Be careful out there.

A few years back I was leading a group ride for our annual rally. It seemed simple enough, ride straight down Lebanon Pike, and hang a right at McGavock Pike and straight to Neverland the campground. Instead we encountered an angry driver yelling at us about Tennessee’s newly passed slowpoke law which says slower traffic must not be in the fast lane on roads that have 3 or more lanes. The road in question only had two lanes of traffic each way with a turning lane in the middle. This driver had a uniform on that vaguely looked like a police uniform, and a sticker on the back of his car that said “Traffic Control.” Ends up, he wasn’t a cop, just a guy who wears a uniform that looks similar and watches construction workers all day.

A rider in the back of the pack who witnessed this driver acting aggressively to the pack of 12 or so scooters came up to let him know the danger of his behavior, and the driver tried to take a swing at him with a blackjack. At the time, I was shocked, angry, and wanted to stop at nothing until this man got punishment for his actions. Emails were sent to the police chief, mayor, and the aggressive driving unit. Meetings were had with a detective who understood the concern I had with the issue at hand and attempted to press charges. Those sadly were turned down because it was ultimately my word versus the other guy’s.

Enter the GoPro. I’d bought one years ago and enjoyed riding with it and playing around with the footage, but like any other gadget, it ended up in my junk drawer. That is until the incident I just told you about. Since then, if I’m kicking over a motor, that camera is with me, and recording. I keep a charged battery pack with me as well so I can recharge if needed while on a longer ride.

Tonight is another great example as to why I continue to ride with it, and will continue to ride with that camera. Riding to the weekly meetup I noticed a car driving a bit erratically. I had noticed him using his phone while we were stopped at a red light, and assumed he would put it down when his foot hit the gas pedal, but that wasn’t the case. Instead I watched him try to keep his car in his lane at a consistent speed while his eyes were glued to his phone screen. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but stay safe out there. Ride defensively, we always say cars don’t see us, and it’s true. Instead they see that latest text message, or other “important” update that just made their screen light up. The sad part is drivers have the ability to change our lives drastically in a split second, and they aren’t able to see that they are doing something very wrong, and very preventable.

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