TL;DR Ė One second away from dying, didnít die, I need to stop being distracted by stupid stuff.
Normally Iím pretty good when it comes to potential SMIDSYís, whether on a bike or in a cage; however, this day was different.
A couple of months ago, right after I picked up my Buell XB12S, I was heading out of town on a local two lane highway. I was both fighting some nasty headwinds and still getting used to the...unique...shifting of my Buell. Well, as turned onto the road and was accelerating out of town, I shifted from first to neutral, which is frustrating, but it happens. After sorting out my shift and chastising myself for being dumb, which distracted me for a few seconds, I realized that a red Pontiac Grand Am was making a break for it across my lane. Just as I saw him, he saw me and at the last second he stomped on the brakes. I barely had a chance to even see his face as I blew past at 60mph, missing him by two feet. I have absolutely no doubt that if he hadn't stopped, I would have died. Either from the impact, or by being thrown into the oncoming traffic he was trying to beat.
I know that technically it's his fault, but I donít blame Grand Am guy because I know that he honestly didnít see me. As far as I'm concerned, Iím the one at fault. I should have been paying attention, watching him as I approached, getting ready for evasive action, doing the SMIDSY swerve.
After the event, I do remember looking up and seeing him sitting at the intersection as I drew closer; but, it just didnít register because I was still pissed/distracted by the mis-shift.
I went back and re-drove that road again, more slowly this time, and really paid attention. I noticed that there are 4 street signs (county road/intersection, speed limit, no passing) bunched up in one spot. I'm sure he glanced over at the exact time I and my headlight were behind those signs.
Anyway, my lesson for the day was exactly like life itself. To stop worrying about petty shit and concentrate on whatís important!