Ides of March

scooterwuf

L Plate Member
Jan 6, 2017
639
426
63
Philadelphia/South Jersey
I ride a
Kymco Downtown 300i
The Ides of March

Being constantly alert will always pay off.

Today I had to catch an early morning train from Philly to Baltimore, Maryland. The weather was finally warm enough (38F) that I felt safe enough to ride into to town (I live in New Jersey) instead of taking the two trains like I had been doing since mid-January. Leaving home around 5 am it was still dark with no sign of the sun anywhere. I was looking forward to a quiet ride with hardly any commuters on the road. As I was heading to the Ben Franklin Bridge on a small highway doing about 55 in a 45, I was in the passing lane with no one to share the road with save a Jeep that had passed me a minute before. To my left was a hip high concrete barrier that separated my side of the highway from the other going in the opposite direction.

Fortunately I was awake enough and not deep in thought when I saw something up ahead. It was just a smudge shape in the darkness welling against the barrier, then when about 50-70 feet away I saw what it was. A full grown German Shepherd was padding down the highway coming in my direction. Resisting the urge to grab a hand full of brake I shifted slightly to my right, coasted into the next lane and avoided hitting the dog by about 5-6 feet. It didn't even flinch, as if walking the wrong way down a highway at 5 in the morning was an everyday thing.

Fill in the obligatory exclamations here - both the biblical and the sailor type. I think I said them all before I coasted back into my original lane. The hardest part after that was to resist re-playing the event over and over in my head least I run into another road hazard, or any car in front of me. My attention needed to be on the road. I could ponder my close call later.

Obviously I made it to Baltimore, but the event was still unnerving, enough for me to share it here. Despite the date it still could be the Ides of March. Keep alert about there. You never know what dog will be in your path.

- Wuf
 
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Javiyellow

Motovloggers Unite!!!
Mar 26, 2018
72
36
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www.youtube.com
I ride a
Honda VFR800
I remember in the riding course they taught us to downshift slow down just a bit and then hit the throttle whenever you're passing a dog that's chasing you because the change in speed will confuse the dog. Don't know how much this would've helped because the problem was barely being able to see the dog but just throwing it out there.
 

scooterwuf

L Plate Member
Jan 6, 2017
639
426
63
Philadelphia/South Jersey
I ride a
Kymco Downtown 300i
Thanks Javiyellow.

I remember the same instructions in the class I took as well, but I think they were describing a situation in a residential neighborhood were the dog was coming at you from their yard (least that's how I visualized it). In my case I was doing 55 on a highway with the dog walking towards me in the same lane 50-70 feet ahead. I did roll off the throttle (no gears on my scoot) and shifted over to the next lane. Not sure if there's a text book manuever for a sitution like this, unless you replace the dog with a deer.

- Wuf