A fellow rider - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 6 Old May 22nd, 2008, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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A fellow rider

My wife works in an emergency department for a fairly large hospital, here, in New Hampshire. She came home, last night, pretty shaken. One of the emergency room physicians, died in a motorcycle crash, yesterday. He was 35, father of two, I think. My wife was pretty rattled, as was the entire emergency room department. She has never been, totally, happy with my riding, although, she didn't grow up exposed to motorcycles as I did. I don't think she'll be getting on the back of mine anytime soon. From what I could gather, he was not speeding and a light rain had begun to fall. He was cresting a hill and leaning into a gentle right bend. My guess is that he hit some oil or other slippery substance brought up from the rain, and low sided. He slid into the other lane and ended up being pinned under an on coming car. If there was no traffic, as I told my wife, he, probably would have walked away with some bruises and scratches. A low side at low speed usually isn't catastrophic. He was wearing a helmet, but I can't say if he was wearing any other gear. But, it doesn't sound like that would have mattered in this case. My heart goes out to his family and co workers. My heart, also, goes out to the driver of the vehicle that killed him. From what I have heard, there was no way for the other driver to avoid him. And that poor person, who did nothing wrong, will live with this horrible incident, forever. As much as I love motorcycles, I never forget that things can horribly wrong in a split second. My ninteen year old son, wants to get involved in riding, but I must admit, I'm not crazy about the idea. I feel at 47, I am a safe and experienced rider. When I was ninteen, I was an idiot and lucky to survive. In the end, it will be his decision and there might not be much I can do about it, other than to try and teach him the best I can. But after hearing about my wife's co worker, it just reinforces my desire to dissuade my son. Motorcycling is fantastic, but it can also be tragic. Ride safe........please, ride safe.

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post #2 of 6 Old May 22nd, 2008, 5:28 pm
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Re: A fellow rider

This happened in my neck of the woods a couple of years ago. A ER nurse going to work wheelied into a back of an SUV. He had just did a tour in Iraq also.

Before you say no to your son I have found, while investigating numerous motorcycle crashes, that there was one or two factors that the rider of the bike did or did not do to contribute to the crash. Not saying that the rider was at fault but probably could've have prevented or seen etc.............. Factors can be, training, looking, drinking, speeding etc............ I want all the fact. Once you get all the fact I sure that the motorcyclist could have maybe prevented the crash. This is how I deal with motorcycle crashes with in myself.

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post #3 of 6 Old May 22nd, 2008, 6:40 pm
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Re: A fellow rider

Anyone of us can go at any time. It's a fact of life.

There's a stretch of road near me called Ortega highway that is quite popular with bikes. It's not a difficult road to ride, but it does have some nice curves, and some bikers cannot resist punching it and leaning into the curves. Sometimes, bad things happen and people die.

I'd like to take this road this weekend with my wife, but she really hates this road. Anytime there is a bike accident on it, she'll say it's evidence that the road is dangerous, but I've driven it many times, and it just isn't. It's the rider's who have a little too much testosterone for their abilities. Since there is a much higher percentage of bikes on the road than other roads, of course there will be more motorcycle accidents.

I like to use a thought experiment with my wife. Maybe you'll find it useful. When people have a belief about something, anything that supports that belief is evidence, but anything counter to it is deemed a coincidence.

Cars have accidents and people die, but we don't freak out because it doesn't support any belief we have about cars being dangerous. The reason we freak out for bikes is because of our inherent belief that bikes are more dangerous. This gives the accident more significance. But we cannot tell, without a lot of numbers and time, how much more dangerous driving a bike is than a car. If it's just a little more dangerous, a myriad of factors can swamp that additional risk, such as driving while being tired or inattentive for some reason.

It's a matter of perspective. An accident can bring the risk home, but we know logically that it doesn't tell us anything about the overall risks of riding. But, my wife gets glassy eyed at this point and tells me she doesn't want to ride on Ortega Hwy, so this probably won't help.

As for your son, you cannot try and prevent him from riding while doing so yourself and still have him respect you. All you can do is try and give him the tools to make the best decision for him, and hopefully keep him alive long enough to mature. That's all we can ever hope to do for our kids. Letting go is hard, but we don't really have a choice. Good luck.

When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
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post #4 of 6 Old May 22nd, 2008, 7:06 pm
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Re: A fellow rider

My son and I have been riding dirt bikes together since he was a little feller.When he turned sixteen and wanted his MC endorsement I went with him to the riders course.He learned early on how easily a bad decision can hurt you in the dirt and brought that to the street..I have been riding on the streets with him for 4 years now and am very proud of the responsibility he takes for his own safety.I still worry about him but did my damnedest teach him everything I learned in 30+years of riding.

Jeff Bokusky

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post #5 of 6 Old May 22nd, 2008, 7:35 pm
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Re: A fellow rider

Originally Posted by Bobnoxous
Anyone of us can go at any time. It's a fact of life.

That's all we can ever hope to do for our kids. Letting go is hard, but we don't really have a choice. Good luck.
Well put, Mr. Bob...
I can still see my son, laying on the pavement in the middle of the road ... that was over 4 years ago.

Today, he's recovered, but no longer rides... someday, maybe again....someday.

He was no slouch rider... he was probably good enough to ride competitively, maybe again... someday.

I knew my son's would ride.. yours may, too.....

So I paid for them to take the MSF course... I would have taught them, however, you seem to learn more from others than your parents... Anyhow, this went a long way toward building respect between us.

With all due respect to the loss of the Doctor, Father, Husband, Dad, friend.... May he Rest in the Peace and Mercy of God.... Let's hope he was doing what he loved to do... and that he's at peace.... While his family will never fully recover or forget, let's hope his legacy is a virtuous one.

Dcn Channing

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post #6 of 6 Old May 23rd, 2008, 11:49 pm
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Re: A fellow rider

Once kids get old enough, they'll make decisions you can't control. What you can control is the motorcycle training they get.

When my son turned 15, he went to a local MSF course so he could get his "M" endorsement. A few weeks after that he was on summer vacation. We had bought him a Ninja 250, and since my wife and I ride, we oufitted all of the bikes with bike-to-bike radios. We rode over 10,000 miles during the next 9 weeks, me in front with my youngest daughter on the back, then my son, and then my wife. Any time my son made a mistake it was pointed out over the radio, and if it was serious enough we pulled over and talked about it. I'm sure he got frustrated with us, but it's made him a better rider, much more aware of his suroundings and of potential dangers. He attended camp GEARS at the MOA rally in Wisconsin, and will attend again in Gillette.

This year, just as the summer vacation is ending, my daughter will turn 15 - she's counting down the days. We'll do the same with her, but we won't be able to ride as many miles the same as we did with my son. She will attend camp GEARS this year too. When she is riding on the back of my bike (which is most of the time), I sometimes talk through my thought processes so she can understand what I'm looking at, anticipating, taking precautions against, etc. Hopefully some of this will rub off on her, and she'll have a headstart when she starts to ride.

When I started riding at age 18, I was in my first year of college. I had no training, the dealer pointed out a quiet road where I could practice. No womder my parents were worried when I sent a letter home (a few months later) telling them I had bought a motorcycle. At least I'll know that my kids have been trained, have the right gear, and have bike that's road worthy. The $35 that I spent on my Honda C50 didn't get me much!


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