Motorcyclist quits riding almost before he starts. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Motorcyclist quits riding almost before he starts.

I met a man today who is about my age, and he asked about my crutches. I told him about my motorcycle accident 26 months ago. He told me that he had taken the beginners riding course at the college last summer and bought a 1982 Yamaha Virago 1100.

On his first ride, from home to the grocery store, he was almost run off the road twice in three miles. He turned around, rode home, and sold the bike two days later. Too bad, he was scared away from a dream of riding. For him it was the right choice, I guess. If he was that afraid, IMO he was not going to be a safe rider. He understood Harry Callahan`s words, "A man has to know his limitations."

For me, the idea of never riding again is an almost unbearable thought. Visualizing getting back on my bike is one of the strongest motivations I have for getting strong again. Of all my friends and family, only my 4 daughters seem to understand my need to ride. When the riding bug finally bit me this late in life, it bit me hard.

My new friend it seems, avoided this addiction. Maybe it prolonged his life. He was not mentally ready to ride. Some are not. The MSF-BRC sifts some of them out before they get licensed. Some recognize the fact on their own. This got me thinking, - if I recognize the fact that someone I know and care about is not a competent rider, what responibility do I have to help him/her realize this too. Then help them either get more training, experience and confidence, or give up riding. Hard choices to make at times.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
I met a man today who is about my age, and he asked about my crutches. I told him about my motorcycle accident 26 months ago. He told me that he had taken the beginners riding course at the college last summer and bought a 1982 Yamaha Virago 1100.

On his first ride, from home to the grocery store, he was almost run off the road twice in three miles. He turned around, rode home, and sold the bike two days later. Too bad, he was scared away from a dream of riding. For him it was the right choice, I guess. If he was that afraid, IMO he was not going to be a safe rider. He understood Harry Callahan`s words, "A man has to know his limitations."

For me, the idea of never riding again is an almost unbearable thought. Visualizing getting back on my bike is one of the strongest motivations I have for getting strong again. Of all my friends and family, only my 4 daughters seem to understand my need to ride. When the riding bug finally bit me this late in life, it bit me hard.

My new friend it seems, avoided this addiction. Maybe it prolonged his life. He was not mentally ready to ride. Some are not. The MSF-BRC sifts some of them out before they get licensed. Some recognize the fact on their own. This got me thinking, - if I recognize the fact that someone I know and care about is not a competent rider, what responibility do I have to help him/her realize this too. Then help them either get more training, experience and confidence, or give up riding. Hard choices to make at times.
Good question. I agree with offering encouragement and educational material. I didn't know how fascinating and challenging riding could be until i rode and then read/watched books and videos of applied riding techniques, spiritual aspects of riding, and felt the brotherhood.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 10:03 AM
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X2. I can't imagine not riding. I know a guy that lost his legs from the knees down (not in a bike accident) and has converted his bike to a trike with hand controls and a suicide shift. He rides all the time. If someone doesn't catch the fever to ride they don't know what they are missing but some are just not cut out for riding. I've seen way too many skidish riders cause accidents from panicking or just not riding enough to gain the confidence and experience.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 10:23 AM
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Read ya loud and clear Hoss. It doesn't happen often but there have been times in the past where I had to tell a flight student he just doesn't have what it takes to be a helicopter pilot. It's an extremely difficult thing to do but it's better than being polite and putting people in danger. There's 2 types of student pilot's: the doctors/lawyers that have it rough at the hospital/office and need to blow off steam. These guys rarely even get licensed. Then there's those chasing a dream. The latter are the worst to inform. I once had a 37 year old father of 2, tear up in the office. It's heart breaking for both of us but the bottom line is, be polite or create a dangerous situation.

I certainly recommend telling them although how you tell them is up to you. Being delicate is an art - try asking them questions that allow them to come around to the realization instead of telling them anything. For example, instead of saying, "riding just isn't for you" try saying, "are you sure this is something you want to put your time and energy into?" Anger is a common reaction but some people will recognize your delicacy and realize you're only trying to help. Doesn't happen every time though. Also, try not to rush. If it takes a long time for them to get it for themselves, it's usually easier on them.

Good luck buddy and please let me know how you make out.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 10:47 AM
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Good points, Hoss. When I announced I was going to start riding, I heard a lot about "donorcycles" from med school graduates, and advice from my brother who rode for many years.

Got my first bike before taking the basic rider's course or getting the motorcycle endorsement. I resolved not to ride it on public roads until taking the course. I put about 350 miles on gravel roads and learned that deep gravel is treacherous, you can't make a U turn on a dew covered grassy slope, slow speed drops/crashes don't hurt much more than your pride if you are wearing protective gear, and riding is fun! Like Old Dog, hope to be able to do it for a long time, and will regret giving it up when the time comes.

I believe the man in Hoss' example was not mentally prepared to ride. When I got on the public roads, I was paranoid. I expected everyone in a cage to try and take me out. And by expecting stupid behavior, I was prepared when it happened. Obviously, this guy thought getting run off the road was not going to happen, and couldn't handle it when it did. Probably a good thing that he gave it up.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 01:31 PM
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It always saddens me when I found out people give up riding or choose not to do it because of personal reasons. It's like a whole different world. When I took the MSF safety course I made friends that outside of that class and riding I would have NEVER met. They're amazing people and I'm so glad to have them in my life now. When I go out riding with friends that I've had for years we seemed to have created a better, more bonded relationship. I couldn't imagine giving up riding.

Anytime I hear people talk about wanting to start to ride I sit down and have a long talk with them.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 05:29 PM
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I have , once or twice in my 40+ years of riding told someone that their best bet would be to hang the helmet up and buy themselves a nice car.

I felt a bit bad, but in some ways I just had to believe I was likely saving their life.

We had one mutual freind that really wanted to get a bike...mostly I think, just to be able to join in with us that did ride. He was not a very good driver, and I kinda felt from knowing him awhile that a motorcycle would not be a good idea as a transportation choice for him.

But, I had to at least give him the chance. He found a used 500 Honda something for a good price and I told him most emphaticly to call me BEFORE he even starts the thing, much less try and ride it.

He did call, from the hospital. Seems he could not wait to "try'er out" and quite quicky took off, hit a curb, went flying, lost his helmet (because he did not STRAP IT ON) and slamed his skull into the same said curb.

He lived, slight concussion and several stitches later, decided himself to sell the bike and never try anything powered with 2 wheels again.

I have always believed that just like there are "dog people" and "cat people" there are those that are destined to ride a motorcycle....and those that are not.

I think is is an actual gene that most riders have.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 05:52 PM
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OR............
Some folks are not ready RIGHT NOW, but might do well if they come back in a few years...or twenty. I tried and quit when I was about 25. I desperately needed to save money, and drove my car too much. Borrowed a friends Truimph...maybe 350? and proceeded to drop it and owe him a couple of hundred dollars. Said to hell with it. Then twenty years later, rented a moped on a resort island, had such a great time that I bought Honda 450 Nighthawk within a month. Been riding ever since.

And as for Hoss's friend...some days they just come at you. Like they got together around the corner and planned it. I had three near misses in one block, got in front of them and ran for my life. But that was just one day.


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I do LOTS of dumb stuff. Riding is only one of them.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 07:10 PM
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Gordon, et al, I share your drive (no pun intended). I am firmly committed to the idea that this is not a dress rehearsal. We don't have a second chance to do this over and I have to "taste" all that life has to offer. On that note, I am probably one of the older members of this site but riding is in my blood. It started with mopeds and I realized that they were not safe and I had to have big wheels and more pounds under me and I was right.

Getting back to the credo, when I get on my VN I feel like a kid, I feel free. I feel the same sensation when I am on a boat heading out the inlet to the ocean, or when I got a scuba tank on my back or when I was at the controls of a Cherokee leaving the runway. In a former life I raced an MG primarily at Lime Rock race track in Connecticut. Yes, I have some ribs that were broken and healed but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I live in New York City and living is dangerous just crossing the street but not nearly as much fun as the stuff I enjoy. Some choose to survive safely. As for me life offers a lot more pleasant experience.

Gordon, you get well and get your behind back on your ride. That's where real life is.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 09:37 AM
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^ Well said, I agree 100%. I wouldn't be the same without the things I do; land, sea, or air.
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