well you could make some comment about, the quest for eternal life. Fat chance of that happening. Might as well go out and buy a lazy boy and watch the Learning channel. He'd be much safer and he would find out there wasn't such a thing. Or he could watch the religious beggars on TV and buy his salvation.
Dumbest story I have read in long time.. Dumb reason to sell your bike..Yes people who ride can die riding... People who skydive can die skydiving.. People who race cars can die racing. Quality of life is the thing not Quantity of life When I fought forest fires for a summer job during college folks would say isn't that dangerous? I would say yes but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.. God I hope I never get like this guy... couch potato..waiting to go to the nursing home.. I will always own a bike now..
This will be the first spring in a number of years in which I'll not go out to my garage, straddle my motorcycle seat, baby-step it backward onto the drive, and go for a ride. About a year ago in a hopeless quest for eternal life, I decided it would be wise to sell my bike. And sell it I did, to a young man just out of high school.
As I handed him the keys I said, with as much compassion as I could muster, "If you kill yourself on this don't expect me to feel bad about it." He laughed. I wasn't joking. It's now a year later and I understand he still lives, though I have heard through the motorcycle grapevine he has laid the bike down a time or two. Dumb kids.
Young people assume they will live forever. To them death is a bunch of annoying nonsense, an incomprehensible state perhaps embodied by the old man they called grandpa or an old woman somehow related to mom. For those of us in middle age, OK, upper-middle age, things aren't quite so clear. We've seen death lurking by the roadside and we begin to start working the odds, though in the case of motorcycle deaths the odds look to favor the house.
Out here in Iowa, the numbers are still relatively low. Death claimed 45 motorcyclists in 2005. A reported 250 cyclists were injured in crashes. No doubt many went unreported. Already in 2006 death has claimed 11 cyclists in Iowa, and the season is just getting started. This is not unusual.
Neighboring states report similar statistics. In Wisconsin, 80 people were killed on motorcycles in 2004, almost double the numbers from a decade earlier. Illinois doubled Wisconsin's numbers with 157 motorcycle riders killed in 2004, and almost 3,000 injured.
National estimates indicate the fatality rate for motorcycle riders is about 15 times higher than the rate for drivers of passenger cars. I don't know what that means exactly, but I know it sounds bad.
Around here, funerals of downed bikers are often replete with a parade of motorcycles roaring to the cemetery. Interestingly, these rituals are reminiscent of those practiced by law enforcement types when a comrade has fallen; the difference seems to be one of style, not substance: a parade of police vehicles with lights flashing, versus a parade of motorcycles with engines growling.
A heart attack 14 years ago was my first real indication a cemetery was in my future, that eternal life is someone's fiction. That's when I knew I likely wouldn't die a romantic death, rocketing too fast on a motorcycle, missing a rain-swept curve. Now it's beginning to look as if one night, in what I hope is a distant future, I'll have a bad dream and a figurative hammer will slam my chest. Gone. No motorcycle parade for me, just some rural folks in Fords stopping by the funeral home on their way home from work.
A few years back, just before dark on a summer's eve, a young man near here laid his motorcycle down to avoid a deer that had stepped onto the road. He and his bike slid across the highway under an oncoming semitrailer-truck. Later I heard about the trucking company having to wash flesh from the undercarriage. You know how some images become engrained in your head, even though you didn't personally witness them? Well, that was one of them for me. A man was dead, a local trucking company had lousy memories, and a deer walked away.
So, will I beat the odds? Nah, I'm gonna die, as will the kid who has got my old Harley-Davidson. He just doesn't know it yet. These days I'm happy to stare glassy-eyed down the highway toward retirement and old age. It's a narrow highway and probably shorter than I imagine, but at least I won't die on a motorcycle. Without a motorcycle I no longer watch for the specters of morbidity and mortality standing by the side of the road, like characters in a Samuel Beckett play. All they do is wait, wait for a corner taken too fast, for deer crossing the highway, for one beer too many. And, as in a Beckett drama, bleakness and regret are eventually overtaken by our tremendous will to live. It's why I sold my bike.
This reasoning is exactly why I tore out the bath tub and shower in my house. I was afraid of one of those slip and falls that seem to come more often with age. Besides I found that being disheveled and unwashed got me more attention when I stand on street corners shouting my isolated political views at passing motorists.
Amazing insight into the mind of this guy. His attitude toward riding seems to be revealed by his closing comments in which he seems to equate quitting riding with turning away from "drama, bleakness, and regret." He seems to have been one of those guys who was riding for "lifestyle" reasons or image, or to be a "real man" or something like that. He took riding to be some kind of morbid thing. Can't mess with that serious 'tude, man.
It's ridiculous. We don't have to worry much about a guy like this with his negative attitude driving people away from our passion. I believe that most of the readers of Motorcycle Online are more like me and we view riding as a positive, healthy, and passionate embrace of life to the fullest. Of course we all have safety in mind, but that will never blunt my wanderlust to see what's over the next hill or find out what is down that gravel road along the river or take delight in dancing around a tight curve on a motorycle.
I'm not an immortal and invincible twenty-year-old guy...I'm 46 and can clearly envision the end of my life whether through old age or a bad accident tomorrow. But I'll never give up riding and withdraw in fear from the bright sunny free passion of life.
I summarily dismiss this whole idea of motorcycling having to do with some vague idea of drama, bleakness, or regret. What kind of drama queen would have an attitude like that?
Did you know that more kids are killed or seriously injured in school each year by football than guns?
Did you know that one of the most deadly devices ever invented by human beings is a swimming pool?
The clown who wrote this article should read the sign I have on my cubicle. "There is no such thing as idiot proof - only idiot resistant. The ingenuity of idiots knows no bounds."
This idiot won't die on a motorcycle. He'll just lose his fingers when he picks up a rotary lawnmower to trim his hedge. Or get in a crash when he gets his foot caught in the steering wheel while trying to use the hi-lo beam switch.
Just got back from the Pro-Italia test ride day. Man, that STR4S (whatever) Testrasetta thingamabob is sure quick, not scary quick but quick none the less. Gets kinda dancy up around 130 or so. My buddy tried to trade in his old '76 XT500 on a Multistrada, ended up it would have cost him more due to the hazardous waste fees.
All the Ducatista at Pro Italia hated my Buell btw. Guess if I had to 'splain they wouldn't understand...