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Greetings all! Yesterday I stopped at a motorcyclist's crash site, where he had been EMS transported alive and seriously injured, just minutes before. I comforted the young girl driver who though involved was not at fault.

Upon reflection, I came up with an analogy for riders to have as their mindsets. Please don't take this analogy too far. I am NOT suggesting that we as riders rise anywhere near the level of training, dedication, intellect, courage, etc as the analogy will possibly suggest! It is just to help us change our 'THINK'.

A motorcyclist on public roadways may in a much smaller sense, be likened to a combat fighter pilot. Bear with me, please. I am not saying we compare equally at all; every analogy breaks down at some point. I am not disrespecting any combat pilots here either.

But a combat pilot's life is in danger the minute his engine starts. Equipment failures can kill him. Collisions with fixed objects, encountering bad weather, collisions with friendly aircraft, and attack from hostiles both on the ground or in the air, can all kill the combat pilot and his passengers. And make no mistake, there are lots of people who can act in ways that can either on purpose, or through negligence, take his life.

Now a motorcyclist faces danger from losing control, vehicle failure, poor and changing road surfaces, road hazards and foreign objects, bad weather, fellow riders, road ragers, drunk pedestrians, distracted drivers, as well as his own cellphone and navigation aid distractions.

BUT...if we took the perspective that we are stepping into a hostile war zone, and we determined to have some 'serious' fun - meaning we enjoy what we do, but we remain vigilant and ready to respond to threats, I think we would - for example - not get lulled into trusting that that left turning car coming our way actually sees us, and paying with our lives.

I welcome any other analogies or thoughts on this idea. Thanks. (The young man lived, multi fractured leg, lost 2 pints of blood, and was wearing shorts, tennis shoes, and a helmet. The helmet saved his life. He was following too closely, too fast, couldn't stop, and struck the car ahead. He is conscious today and is expected to recover, thank God.)
 

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I have been on two wheels for 50 year's and I love riding. I would suggest LOTS of practice, at least twice a week, will serve you much better than an analogy or fear. Wreck's occur because the rider is unprepared and does not have sufficient skill to avoid wrecking.
 

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My Dad told me years ago that defensive driving is your best option.

Always expect the unexpected, drive within your means and don't be a fool!
 
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I have been on two wheels for 50 year's and I love riding. I would suggest LOTS of practice, at least twice a week, will serve you much better than an analogy or fear. Wreck's occur because the rider is unprepared and does not have sufficient skill to avoid wrecking.
While a proper mind set is important when operating a motorcycle as well as a four wheel vehicle, I agree with Teach that practice is equally important. The casual rider who rides once or twice a month only when weather conditions are perfect will likely be unprepared in the event of an emergency. Spending time in the saddle and constantly practicing is imperative to safe riding. When I was teaching MSF classes I used to remind students that successfully and safely operating a motorcycle is not unlike learning to master a musical instrument. In order to achieve proficiency you must practice, practice, practice!
 
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