Have you ever heard of ‘skitching’? I’ve seen it before but never found any reason to look it up until today. I drive one of those postal trucks for work and this afternoon this not so old but not so young guy decided to skitch onto my truck without telling me. ‘Skitching’ is when you hold onto a motor vehicle to get a ride while you’re on a skateboard, roller skates, bicycle or whatever. In my situation this guy was on a skateboard.
So I’m stopped at a red light and just before it turns green I for some reason decided to glance at my passenger side mirror and I see this guy right next to my rear tire trying to get a grip on something. There’s not much to grasp onto besides the wheel well and maybe the placard holder. I’m pretty easy going so I’m like whatever even though I know this is totally not allowed. I’m driving for 2 blocks before I have to make a right turn so I have to stop and get this guy off my truck otherwise who knows and I don’t want to find out. I’m signalling but he can’t see cause he’s on the side of my truck so I yell to let him know that I have to turn (my passenger door is slid all the way open) and he can’t hear me cause he’s got his headphones on like an idiot. Seriously? You’re going to do something not so safe and have your headphones blasting at the same time. It’s rush hour on a busy street too.
After being stopped for 10 seconds he’s finally aware that I’m not going anywhere. He skates on and says “thank you” not having any idea that he could have ruined both our lives. Well, at least his. Usually I don’t look at my side mirror if I’m driving straight so it was almost fluke that I knew he was even there. He probably wasn’t even thinking I was going to turn off so soon. If I had not known he was hanging onto my truck like a retarded monkey I would have just whipped a right turn and who knows. I could have just changed lanes and that could have been enough for shit to go wrong. Just yesterday 2 long boarders were seriously injured here going downhill and then swerving to avoid an oncoming car but crashing into a parked car instead. 2 weeks ago some other long boarder suffered serious head injuries colliding with a van.
This guy should have hung on to the back of my truck just off to the side where there’s a handle he could grab. Honestly he could have just got off his board, jumped onto my bumper, hung onto the handle and it would have been safer. I bet you that guy or other skaters would have said something like he was watching and would be ready to bail if I turned. “Us skitchers know what we’re doing. You just don’t know man.” How about if I test out this theory next time?
Skaters sometimes have this attitude where they think they have to live on the edge and show how gutsy they are, thinking it’s only their life at danger so no one else should care. They don’t think about how much trouble it will cause the other person who is involved in the accident with them. When I saw that guy hanging on my truck it instantly made me feel that I was responsible for his life. Yes I should have told him to get off right when I saw him but it didn’t occur to me how dangerous it really was until after. I guess I’ll know better for next time.