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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Death and Bikes

I'm trying to learn how to disassociate myself from accidents when they happen. I know some of you guys had talked with me about this topic not too long ago (God bless you btw) but there was another incident over the weekend sadly. I was hoping that people might post things that helped them move on or even just favorite inspirational words... I love riding, I love my bike but I don't know how to feel good and responsible about riding it when there's so much loss everywhere around me. I feel like I'm cheating death or injury everytime I ride now; it bothers me. I want to just let it go and enjoy it but my view of riding is all screwed up and I feel like it's only a matter of time until it happens to me. I don't know how to deal with it and wondered how other people find a way to move past the fear that loss creates.

Sorry for the buzzkill on an otherwise upbeat forum.

Edit: For what it's worth, I just wanted to point out that I had already left the club scene behind and this was unrelated. This man had been riding for probably 20+ years and it was an accident that shouldn't have happened (RIP).

Last edited by RydeAddict; 09-29-2008 at 03:55 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 05:52 PM
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Sorry to hear of your troubles, RA. *hugs*

It's a sad fact of life that we're very much more at risk of dying on the road than other road users. In my state, the stats say that bikers are 30-times more likely and that one-in-five deaths on our roads is a biker. It's almost impossible to turn on the radio and not hear of another biker down, whether injured or deceased.

You are a smart girl and know and understand the risks involved. All you can do is be careful. Every time I ride, I think of my wife and family. It's something that keeps me in check when I want to act up a bit.

Take care. *more hugs*




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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Cookee. I know it's (obviously) not a topic that people care to discuss but it helps to get another riders view on it all. I almost wonder if it would be better to ride alone and not make friends with other riders, if it would be easier. It wasn't right but I understood why the first guy died. He was going too fast on a mountain road, no room for his mistake. But this other guy didn't do anything wrong. It's f*cking bullshit.

I don't know. I think I'm going to stay off my bike until I get some back protection and better boots. That should give me time to figure out what I really want anyway. I met and went riding with a guy over the weekend who's friend just had his foot cut off last week because he crashed wearing tennis shoes. Riding when you know the risks is one thing, but riding after all this is harder. I started out with two skydive jumps under my belt and took out 4k to get my license to dive.. I ended up buying my bike instead because it was safer to me. Isn't it ironic that the things that make you feel most alive always seem to be the same things that will kill you the quickest.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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My first words come from a movie:

"It's not tragic to die doing what you love."

My second thought on the matter is that, statistically, more people die each year in cars than on bikes.

My third thought is this: Most riders feel a bond with other riders... beyond that of other people in general. We wave to each other on the road. We see each other at meets and events. We share the same love for riding that motivates us in our daily lives. For that reason, there is a very good chance that you are just taking bike-related incidents much worse than you would a car accident. You just have to take a few steps back and look at it objectively. Most people don't even notice when the news or papers report of car-related fatalities unless it was someone we know. We all cringe whenever we hear about bikes, though.


And as for your last comment... it is called adrenaline. Humans were not designed to be boring lifeless people who sit around all day in their safe little worlds sheltered from everything outside that might hurt them. We are risk takers by nature. Some more than others, sure. Some people are just too scared to try anything new. But the majority of us do like fun and excitement. How dangerous things get usually relate directly to exactly what you have to do to feel that same level of excitement. For some, a day at an amusement park will work just fine. That doesn't always work for everyone else, though.

Not sure what else I could say. Only you know what feels right for you to do.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 10:28 PM
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NOVA is well known for m/c deaths. It can be anything from the riders fault, another vehicles fault to some really strange accident. That place is wreck city, and I am not only talking about bikes, but cars too. The vehicle density there is crazy.

Here, I give an example that may have nothing to do with what you are talking about, but it is wild. Last thursday I drove to Alexandria, VA.... I got stuck in traffic for about an hour to what I finally saw was a 6 car pile up accident. That sucked. So friday morning I get up because I have a job interview in Greenbelt, MD. I drive from Alexandria, VA to Greenbelt, MD (20 miles). I saw about 3 accidents, one including a bus hitting an SUV and a car and shutting down 3 lanes. Sucks to be them. How can that many people wreck on their way to work or wherever?

I have known a few people who have wrecked their bikes in that area. Have heard dozens of death stories from other riders. Hell, we were sitting at dinner one night last year in VA, and my girls uncle and aunt walked in and told us about a m/c accident they had just drove by where the rider had some scattered body parts on the road and was completely naked from hitting a pole. Bike was in a million pieces. They were pretty shaken up because the accident scene was fresh and the cops weren't there yet. BLEH, that's terrible! I wouldn't want to see that.

These stories are nuts and would scare anyone, including myself, from riding a motorcycle. I just love it too much to give up and would be lost without it. I just try to keep a pretty good head on now that I am a little more mature.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by duessel View Post
How can that many people wreck on their way to work or wherever?.
About three years ago I had to drive to Portland Maine (which is a tad over an hour south from here) during the first snow fall of the year. There was barely anything on the ground at that point, and it wasn't very serious. By the time I got off the interstate in portland, I had counted 54 accidents. No exaggeration.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 04:50 AM
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I retain some of my youthful optimism. I look at how I dress for a ride, consider the work I put into becoming educated/experienced and the choices I make when riding and clearly see large differences between me and many others. So, I consider my risks low.

When I had my only serious crash, I very strongly considered going track-only, which is a common option and one I'd have taken over not riding at all. If I ever move into an area that has a high vehicular density (see deuss's comments) I will be strongly drawn to riding track only.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the all the different views. It helps.

OT: Duessel- It looks like you might be spending more time in the area (from what you posted) and I just thought I'd pass along a couple things.. Keep the bike off 495/395/95 if there's the slightest bit of rain coming down. Everyone running 70+mph while tailgating is what causes all our problems, people are morons around here. There's several accidents every morning and afternoon on all of the main routes. I believe there has been larger crashes since this one..

"Feb. 22, 2001 - A 117-car accident in North Stafford triggers 33 wrecks along snow-covered I95, shutting the road down between Massaponax and Prince William for almost 10 hours. The pile-up, in which one woman dies, is tied for the worst wreck in U.S. history."

I was caught on 95's main alternate route on that day in Woodbridge. I needed to go less than one mile to get home and it took me over four hours. If you get caught in a traffic jam don't lane split, it's not uncommon for us to get out of our cars and bs until traffic starts moving again. And slow down if you see a helicopter. Unless it's at night and has a search light, in which case you probably want to leave the area for a little while or stay indoors. Hope some of that helps.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2008, 06:45 AM
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You've sure seen more than your share of crashes, maybe this means you are done seeing this kind of thing, got yours out of the way so to speak. You'll make a good instructor some day.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 02:40 PM
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RA, thanks for the heads up about the roads. If I get a job in NOVA, I guess I will have to find some alternate routes. That shouldn't be too hard with all the ways around there.

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