fear /fɪə/ n
1. a feeling of distress, apprehension, or alarm caused by impending danger, pain, etc
1. to be afraid (to do something) or of (a person or thing); dread
anxiety /æŋˈzaɪɪtɪ/ n ( pl -ties)
1. a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry
2. intense desire; eagerness
3. a state of intense apprehension or worry often accompanied by physical symptoms such as shaking, intense feelings in the gut, etc, common in mental illness or after a very distressing experience
These are real feelings that we experience but they often have no substance, or reason for manifesting except for our own delusions, misconceptions, memories or perhaps lack of knowledge.
Early in May I attended an annual conference in Rotorua and this was significant to me because it hailed the anniversary of writing off my New-Beaut-Black-Beauty....and, but for the grace of God, almost myself. After the event, I experienced a bit of fear and anxiety at the thought of getting back on a bike and I found that odd as I've had plenty of close shaves and offs over the 40 years I've been riding, but this one was different! I had totally misread the situation and the fear stemmed from the fact it could easily happen again because there were no indicators of the adverse conditions that existed.
I replaced the bike though and got back into riding, sometimes riding with a churning gut...but pushing on anyway.....getting back on the horse as it were....facing my fears to overcome them.
Early in May...on the 5th of May to be precise, in my mind, I had officially entered 'Black Ice Season' and I had to get to Rotorua and back....should I ride or should I drive? Well, “It's all in ya mind mate”, just get on with it....and that's how it was. Due to time constraints though, I did scoot up and back on SH1.
Coming home though, I experienced another common fear and anxiety! It's quite odd because it's obviously guilt induced, a habitual response somewhat akin to the conditioning of Pavlov's Dog, but every time I see a white car with yellow and blue squares I feel a dread come over me, I instantly flick into fight or flight mode, make a quick scan of the instruments, then feel a wave of relief as I see (having known all along) that I am puttering along well within the allowable limits. I must admit though, not being sure of one's demerit status doesn't help.
Well, on the Friday afternoon I found the constabulary were scattered quite prolifically along SH1 and although I was positively puttering along, I was still experiencing my share of tension, but once I was south of Utiku and about to scale the big hill over to Mangaweka, I hit the jackpot. I had caught a large truck being held up by a Camper Van, so I cruised past the truck within a kilometer of the passing lane (a study of the GPS Track log reveals I didn't even exceed 109kph), then tossed up if I should take the camper before, or wait until, the passing lane, but he was plodding along (92-96kph), the road was clear and I thought, “Bugger it, might as well take him”. I didn't change down, I didn't wrap-on the power, I just eased it up a little and started to float past, when all my fears exploded in my head as a white car with the pretty yellow and blue squares on the front barrelled around the corner and into view.
At this point in time I was alongside the Camper as I experience instant dread and anxiety by the bucket load, but instead of a tap on the rear, the instinctive reaction was give it some gas to complete the manoeuvre, (a careful study reveals I peaked at 106kph) I pulled in in-front of the camper, watched the pretty car pass, then noted the left indicator go on as he pulled over?? (There was a bit of traffic behind me after all) My speed dropped back to 97kph, then settled at 100 as I puttered up the hill, flashing lights passing the other vehicles then turning off as the vehicle settled behind me....hmmmm??, I thought. Sure enough, once I got to where there was a flush median siding, the lights went back on and I pulled over.
The cop strolled up to my right as a cameraman took position on the bank, we exchanged niceties and mentioned, “You know why I’ve stopped you, don’t you? To which I replied, “Yeah…Nah….not really, blah, blah, blah” and he took my licence to check me out after I explained that I was puttering along a clear road, felt I had room to pass, did so in a casual manner, applied a little gas when he came into view and pulled in with what I expected was 100-200 metres to spare. (It might have been less....but only a little??).
Cameraman then approaches and introduces himself as 'Hiway Cops' etc, etc, then cop returns and describes the massive increase in heart rate as rounded the corner to see black death breathing yellow flames bearing down on him (not quite with those words) but it was clear to see the fear and anxiety he had experienced! I thought, “Shit, that happens to me every time I see one of you guys”, but just elaborated on how the casual nature of my passing manoeuvre was due to having plenty of space........and he sent me on my way.....so I scuttled away.
“Damn”, I thought, “Now I've lost 8 minutes and I'm behind schedule!” I feared I wouldn't be home before 6pm.....but I was too scared to up the pace......too much!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.