Motorcycles...

One of my coworkers died July 3 in a motorcycle crash. This was an inevitable occurrence, the way I see it. The people in my section have been buying them like they’re going out of style- by my count, 12 people out of 60 have motorcycles, most of them getting them in the past year.

I was commenting to some of my other coworkers following the latest group purchase (three people bought them in the same week), that it was simply a matter of time before someone ended up as a smear on the road.

You know, out of all the things that I could have been wrong about, I wish it had been this. I mean, it’s not like nobody could see this coming or anything. It was a statistical certainty. The only question was who it was going to be. Now I know, and now I have a funeral to go to on Friday.

I hope this causes some of the other people in my section to rethink their purchases. I don’t want to go to any more funerals or plan any more visits to hospitals (one of our flight docs is still in the hospital from 3 months ago after he left most of himself on the road).

Who am I fooling? I might as well just keep the dress uniform ready to go. This won’t be the last. And for what? To be cool? Becuase it’s fun? I don’t think Don is having any fun right now, and his girlfriend (also from my section) is positively crushed. There’s nothing cool about motorcycles. My wife calls them “donorcycles”. At this point I’m inclined to agree.

So go have fun, motorcycle owners. Be cool. Do whatever. Make yourself a stain on the road. Have at it. I hope whatever it is that you get out of riding is worth it to you. I promise I’ll try to make your funeral.

Sounds to me like your coworker didn’t do anything wrong.

That’s the point. I’m sure he would be consoled by that fact, except for one minor detail: he’s dead.

You ride a bike, you roll the dice. It’s that simple.

Was the deceased the cause of the accident? Was he living out his Evel Knevel fantasy? Trying to be on of the “Bad Boyz?”

Or was he the victim of someone else’s negligence?

It makes a difference, ya know.

With the price of gas looking to stay where it is or go even higher, look for more motorcycle riders (and Vespa-esque scooter riders, as well) on the roads. They’re economical, and fun to ride (unless it’s freezing cold and raining).

With the numbers you’re reporting from your section, I’m inclined to believe that you’re right: an accident of some kind (by someone you know) was inevitable. Whether due to operator error on the rider’s part or driver error on someone else’s.

But that’s life; he could’ve been run over in the streets, T-boned in his car at a busy intersection by someone too busy talking on a cell phone to notice the light was red, the list goes on-and-on.

No need to get all gloomy-and-doomy on bikers 'cause of this. In any case, the choice was his.

I think the group purchase thing is sometimes the first step to an awfgul occurence.

I had bikes through college and after. And rode with a few other guys who had bikes. Then three guys that I know all got the the idea sitting on bar stools. Never of them had ever had bikes, but it was late spring, beautiful days, warm nights, etc.

I went riding with them once and that was it. They had no idea what the hell they were doing. It was clear that none of them really shold be on a bike and the only reason they were was the romance of the idea. I think they finally realized it and they barely used them the rest of the year and sold them the next.

Aside from that, you’re right, it’s just a matter of time. I ws a very adept rider, but there’s not much you can do sometimes when an old lady decides that she is about to miss her exit so she had better cut the wheel, hard.

I don’t ride any more. I beat the odds (and one collision with a telephone pole) long enough. I walked away a winner, i.e., head and legs intact.

Sorry, Doors. Missed the link.

I’m terribly sorry about your friend, but I’m getting fucking fed up with bullshit comments like this. You fuck without a condom, you roll the dice. You drive a car, you roll the dice. You fly, you roll the dice. It’s all a fucking roll of the dice!

I’m going to roll the dice yet again and ask you a question: Was it your friend’s fault or the fault of the other driver? I know this won’t bring him back, but it’s not like people are just falling off fucking motorcycles while going doing the fucking road here!

I find the stun gun absurdity in how you fucks screaming about motorcycles and how they don’t protect the driver in the crash amusing since you are also the same gallon-sized fuck stains bitching when I buy an SUV for the very same reason.

Shut the fuck up about it already and let your friend salvage a little of his dignity from beyond without making him look like an asshole for making a decision or two without your whiny-ass approval.

Well what do you know! According to the news article, he was also wearing a certified helmet! Make of that what you like. I know I will.

All things involve some sort of risk. You’re absolutely right. I do fly for a living, and I take an assumed risk. I roll the dice. Still, I know approximately what my odds are. I don’t think that some of these guys are even remotely aware that what they’re doing on motorcycles is vastly more dangerous than flying, or even driving a car. For instance: three of them have laid their bikes down, two of them have broken bones, one of them tossed their bike across a three-lane road because he gave it too much throttle the very first time he tried to ride it, and one other guy traded his R6 for an R1 and immediately got 2 tickets. It’s reckless to the point of total ignorance of the risks that they are running. Someone finally had to pay, and ironically it wasn’t even his fault, thus making it even more tragic.

It doesn’t matter. “It wasn’t my fault!” is a hell of a thing to have on your gravestone.

You must have me mistaken for someone else.

The best thing that can happen is that people use his example to make better decisions. His dignity will be salvaged by the people that hear about this tragedy and choose not to have it happen to them.

What I know is obvious: riding a motorcycle is inherently one of the most dangerous things you can do, and even a relatively modest collision can kill you, safety equipment or not.

No comment on your friend, other then it’s too young to go. However, what I find frightening are the bikes that so many very young, and very inexperienced riders purchase. Sport bikes of today have SO much power, you need experience to handle them. And worse, they’re cheap. For under 10 grand I can get a bike that rockets past 120 mph, even 150 mph! I can’t fathom having never ridden a motorcycle before, and for the first time to get on a sport bike, that has close to the same power as a full bred racing bike. I guess it’s like a first time pilot earning his wings in an F-16. I see kids doing wheelies and stoppies on these bikes on public roads with cars around them, thinking nothing! There was an article about a bike going so fast that when it hit a minivan, the van rolled and burst into flames! All 5 inside the minivan (including children) died.
I ride motorcycles (almost daily in the warmer months). I think a lack of education and that piss & vinegar inherent in young males is what is most to blame. 20 year olds never think “it will happen to them”, but it does.

My sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend. I suspect that at least a portion of what you’re posting is simply out of frustration and anger. However, the above statement is both ridiculous and an affront to your friend’s memory.

He did not choose to have this happen to him, nor would anyone else be if they continue to ride in spite of having lost their friend. How on earth would people use his example to “make better decisions,” seeing as how this man apparently made every decision properly and correctly? He got all the proper certification, he had a proper license and he wore the proper/approved head protection. How is that not already setting the right example?

Some inattentive driver cut him off.

He might just as easily have been killed if he’d’ve been in a car – you can’t possibly know that. It happens all the time. It happened to a colleague of mine.

What I know is obvious; driving a car is inherently one of the most dangerous things you can do, and even a relatively modest collision can kill you, seatbelt and airbags or not.

I know a lot of people; friends, acquaintances and business associates, who’ve been killed while driving or riding in a car, and don’t know a single soul (personally) who’s been killed riding a motorcycle.

Again, my sympathies for your loss.

I was in New Hampshire a few weeks ago at the same time as Motorcycle Week in the Lakes Region. That is one of the oldest motorcycle rallies in the U.S. and thousands of experienced riders from all over get joined by thousands of New England riders that just pulled the bike out of the garage to join in the fun. The bikers strap cases of beer on the back of their bikes and drink and ride and ride and drink. It is New Hampshire so they don’t have to wear helmets. People stand beside the road and drink watching them and the bikers show off what they can do. After they are good and drunk and night falls, the risky stuff starts. There are wheelie contests, racing, and all sorts of mayhem.

There are deaths every year of course but it was especially bad this year with 11 or so killed by the time I stopped watching. From the way it sounded, approximately all of the other bikers were injured. Good clean fun.

I ride a motorbike. I also did a LOT of research before I bought one. I practice regular drills to ensure my ability to stop and turn quickly, and drive extremely defensively in traffic. I continue to buy and read books on motorcycle safety. I am also aware at all times that none of these are proof against an unanticipated move by another car. Riding motorcycles is extremely dangerous, and should be approached like any other extremely dangerous activity - with lots of preparation and a good dose of reality. It’s distressing to me how alone I am in these pursuits - I have met few motorcyclists spend as much time (or any time at all) preparing for an accident or unaticipated road incident. I’ve met a lot more who think I’m silly for spending my time this way.

Even more distressing is the fact that we allow almost anyone behind the wheel of a car without similar preparation. I personally feel that we should be setting the bar much higher for what we expect of drivers.

Sorry about your friend. I will keep him in mind, and endeavor to be safer.

How easy is it to get a motorcycle (and license) in the US?

Here, there are all manner of hoops to go through, and many restrictions on novice riders, one of which is below:
From the relevant website

Basically, it will be several years, some training, and several rigorous tests (both practical and theory) before a novice off the street can ride a high-powered street machine.

Sorry about your friend, Airman, but life entails choice, risk, and the freedom to choose your poison. I don’t smoke, almost never drink, and don’t do drugs. So far, so good. I exercise strenuously and regularly, too. Also good. However, I weigh about 200 lbs. Hey, I like my pizza, so sue me. Point? If I ate better, I could probably weigh 170, lower my cholesterol, and lower my risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks. I might even get the much envied washboard waist. I’m not fooling myself: it ain’t gonna happen. I don’t want to eat the kinda foods I’d have to eat to achieve that, so I’ll have to settle for something less dramatic, like being able to see the veins in my arms. Life’s too short. I’d rather have my pizza. I take a risk in one way, and partially mitigate that risk through exercise. When my dad was my age, he was much heavier, never exercised, and had given up smoking less than 10 years prior. He had 3 kids and a long commute; when he got home, he was done. I don’t look at his choices (and the attendant risks involved) as bad, just not for me. I chose a different life, and as a result I am in much better shape than he was. Sure, I could do better…but I don’t want to. The potential benefit isn’t worth the sacrifice in pleasure. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not living, that’s existing!

No, my example is not different than your friend’s. Someone’s smart risk is always someones else’s stupidity. It all depends on how you calculate the risk/benefit analysis.

There is no such thing as “laying down a bike” that’s a nice way of saying I’m a dumbass who crashed. Modern brakes and tires will stop a bike a hell of a lot faster than the coefficient of friction will ever stop a bike sliding down the road. A knucklehead who launched a bike bigger than his skills the first time he rode it is Darwin in action.

Doors I like you and was happy and sent you my best as a fellow E-5 to another when you got your last stripe. But as an avid motorcycle rider and collector I have to say; put away the big broad fucking brush talking about a huge amount of happy and safe riders.

Once a little old lady in Lincoln turned in front of me when she was turing into a garage sale. I’m not pround of screaming at her in front of a crowd “Nice directional you dumb cunt.” By luck and a little skill, I avoided her, but an inexperienced rider might not have. Look at the butthead football player that the same thing just happend to.

Fight for MSF training if you are really pissed enough.

As far as what username_taken was going into about younger riders on sport bikes there is a grain of truth. The biggest amount of fatalities right now is Boomers buying big assed Harley Davidsons thinking they are still 20 yars old and turning into road pizza.

Based on the linked article, it looks like the accident was the fault of the pickup truck driver, not your friend on the motorcycle. So why is your rant directed at motorcycle riders instead of careless car/truck drivers?

Since we don’t have to back up anything in the pit, I won’t ask for an proof but… I will state that my brother in law, who is a mucky muck in an insurance company, will disagreed with you strongly about which group of riders are the most, percentage wise, likely to die.

I think free climbing is silly but I will never cry shrilly into the void that they are wrong or foolish to do so. We have way to many that want to take all freedom from everybody so that all will be as safe as they are locked in their little closets.

Airman, is your shower rubber lined? How do you get to work, there is no safe way, it is all dangerous…

We better out law all racing, rodeos, surfing, climbing, sushi eating, my God, the list is big… hurry folks, we have the world to save…

I’ve gotta take a little offense to that. A very, very close friend of the family (so close he called me his little sister and meant it) died recently. He had been a motorcycle rider for a good chunk of his 36 years. He died in a very safe car because someone else in another car wasn’t paying attention to the road.

Motorcycles, when ridden PROPERLY (and that’s the issue at hand, I think) are just as safe as cars - safer, in some circumstances, depending on the car and how heavy the bike is, and how good the reflexes of the person driving the bike are.

My dad’s driven motorcycles for most of his 54 years and he isn’t dead yet.

A lot of the issue is that people are stupid. And if you’re stupid, you shouldn’t be driving ANY motorized vehicle, be it car, truck, moped, or airplain.

Also, a lot (I don’t have a cite for this, sorry) of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who don’t check their blind spot and run into motorcyclists.

My town plays partial host to an area-wide bike ralley every year and no one has died at it in the past ten.

Motorcycles aren’t dangerous. Idiots driving them are.

~Tasha

My guess? Because they are ludicrously more likely to die irrelevant of whose fault the accident is. IE they are risking their lives - by their own choice - for nothing more than some sort of boy-racer macho buzz (by the OP’s account).

Irrelevant. No-one said cars are perfectly safe.

No, they’re not. Are there any tests done of riders’ relexes before they are allowed to buy a bike? No.

Irrelevant. No-one said every single rider will die. My mother has been smoking like a chimney for 60 years, does that mean smoking is not dangerous? No.

You think intelligent people are necessarily safer drivers? Cite?

Then why post it? Some undoubtedly are. The point is that in any given accident, being on a cycle is more dangerous than being in a car* irrelevant of whose fault it is*.

Yes they are.

Them too, yes. But I thought you were saying it was all the car drivers’ fault?