thanks to the wind gusts. And the deer, poor thing!, was airborne. I just remember thinking that it felt like I was in some redneck movie where some rednecks in lifted trucks zip through a yard taking out all the lawn decorations which are rashly ejected from their location. Years of close calls have prepared me well for what happened on Thursday. I was able to monitor debris, the car that hit the deer, the Nissan. It also dawned upon me that other deer might be on their way to the road. Sometimes my multitasking skills surprise me. 

The deer (poor, poor thing) flew up at least 10 feet in the air in the left lane, and flew into my lane, over the Nissan, and into the ditch which would have been right next to me if I hadn't been paying attention.  The Nissan and I pulled over, while cars that had been just slightly behind us all passed. We ran over to the the little black car to make sure the people in there were all right. Their car looked awful, but they were all well and that's all that mattered. The passenger received a major shock; Neither of them had seen what happened since the hood of their car popped up and was basically glued to the windshield. It could have been so much worse for all of us.

Yup, it was a close call. Both the Nissan and the hit car were shocked that I was still alive and well.  Always being observant and swerving really are life savers. Luck sure was a lady. Having all your gear on really adds a little extra sense of security. I didn't have to include a worry session about skin grafting into my multitasking. And, honestly if I had been in a car, I'm not sure I would have been able to avoid everything as well. Being on a bike, when one is paying attention, gives you a whole lot of flexibility.

What shocked me and annoyed me, though, even though I have read about this phenomenon in many psychology textbooks, was that no one else pulled over to check if things were okay. And, we were passed by a whole lot of people. A whole lot. There was day light, so they saw how bad that car looked and not one iota of care was given. Sad.

I'm on the interstate at night on a regular basis, and I tend to see a lot of deer. Judging by how other drivers usually just whiz by, I'd say most people don't pay that much attention. On a similar note:

A little less cell phone and a little more driving, people.

Ah, my biggest pet peeve. Anywho...

In other Wanderings of a Girl Ryder news, as some of you know, I've started a small video series on Youtube all about Oklahoma. Working title is "Oklahoma: It's not as bad as you think it is." As, I said, it's a working title. Maybe I'll change it to something more up-beat like "Oklahoma is awesome because..." Technicalities. Pictures for this video series can be found on Facebook.

As I was stumbling through yet another small cemetery, I met yet another unhappy dog. I seem to be the common factor in dogs' unhappiness. He was big and beautiful. And, not pleased.Of course, it wasn't a big deal until he was guarding my car and I wasn't allowed to touch it.
So I resorted to low threats; I threatened to sick my cats on him.
Looking forward to some wind free days (hahaha, I know) so Project (Color) Madness can continue. Speaking of which, even Medicine Park has gotten some color! I love being inspiring ;)

For you riders, stay safe and continue to pay attention to the millions of things going on around you.

And, for you drivers, do something considerate for your fellow drivers and put down the [I won't get explicit] phone. Thanks! Have an adventurous weekend!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!