The word of the day is complacency.
I do a lot of things, day-to-day, that assume some actions on behalf of the other people out there. I assume, for instance, there’s no crazed axe-wielding trolls under the bridge I take over 101 at Monte Diablo, which I think is a pretty safe assumption, if not slightly ridiculous. I also assume that no one’s going to blow through stop signs and red lights, which is why it wasn’t fair for me to do so yesterday. during which I incurred the wrath of a policeman stopped at the light and starting to go on green.
There’s complacency and there’s getting yourself killed. The fact that I’m writing this is reason enough to be thankful, that I’ve (we’ve) gotten away with my life and only a fine is fine, in fact. figgy told me yesterday, as I was relaying this information several hours after the fact, that I was lucky and that he in fact did me a favor.
It’s hard – rather, it was hard – to agree with that at the time but I am thankful. Complacency in a car will get you in an accident. Complacency on a bike is a whole different kettle of fish.
I have bosses and colleagues who were old motorcycle riders; they universally told me that being aware of being on a motorbike was key; they refused to commute regularly because that was a way to fall into a routine and forget what you were doing was inherently risky. I switch up my routes in San Mateo and Burlingame and perhaps I should do something similar when I get to Mountain View – having ridden that way for that long I could probably tell you which businesses are along the way and roughly how long it takes to walk in between.
So this is not who I want to be. I understand that and I’m okay with realizing that. What do you do? You change, you adapt, you stay interested and most of all aware. Wake up, good morning. Thank you.