Got a Problem with Farmers? Read on…..
They say that 80% of motorcycle riders will at some point experience a serious accident and I’m not surprised. But what I’d like to know is, what constitutes as a serious accident? Do you need to lose an arm or a leg? Do you need to be flung further than X amount of metres? Either way, 80% is high, even for a softly-softly accident! Wouldn’t you agree?
Anyway, back to the farmers and riding tips! One thing car drivers don’t realise about motorcycles, is that they don’t have a reverse gear. If I had a cookie for every time I’ve stopped behind a car on a hill in a country lane, only to see his reverse lights light up, I’d be one fat mother! “No, I can’t reverse, mate!”
So, farmers, they drive around the country lanes as if they own all the land and roads this side of the horizon. Not so very long ago, I was about half a mile from my house after an incredible ride and I was buzzing with joy as the sun set across the rolling hills of Wales. A narrow country lane straddled by farms and crazy sheep dogs is the usual signal that I’m nearly home but from this particular day onward, I squirm at the site of it. A four wheel drive in front of me came screaming to a halt and I was forced to do the same, just about stopping without going smack-bang-wallop into the back of him. “Phew” I thought, “That was close!” I started thinking about another statistic which I read years ago that says something like: Most accidents happen the closer to home you get because your mind relaxes too much. It makes sense. But by the time I got half way through that thought process, the four wheel drive’s reverse lights sparked up. “No, I can’t reverse my motorbike up this hill!”, I muttered to myself.
Without even looking, Mr Farmer put his foot down and reversed straight into me and he didn’t stop! Was this going to be a serious accident? Stop thinking about statistics! The rear bumper connected directly with the front fender on my bike and all of sudden I got a glimpse of what it would be like if motorcycles did have a reverse gear. I was being pushed backwards up the hill at about ten mph with both my face and fists smacking on the back of his truck. Eventually he stopped and I screamed (man style scream of course) as much as I could inside my helmet. I hope he heard it all! Incredibly, my bike was fine apart from a pretty smashed up wheel fender. Mr Farmer pulled over and said that he looked but there was nobody there. “Oh, well in that case I must have just imagined what just happened!” What a bloody excuse! Mr Farmer clearly didn’t give a flying monkeys and it took all of my aggression and anger to get his contact details.
New Motorcycle Rider Top Tip #1 – Ride defensively, keep good distance from the vehicle in front when stopping at lights, or in narrow lanes. They could be another blind farmer!
I know it seems obvious, but this really isn’t an issue when you’re driving a car. You aren’t going to fall out of your car and get dragged underneath the wheels of Mr Farmer. Have respect for just how dangerous your motorcycle is and assume nobody else can even see you. They often genuinely can’t.