First off, apologies for errors in this document. WordPress can’t seem to stay out of it’s way and released a new editor that’s pretty awful, never mind void of any proofreading tools.
I’m going to violate my own, recently announced protocol for posting only monthly compendiums of our more notable motorist encounters as captured on our GoPro cameras and post this one out today even though I just posted September’s compendium a couple days ago. October is going to be a very busy month for us with a day at the Porsche Experience this week, the Southern Tandem Rally next week, Fall Bike Week in Daytona the following week, Fall Bike Week in Panama City Beach the week after that and a new grandchild due on Halloween. So, I’ve got a lot of blogging to do and this one has a couple of really special treats, including a trifecta of very short videos from some of yesterday’s encounters.
The first was on Stilesboro Road when this Chevy 1500 with GA Tag #RNL8221 decided to pass on a partially blind curve and ended up “squeezing” us as well as the red Toyota Tundra coming the other way… all to save about 5 seconds on his drive time.
The impatience of drivers now days is amazing. Moreover, when driver’s realize they’ve erred in judgement about how fast or close an on-coming vehicle is they invariably speed up to “make the pass” instead of slowing down and dropping back behind us until it truly is safe to pass. We see this time and time again. Where does this aggressive / win at all costs behavior come from? And, quite frankly, within 5 minutes these same people will find themselves sitting at a stoplight for 90 to 120 seconds, often times with us falling in right behind them: did you really save any time by taking those risks??
Our next encounter was on Wright Road, where a landscape maintenance truck whose driver was in a hurry (turns out, his wife was purportedly in labor) decided to pass us well within the stop sign warning / deceleration zone, essentially cutting us off as he returned to the lane and quickly slowed. But, then then ran the stop sign and made a short radius right hand turn, too short for the long, tandem axle trailer he was towing which sent the right side tandem wheels into a ditch with a resounding impact.
We shared the video with the owner of the company who was appreciative and who also followed up with the back-story on why the driver was in such a hurry, noting that the urgency did not justify the poor motoring decisions.
Next up was a UPS truck driver on Holland Road. As we approached a stop sign at the top of a small climb the UPS driver began to make a passing move also well within the stop sign warning / deceleration zone. Seriously, up hill with less than 200′ to the stop sign. Fortunately for us, he abandoned the passing move and fell in behind us and then — amazingly — made a right turn on Black Iron Trail into the cul-de-sac at the stop sign. Had he made his pass, he would have most certainly cut us off.
I suspect at some point they’ll widen Due West Road from Mars Hill to the Paulding County Line as the motorists who use it already treat it like it’s a 55 mph rural highway and not a 40 mph limit major road. Today did not disappoint. First up was a silver Porsche Carrera cabriolet with Georgia Tag #RNI2387 flying along at 55 mph+ who felt compelled to pass within the lane even though there was no on-coming traffic to preclude him from giving us the 3-foot safety margin mandated by Georgia law. And yes, the license plates are very readable using the 1080 @ 30 frames per second on the GoPro cameras.
Not more than a few moments later we had trio of pick-up truck drivers who were all in a hurry. This one warranted a video clip.
As you saw in the video, the first pick-up truck was a white Ford F350 FX4 Off-Road Crew Cab with what looked to be an Oregon Tag, who was apparently trying to catch up to the Porsche and moving well above the 40 mph posted speed limit… well above.
Lagging a bit behind him was a white Chevrolet SD2500 crew cab work truck with US DOT Reg #1606687 and GA Tag #CHT9782 belonging to Every Thing Construction out of Locus Grove, GA. He and the truck behind were held back from passing by two on-coming vehicles. As soon as the second vehicle was clear of the white ETC truck, he pulled into the on-going lane to make his pass while approach an intersection where — as we’ve seen time and again — a motorist turning right onto Due West Road was now suddenly on a collision course with the truck making the passing maneuver. As you can see in the video, the severity of his error did not escape Debbie’s notice. Again, his performance demands a few stills that clearly show the severity of his poor judgement.
Bringing up the rear we had the blue Chevrolet Z71 4WD 1500 crew cab / work truck with a Georgia Navy Veteran’s Tag #921985 (?, it was bashed-in by a trailer hitch) who felt compelled to go Wide Open Throttle (WOT) to make his pass, as I’m sure he too was held up for far too long by those idiots on a bicycle that shouldn’t even be on this road: yeah, I know what WOT implies (F.U.), yet another passive road rage gesture like rolling coal with a diesel.
Finally we have this special fellow driving the blue Ford Escape with Pennsylvania Handicap Tag #66749 on Old Stilesboro Road. As we approached him I could tell that, had it not been for a white Jeep Cherokee that came around a corner just behind us, he would have pulled out and cut-us-off as he started to pull-out and only then stopped as the Jeep came into view.
Once he was behind us he failed to follow the Jeep’s example by giving us nearly the full lane when he passed — noting there was no on-coming traffic — and instead passed us within the lane way too close for comfort and clearly unaware of Georgia’s 3-foot law and, most likely, doesn’t have a clue that Pennsylvania enacted a 4-foot law when passing bicycles.
P.S. I loved the NRA sticker on the passenger window; I guess that’s for the benefit of the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol who typically approach stopped cars from the passenger side. As a Life Member of the NRA and CCW license holder, I don’t advertise.