Can we face the big question? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 7:17 am Thread Starter
 
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Can we face the big question?

This is a morbid torpic I'm afraid, but I would appreciate some points of view.




The big question, I suspect, is the one we least like to face.

It's the one that brings us, however long we've been motorcycling, slap bang up against the proverbial philosophical concrete.

It's the one with the potential to stop us from riding altogether.


It's not 'can I do this'?

But 'should I'? Should I be riding a bike at all?

There are compelling reasons for this:

It's statistically many times more dangerous than car driving and most of the time it's non essential.

In addition to this, many of us have children and wives / partners.

To be killed is bad enough, but to be crippled and dependedent on others....can you seriously imagine it?

I'm asking this question of myself now, because I have 4 kids, a loving wife and serious responsibiliites.

A few of you may have picked up in a previous post that two close friends, in similar circumstances were wiped out on Sunday. They were hit by an arsehole innebriated joyrider

Hell, it hasn't made me overly nervous on the road, just EVEN MORE careful.

But every time ANYONE mentions the accident, they come out with a catalogue of their aqauintances who have bought it on bikes. Now it's all I can see / hear.

I always inherently knew it was risky.

But I averted my gaze and in 27 years and godknows how many largely uneventful miles around the world , I had become to think I was safe.

Only now, my mind has begun to think that one's luck (if it is that) must surely run out.

If anyone else has been where I am right now, and is still riding....how did you deal with it?

I suppose I could walk away from it and make everyone happy...but it seems like the wrong reason right now.

Just how goddamn risky is it? I'm not boy racer.

Ben
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 8:03 am
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It's one of those activities where you have to weigh the risks you as an individual are willing to take.

You can just as easily be killed, maimed, or crippled communiting in your car down the freeway. At least when you get on a motorcycle, you've done that mental calculation and made a choice. The 4 kids that died last night when a minivan decided to take on a semi-truck last night on I-30 didn't get a chance to make any choices. So it's a matter of risk management and making that individual choice of whether riding a motorcycle is right for you.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 8:07 am
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BTW, I see a Triumph Scrambler in your avatar. How do you like it?

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 8:23 am Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
BTW, I see a Triumph Scrambler in your avatar. How do you like it?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I like it a lot.

Actually it's a bit of a toy.

Basically what you have there is a stunningly pretty bike- a long term keeper- with a beautiful engine note (noisy pipes not OE).

It doesn't scramble anything other than my head after a long day..and you guessed it, the cheeks of one's butt!

It's the best 'head turner' ever.

It handles fine for a flying bedstead...and every bump finds its way through you.

It's at its absolute best when gazed at adoringly from a cafe, in the sunshine.

So its a stunner with a great noise/ clutch/motor/ power delivery

but without much off road ability or long distance comfort.

Just what a bike used to be...and perhaps still should.

Ben
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 8:33 am
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Being truly honest with yourself. If the consequences are greater to you than the reward, stop riding. Or maybe stop riding on the street. If you really love to ride maybe you should consider just track time?. What about just dirt? How about a high performance convertable, would you get as much of a rush? I know a couple of guys that got rag tops and dig it almost as much. How about a hiatus untill your situation is different, bikes will always be there for you. Just some thoughts, I've been there too.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 8:40 am
 
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Wow, it's kind of hard to grasp such a deep subject this early in the morning with only a half a cup of coffee in me, but I will give it a try.

After spending 13 years in the military traveling around the world, jumping out of airplanes and repelling out of helicopters, sometimes you have to just reach down into your gut and make a decision and not dwell on it. Not to turn this into a religious event but ones mortality and faith in a higher being generally go hand in hand, at least in my opinion.

That being said, I feel that when it is your time, it's your time. That's why I tell my wife that I love her before I walk out the door, whether I'm getting on my bike or not. I also give my kids a hug and a kiss because they are my life.

As far as the bike goes, it's my release and time to reflect on the world. I am insanely aware that I am a target, not the first time that's happened either - refer to paragraph 2, but I have to admit that's a small part of what I like about riding. It's that sense of awareness that I find a little on the relaxing and even exciting side of riding.

I don't have the answer for you, only how I feel. My suggestion is this, weigh your options, talk to your friends, pray or meditate to your higher belief and make a decision and stick with it. The reason that I say that is this, if your second guessing your self while your sitting in the garage or driving down the street, your head is not going to be in the game and then....

I understand your feelings but for me, riding is a part of my life that I am not ready to give up on. Hope this helps and I hope that you stay with it. Sometime realizing one's mortality really sucks.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 9:25 am
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I have ridden bikes since I was 14 and had one til shortly after my daughter was born some 14 years later. She became the greatest joy of my life and I didn't want to miss it. Purely selfish. I told my wife I was selling the bike, she never suggested I stop riding, and I never looked back. I had the best time of my life during the years my little girl was growing up.

She is a grown woman now and doesn't need me to be a provider. I got back into bikes, learned how to fly, still want to make a jump and do some other things that some people might consider risky. My wife rides pillion and co-pilot and now my daughter rides her own motorcycle. We have even done a couple of track days together. If you put away riding for awhile, it isn't the end of the world.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 9:45 am
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At one time some study, I forget which, stated that 90% of people killed on bikes were riding for 2 years or less.I always believed this is true.As soon as you get skilled enough to use the bikes controls without thinking, you generally do. The skills that you need to stay alive come only with years of experience.When you back out the 90% of the equation, the risk is very similar to driving a car.Possible less as I'm a lot more aware of whats going on around me on the bike.Which as always bugged me, why dont we use the same care and rules in a car as on a bike?I find myself doing things in a car I would never do on a bike, like talk to the passenger in heavy traffic, eat, follow closer, etc.Not that I feel I am a bad auto driver, it just seems my room for error isnt the same in a car.Most of us on this forum are older riders, this year I hit 50 with 40 years behind me on 2 wheels, most of you are similar.We are the safest riding group out there.The fact that we are even talking about this shows we understand the risk.Some say when it's your time to go you cant change that,hmm, perhaps. But I do feel we can thru our choices and stupidity push that time forward. My big fear is not so much doing something I'll regret, as not doing something I'll wish I did do.Talk to old folks, they never regret doing something, its always " I wish I would have done...". I ride because it is a part of who and what I am. If I have a soul then this is truly a part of it. People say they go to church to find peace and answers, I ride for same results.My head is clearer, I am more focused, the world seems better after a ride.Being reminded of my mortality from time to time due to close calls only sharpens my taste buds for life.For me, when I'm 90, in an old folks home, drooling, my wheelchair will only have 2 wheels. Decide what your passion is,then follow it. No better example for your children.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 11:11 am Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmm
At one time some study, I forget which, stated that 90% of people killed on bikes were riding for 2 years or less.I always believed this is true.As soon as you get skilled enough to use the bikes controls without thinking, you generally do. The skills that you need to stay alive come only with years of experience.When you back out the 90% of the equation, the risk is very similar to driving a car.Possible less as I'm a lot more aware of whats going on around me on the bike.Which as always bugged me, why dont we use the same care and rules in a car as on a bike?I find myself doing things in a car I would never do on a bike, like talk to the passenger in heavy traffic, eat, follow closer, etc.Not that I feel I am a bad auto driver, it just seems my room for error isnt the same in a car.Most of us on this forum are older riders, this year I hit 50 with 40 years behind me on 2 wheels, most of you are similar.We are the safest riding group out there.The fact that we are even talking about this shows we understand the risk.Some say when it's your time to go you cant change that,hmm, perhaps. But I do feel we can thru our choices and stupidity push that time forward. My big fear is not so much doing something I'll regret, as not doing something I'll wish I did do.Talk to old folks, they never regret doing something, its always " I wish I would have done...". I ride because it is a part of who and what I am. If I have a soul then this is truly a part of it. People say they go to church to find peace and answers, I ride for same results.My head is clearer, I am more focused, the world seems better after a ride.Being reminded of my mortality from time to time due to close calls only sharpens my taste buds for life.For me, when I'm 90, in an old folks home, drooling, my wheelchair will only have 2 wheels. Decide what your passion is,then follow it. No better example for your children.
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Wise words and nicely put. Thanks
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2006, 11:28 am
 
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Yes, wise words -I can't add anything to that.

I smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish, so cancer and heart disease
will probably take me out before a car will.

I do work out everyday...why? Cause it improves my riding!

Tough decision Ben - but for now, your thinking is slightly clouded due to your loss, so just give it some time and you'll make the right one for you.
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