Good thing I was in a construction zone when she tried to cross the road.
Otherwise, I would’ve been going much faster than I was. Chances are I would have hit her. Yep. I probably would have. Maybe killed her. Maybe even killed me too.
She had leapt onto the road directly in front of me, stopped dead in the middle of the lane and turned her head to look at me coming at her. And there she stood. Frozen. A proverbial deer in the headlights. Or in this case, headlight (singular) as I was on my motorcycle, The Fox.
The fact that I was going more slowly because I was in a temporary construction zone gave me a couple of extra heartbeats within which to react.
There was no one behind me. No oncoming traffic. Just me, The Fox and the doe. I don’t know how far apart The Fox and I were from her. I’m not good with distances. The length of my living room maybe? Perhaps twenty feet? Six or seven metres? More? Whatever it was, I knew it wasn’t far enough.
Good thing I didn’t panic.
Otherwise, I might not have been able to do what I did in the short time I had.
Swerving didn’t seem to be a good option — I didn’t know which way she would go. I squeezed the clutch and front brake levers and pushed my right foot down hard on the back brake pedal as I had learned to do in the Motorcycle Masters and Ottawa Safety Council courses I had taken just weeks before. I lurched slightly forward as The Fox rapidly decelerated. It wasn’t going to be enough. The deer was too close. We won’t stop in time.
I felt as if I was in some kind of suspended animation. Everything was in slow motion. The deer continued to stand statue-like and staring. (Years ago, I wrote another true story about an encounter with a statuesque buck. It’s very funny. This one? Not so much.)
Good thing I do pre-ride checks every time I go out with The Fox.
Otherwise, her horn wouldn’t have made a sound when I pushed the red toggle under the blinker switch.
Randomly, the horn had been silent during a recent pre-ride check. Strange. The bike isn’t a year old and the horn worked perfectly yesterday. I went straight to Johnny Racine at Canadian Gears. He immediately ordered a new horn, which he had installed the week before I met up with the doe on the road to Waba.
I pressed the red switch three or four times in rapid succession. Beep, beep, beep blared the horn loud and clear. The sound startled the deer into action. She pivoted in a flash and high-tailed it back into the ditch whence she had come, hind legs skidding and sliding on the pavement as she went.
The Fox and I slipped by her unscathed a second or two later.
Good thing I got lucky.
Otherwise, I might not have lived to tell the tale.
© 2022 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.