I drove down to North Carolina yesterday. The drive went terribly, thank you very much. I play a game called Bakery Story on my phone, and the app froze on my phone, so instead of driving with a GPS telling me what to do, I was driving blind, and turning my phone on every time that the screen went dark so I could drain the battery. That’s how badly my phone was frozen: I couldn’t turn it off using the power button. As soon as it died, I charged it and uninstalled the app. Never again.
But unfortunately I was already driving in unfamiliar territory. The Washington-Richmond 95 corridor is awful, especially with construction, so I decided to drive in the opposite direction.
I normally take 95 to 85 to 70 to get to James’. I drove Rt 7 to 81 instead. I had been planning on using my GPS to get me from 81 to Cary, but, as I said before, I had no GPS because my phone was broken. So instead, I took 7 all the way across the state, drove down 81, got onto 64, and drove all the way back across the state to meet up with 95. I missed the 95 traffic alright. But it didn’t save me any time.
While driving down 81, in the heart of RoVa, driving up and down mountains, three bikers drove behind me for nearly an hour. I kept speed with traffic, stayed in my lane, etc. I’m frightened of driving around bikers; there’s nothing but air between them and the road. These bikers looked especially vulnerable, as they were wearing regular street clothes rather than biker clothes.
I was also driving almost next to a truck. A blue Golf pulled up behind the truck and then started flashing its blinkers to change into my lane. I lifted my foot off the gas pedal. The car pulled into my lane, then sped off into the distance. The lead biker immediately changed lanes to drive around me; she drove in the diagonal between my passenger front tire and the edge of the truck, turned her head towards me, and seemed to yell. I thought for a moment that she was yelling at me, which was ridiculous, because I would never hear her. One of her friends sped by her, even closer to the truck than she was. The third was still behind me. I wondered if she was yelling at him. Finally the woman sped off to drive in front of me. The third biker swerved to get around me, and flipped the bird at me as he did so.
My jaw dropped. I was absolutely baffled. Two trucks maneuvered around me, and I was left in the dust of the bikers, absolutely confused as to what I did wrong, how I pissed off these bikers enough that they would yell at me and flip me off. I continued on towards Staunton, trying to shake the confusion from my head. I reminded myself that these were probably not very good bikers; their leader drove with her head turned away from the road for several minutes and absolutely none of them wore safety gear, not even helmets. The guy who flipped me off at least kept his eyes on the road, waited for the way to become clear, and wore a leather vest. But as I drove the last 25 miles towards the I-64 junction, I continued to replay the last few minutes with the bikers over and over again, wondering what I did wrong.