In my earlier post on this subject I mentioned two memorable close calls. The second one happened after we left a brief stay in Mt. Rainier National Park and headed down I5 towards CA, about 30 miles south of Portland. We were cruising in single file in the fast lane, 3 lanes on each side of the median. Rick was about 50 ft. in front of me. Suddenly I noticed a small pouch bag carrying his motorcycle cover had come loose on the back of his bike, and was dangling from a single strap, bounding up and down just above the pavement. In the space of a few seconds it registered that I needed to catch up asap and let him know to pull over. He had no idea the danger that was lurking. Suddenly, the small pouch bag got locked into his back wheel and caused him to fall over on his left side at 70mph. The engines on the BMW he was riding protected his left leg (the engines extend outward horizontally), as did his full assortment of leather coverings and SHOEI helmet. The bike slid straight as he separated from it. He was sliding on his back, not tumbling or anything, unconscious. A car in the center lane pulled in front of me to get out of Rick’s way as he continued his diagonal crossing into the slow lane. It was occupied by an 18 wheeler. Screaming at the top of my lungs I could see Rick sliding toward and underneath the wheels of the truck. As we later learned the truck driver saw Rick and maneuvered just enough into the emergency lane while carrying a full load. Its back wheels ran right over the crest of Rick’s helmet and popped his head back out, like stepping on the edge of a tennis ball and watching it squirt away. Fortunately Rick was sliding head first, arms by his side, so nothing else was hit. We all came to a stop. Rick was unconscious for several minutes, came to, and was quickly transported to a nearby hospital. After a battery of tests he was deemed ok. The bike was not, and our trip came to an end. We made our way back to Portland, recovered for a few days with my sister Molly before having our bikes shipped back east and returned home. The helmet and its indelible tire scar were memorialized in a case that was proudly showcased in his home. Unfortunately Rick’s short life came to end before he turned 50 from natural causes. (In the picture, Rick is on the left. My brother Rob is in the middle. I am on the right. Picture taken near the continental divide in CO, close to Aspen.)