There is the fear that you feel in the pit of your stomach when you round a corner going way too fast and you realize there is a good chance you may not make the turn. In an instant you think of exactly how bad it will be when you careen off the road; how bad it will be to the car-or to the motorcycle-or to the bicycle; and how much permanent bodily damage will occur.
And amazingly, in that absolute instant of fear you even have time to think how you will explain it to your _______ (insert: wife; father; girlfriend-who’s car you borrowed; etc.) it happened. “Gee, I never saw that dog dart out until it was too late. You wouldn’t have wanted me to hit that poor dog, would you?”
Years of driving sports cars, motorcycles, and bicycles have left me with more than a few pair of shorts that required disposal due to unintended soilage.
Then there is the fear when you have a little more time to think about what is happening; think about the consequences; and think about your options. A friend of mine had such a moment recently on what should have been a peaceful fly fishing experience but almost turned into something that could have been the lead-off story on the six o’clock news, under the old adage “if it bleeds, it leads.”
Then there is the fear when you have literally hours and hours to think about how in the hell you got into this predicament in the first place and what your short-time-you-have-left life will be like. And all the “what ifs” that would have avoided this situation. And how pissed off your wife will be that you brought her and the kids all the way down here and your leaving them “husbandless/fatherless” way the hell out here in the middle of nowhere. This one I know of which I speak.
I have heard of many harrowing stories of travel that ended badly and while you certainly feel for the friends and family, you wonder what the last seconds/minutes/hours were like for the poor, hapless victim. And for many of us the line, “there, but for the grace of God, go I” rings all too true.
And often the travel adventure involved was not all that adventuress.
Hell, I have found I could get my ass in trouble as easy as falling off a barstool.
And I’ve done that too.