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A Horrifying Ride

How important to you are your eyes? We used to play a game when I was younger called Blind Man’s Bluff. Many of you may have similar memories from your youth. One player was blindfolded in a large open area and was required to tag the other players who were hidden in plain sight. Do you remember what it was like not to be able to see? If you were “it,” the other kids would make noises to taunt you and then quickly move away to avoid being tagged.

"To not be aware of what is just ahead of you or just outside of your touch is very disconcerting."

Can you imagine what it would be like to wear that blindfold all the time? You might have experienced brief moments of a similar nature when you entered a totally dark room or basement after just being in the bright sunlight outside. Maybe the unexpected flash of a camera’s strobe momentarily blinded you as someone snuck a picture of you outside at night. Perhaps you were partially blinded by the sun hanging low in the sky on either end of the day.

How did it feel to be unable to see, even for that fleeting second? In Clive Cussler’s suspense novel The Mediterranean Caper, Dirk Pitt says, "Nothing is more horrifying or uncomprehending to the human mind than total darkness.” To not be aware of what is just ahead of you or just outside of your touch is very disconcerting. 

Obviously if you ride a motorcycle, you have your vision; you are able to see. We all know how imperative it is that we perceive what is happening around us as we ride. We couldn’t imagine putting the blindfold on from our childhood games and riding down the highway. Yet why do some riders purposely do things that take away their vision? Why would they, in effect, willfully cover their eyes and ride without being able to see?

One biker glided through the twists and turns of the hilly countryside on a sunny afternoon and encountered a tractor as he crested a hill. Because he didn’t adjust his speed for the limited visual lead caused by the hill, it was too late to stop by the time he saw the farm equipment. He was blinded by the hill. He obviously didn’t expect any such problems to be on the other side. His ride came to a horrifying end.

Another rider was enjoying the warm summer sunshine as he dove into a blind right hand curve just a little too fast. He was able to handle the speed until the curve suddenly tightened up into a sharper turn. Unable to negotiate the tighter bend, he found the front of an oncoming vehicle that brought his ride to a horrifying end. He was blinded by the dense forest that hugged the highway.

Still another rider was cozily tucked in behind an eighteen wheeler avoiding the buffeting turbulence as they travelled down the roadway together. The truck’s fifty-three foot box blinded him to what might be happening on the road ahead of them. When a deer jumped across the road and the driver slammed on his brakes, there was no time for the biker to do anything. His ride, too, came to a horrifying end.

We must always be able to stop in the distance we can see. We need to adjust our speed whenever something blocks our vision and blinds us to what might be ahead so we have the time and space to take the appropriate action. There can be nothing more horrifying or uncomprehending than to be plunged into total darkness because of something we didn’t see coming soon enough.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!