Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Jay's post I linked to yesterday, the one in which he came close to being cleaned off his stationary motorcycle by an Acura in the throes of a NASCAR-grade single vehicle accident, was extra sphincter-puckering for me in that it recalled a very specific incident almost fourteen years ago.

So, once upon a time, very shortly after I got the Z3, when Marko and I were still roommates...

Google "The Grove at Deane Hill" on Google maps. That was where our apartment was, in the top floor of the southwestern most building in the complex, overlooking the intersection of Morrell and Deane Hill. We got to see some pretty spectacular wrecks there as Morrell was downhill to the traffic light from both north and south, and people sped right along.
A: Normal, civilized place to watch wrecks, on a third-floor balcony. B: Bad place to watch wrecks. C: Wreck.
I was heading south on Morrell, coasting up to the traffic light in the turn lane with the top down on my shiny new roadster, when a Ford Ranger heading down the hill from the other direction apparently didn't notice they had a red light and clipped the front of the car making a left turn from Deane Hill.

I was then treated to the sight of a Ford Ranger going ass-over-teakettle, doing two complete bumper-to-bumper endos in midair before coming to rest maybe a dozen feet from my front left fender.

If it had landed in my lap, I don't think the fates would have given me bonus points for leaving the bike home that day.

The thing that sticks with me most was the time dilation effect. As that truck was flipping lengthwise through the air in my direction, a view we don't normally get unless it's being projected in two dimensions on a theater screen, I had plenty of time for a whole cascade of thoughts to run through my head. "Wow, they look bigger when they're vertical like that. Jeezis, his front bumper's gotta be three feet off the ground. He's going over a second time. How fast was he going? He must've been hauling ass and clipped the dude just right. He's gonna land on his wheels. Wonder which side he'll bounce over on?"
...and simultaneously the realization that the whole thing was happening so fast that by the time any processed information was converted into physical action by my hands and feet and then into motion by my vehicle, the whole thing would be over. I was essentially just a very interested spectator until physics finished having its way with its new play toy.