Your rights are not guaranteed on the fast lane. I mean your rights of way, if you’re not fast enough for the faster drivers or speed freaks. But then, to drive in the slow lane on certain stretches of the North-south expressway can be pretty stressful, more stressful than risking getting your tail bumped in the fast lane.
There are those super slow road huggers who think doing 60-80 kph guarantee their survival until a ripe old age when they go to drivers’ heaven. (Of course I’d forgive those who’d just got their driver’s license or are venturing out on the expressway for the first time) So, if you insist on your regular 110 kph, you need to keep weaving in and out of the slow lane or risk rear-ending into some of those boring behinds.
And according to my logical reasoning, due to slow moving cars and the heavy and equally slow moving trucks and buses squeezing the surface of this lane, the tarmac wears out faster than the fast lane. This contributes to the uncomfortably bumpy road surface.
Then there are those motorbikes crowding the emergency lane. Those guys tend to spill over to the side of the slow lane and some even stray all the way to middle of the lane.
So, to stay alert and keep moving I tend to stay on the fast lane at the maximum side of speed limit and keep eyes to both the front and back of me. Every now and then a sleek, (usually dark and vulgar-looking) road runner would creep right up behind me or suddenly appear on my rear-view mirror and flash its headlights continuously until I get out of its way. I say “its” because these whodunits don’t seem human at all. Before I could barely move aside, the critter would squeeze by leaving a hair’s width in between and push on as if trying to make up for the few seconds of lost time. But many of these roadrunners usually have one or two more equally crazy drivers stuck on their tails trying to outdo one another.
Occasionally, one would meet up with another kind of road animal. Once on a sunny Sunday morning, I was out there with wifey in my Iswara on our way to an in-law’s. As usual, I kept to max speed limit and stayed comfortably on the fast lane. Like most Sunday mornings, the whole expressway was clear for long stretches until I suddenly noticed a huge bike with a rider dressed in jeans, black jacket and dark shades right behind me. I’d been used to motorbikes sticking to the side lanes and had not reacted by moving aside for him. The biker passed me on the left and proceeded to make hand signals, the way a traffic cop would do, that seemed to say I have to move to the slow lane since I’m slower. “Mind your own bloody business, you non-paying highway user.” I mumbled to myself. I let that go as he had, by then, sped off as if there’s no such thing as a speed limit.
About 20 minutes later this pesky biker suddenly appeared behind me again. Of course I had to look to my right to see if there are vehicles before I can move away to make room for this “big” bugger. But it seems he had other things in mind. As if to teach me a lesson he passed me again on the left and swiped my side mirror. Though he caused no damage he gave wifey a fright and set my blood to a boil. I leaned on my horn while he sped off. I just wondered what he had hoped to achieve by that little fancy act. If I had been a little more hot headed (or wifey had not been in the car) who’s to know that I wouldn’t twist my steering into his direction and spill him onto the tarmac? At 110 kph, that would make a messy tumble. Did he forget that he’s got only 2 wheels? Or perhaps he’d only pick on a harmless looking uncle and auntie out on a Sunday drive.
Well, Mr. Biker, whoever you are. Save your one-upmanship and take care. Your next “victim” may not be as nice or as patient.