Saturday, May 5, 2018, wasn't just Cinco de Mayo this year.
The first Saturday in May is Christian Motorcyclists Association's " Run for the Son" fundraiser. This annual fundraiser just happened to coincide with Cinco de Mayo this year. Rather than ride with our CMA chapter, Bill and I decided we were going to ride by ourselves this year. We didn't have a specific reason. We just wanted to ride and enjoy a day together; couple time on bikes. We had no idea that the day was going to bring a close encounter with disaster for Bill.
Saturday morning was sunny, but a little chilly whenever the sun was shaded by a cloud.
As Bill and I rode down the highway toward Cuba, MO, each of us began to regret not wearing long sleeves under our riding vests. However, the day was gorgeous when the sun was out. The fields and trees were vibrant shades of green in contrast to the bright blue sky overhead with big, puffy white clouds staggered across it. It was a beautiful day to be riding motorcycles down the highway.
Bill was riding his Roadglide ahead of me.
I slowed my Softail Custom and began to lag behind a little bit as I admired the spring beauty of the rural countryside spread out in the sunshine like a quilt. When I realized I was getting farther behind than I wanted to be, I rolled my bike's throttle and began to catch up to the hubby as we came around a curve and entered a long straight stretch. Toward the end of the straight stretch, I noticed an older, beat up, brown truck stopped in the northbound lane without a turn signal on, but also saw a graveled road on the right and figured the truck was waiting to turn left. Briefly, I also noticed a white SUV was stopped behind the beat up truck. My attention returned to the distance between Bill and I as I slowly closed the distance between our two bikes and my relaxed hubby who was riding with his feet up on his highway bars, cruising along at 55 mph.
The next second is branded on my memory.
The sight that no biker wants to see. The front tires on the beat up truck turned left and the truck began to move forward and left. I couldn't believe that the truck driver was beginning a turn that would place the truck directly in the path of my husband's Roadglide! My actions and what I was seeing seemed to go into slow motion and seconds turned into minutes as I noted several things almost instantaneously. First, I checked my right rearview mirror to see if anyone was behind my bike. There wasn't. Then I grabbed my front brake, downshifted and watched my husband on his bike at the same time. At least it seemed like the same time.
My eyes took in a sight that shocked me and made me say something. I still don't know what exactly I said. Probably, "Oh My God!, or Oh, Jesus!" I watched Bill's Roadglide come down on its front forks as he squeezed his front brake lever and got his feet off the highway bar pegs and onto his floorboards so he could hit his rear brake. Next, I saw his 800+ pound Roadglide literally squat down as he applied the rear brakes. I was horrified to realize I could see him and his bike framed against the side of the brown pickup truck. I couldn't see anything except brown truck to his right and left. He isn't going to make it! I thought. Oh, Jesus, he isn't going to make it! The truck never gained speed as my husband atop his Roadglide closed distance with it. I could clearly see Bill and his bike closing on the rear of the truck and Bill's squatting Roadglide's exhaust pipes seemingly, skimming the road surface. Bill had moved his bike left until it was on top of the centerline as he continued to apply his brakes, attempting to slow down and miss hitting the side of the creeping, snail-like truck. Incredibly, I saw Bill ride between the back end of the truck and the stopped white SUV that was still sitting in the northbound lane of the road without any visible space showing between my husband's bike, the truck's tailgate and the second stopped vehicle. Relief was short-lived as I realized the I was quickly closing distance with the truck that was STILL moving incredibly slow. However, as I began to slow and move left, the truck FINALLY shot forward and cleared the road ahead of me. As I looked at the pickup truck, I could see that the driver wasn't even looking in my direction.
Bill and I waited to stop until we rode about 5 miles up the road and arrived in Cuba, MO at Dottie's Truckstop.
My hands had stopped trembling by then and Bill said his heart was beginning to beat normally. We attempted to act normal in the aftermath of the extremely close call. However, neither of us wanted to ride all afternoon anymore. Instead, we decided to ride the short distance between Cuba and St. James, eat at the Mexican restaurant there, and then return home. We were both still fairly shocked at what had happened and we talked about it with each other at the restaurant. Bill shared the incident with me from his perspective.
When I saw the truck start to turn, I couldn't believe it! Then I couldn't believe how slowly it was turning. I grabbed my front brakes and I'm not sure when I got my feet on the floorboards, but I remember using the rear brake. I seriously didn't think I was going to make it. I clearly saw myself hitting the truck and flying through the air over the truck bed. I could see through the open truck window and see the driver and the woman sitting by him. Neither of them EVER turned their head to look at me. Just when I knew I wasn't going to make it because I was very close to the rear of the truck, I don't remember anything until I was in between the truck bed and the white car. I believe God reached down and slowed my bike. There just isn't any other explanation. I KNEW I wasn't going to be able to stop in time. My bike is so wide and I saw the back of the truck to my right and wondered how I was fitting in between the two. I received a miracle from God. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord intervened and performed a miracle that let me miss that truck. It took a long time for my heart to slow down. I didn't see the truck speed up. I saw you and your bike behind me and the truck wasn't on the road anymore. I believe the Lord saved me. There isn't any other explanation. He reached out and slowed my bike enough for me to clear the end of that truck.
Both of us agree that the Lord intervened and prevented Bill from having a serious accident. Bill and I have discussed this incident multiple times. Yes, his new tires helped slow him down and the fact that he was going the speed limit, 55 mph. Yes, he reacted quickly and did everything he could to miss the truck. After riding a motorcycle for 50 years, Bill knows exactly how long it takes him to stop his bike. He is positive that there is no physical way that his bike should have missed hitting the rear of that truck. We both were sure he wasn't going to be able to stop because of the extremely slow speed of the truck. We both are convinced that Jesus intervened and prevented a serious accident on Cinco de Mayo - "Run for the Son" day.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
14“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.