The "closest" call that most likely would have been fatal happened so quickly and unexpectedly, that I didn't even starting shaking for a minute or so after it had happened.
Thanksgiving weekend of 2012, I rode from Topeka down to Tulsa for the ABA Grand Nationals. Left Tulsa at about 6 PM for the ride home.
I was on 169 Highway somewhere south of Chanute. Two lane, rural road with nothing but open field on both sides. Had a semi ahead of me by about 1/2 a mile or so. He was entering a very long bend to the left, and I knew I would be catching him at or near the end....coming towards us (out of the left) was a tractor.
Now this road was fairly wide....two lanes, plus a paved breakdown lane on either side (this is the ONLY thing that saved my ass).....the tractor had his right tires on the breakdown lane on his side...plenty of room.,,matter of fact, his left side tires were only a foot or so across the white line on the right side of his lane. I could see a car coming up behind the tractor, so I moved to the right wheel track "just in case".
About this time, the car behind the tractor decided to pass.....unbeknownst to me OR the car driver, this tractor was set up for dual rear wheels....but was only running singles. That means there was an axle stub sticking about 2 or more feet past the tire.
Just as the guy in the car got to the rear of the tractor, he saw the stub, and jerked his wheel left.....
I hammered the right bar, jerking the bike to the right on to the breakdown lane.....I don't think there was but 2 feet between the left side of my bike and the l/f fender of that car when we passed....and we were both running 60 or more..
I was like "WTF"?????? Was more pissed than scared......pissed to the point that I had momentarily entertained the idea of turning around and chasing the asshole in the car down....until the realization of what nearly happened set in.
Stopped at a truck stop a mile or so up the road......the semi that had been ahead of me had also stopped......he walked over to me and said "I thought you were gonna get splattered"....
Had it not been for positioning myself in the right part of the line, coupled with having practiced collision avoidance techniques, I would have at the very least lost my left leg....
-end of story-