Posted by: Rob | October 16, 2008

Death Wish or Jackass?

It’s a clear, sunny day as I emerge from the admin building at the end of the day.  I walk to my truck and get ready for the drive home.  As usual, I exit the site via the east gate and then wait at the traffic lights in order to cross highway 15.  This is always a dicey crossing, but that’s another story.

When the light changes green and I’ve visually confirmed that the cross traffic is indeed stopping, I amble across the highway and negotiate the S curve leading to the straightaway of this short bit of Range Road 221.

I come up to the stop sign at Township Road 550 and stop.  Look both ways.  It’s clear.  I then make my left turn to head for home.

I look up the road and then glance at the rearview.  There’s a headlight – must be a motorcycle – and another vehicle behind it.  They’re back a ways, but I didn’t see them when I swung out onto 550.

I look ahead again.  There’s a vehicle about a mile or so ahead and not much else.  A typical day.

I look in the rearview again.  The motorcycle is much closer and coming up fast behind me.

A burst of high pitched engine noise and he’s past me.

It’s one of those sport bikes, also known as a “crotch rocket”; Alberta tag CV088.  The rider is hunkered down low on the bike.

He’s travelling fast.  He’s up the road and passes the vehicle ahead of me.  I figure he’s got to be going at least 140 or maybe 160 km/h.  The speed limit on the road is 80 km/h.  I wonder where the local traffic enforcement cops are today.

As he goes up the hill toward the intersection with secondary highway 830 just outside of town, not visibly slowing down, I idly wonder if he’ll be wiped out by the heavy north-south traffic that only pays cursory attention to the stop signs.  I can’t tell.  By the time I get into town, he’s gone.

I’ve seen this guy once before on 550, I think.  Same behaviour that day.  Riding low and riding fast.  Passed me like I was standing still.

Death wish or jackass?


  1. Both.

  2. Depends. Is he young? Jackass. Old? Death wish.

  3. That seems to be universal behavior on those kinds of bikes. I’ve seen them riding on wheelies, passing between cars, or roaring past in no-passing zones.

  4. Jackass. Unquestionably.

  5. Rather think of him as a potential organ donor.

  6. Ah, yes, I’d forgotten that another name for those “crotch rockets” is “donorcycles.”

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