Distracted Thinking

This morning while on my way to work aboard my Harley, I had a number of things on my mind. My spouse’s pain and inability to walk… a major problem within my professional association that reflects poorly on my legacy… a number of items on my “to-do” list at work with pressing deadlines… and having to take off work on Friday to drive to the mother-in-law’s to fix the DVD player that we got for her a few months ago.

All typical, every-day things that many people have going on in a busy life.

But thinking about those heavy matters caused me to have a number of close-calls. I quickly snapped…

HiVis…back to the present and said to myself, “pay 1000% attention, always, while operating a motorcycle!” Even though I was on the road at oh-dark-30 with relatively light traffic, it was dark and even one silly fool who doesn’t “see” me on my motorcycle could cause me to have a life-threatening situation, especially when the size/weight factor of car-vs-motorcycle is considered. I do my best to “be seen” by wearing a high-vis jacket, as well as using lots of lights on the front, rear, and sides of my Harley.

Even though I am more visible to others, nothing helps if the operator (me) isn’t paying as close attention as he should. So I reminded myself that there was nothing I could do about those other, pressing matters while driving. I refocused, and the remainder of my ride to work was safe and uneventful.

I just have to remind myself that one can be distracted, even if not using a mobile phone which I never would do while driving. In 2003, I witnessed a crash by a cell-phone-yapping-yuppie that killed my biker buddy Rick. Since then, I have been on a crusade to eliminate distracted driving and ban the use of mobile devices when operating any vehicle. I don’t care if your new yuppie-mobile has built-in hands-free phone technology — you’re still distracted when you are thinking about your conversation rather than paying 100% attention to the road and surrounding hazards.

I digress… just a reminder… keep focused on the ride. Other matters can wait until the right time to deal with them.

Life is short: ride 1000% focused.