"Oh shit! Our bikes!" I can see Dave's eyes grow large in the rear view mirror.
I turn around just in time to see the fireworks of expensive metal hitting expensive highway in the post dusk gloom. My throat constricts as Dave slams on the brakes and wheels over to the side of the northbound lanes of I-95. I don't even notice the seat belt as it digs in, I am already frantic in my search for the unfamiliar belt clasp in a vehicle I don't know.
Three doors open simultaneously and we jump out. Without any consideration of where we are, we all begin running down the center lane of I-95 northbound to save our cherished mounts from further indignities. Just as I reach the custom built Diamondback I spent too much time and money on, lights appear at the top of the rise south of us.
I look over at Mike standing over his trashed scoot. He looks over at me and we both look south. In that moment I know we are dead meat. Two travelers buzzing along at 65mph crest the hill and bear down on us.
There is no time to move. There is no escape. One car owns the slow lane. One car owns the lane we are in.
Grabbing my bike, I turn to run just as the first car reacts to our presence in the center of I-95 northbound. Wheels squeal and the car careens into the fast lane. Over correcting, it slides sideways some and heads for the grass in the center strip. Meanwhile, the car in the slow lane hits the brakes and off the road into the ditch they head. Both cars missing us standing there holding our broken bicycles frozen like deer in the headlights.
It seems like an eternity as we turn and follow the two cars that miss us. Neither car stops once they regain control. Both find the highway and continue their journey. We gather our bikes and our wits and head directly to the shoulder. Not one of the three us speak until we get back to Dave's car.
My blinged out bike is mangled. Mike's Cannondale looks bad also. But there, still on the trunk rack swinging in the breeze, is Dave's bike. I make a mental note for future road trips. Try to finagle my bike on the rack first next time.
Whenever I read a story about the stupid things people do that get them killed, I don't hold them in contempt anymore. Oh, I might for a moment or two. But those lucky moments on I-95 northbound just after dusk somewhere south of Portland always sneak in to humble any superiority I might have.
Image from The Frugal Yankee And yes, I know it is from the Movie "Christine".