Spend enough time out on the road and you're bound to see some crazy stuff. This is especially true when you're on a motorcycle since you're generally free from distractions and more connected to, in tune with, and aware of your surroundings. Over the years there's been a number of memorably odd moments. I’m not talking the usual bad drivers, wrecks, and other fairly typical stuff we see. Oh no, this is the crazy, surreal, and unbelievable and unforgettable stuff that you just can’t make up.

The Hailstorm

This one happened the first time I ever saddled up to ride to work. It was a mild day in September. I was a few miles from home on a country backroad in southwest Idaho where I lived at the time. Suddenly, I found myself being peppered by small hail. As I rolled up to a stop sign, I noticed the shoulder of the road wasn't being hit by the hail at all. I pulled my bike onto the shoulder out of the path of the hail and just watched as it continued falling for the next few minutes just a few feet from me. Once it cleared, I pulled back onto the road and continued on my way.

Art Critic

I had left work on my bike one day to run some errands. I came upon a college student on a scooter who was riding along on the opposite side of the road. He had a bunch of canvas paintings, and what looked like some brooms or some other pole-like apparatuses precariously stacked and balanced on the scooter. On my way back after finishing the errands, I saw he had been pulled over by a cop. Guess transporting art via scooter doesn't fly around here.

Rider Down

Once on my way to work on a cloudy Monday morning, the sky suddenly turned a greenish-purplish-black and it started pouring rain. Traffic immediately came to a halt. Sudden thunderstorms are a pretty common occurrence around here in north Texas, but what turned this from a normal storm out of nowhere into a memorable experience was the other motorcyclist a few cars ahead of me. He panic-braked when traffic came to a stop. His rear brake locked up, and due to the slick road, the bike fishtailed and he went down. It's a hell of a thing watching another rider crash.

I swerved onto the shoulder of the interstate to get around the cars between us. I put on my emergency flashers and got down to check on him. The good news was that he was wearing some gear, and had managed to slow down enough that the crash was at a fairly low speed. He was shaken but unhurt and already getting back on his feet. His bike wasn’t as lucky. His brand-new Harley-Davidson Street 750 was pretty scratched up. He said it was his first bike, and that he had just bought it Saturday after taking the rider’s course at the Harley dealership. It had fewer than 50 miles on it. I helped him get it upright, and we checked over the bike. Luckily, the damage seemed to be all cosmetic, and though shaken, the poor dude decided to ride the rest of the way to his work.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

I had just exited the interstate on my way to work when I saw huge plumes of smoke start to rise above the tops of the trees ahead of me. The smoke suddenly transformed from white and gray to thick, ominous black stuff that I’d expect Hobbits to try to throw a ring into. I knew there was a lumberyard and a wood shed manufacturing company up ahead, so I was thinking maybe that had caught fire. Once I got up to where it was, instead of seeing flaming lumber or sheds, I saw a burning car on the side street in front of the shed company. A fire truck had arrived and firefighters were working to put out the flaming car. There were also a couple of police SUVs, and they were questioning a disheveled and irate looking man who was on foot, as well as another person in a car across the street from the one that was ablaze. Who knows if this was arson, car trouble, or road rage? I still pass by (and often turn onto) this road everyday, and can still faintly see the charred marks on the road.

It’s Mmmm Mmmm Good

I was in traffic trying to get onto the interstate and things were just crawling along. I could see through the back window of the car in front of me, and it looks like the woman in front of me had a bowl in one hand, a spoon in the other. There’s no way, right? I got into the lane next to her when I got up to a light and glanced over. Sure enough, she was eating a bowl of soup while driving.  Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Flying Buffalo

In another tale of drivers eating unexpected stuff is the guy I saw eating chicken wings one morning. Bone-in. With dressing. That’s a pretty messy thing to be eating in the car, and you usually need both hands to eat wings. To top it off, the box was clearly a Wingstop box, and it was 7:30 in the morning. Wingstop doesn’t open until 11:00, so these were leftover wings. Now I have some questions. Did he heat them up before hitting the road, or was he eating cold leftover wings for breakfast in his car? Was the dressing ranch or blue cheese?

Chipotle

Here’s another odd food moment for you to chew on. On a hot, sunny summer day, I come up to a light and the woman in the car next to me is polishing off a Chipotle burrito. Finally, someone eating something in their car that at least makes sense. Too ordinary, so let’s inject some weirdness into this situation. She finishes the burrito, flattens out the foil wrapper, rolls her window down slightly, tucks the wrapper into the window frame, and rolls the window back up, turning the foil into a sun shade. There we go. Straight up nonsense, but you have to appreciate the ingenuity.

Who Needs Tires?

We’ll end with what is absolutely the most oblivious driver I’ve ever seen. I was exiting the interstate and I saw a driver coming over from the far left lane to make the exit at the last minute. Her front right tire was totally blown out, to the point where it was just shredded bits of rubber barely hanging onto the rim. The tire was so gone that the wheel was grinding and sparking on the road. The front fender was also torn apart and dragging on the road. She wasn’t paying attention to other drivers and was just cutting everyone off as she made her way to the exit. A damaged bumper or flat tire and an inattentive driver is pretty common, but this didn’t stop there. I got up to the next light and wouldn’t you know it, she pulled up behind me. I think that maybe she’s somehow unaware of the situation, so I turned around to point it out to her, and gestured for her to pull over. Light turns green and she carries on driving. Get up to the next light, I scooted over into the lane next to her and tried getting her attention again. I honked a few times, gestured more, and flipped up the shield on my helmet to call out to her. She didn’t even look at me. When the light turned green, she took off again. I’m about to pull off to the side of the road to make a 911 call, at least for her own safety, when she exited toward the express tollway. What?

So that’s some of the weirder stuff I’ve seen and dealt with. Of course, I'm just scraping the surface of what’s out there. What have you seen while out there on your bike? Share it with us in the comments below.