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Dear all

Allow me to be a bit self-indulgent for a few secs - after burying a friend yesterday when his 600 Gixer was put off the road by a motorist in Scotland last weekend (he'd have been 40 today and was getting married at the end of the year) and having sat through the funeral yesterday with all us bikers thinking exactly the same thing whilst looking at the wooden box at the front of the church, the inevitable conversations began in the pub afterwards, mainly from the wives and ranging from "it's up to him, it's his decision" to "I've told him now after this that it's either me or the bike" - all of the arguments I sat and listened to had merit in their own way.

Anyhow, having ridden every single day (pretty much) for the last 15 years and as I approach my 40th Birthday with 3 young kids and a gorgeous wife (eldest child is 10), and after chucking my K1200GT down the road about a month ago (me not hurt and bike now repaired), I'm afraid I'm giving serious thought and re-assessment to my own position and what to do next - something I'm really grappling with.

I've run through (both in my mind and down the pub with others) all the arguments about if someone gets killed crossing the road then you don't suddenly stop crossing roads, etc. and my personal favourite "at least he died doing something that he loved" - something which I'm always telling my wife to think of if the worst happens to me, but can't seem to shake the blues and the feeling that I should be doing something about it (like selling the bike).

Anyhow, the real purpose of this post is as a result of me sat at my desk in work, totally glazed over, looking at the computer screen and longing for a few inspirational words and anecdotes to lift my mood and help me do the right thing!

Over to you...........!

(and thanks in advance 'cos as sure as eggs are eggs, there'll be plenty of replies to this post - that's just the kind of community this is).
 

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Sorry to hear of your loss, words never seem to be enough, so I don't say any!

With regard to riding and life in general, always do what you want today, tomorrow may be your last.

Not particually nice, but true.

Andy
 

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I was a big brother for 10 years (long ago), he was 9 when I got him, his dad died on a bike when he was 3.

That kid wanted a dad, bad. I would have taken him on but he had a mom already so I could not help him that way.

It doesn't matter how a kid loses a parent, its the same to them. It is up to the parent to calculate risk.

So, all the time my kids were growing up, I stuck to bicycles and we had a riot the whole time. I took them all over on the bike, later with a baby trailer. I had 15k miles on just one of my mountain bikes :teeth But I did commute on it for 5 years also.

When my youngest got to the middle teens I decided to buy another motorbike and I've never looked back.

Almost killed myself last Oct on my LT when I crashed it, just for a data point. It took me until April to be able to physically try riding again and...I haven't looked back, been riding every since (in pain sometimes, but riding!). That was the first time in my life I broke a bone, much less a bunch of them.

I dunno, my thing when the kids were young was to spend the time with them, not off somewhere on a motorbike.

I've put about 260k miles on bikes since I started again in the spring of 2001. I like to ride obviously. And I'm still riding.

it sure is a lot easier to ride at this point knowing I'm worth more dead than alive!! :rotf:

By the way, I've lost more friends/co-workers due to being overweight than I have in bike crashes, they don't seem to make it past their 40's when their weight causes health problems. just another data point.
 

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ldbikin said:
So, all the time my kids were growing up, I stuck to bicycles and we had a riot the whole time. I took them all over on the bike, later with a baby trailer. I had 15k miles on just one of my mountain bikes :teeth But I did commute on it for 5 years also.
...

I've put about 260k miles on bikes since I started again in the spring of 2001. I like to ride obviously. And I'm still riding.
You don't do anything halfway do you? :D
 

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Dazzle,

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. There is nothing that can ever take the place of a lost friend or loved one; we are all too special in our own way.

That said, when I start to question some of the more dangerous things I do (motorcycle riding being only one of them) I think of a quote by Goethe “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety”.

Remember your friend and do what makes you happy. Otherwise you aren’t really living.

Best,
Carey
 

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Sorry to hear about your friend. I have been riding motorcycles on the street since I was 15 and have racked up a bunch of miles over the years. I've had a few incidents and accepted the inherent risks of riding. When my daughter was born many years ago my whole world changed and changed for the better. She was about 2 years old when I sold my bike and decided I would take a break from riding. I haven't regretted that decision once. I replaced riding with other activities, many of which we could do as a family. I've had a lot of great experiences riding but nothing has topped having a child and being engaged in all that goes along with raising a little one. The time will go quickly and they won't be little for long. My little one is now a young woman, lives on her own and rides a sport bike. :)
 

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I've had several friends killed on bikes, one very close like an extra son who I warned over and over that showing out was taboo after his 2nd son was born. Riding mower, bike, Co car, or U-Haul Rental truck, he had to race anyone who would oblidge him. He finally hit a car broadside wide-open as the car made a left(death) turn! No chance of braking. He was going so fast the person actually did not see him. We buried him and I cried with his mom and dad.
Myself, I've had three wreaks and two drops, the wreaks were all my fault, riding over my head. I am not scared,but I don't try to drag a peg on a rural road, even though it would feel great. Who knows who may be backing out of a drive way, a hunter coming out of the woods slinging gooey mud all over the curve. Or a 10 point buck crossing the road?
I know the dangers, I worked dangerous jobs all my life.
But, I ( me only ) refuse to sit in my house and fret because I'm afraid to go out and play.
You are the only judge of your situation. If you control your hormones, control the urge to drink, and ride on rural roads away from mass transit. You should be fairly safe. Just enjoy the wind and sights, and leave the stunts and speed to the track.
I'm not accusing anyone of stunting, just stating what does cause wreaks. And yes there will always be the driver who can't see, drive, or obey the laws. That's why our eyes should be glancing in all directions at all times, and our fingers covering the hand levers.
My Prayers to all those who have lost friends and family thru riding.
 

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I have had a car pull out in front of me about two years ago. It was truly a miracle that I walked away. How do you deal with the fact that some do and some don't? There is nothing any of us can say that will be of much use to you except maybe to express our condolences. As for the riding, I gave it up when I was much younger and just recently started it up again. It's a calculated risk, isn't it? That part you have to decide for yourself. You try to be careful but how do allow for someone who pulls in front of you and then stops? You can't be ready for everything.
 

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Like any dangerous sport, motorcycling comes with risks and every so often an event comes along and you go through a self evaluation. Mostly those risks are down to the stupidity of others if you are a sensible rider.

I've had friends who died in cars and from cancer, so I have to think that there's some kind of lottery involved.

All you can do is reduce the odds and feel happier that what you've done may help. If you don't drive anything or walk in the road it's a no fun existence but, your house could still burn down whilst you sleep.

If you ride regularly, just draw up a check list of things you can do to push the odds a little on your side:

Rider training (or re-training) - Think like chess and work out the other guys stupid move and your response before he makes it.
Well maintained bike.
ATGATT
Be more visible - HID lights and hi-viz jacket.
Good rear view and added high intensity brake stop lights.
Get a very load horn.
Be risk averse when riding, but still have fun.

Wives and families can have an understandably negative view towards motorcycling. Some put family first, leave riding alone and then come back to it later. But there are risks, because those born again 'returners' have lost ground in the driving styles of others and increased road congestion.

There is no right or wrong advice. If you lose some of your own riding confidence due to loss of a friend, then that's not a good state of mind to be riding with and it takes time to become confident with all neurons firing again.

Sometimes, I think driving and riding is becoming more like a video game. There is so much to absorb, process, decision and execute with 100% concentration required, but you can't re-start the game if you or another driver makes a bad decision.



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My condolences to you, and your buddy's family.

I feel your pain. 23 years ago, a nice woman argued with the policeman that there was no way she turned in front of my motorcycle and caused me to impact her rear door and trunk. She couldn't have caused the accident because she didn't see me. I crawled away from that one bruised and broken and with a few character marks left on me for good war stories. 15 years ago, my riding buddy experienced the same thing. He didn't make it. I walked away from that and sold my street bikes.

At the same time, I was having kids and riding my dirt bikes, knowing that if I got hurt, I would have nobody to blame but myself. However, I always had that nagging desire to be back on the street. I justified my decision because of my kids, and I stand by that today. As time passed, and my kids got older, (and the table top jumps and triples out at the track started getting bigger and bigger :yeow: ), my desire to get back on the street outgrew my rationalization to stay off the street. I'm still trying to remember how I went from driving my 911 cabriolet to a Chevy Suburban?!? I love the street. I calculate the risk of me riding, and the RISK of me NOT riding.

Just yesterday, I saw an inattentive Ford pickup truck had plowed into the back of a Honda Civic (which was crammed into the car in front of it) at a red light on a low speed side road. A sheetmetal sandwich. I saw glimpses of me and my KGT as the mustard in that sandwich.

Yet, I stay on the street. Its a passion. One I can't resist and one you won't be able to also. So, if you sell your bike, trust me, you will be back. We will miss you, but you will be back.

Finally, in terms of safety, Voxmagna really hit the nail on the head - "Think like chess and work out the other guys stupid move and your response before he makes it."
Great advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Cheers all - just as I predicted, this forum and the great community that support it has not let me down!

All great advice which I'll reflect on over the coming weeks.

Your kind words are also very much appreciated.

The points about risk awareness are particularly pertinent I think and the comment about staying at home and the house burning down is very true - you can't live a cocooned existence for that would be no existence at all.

I guess that after the funeral I just felt a tremendous sense of guilt about potentially putting my family through the same thing later on in life and that I was somehow to blame - I would hate them to be sitting there grieving thinking that I had been hooning around (and I'm not suggesting for a minute that my mate was - far from it).

Anyhow, thanks again - I'm feeling a little bit more chipper today (thanks in no small part to your support) and I know in my heart that the bike's probably not going anywhere.

Much love all and stay safe.

Darren
 

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In the past year, I've ridden more on trackdays than on the streets.
Which is to say I'm not riding very much these days. :(

I bring this up because there are some people that feel riding around at 130-150 mph on a track is safer than taking your chances against drunks, soccer moms and road ragers.
 

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There are some scenarios that you just never think of and these are two of my most worrying on UK drive on left roads: I'm not sure if these are what you call accidents or not.

I'm approaching a stop and there's a stationary car on my nearside wanting to do a left turn so I'm OK to ride straight on with lights on green. The junction has at least 3 variables I've factored in so I'm instinctively cautious to keep clear of large metal and people. My internal clock has ticked away as I approach, so in theory I've missed the amber gambler crossing the junction in front of me.

Then the stationary car opens its drivers door in front of me --WTF!!!!
How was I to work out in nanoseconds that the vehicle was a left hand drive foreign vehicle and it wasn't the driver getting out, but the passenger. Thank God for decent brakes and working ABS.

I'm in a similar situation, I'm moving up a nearside lane to a stop with an RV stopped in my right lane. I'm not just looking ahead and have a sixth sense of an impending bad event. Quick as a flash I see the RV has side sliding doors which suddenly open and a kid is just about to jump out. He was saved by my Stebel horn and my finger was already on the horn push, so that chappie was very lucky to be alive.



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I've had a friend die in a motorcycle accident. I've also had a few friends wreck their bikes. I've wrecked one too.

I have kept on motorcycling and am glad to do so. Think of all the experiences and wonderful memories I would not have if I had stopped motorcycling and stayed safe at home playing Xbox or taking up gardening or whatever.

There is more to life than sitting around safely doing nothing.
 

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Hey there, Real sorry to hear of your loss. :( You have undoubtedly been thinking day and night about all this and probably a bit stressed too... it is a lot to swallow. We never think about these things very hard until it hits close to home or its too late." its never going to happen to me" - right? Now is a good time to "put your house in order". - life insurance, an up to date will, etc. Tell your family every day you love them and so on... today may be your last. Times like these draw me to consider the divisions between flesh and soul. Is there a God? Where do we go when we die... :confused: Now I'm not going to preach at anyone here :eek:ldster: , or share my personal beliefs, but I would just like to say that we never think about these things until its too late. You are asking some good questions about life and how you will live it. Make sure you don't take them lightly, counting the cost carefully in all your decisions. We only get one shot at it, but we still need to enjoy what we have been given. I hope this was an encouragement and that you do not come to regret any decisions you will make.

Sincerely, Jerome
 

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My condolences for your loss. It's natural for you to go through these feelings and I'm sure with time you will find the balance that suits your situation. Like many people here, I've had short stints where I couldn't ride the bike and I find that things just aren't right in my world when that happens. I'm a motorcycle rider, it's what I do, it's a part of who I am. My wife and kids know this about me and accept it.
Jeromy said:
Now is a good time to "put your house in order". - life insurance, an up to date will, etc. Tell your family every day you love them and so on... today may be your last. Times like these draw me to consider the divisions between flesh and soul.
I tell my wife I lover her every time before I get on the bike. I don't know if she thinks about it but I know it could be my last chance.
 

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Well gents - after a week of constant thinking and reading all the kind replies to this post, I finally found my answer (or at least the one that will work for me).

It was borne out of the overwhelming need to "do something" and take some form of positive action. I knew that selling the bike was not a "rational" response to the situation and would also leave me in a total mess when it came to my working week - I won't go into the detail but suffice to say that after riding every day for the last 15 years, I have never appreciated 2 wheels as much as I have done in the last 3 years (think regular long commutes into very busy cities with congestion problems).

I've decided that Advanced Rider Training and sitting the IAM Advanced Test is what I need to get my mojo back and I'm currently in the process of booking lessons. Not only is this an obvisouly good thing to do in its own right, but emotionally and psychologically I'll be thinking that I've done about as much as I can to maximise safety and minimise risk and will undoubtedly feel a lot happier about my riding again. It will also ease a bit of the guilt I'm feeling right now for my family.

I appreciate that this is not the answer to everything and would not work for everyone but guys, I feel better already and I haven't had a single lesson yet!

Stay safe and enjoy your riding - I plan to.

This is a great community and a massive thanks to all of you who support it (and each other) so well.

Darren
 

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Good for you! Education is always useful and using this as the impetus to improve yourself is a tribute to your friend. I definitely understand the need to do something in the wake of what happened. Life has a way of making us feel powerless sometimes and it’s good to take back some measure of control when we can.

I wish you the best in moving forward and remembering your friend with a smile.

Carey
 

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At 41 my best friend, who was also 41, died from brain cancer. He was one of the most brilliant people I have known. Out of school for 20 yrs he could remember all of his trig and calculus formulas and every phone number he ever had. He never used a calculator; doing it all in his head. If IQ tested I have no doubt he would have been a genuis. I figured it was all that thinking that killed him so at 41 I stopped thinking. :teeth I've been happy ever since.

Coincidently his father also died at 41. What he learned from this was that life is short and you have to live it today. He rode a bike, went sky diving, travelled, I can't remember all he did but one thing he did do was lived life.

So sorry for your loss.
 

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Dazzle said:
Dear all

Allow me to be a bit self-indulgent for a few secs - after burying a friend yesterday when his 600 Gixer was put off the road by a motorist in Scotland last weekend (he'd have been 40 today and was getting married at the end of the year) and having sat through the funeral yesterday with all us bikers thinking exactly the same thing whilst looking at the wooden box at the front of the church, the inevitable conversations began in the pub afterwards, mainly from the wives and ranging from "it's up to him, it's his decision" to "I've told him now after this that it's either me or the bike" - all of the arguments I sat and listened to had merit in their own way.

Anyhow, having ridden every single day (pretty much) for the last 15 years and as I approach my 40th Birthday with 3 young kids and a gorgeous wife (eldest child is 10), and after chucking my K1200GT down the road about a month ago (me not hurt and bike now repaired), I'm afraid I'm giving serious thought and re-assessment to my own position and what to do next - something I'm really grappling with.

I've run through (both in my mind and down the pub with others) all the arguments about if someone gets killed crossing the road then you don't suddenly stop crossing roads, etc. and my personal favourite "at least he died doing something that he loved" - something which I'm always telling my wife to think of if the worst happens to me, but can't seem to shake the blues and the feeling that I should be doing something about it (like selling the bike).

Anyhow, the real purpose of this post is as a result of me sat at my desk in work, totally glazed over, looking at the computer screen and longing for a few inspirational words and anecdotes to lift my mood and help me do the right thing!

Over to you...........!

(and thanks in advance 'cos as sure as eggs are eggs, there'll be plenty of replies to this post - that's just the kind of community this is).
sorry to hear of your loss. i have just returned from loch lomond where every second vehicle was a bike. due to it being a holiday weekend the roads along the shores are very busy and also dangerous due to inconsiderate car drivers too busy shouting at kids or looking everywhere except where they should be looking ! six months ago i came off my vfr due to a young driver not looking as i passed him at 70mph and deciding he was going to pull out into my lane ! i was very lucky to escape serious injury and the traffic police said it was a miracle that as i flew through the air into oncoming traffic that nothing hit me. every time i go out on my k1100 now i am more aware of whats going on around me because i know how lucky i was that day. i to also tell my good lady that i love her everytime i go out and carry my lucky penny that she gave me years ago. i went through all the arguments after the crash and to this day every time we hear or read of a bikers death i get reminded from family or friends about the dangers. my partner understands my feelings about bikes but it will never stop her worrying and i still get grief off her if i dont contact her while i am out ! i hope you will enjoy riding your bike again and i am sure while out riding in the future you will have plenty of happy memories of your sadly missed friend in your mind and smile.
 
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