Saturday, January 24, 2004

motorcycles and "safety"

One of my coworkers looked very surprised, when, about two hours after getting hit by a car, I said, I was not giving up motorcycling.

People seem to assume that once we have a fall or two, we'll come around and see the truth: "motorycles are dangerous!" "gee, what was I thinking?" Like it was a phase we went through.


The whole design af car "safety" these days is gearing toward treating driving like playing bumper cars. Safety now means, to most drivers, that their car will smash whatever they bump into, and make little air cushions to soften the blow. That is not "safety." That is "minimizing damage." To YOURSELF. By the way, in all aspects of life, I find it an honorable personality trait when a person looks out for those smaller than themselves. Cagers, do not seem to value this trait. Watch the next mention of "safety features" in an SUV commercial. Seriously, WTF? I truly think that cars should be engineered to be more dangerous to their own passengers. Some of the consequences needs to be shifted back to those who want to shirk their responsibility.

Safety features are turn signals, good visibility (minimizing blindspots), mirrors, good lighting, etc... Then you've got good driving skills, awareness, head checks, understanding of basic laws and physics. THOSE are the things we ought to talk about when we talk safety. And, by the way, I have all of those things on a motorcycle.

The doctor I saw yesterday apparently used to ride, had two bad accidents, and gave it up. He urged me to consider giving it up. He tells me that he came to the realization that even through someone else's fault, he could lose the ability to do the things he wanted to do. (In his case, yoga, meditating, dancing, running) And that I should consider that I might lose the ability to do the things I love to do.

I smiled and thanked him and went on my way.

Cold dead hands. That's when I'll give it up.

There's quality of life here. Almost every good memory I think of in the past few years involves motorcycles. My goals for the next year? All involve motorcycles. 99% of my close friends are motorcyclists. People ask me about my job? I tell them, "I go to work, they give me money, I turn it into motorcycles."

I have no idea what life would have turned out like without motorcycles. Maybe I'd be a cager, beating up on those smaller than myself. Sitting in traffic, veins popping out of my head (patience has never been a strong point for me).

I am not afraid of motorcycles. My motorcycles have never hurt me. It's the fucking cagers that hurt me.

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