March 14, 2016
It was a Monday and I wanted to at least get out on my bike for an hour or so, it didn’t have to be an epic journey where I would spend hours in the saddle, just something that would satisfy my craving to ride.
We had been on our usual riding roads countless times this year, the same few that provide some of those elusive curves and twists that are so hard to find around here. I needed a change. I have come to the conclusion that some places just are not that ‘sweet spot’ that a motorcyclist yearns for. Southwest Florida happens to be such a place.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do like Florida. It is my kind of weather (sometimes a little too hot - yeah, I shocked myself too when I admitted that) the problem is that if you are not caught in the heavily congested traffic that plagues the cities then it just becomes a continuous flat landscape with straight mesmerizing roads, that occasionally makes me get tunnel vision, then teases me with the odd curve.
I decided that I would put up with the traffic and we would do a little window shopping at a couple of motorcycle dealers in the area. We both have been toying with the idea to try out a more adventure type of bike. (I felt as though I would be cheating on my Harley though)
But I am really curious about how these kind of bikes would fit me because they all consider a shorter person 5' 3". Who thought that one up? As far as I am concerned, that is definitely not short! Take me for example, I stand at 5' 1", if the industries standard is 5' 3" then what does that make me? Anyway, it would be fun to test out something different and if nothing else it would satisfy my need for a ride.
As we head down the road as predicted the traffic got heavier, solid in all 3 lanes.
I am motoring along minding my own business when a car decides to overtake my lane. With a slight turn of my head I am looking directly at the person through their window, by this point two of their wheels are across the line. In the split second before I sped away I notice that they are more preoccupied with their cell phone than driving. I didn’t have enough time to quite give them the finger, but close enough as I raised my hand and passed them before impact.
Which brings me to a pet peeve I have about Florida and cell phones. Not only is the amount of traffic horrendous here, which is something that is hard enough to get used to coming from a small community in Ontario where waiting at a stop sign for two or three cars is considered rush hour.
But what is even more alarming is the number of motorists who are texting while they drive. I noticed more often than not that this is still a common occurrence when I am motoring about. Maybe the problem wouldn’t be so prevalent if they made cell phones illegal. Believe it or not, it is legal to use a cell phone here while you drive and I am not talking about the ‘hands free’ devices either.
In Florida's defense there was a statute implemented a year ago that makes Texting illegal. However according to most of the critics they think it is worthless because you can only be stopped if you are also committing another violation like speeding or not wearing a seat belt while doing it. I would have to agree with the critics on this.
Maybe one day things will change, before too many of us become statistics.
Anyway, having that off my chest, in case you were wondering, we eventually got to our destination only to find that the place was closed. So we literally window shopped that day, peaking through the windows admiring all those shiny new bikes. It was still early but by this time the temperature had soared to 89 F (31 C) and we were both starting to melt in our gear.
So we headed back on one of our usual routes that was a little less crowded. Same old scenery but at least having the wind in your face made it all worthwhile.