On my usual route to work I pull up to a stop sign at the intersection of the 5 lanes of US-1, turn right, run most of the way through the rev range of first and second gears until it is time to signal left and to enter the turn lane for making the left onto the parking lot access road. Time to execute this takes about 6 secs. The 100 yard access road is traveled at selective speeds depending on the closeness of other incoming Valve Store employees and takes another 5 to 15 seconds.
When I take the left turn on US-1, I can get a good idea how I’ll handle this final approach. I do have to be 3/4 of the way down the access road before someone gets in it behind me, because I have to do a u-turn into the lot, stop, shift into reverse and back into that very first spot. Today there were just two vehicles headed north towards me and both were at least 1/3 of a mile back, so no worries. Wrong boy chick. Turns out the lead small pickup truck was hauling ass.
I should not have been too surprised because less than a 1/4 mile before where I spotted the traffic is a red light that catches most everyone and right past it the speed limit jumps to 55. So naturally most everyone who has to stop this one last time on the way to work, and possibly having just been sitting at the previous much longer stoplight 1500 feet before, pushes their foot to the floor and leaves it there until it is time to slow down to turn left.
So I’m only halfway down the access road when the truck hangs the left in behind me, I look back to see their new velocity and it hasn’t changed (much). By the time I transit the last half of the access road his headlights are right bright in my mirror. Now this is no big deal as I’m not militant on the backing in thing, if I don’t time have to to execute the maneuver gracefully without holding up the person behind, I just pull straight in. As the truck zips by towards the front of the lot I recognize it and I know the fellow well. I pass right by the machine he operates quite a few times a day, so I tell myself to be sure to tease him about his speed during the day. At least once.
Later in the day while walking through the shop he is standing there, so I walk over and ask if he ever looks down at his speedometer when traveling that stretch of road. He laughs and says, “Not if there no one in front of me.” “Well,” I say, “You were really moving this morning, I was kind of curious.” Then he asks, “Did you see the dead crow there on the road in?” I said, “No. How’d you? Moving that fast?” Which led me to tell him my favorite joke from Mark Turner about why you never see a dead crow on the side of the road (read it here.)
When it was time to go for my morning walk, sure enough I could see something black, fairly large, laying in the middle of the access road. I took a picture to ask him if this is what he saw. When I got right up to it I took another confirmation picture. Then when I walked back by after my walk, I showed him the pictures and told that maybe he better slow down a bit so he can really tell what he’s looking at.