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Farewell to Those Motorcycle Days.

16503 Views 114 Replies 63 Participants Last post by  BrowningBAR
How am I going to make a smart-ass comment on this one if I don't want to register for the Tribune online?
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I found this to be one of the most uplifting stories I have read this past year. I was a little down in the dumps cause I had to get rid of one of my bikes (Vulcan 1600) recently due to a dirtbike accident that left my back sore riding in a cruiser position (sacral fractures). I'm down to only one bike for the first time in a long time (little F650GS) and waiting until fall (it's hot in AZ summer) to buy a standard sport. I was really starting to feel old (I am old!), but this guy really perked me up. Thank god for all the twits in the world who bring us back to reality. Righteous stupidity can be a wonderful thing.
I'm gonna get that line[do not go gentle into that good night] tattoed on my mortal 62 yr old body. It speaks to the want to live life to the fullest no matter what one does for fun or a living. Riding my bikes[ pedal&motor] on the street and in the dirt and making music on my guitar are energising things and I won't give any of them up to try and live past my time. When its up, hopefully I'll not see it coming, but at least I know it was good to get that far
I had a friend get killed in a bike accident. People say "atleast it was doing something she liked doing."

but I cannot make myself believe that if she knew that she was going to die, she would have carried on anyway.

I also saw a 35 year old mother of two little girls get killed by a drunk driver right in front of my eyes. I can't make myself believe that if she had had the choice post fact, she would choose to carry on riding instead of being part of her two daughters lives as they grew up. I don't believe anybody can love riding that much.

I don't know about you, but I drive fast, ride a motorcycle, etc in the belief that it won't happen to me. If I really believed that it can happen to me, I'd stop today.

You may be a gungho type who proudly says he'd rather die on a bike than stop riding. Me, I'd rather not, thank you, and I continue to ride because I expect to live, and because I give myself good chances.

Forgive me, but I don't believe all this macho BS about living life hard because its too boring to live safely. I think everybody who says this is expecting to be alive tommorow and in 5 years from now. They are not expecting to be killed on the ride home today.

If somebody feels that they no longer have faith in the odds of staying alive and well on a bike and decides to hang it up, I respect that. I don't give them macho BS.

Another pal of mine is the best rider and driver I have ever known. He used to race until a crash broke his neck and almost turned him into a quadraplegic. he's got two lovely boys, and he quit racing and putting himself at risk because of what was on the line. He treated himself to a new Agusta, he still rides but he's very aware of what he's doing and whats at stake.

I respect people who are mature enough to do that instead of those who mouth off egotistically about people who make different choices.
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can you imagine owning a bike in the flat corn land of Iowa. I think the highest elevation there is the DeMoines dump. That would be depressing enough. Plus whats the fun of a bike there.

does littledx live in Iowa,thats where I normaly find his wife.
It's wonderful to hear how you rag on someone elses illegal activity while rationalizing that YOUR illegal activity is really OK. I'm glad you are a speeder that puts nobody else at risk. Kind of like a drunk driver that does the same. Just to clarify, you are every bit as much a lawbreaker as those 'Harley guys' that were drunk, and probably put more people at risk than they did.
He's not me and I'm not him

He voted for

Kerry I voted for more Bush etc.
Both exceeding speed limits and DUI are illegal and activities that lead to fatalities on the road. Driving fast but being sober is equally stupid to being drunk and riding slowly. A responsible adult will recognize this and engage in neither activity.

Obviously you are neither a responsible nor an adult as you not only engage in such activities; you actually try and justify it.

"I try to stay within reasonable range of speed,"

How is this stupidity any different from "I always make sure I am reasonably sober when I ride?".

"and I never put anyone else at risk."

You put folk’s lives at risk each time you get on your bike. You simply lack the maturity of thought to recognize it.

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There is Way too much alchohol being served here!
I don't know. The experimental drug testing can be a bit creepy. Anyone read the articles on the BBC about the one test group that went really poorly? The reaction to the drugs reportedly made them look like Joseph Merrick.
There's nothing wrong with deciding to give up riding, it's a personal decision. What I in particular object to is the need to justify your decision by splattering it all over the newspaper and internet. All that is is self agrandizment and self justification..."motorcycles are too dangerous...people die everyday on motorcycles"...well guess what, they die in cars and airplanes, boats, golf carts or carrying the garbage can out to the curb. Life is a terminal proposition here, nobody gets out alive.

I do believe it can happen to me, but I do what I can to mitigate the chances and consequences by dressing properly and riding within my comfort zone, I maintain my situational awareness and I stay out of blind spots. I would rather not die on a bike and if I did it wouldn't be "at least something I love" I'd be just dead. If I had my druthers I'd rather check out as a 100 year old f*ckin' a sheep or something ....

This guy is a crybaby looking to justifiy his decision by moaning about it in print. f*ck him. If he doesn't want to ride fine, sell the bike and be done with it. Don't try to justifiy it to me because I don't want to know.
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(No, I'm not hoping for his death, just applauding the insight.)
Man, I know this isn't going to help, but just think of all the bikes you could be making monthly payments on instead.
I just drop her off at the Greyhound station. I don't know where she goes after that.
You know, despite all of our differences, I can honestly say that, at least, I admire everyone here (including KP and bigdx) for not thinking like this dude.

If someone wants to stop riding, fine. It's a personal decision. But please spare us the condecending platitudes about how the rest of us aren't wise enough to realize that we're going to die.
"The odds seem to favor the house" What a [email protected]!!!!! Of course they do! No one gets out alive, so you might as well live your life to the fullest. Enjoy the things that make you happy, that excite you, that give you memories, that make life worth living. The only thing you should fear about death is that you didn't get all the things done that you wanted to do, and, as a caveat to that, your list should be at least two lifetimes long. GO. LIVE. ENJOY!
I found the original Ullrich letter a few days ado when doing my regular "motorcycle" search in several news search engine. Searching motorcycle news is part of my job. I work in the motorcycle industry. August 29th, 2006 will be the 40th anniversary of the day I first threw a leg over a motorcycle. My first motorcycle related job was a few years later. With the exception of a couple of brief periods I have almost continually owned a street bike since 1968. In the last four decades, I have commuted, raced, toured and simply played with all sorts of motorcycles. But the weekly reports of dozens of street riders killed in traffic accidents, the awful majority of which appear to be not the motorcycle operators overall fault, can get pretty depressing.

Recently one accident and death stopped me from riding. Larry Grodsky [Mr safety] probably had as good a set of street riding and accident avoidance skills as you could develop. He was riding across Texas, a deer ran out in front of him and he's DOA. I've had several close calls with deer, dogs and once a big pony. But that's only part of it. 6 years ago I made the news in a "Motorcyclist Hits Truck" story - You've heard the story before. Riding my Honda Blackbird home at legal speeds at 7PM when a small car turned in front of me, left with insufficient distance to stop I slide into the car, the impact shattered my spleen, broke a few bones and I meet a lots of nice medical professionals. One nearly new Honda and $65,000 med. bills later the first thing I do with the insurance settlement is buy a new bike. And I've been through 3 more street bikes since then. But now I thin I'm done.

Life in traffic has always been scary but it is getting worst. This from someone who commuted 60 miles each way by bike in San Francisco in the 80s. Ever week there's another close call I never tell anyone about.

And too I frankly I have gotten tired of the boots, helmet. heavy jacket, long pants ect. All the damn inconvenience of riding a motorcycle. So I sold my 2 bikes and took the money and bought a convertible sports car. Fun to drive, wearing shorts and flip-flops - wind in my face and a/c blowing.

No the thrill is gone. After 39 years I have retired from motorcycling to a 300HP air condition sports car.
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"Now the thrill is gone. After 39 years I have retired from motorcycling to a 300HP air condition sports car"

So with the thrill being gone you end up buying a 300hp sports car? Great. Now when you f*ck up in your 300hp sports car (because you obviously still want some thrill) you can be relatively safe from harm, but present a much bigger danger to other road users …

Same as the a-hole who wrote the article at hand that deems bikes to be too dangerous to ride himself, but has no moral issues with selling said dangerous bike to a school kid.

you are every bit as much a lawbreaker as those 'Harley guys' that were drunk,

Being they both broke "A" law. There is a degree of crime involved and I'll take speeders over drinkers any day.
So both you guys are into she-males too? So cool.
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