Have some compassion
August 30, 2013
As you are aware, we are coming to the end of a very wet August. The intensity of the rain during some of the storms has inevitably left large puddles in low lying areas on several of Bermuda's roads. This represents a hazard, but a lot of drivers seem to ignore the dangers, and continue to speed recklessly in dangerous conditions. Last week a car cleaned out about 30 feet of wall at Lower Ferry after crossing into the opposite lane aquaplaning in a puddle. This could have been avoided if the driver had been driving according to the road conditions.
Yesterday, August 29th, I was on my way home to God's country on my trusty two wheeled vehicle when the heavens opened up. I donned my foul weather gear and continued on my journey. I might add that my foul weather gear is in good condition and is designed to repel water falling down and even horizontally during strong winds. It is not a wet suit designed for Scuba diving or snorkelling. By the time I got into the western parishes, several large pools had collected on the roads. My first encounter was at the entrance to Industrial Park Road in Southampton, an area I fondly call Lake SAL.
I slowed down and started to enter the “lake.” I noticed a large SUV travelling towards me at speed and the vehicle continued at said speed into the “lake.” Inevitably I was confronted by a four foot wave hitting me in the chest area. I managed to control the bike, but got a wet face, and shoes and socks saturated. Undaunted I carried on until Hog Bay Level.
There I could se a large area of standing water stretching for almost 100 feet. I again slowed down as I entered the danger zone only to be met by a CableVision bucket truck coming in the opposite direction at a faster rate that the aforementioned SUV. Again the oncoming wave, much larger than the first, more like a miniature tsunami. I was smacked by a massive wall of water followed almost immediately by the upward movement of the tsunami. The water shot up my leggings, up the inside of my rain jacket, which hangs over the waist of the leggings by design, and finally up the inside of my visor and into my crash helmet. The bike floated for a second or two before I regained control. I stopped at the end of the lake to shake some of the water off and realised that the only dry area of my body was my shoulders and back. I was comforted by a car driver who had been behind me and witnessed both incidents. The language he used is not suitable for print in this medium.
The reason for this missive is to plead with drivers, especially trucks and SUVs, to slow down during wet conditions. Bike riders have rights too, and if we all drove cars Bermuda would be in constant gridlock. Have some compassion for your fellow road users. I might also remind you that I believe there is still a law on the books regarding driving without due care and consideration for other road users.
I am thinking about calling on my fellow bike riders to demonstrate against this irresponsible driving by riding naked the next time we have a period of heavy rain. But then again, we would all end up behind bars.
Stay safe and dry my friends.