My wife and I decided to take a ride to Squamish on Sunday, and enjoy our last ride of the season. We got separated in traffic before the bridge, so I decided to wait for her on the other side. Once she caught up, I pulled in behind her and we made our way to the Sea to Sky hwy.
There was a lot of traffic on the road, as usual, so we just followed along at a leisurely pace. During our ride, I noticed a couple of Harley's following along behind us. Just before the Mining Museum, we reached another passing lane, and as usual, the traffic separated into two lanes of traffic. My wife and I followed the faster moving left lane of traffic, to pass some more slower vehicles. She was riding in the outside part of the lane, and I was about twenty feet behind her on the right, close to lane divider markings. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of something on my left, and to my surprise I saw one of the Harley riders trying to pass me, in my lane!
Fighting the urge to kick him with my big motocross boot, I watched him cruise by. A moment later the second Harley rider did the same thing, and now they were tailing my wife. As soon as my wife was in front of the vehicle she was passing, the lead Harley rider squeezed between my wife and the vehicle she had just passed. The second Harley rider with his girlfriend on the back did the same. A few seconds later, the passing lane came to an end.
I could feel the blood beginning to boil in my veins. I thought "how dare they pass me in the same lane, if I had swerved to avoid hitting something in the road, I could have run into him, and we would all be sliding down the road". As the seconds ticked by, I just grew madder and madder as I watched them pulling away through the last set of twisties before the Mining Museum. I waited patiently for my chance of revenge at the next passing lane.
I quietly passed the museum, rode over the bridge, as my eyes fixed on the passing lane up ahead, watching my opportunity getting closer by the second. Once again, the traffic separated into two lanes, with my wife and the Harley riders choosing the passing lane. By now, my plans for a nice leisurely ride were out the window, and I was completely psyched on my new mission.
I could see a gap forming in the right lane, so I wound on the gas and carved through the sweeping left hander before the hill, riding my powerful sportbike like it was meant to be ridden. A quick scan of the road told me all I needed to know. The second rider was gaining ground on the slower traffic in the right hand lane, but a two up Harley travelling uphill, was no match for a light sportbike with a featherlite rider on a mission. I knew there would be enough time to pass on the right before he could make his pass, but it would be close. With my heart pounding in my chest, and a vice like grip on my handlebars, I flew past the Harley in the blink of an eye. A quick glance over left my shoulder told me he was out of my way, so I flicked my bike into the passing lane ahead of him. One down, one to go.
A moment later I was passing the van that the previous Harley was trying to pass, and I could see the other Harley up ahead. He was also trying to pass someone, but I figured there was enough time to repeat the same scenario. A quick glance to right, flick, right lane, WHOOSH, bye bye Harley, quick glance to the left, flick, left lane. There was no need to scream with excitement, my bike was doing enough screaming on its own. I carved into the right hander at the top of the hill faster than I had ever taken that corner before, and the next couple of corners were ridden just as fast.
The passing lane was now over, my mission was accomplished, and sanity was gradually returning. I began to slow down, and eventually caught up to a minivan ahead. I was sitting up now, relaxed and once again enjoying my leisurely ride at a pace that was more typical for me. A smile crept across my face as I imagined what the look on those Harley riders must have been when I blew by them. Up ahead, the road began to widen, allowing for a left turning lane. I followed the van along wondering how far back my wife was and what she must thinking right now.
Suddenly, there was thundering sound to my left as the first Harley flew past me, and the van ahead of me, using the turning lane as an opportunity to pass. "F*ck" I thought "this means war!" All those emotions came flooding back, and now I was once again in passing mode. I was like a tiger waiting to pounce on its prey, waiting for my first chance to pass the van ahead of me. I didn't notice or even care if there were dashed lines or solid, as soon as the road straightened out, and cars cleared, I was gone, chasing after the Harley once again. It didn't take long to catch up to him, and now I was on his tail, wondering how long I should wait before leaving him in the dust once more.
Even though we were both cruising along like law abiding citizens, although my thoughts were anything but. At this point, I began to think "What am I doing? I'm riding like a lunatic. I know this is my last ride of the season, but it shouldn't become my last ride period. OK, he passed me in my lane, and I passed him on the right, but let's just call a truce and enjoy the rest of the ride." So I followed along, and began enjoying the scenery again, and experiencing the pleasure that comes from being out on my bike.
When we reached Shannon Falls, the Harley rider pulled off the road, and I carried on to Squamish. As I waited to turn left to Tim Horton's, Both Harley's approached the lights together. I looked over at them, but they just looked ahead, like I wasn't even there. I guess some things never change. I pulled into the parking lot a few moments later, and waited for my wife.
As my wife and I talked about the ride, and she vented about the Harley riders too, a police cruiser pulled up beside my bike. The officer inside began looking over at my bike and typing on his little computer. I thought "Uh-oh, I'm in trouble now...." I began to wonder just how fast I was going on that passing lane, were there dashed lines or solid when I passed that last van. Did anyone have a cell phone and see my licence?" What kind of ticket would I get, and how big would my fine be for this moment of brief insanity. I sat, watched, and waited for my fate to be revealed. Eventually, the officer got out of his cruiser, but ended up having a coffee with a lady instead.
Perhaps I was lucky this time. Perhaps I should feel lucky to have made it another whole season without any serious mishaps. Fate has an unusual way of deciding who gets lucky and who doesn't, and sometimes all it takes is that one time when your pushing faster than you usually do, to bring everything to an abrupt end. As I climbed aboard my bike, I looked at the the three initials on my tank, R.A.Z. I started my bike up, and began to head for home, and thought to myself "This ride's for you Rudy".
(Disclaimer: Some elements of this story are based on actual events, but some parts have been added or exagerated for the purpose of the story)