Deja vu is one thing, but premonitions are another: I seem to experience both far too often for my liking.
However, my most recent premonition made me question if they aren’t simply things noticed or recognized at the subconscious level or perhaps even subconsciously, self-induced self-fulfilling prophecies? Yeah, I know… that’s an awful lot of mumbo jumbo and 10-cent words that an intellectual would read and say, “This dolt doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about” which is probably true. I’m guessing the less hoity-toity folks like myself mean what I know. But I digress…
Case in point: Yesterday as I was riding my motorcycle home in the rain it dawned on me I hadn’t had a punctured motorcycle tire since I’d laid my beloved Honda CBR1100 to rest in December 2008, noting I probably had at least two punctures a year with that bike. In fact, I finally started to a carry tire plugging kit and a Topeak Morph pump under my saddle as it was such a common occurence. My previous motorcycles also collected a few flats, but none as frequently as the CBR1100: I’d originally guessed it was the very soft and sticky tread + 150bhp. No such problems with the Michelin Pilot Road CT2 tires on my R11S or it’s mere 90bhp, that and the BMWs actually come with tire patch kits and CO2 inflators. However, upon reflection it’s most likely because — short of those days when ice or snow is expected on the roads — I commute by motorcycle year round and like bicycles, motorcycles are far more likely to get punctured when ridden on rain soaked roads than dry.
So, this morning after spending 5 minutes putting on my gear for another cold, wet ride to the office — leather overpants, jacket liner, leather jack, rain jacket, helmet and gloves — I fire up the bike and find it doesn’t want to come out of the front wheel chock without a fight and isn’t rolling all that well as I back it out of the garage. Oh yeah, I know what this is… ‘been there – done that’ many times before.
I put the side stand down, dismount, walk to the back of the bike and kick the tire: yup, a dull thud with a lot of give = flat tire. I put it back in the front wheel chock and raise the rear wheel with my track stand (Note: The lower cowl on my R11S Replika precludes the installation of a center stand) so I can spin the rear tire and there it is: sheet rock screw through the left side of the tread. I thought about making a quick repair by pulling the screw, plugging the tire and dragging out the compressor but opted to leave it for later. Again, it’s nice to know that the BMW does have a patch kit & CO2 carts on-board since it’s apparently not as immune to flats as I was beginning to believe.
Here now is the question: Did I actually pick-up a nail and note it in my subconscious because I was mentally focused on something else at the time, which then gave rise to subsequent thoughts about puncturing my motorcycle tires? Or, did just a random thought about puncturing a motorcycle tire because it was raining — noting I seem to get most punctures on motorcycles as well as bicycles while riding on wet roads — cause me to subconsciously take a riding line into a part of the road where stuff like nails collect? Of course, there’s the third option which simply says, having bad thoughts can bring about a self-induced curse of bad luck which I really struggle with: I don’t believe in curses and such; but then again…???
I vividly recall how I put a dent in the top tube of our Erickson tandem back in the summer of 2008 that falls into this same “Think bad thoughts, and bad things happen” scenario. In this instance, I was working on our tandem out of the work stand in the garage and needed to get a part off the work bench. As I’ve done 100’s of time before, I simply leaned the captain’s saddle of our Erickson against the upright support on work stand and turned my back to get the part. The second I turned my back I had this awful thought, “What if the tandem rolled back and fell against the stand?” No sooner had that thought finished crossing my mind when I heard my answer: clunk, thunk, crash. Clearly, I didn’t have time to self-induce the problem after having the thought, so was this a case where out of the corner of my eye my subconscious saw the tandem moving as I turned away or did I curse myself? I tend to think the former had to be the case instead of the latter, never-mind realizing in retrospect I was always asking for trouble by leaning the tandem on anything against which it could fall.
So, perhaps some premonitions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.