November 2010 found us zipping north to help one of our (six) sons.
We’d almost made it to the Texas coast for some time away from cold and windy OKC. This would have been the last trip of the season before the holidays when the weather would force us into hibernation until late spring. A sense of urgency turned us around and called us home.
Traffic was fast and heavy, holiday travelers, but we had one of the few perfect tail winds, ever. It was like riding in a bubble and we were making record time including gas and pee stops! The speed limit was 70mph, traffic pushing much faster.
Just south of Waco, the bike wobbled and then began an eerily familiar reeling from side to side. I screamed, “What happened?” A split second before being dumped off I heard, “There’s oil on the road!!” Several paces up a car had lost it’s oil filter which meant the oil immediately drained onto the highway.
Four wheels, no problem.
Two wheels, chaos.
Like a rag doll tossing out of control, I fought to keep my head off the pavement and my arms tucked close to protect my hands. Over and over I could see the traffic racing up behind me. The 18 wheeler trucks were daunting.
“This is gonna hurt” was rolling around in my head like preparation for the inevitable. I’ve not been afraid of death for quite some time. I believe that life on the planet is a stepping stone to the next life.
But PAIN? Pain bothers me. Being crushed before I go is overwhelming, and maybe only slightly better than drowning.
In a matter of seconds it all came to a screeching halt. There had to be some fancy maneuvers in that traffic to get it shut down so fast but I was only impressed with one. The one where I stopped rolling, flat on my back in the right lane as a large SUV rolled up. The front tire stopped… inches from my head.
A family from Memphis dashed out to check on me as I scrambled to the shoulder. It was the thot of someone crashing into them and still getting creamed at the last second that gave me the rush of adrenaline I needed to finish getting out of the way.
I told the dad how grateful I was for his slick driving – he had no idea how close it was becuz I was almost under his vehicle.
They said they’d seen us in traffic earlier and prayed for us… they have parents that ride motorcycles, had been thinking of them and were inspired to pray for our safety.
What are the chances here?
I wondered about my chauffeur. All I could see was acres of parked cars. He soon found me and shared the details of what had happened. He was fine. It had been about as thrilling as an amusement park ride! He slid along behind the bike on his butt down the interstate. Just think “luge” in the olympic sports. I wonder if we can get a video when we get to heaven… He had some bruising on his backside and the heels of his boots were sheered off but that, my friends, is beyond amazing.
We refused the ambulance, towed the bike to the Harley dealer (on the other side of the road), rented a car and drove the final 6 hours home. We suffered some minor road rash, bruising, and a little damage to my hand, but nothing compared to the deer wreck…
We didn’t even total the bike!
I think it’s important to write about the lighter side of life, too, and saved a funny moment for the “tale” end. Directly across from where we landed was the entrance to a cemetery.