My husband has a Harley, so does his brother… and his father. My father has one too, as well as his wife and my sisters boyfriend. Our friends ride… our neighbors ride… As the weather gets warmer here in the northern Midwest the bikes start coming out. It’s important, as car drivers, to remember to look a little more carefully when we’re on the road… I know I do. There have been a number of times when I was in my car driving behind my husband while he was riding the bike and I feared for his life. Not because he wasn’t paying attention or riding stupid… no, it was because some idiot driver wasn’t paying attention and didn’t see him.
My father sent me the following in an email and I thought it was fitting to post. Not all bikers will fit the “look” that is described here, but the underlying statement is what matters. I know people who have been seriously injured due to motorcycle accidents that could have been avoided.
I saw you, hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But, you didn’t see me, put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.
I saw you, pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But, you didn’t see me, playing Santa at the local mall.
I saw you, change your mind about going into the restaurant. But, you didn’t see me, attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.
I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by. But, you didn’t see me, riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.
I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children. But, you didn’t see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.
I saw you, stare at my long hair. But, you didn’t see me, and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.
I saw you, roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves. But, you didn’t see me, and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.
I saw you, look in fright at my tattoos. But, you didn’t see me, cry as my children were born and have their name written over and in my heart.
I saw you, change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But, you didn’t see me, going home to be with my family.
I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But, you didn’t see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car. But, you didn’t see me, pat my child’s hands, knowing he was safe behind me.
I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But, you didn’t see me, squeeze my wife’s leg when she told me to take the next turn.
I saw you, race down the road in the rain. But, you didn’t see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.
I saw you, run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But, you didn’t see me, trying to turn right.
I saw you, cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But, you didn’t see me, leave the road.
I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But, you didn’t see me. I wasn’t there.
I saw you, go home to your family. But, you didn’t see me. Because, I died that day you cut me off. I was just a Biker. A person with friends and a family. But, you didn’t see me.
LIVE TO RIDE . . . . RIDE TO LIVE!!
Edited to add: I want to give credit to my friend Shannon for taking the top picture of me riding with Ray and unfortunately I don’t know who wrote the poem, so I don’t know who to give credit for that.