Saturday, August 25, 2012

Almost Dead Again

So... Here's the story:
Yesterday was my birthday.  I'm 44 now, which seems like a good number to be.  I had the best present ever - a trip to England - and I'll blog about that later.  It was amazing. 

My partner and I rode around England on our motorcycle.  The journey was over a thousand kilometers, and we were pulling a little one-wheel trailer behind us.  Because of that, we took our time, driving on the highways and motorways at around 55 miles per hour.  Naturally, everyone else was faster, but we had no trouble at all until we returned to the Netherlands.

As you may know from reading my blog, I rarely have anything to complain about.  Overall, I feel safe here and find the Dutch to be peaceful, relaxed and down-to-Earth people.  One lady changed that when she deliberately and without regard for others used her car as a means to cut us off and push us out of her way. 

You're always more aware when riding a motorcycle, as simply a bump by a car can crush a leg or worse.  Since I sit behind on the bike, I can only see to the sides and the rear normally.  We were exiting the highway when the lady (term used loosely) came at us from the left, from the main road, pulling her vehicle suddenly beside us on the exit.  She was speeding, and slowed only for a second when her door was exactly next to my leg.  I screamed, my partner swerved, narrowly avoiding a collision with her car.  She slipped the car directly in front of us on the exit and sped off.

There's a traffic light at the end of the exit, and a line of vehicles was sitting there, waiting for a red to change.  She was stuck in that line when we caught up to her.  My partner is Dutch, so he was asking her if she was crazy and why was she was trying to kill us?  She didn't roll down her window, but was mouthing something back and making hand gestures at us, which included giving us the finger.  She was clearly unconcerned, and so calm that her dog, in the back seat, didn't even get excited or bark.

I was shaking, but had the presence of mind to snap photos of the entire event after she used her car as a weapon.  I also have a photo of her giving us the finger, and a clear shot of her license plate.  She started rummaging for something next to her on the floor.  I didn't know what she was going to pull out.  There is that moment where I look over and there's the entire side of a car, mere centimeters from me, frozen in my mind.  One second, and if anything else had been different, I might not be able to write this blog.

The light turned green and we took off.  I don't know what she was searching for next to her.  I also didn't know whether she would follow us and try to finish us off or not.  We paused the bike a little bit, as there is a roundabout after the traffic light, but she didn't follow.  I was in a bad way emotionally, and developed such a fierce headache that I took acetaminophen and went to bed early.  Happy birthday, and almost my death day.

With some assistance, I filed a police report today.  I don't know why this one lady didn't like bikers, or the motorcycle - maybe she has her own story to tell.  She thought the situation was funny.  I disagree.  Any bikers out here in the Netherlands, you can ask me for her photo and keep an eye out for her.  She doesn't care, and since I don't personally know her, I can only assume she'll try this with other motorcyclists as well.  Watch out, and remember to cherish each day that you have.