Two Wheeled Red Barchettas . . .

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Motorcycles will probably prove to be the real-life Red Barchettas.

You may remember the great Libertarian anthem by the classic rock band, Rush. It depicts a future world in which private cars are verboten since passage of the Motor Law. But an old heretic, a Giles Corey of tomorrow, has illegally kept a sports car – the red barchetta – hidden away in his barn, carefully preserving it for his nephew.     

I think Rush missed it by two wheels.

Motorcycles will be the Red Barchettas when they finally do pass the Motor Law for real.   

In a way, they already are.

Motorcycles are not amenable to the idiot-proofing that has become the focus of new car design. Or rather, the ethos of riding is profoundly different than what has become the ethos of driving.

People who like to ride . . . like to ride.

It is the whole point of the thing.

Why else would you expose yourself to the elements? Increase the physical demands on yourself?

The physical risk?

You have to hold the bike up and maintain balance. You have to use your body – not just your hands – to steer the thing. “Multi-tasking” on a bike does not mean texting while driving. It means using your feet and your hands – all four! – to choreograph the unfolding play.

It is almost impossible to passively ride a bike.

There is no possibility of being asleep at the clip-ons. It requires focus, being in the right-now.

Bikers, like pilots, develop keen situational awareness – because right or wrong, legal or not, if the bike goes down the butcher’s bill will be steep. A biker cannot afford to assume that if the light’s green, it’s okay to proceed. You had better confirm it’s okay before you rotate the throttle and enter the intersection. Bikers know what happens when they assume a non-signaling car won’t turn left in front of them – so they assume the non-signaling car will turn in front of them and they have an alternate/escape path already mapped out in their heads.

Riding a motorcycle is a lot like driving a car used to be. .  . a long time ago. Back when failing to pay attention was lethal to flesh as well as sheetmetal and the only brain responsible for keeping the car on the road and not in a ditch was the one sloshing around in the driver’s skull – as opposed to a transistorized ECU in the kick panel.

Less and less is expected of the driver – beyond making the payments. While there are still a few holdouts who respect the art and so resent the idiot-proofing, the dumbing-down and nannying, the majority seem to welcome it. The do not want to drive. They’d rather be doing something else while transiting from A to B.

There is lots to do inside a new car, much of it having nothing to do with driving. There is WiFi, Apple CarPlay, DVD video. A growing number of cars can accelerate – and stop – without the driver touching either the accelerator or the brake pedal. Some automatically steer the car, too.

Passivity has become the all-but-official object of the exercise. Just as plants crave Brawndo, it is becoming very clear that a large slice of the car-driving pie would rather not drive at all.

But will automated cars be the undoing of motorcycles?

It doesn’t take prophetic vision to see that, as automated cars go from being technically feasible to on the road to being mandated by law – for “safety,” of course – it will be argued that non-autonomous motorcycles cannot be allowed.

They would be divergent – not subject to the control grid; free to go this way – or that way, at the random discretion of the guy in the saddle.

It will probably be technically possible, at some point, to automate the operation of a bike. There is already a prototype that can’t be dropped; gyros and actuators keep it upright. The same methods used to control a car’s throttle and braking automatically could also be applied to bikes. 

But then, the guy in the saddle would no longer be a rider. He’d be as much as a passenger as the “driver” of an automated car. In which case, why not at least be inside – enjoying the heated seats while texting or listening to the latest radio gabble on SiriusXm or maybe checking email?

Then again, riders are not like drivers and most would give up on bikes, if they became automated.

Which leaves the many two-wheeled red barchettas still out there, tucked away in barns and garages . . .the Motor Law be damned.

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  1. Like all young guys I liked motorcycles. But then I saw a cousin with this giant external metal bar stabilizer anchored in his left lower leg bone with pins stuck into all the fragments the leg had broken into after an accident. After that I said yeah no thanks. it is fun to have a chick wrapped around you though. Get that.

    • I think the same way, Mark. Ever since I was a small kid, I always noticed that literally everyone who rode, either got killed, or seriously injured. Growing up, there were always stories of sons, brothers, fathers, friends of relatives and neighbors who all were involved in tragedies on motorcicles.

      Yeah, people would get into car accidents…but tell ya the truth, we never knew even one person who was killed or seriously injured in a car. I grew up being wary of motorcicles. When I got a little older, I saw that my fears were well founded, as no matter how good of a driver one is, there’s always a chance of the other guy doing somethiong stupid, that you will be unable to avoid- and virtually everybody gets into at least a fender-bender at some point- only a motorcicle, what would be a fender-bender in a car, may likely kill or disable ya.

      In my mid 20’s I lived near an area of vast wilderness for a time- and got a dirt bike to ride out in the vastness- it was wonderful- and I liked that mode of travel so much, I could barely restrain myself from wanting a street bike….but love of life and health won out.

      Sure is a nice way to travel…but the price is very often too high. It’s not worth dying for, or having to live for decades with a disability or pain and limitattions. (Not to mention the cost of insurance that would truly cover the cost of ones care and rehabilitation- if they live- which can be many hundreds of thousands of dollars vs. the tens of thousands that a typical bike policy covers, or ditto what the car policy of the person who hits you covers- if they have insurance).

      • Nunzio,

        “everyone who rode, either got killed, or seriously injured.”

        You sure it wasn’t just the ones who caused their death or injuries?

        The people I’m familiar with did stupid shit in cars, in planes, an on bikes. The ones who didn’t achieve ambiant temperature tend to be very cautious with their wheelchairs.

        I’m sure you’ve done stupid shit too. But I wager a fancy sum of Eric’s money that you took into consideration your personal limits.

        • Tu-Tu,

          Well I’ll ‘see’ you, and raise you double Eric’s money! 😉

          Nah, that’s just the thing- most of those people of whom I spoke, we older, conservative types; One even a professional bus driver (NOT a school bus!)- a few young ones, whom I may have assumed were at least partially responsible for their own predicaments…but ironically, I still remember a lot of the stories, and it wasn’t like someone doing 90MPH or drunk or going into a curve too hot or something….it was always like: ‘a car just didn’t see them and made a left right in front of them”,etc [That’s what happened to my 23 year-old nephew- Helmet didn’t save him)

          Ironically, I’ve known some biker types, who are pretty scary just driving a car- Hell, they seem to fare O-K on their Hardley’s, despite drinking and being stupid and all….they’ve probably taken out a few other riders when driving their cars/trucks…..

          Thing is, personally, although I’m always very competent at what I do, I’d still be more afraid of making a fatal mistake myself, than of what someone else might do. You know the feeling, like when you do something that you immediately realize that you shouldn’t have done, and you KNOW better than to have done it…but somehow you did it? I imagine myself in that split second, realizing that I screwed up, and then facing the consequences- “Damn! It’s my own fault! POW!”. It just seems so ominous in what can so easily be a life & death/life changing endeavor.

          We all screw up, sooner or later. I’ve been lucky, in that the times I have, nothing has come of it. I can think of those few screw ups which were of no consequence, and realize that if I had been on a bike…it would have been a far different story. (I think it’s good to have had a few screw-ups of no consequence, just to remind us that the potential exists, and to keep us from getting too cocky).

          Heck, even professional motorcicle instructors can get into crashes….sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw.

  2. What bike do any of you recommend new or used? After reading Eric talk about bikes for a while, I’m toying with the idea of having one.

    Safety is a concern of mine though. I’m not in the plains of Minnesota or the hills of Tennessee, I’m in the cesspool that is NJ. Plus will I get grief if I wear earplugs? Bikes are loud.

    • Hi C_lover,

      How tall/heavy are you? How old? I ask because these are big “deciders” with regard to a first bike, as well as second bike.

      Do you plan to ride occasionally? Or more often?

      Are you interested in a new bike – or a used one?

          • Hi Tolemo,

            The Rebel and similar bikes are good bikes, but maybe too small. Not the engine/power – the frame of the bike. Like shoes, you want a bike that fits you. Even a newbie.

            A small cc dual sport may be preferable for a taller/bigger rider.

    • C_Lover,

      Memphis is not in the hills of Tennessee. It is in the Mississippi River Delta. It has worse drivers than LA, Chitown (use to live close to there so I know), and many other places. All cagers with no though to a person riding a motorcycle.

      However, I will relay one incident, I witnessed about a fellow riding a crotch rocket. He was traveling rather fast. I was doing 70 in my truck on the way home from work at approximately 23:30 hours and t his guy passes me like I was standing still. This individual could not proceed at his current rate of speed in a traffic lane. So what did he do? He drove in the K Rail Emergency lane. Now, I don’t know if conditions where you live are different but in Memphis there is always large debris from cager accidents in the emergency lanes until someone cleans them up. The squib was lucky none was there otherwise he’d be dead. Why? Because at the rate of speed he was traveling there would be no way he could have avoided any obsticle in his way since there is no way his headlamps could have let him know the obsticle was there. First thing that came to my mind was you can’t fix stupid. Still does.

      David Ward
      Memphis, Tennessee

  3. The Government will not allow you to be distracted while the car is driving you. They will require you to be alert at all times, so you can override the autopilot if it malfunctions. Of course, overriding the autopilot while not in an emergency will result in a fine, or worse.

  4. In Indiana, there is a wee bit of freedom remaining. No helmet law (though you can’t buy booze on Sunday). Anyway, in states with a choice, do you wear a helmet or not?

  5. Damn, Eric!
    Where did you ever get that razor-sharp, kick-ass S-1? I still want to do a head to head “comparison” with my X-6 this summer! That’s gonna be a sight, 2 dinosaurs riding 2 more “extinct” animals, lol! I will have to lure Edwin and his CX500TC up here so we can have a triple-CX-dinosaur day. In fact, I have a customer up the street with a 78 CX500D, so we could maybe even make 4.

  6. As an aviator and biker, I can attest to several truths here. Both are vastly safer in terms of usage by the mile, and by their relative quantity to automobiles. The primary reason being, as Eric stated, the skill level and attention to the task at hand, are well beyond any skill levels required by most automobile operators. And we should be very grateful about this. Yes, what happens to one’s person can, and often is fairly ugly, when an aviator or biker gets distracted and stops being either. I would rather be on 2 wheels on wings any day than to be forever relegated to just automobiles. Aviation safety is actually very stringently regulated and monitored, far more than automobiles ever could be, but most people outside of aviation are not aware of any of this. As a biker, I also have a very different viewpoint of safety than most any “cager”. In the case of both, safety is planned and indoctrinated as part of the procedures for acquiring the skills to operate and enjoy the benefits of biking and flying. Automobile safety, conversely, is implemented in direct response to the inabilities of the automobile operator, effectively making the operator even less proficient, and more passive to the task of actual vehicle operation. That is not to say that there has not been a moderate amount of that that has been applied to aviation and motorcycling as well, for there has been. Fortunately not to the degree that has been done to automobiles, which in my experience, have been neutered for the last decade and a half. I daresay I will likely be among the first, if not many, to be incarcerated for future operation of my non-autonomous transportation.

  7. A a private pilot and motorcyclist, I know that the operation of either is beyond the mental “saaaaafty” level of most car drivers. But it is just that, mental, emotional, irrational fear of their own limitations.

  8. It’s a good thing motorcycles were invented a hundred years ago. They wouldn’t have a chance of getting on the road today as a new invention.

    Wonder what other kinds of vehicles we are missing out on today, just because they weren’t invented before we began to regulate ourselves to death.

  9. I view motorcycles as part of the depopulation agenda. If you ride, it’s not a question of if, but rather WHEN, you will either be killed, or seriously injured- if not from a “cager” doing something stupid, than from your own slip-up. A slight mistake on either side, that might have just been a fender-bender between two cars, with no injuries, can mean death or permanent death or disfigurement/disability for life for a biker.

    I love the idea of riding. it’s fun and makes you feel so free- but it’s not worth it. Not to mention the financial considerations. Medical bills are expensive- especially reconstructive surgery and trauma centers. Your insurance or that of the person who hit you will likely not cover even half of it- nor the care that may be necessary for the rest of your life, nor your inability to ever work or do the things you love again.

    How ironic it would be for a Libertarian to end up as a bobble-head in a wheelchair on the dole!

    And think about it: Who do you know who has been biking for a long time, who has not suffered at least a serious injury- or been disabled or killed? And of those who have only been injured: It may not seem to bad in their 20’s or 30’s once they have recovered, but see them down the road, when they have to live from 45 to 75 in pain and misery and not being able to have full functionality them because of those injuries, even they seemed fine in their 20’s and 30’s.

    Don’t gamble with your life or health. It’s a worse bet than the stupid-tax(lottery). There’s no going back; no do-overs. One split second could change your life and make you miserable/useless for the rest of your life. Everyone thinks it wont happen to them, until it does. Your health and your ability and your body are the few things in this world that are truly yours )If some government goon doesn’t relieve you of them), don’t voluntarily risk them!

    If my agenda were population reduction; bankrupting the system with huge healthcare costs; decimating people’s ability to do productive things; and wanting to create a society full of creaky cripples who are shot before they’re 45, I would heartily encourage everyone to ride.

    • Hi Nunzio,

      A wise woman told me once to live life. She’s right. I don’t smoke and hardly drink. I exercise like a fiend and eat reasonably. But I will get old and die regardless. You’re rigth about all the risks on a bike… but it’s not much different, really, than other people choosing to smoke or not work out or eat too much… they enjoy what they do, and the risk involved is part of the cost of doing business…

      I love my bikes. With the wife now an ex, they are among the few pleasures left to me. Maybe I’ll end up a gimp… but it’s a chance I’ll take…

      • Hi, Eric.

        I certainly support everyone’s right to determine the level of risk that they are willing to tolerate. It just seems to tragic and ironic when someone who is intelligent and an asset to humanity is willing to accept a high level of risk.

        I can certainly empathize though, as it sure is a nice way to travel!

        But I’d be willing to bet that if you ever had the misfortune to become a gimp, you might then have wish that you had reconsidered your choices. It’s easy to say that we accept the risk and are willing to live with the consequences, but when it actually happens, people tend to change their mind, but it’s too late to do anything about it.

        When I used to live in “civilization”, I used to have quite a few people nearby who were in wheelchairs and or had varying degrees of mobility. Despite all of the pro-handicapped come-on-get-happy “we can do anything you can” media hoopla, you could tell that it really sucked to be them.

        • Without doubt… I could not abide being a gimp. It’d be checkout time.

          But, I am speed freak and there is nothing like speed on a bike. 180 MPH on two wheels is like a horse needle full of meth straight to the heart…

          The only better thing, prolly, is flying an afterburning combat jet…

          • What’s a gimp? I mean I had a cousin who’s actually famous for being a gimp. 70 years ago Texas Tech College got wind of his famous ability so they sent a film team to Roby Tx. where a guy with arms that only stayed up by his chest and virtually no hands could and did just about everything.

            My dad told me of growing up with him as his older cousin and he could do anything anyone else could including roping the steer let out of the chute using his feet and legs. The people from Tech had to have him doing it again cause they didn’t even have the equipment running. They just stood there and tried to pick their jaws off the ground. He drove a truck(big rig) too since everybody was expected to and did it well.

            When the wife and I first got married we lived close to him and I tried to tell my wife just what he could do. She had a hard time wrapping her head around it till we’d visited a few times. He could roll the best cigarette with his toes I’ve seen. I really don’t recall anything he couldn’t do…..and yep, that included juggling. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

            I haven’t looked for that old film but I’d bet it’s still in Tech’s archives and probably on video. I’ll look for it and get back. Us kids didn’t need a video, we just sat there and watched. Oh, and he could run like the wind too. He’d stand on one foot and pop that whip “hea, get in there” and they did.

          • I said the same thing Eric, I’m a gimp, wrecked my bike when I was 18 (1982). T12 L1 spinal cord injury and a cracked neck vertebrae thanks to my helmet. They said I would never walk again. I do use a cane and have to wear leg braces but I proved them wrong, so they said I would be dead by 30 if I kept pushing myself. 54 and still here, still ride, same ’82 shovelhead I bought back in ’89. It’s all in how you look at it. I’m still kicking ass, most days anyway.

            • Willy Tee, you’re doing the right thing as I see it. Giving it up cause people tell you you can’t or shouldn’t doesn’t give a guy much confidence nor pleasure…’s often downright denigrating.

              I recently saw an old man, maybe even older than me, get off his bike at wally. His “old” Goldwing was covered in mud, bugs and probably cowshit. It had been cold and rainy and I noticed(but said nothing)his slow egress off the bike, life’s own war wounds or maybe a combination. You could see the stiffness in his body but the determination in every other thing he did. It was a cold and wet and miserable day. I mentioned he must live in the boonies judging by his bike. He laughed and said I have to drive an hour to reach the boonies and I laughed too.

              Seems like everywhere I go somebody’s asking me when I’m going to hang it up, sit back and watch the world go by. I pretend to be deaf if I can. Otherwise, I tell them I’ll retire when a steering tire blows and I can’t keep it from taking a ride down into that arroyo or creek and whoever can have whatever is left at that point and paint “Retired” on whatever it may be. Billy Joe Shaver said it all for me.

    • Well, that’s the thing. At one time, there was an airplane that was so advanced, so complex, it was thought to be unflyable. The first time the test pilot took it out for a flight the thing crashed and killed him.

      But the plane was too important to the war, too important an advancement of technology, to give up on. So the test pilots and engineers got together and figured out how to fly it. They came up with things like the checklist, a simple 3X5 card with the important things to remember to do before takeoff. Thanks to them the air core was able to train hundreds of pilots to fly the B-17, and later the even more complicated B-29, and today we figure flying is routine and boring.

      Yes, motocycles are dangerous. Yes, people die on them. But the responsible bikers, who know to do a checklist (even if not a formal written document), watch the maintenance schedule, and practice regularly will do just fine.

      • ….until the teenybopper texting “OMG!” on her cell phone veers in front of you.

        (Darn, Eric P. ! 180MPH? I can’t even conceive of that. I could see how it must be like drugs though….ya gotta keep having it, even though ya know it’s gonna kill ya. Thing is though, you’ll probably be O-K when you’re doing the 180, ’cause unlike some bikers, you’re sane, so would only do it where appropriate- no problem.

        The kid on the cell phone or soccer mom fishing around on the floor for the Ernest Takes It Up The Ass DVD will likely blow the stop sign when you’re only doing 50…..

        • Nunzio,

          I am a former Vietnam War helicopter pilot. An exceedingly high loss occupation at the time.

          I have also ridden bikes most of my life. I’ve had one nasty accident which was really my fault and didn’t involve another vehicle. I was riding a road I didn’t know and in the middle of a hairpin turn the asphalt changed to PHD gravel. Long story short, bike went one way, I went another. The bike didn’t get a scratch. I wound up with 3 broken ribs, a broken ankle and a sprained knee. Me mudder sold the bike. Man, I got pissed! 🙂

          I can attest to what GTC & Eric states. I also have told many an individual that if you can master riding a motorcycle you can fly a helicopter. A SE plane is more like driving a car in 3 dimensions. But helicopters require all four limbs to operate much like a bike.

          Lastly, my age is in the 64 year range. Unlike Eric, I ride cruisers because that is my preference. Still, Eric’s point of SITREP is valid. I can’t tell you the number of times some cager being f’n stupid has nearly collided with me. The only thing that saved me was my being aware of my surroundings and acting accordingly.

          Currently, I have 3 bikes. I plan to donate two of them this spring to the Goodwill. The other I plan to rebuild. I hope I can. The bike is an 84 Honda VT 700. Honda no longer makes parts for this platform. Silly me, I prefer twin exhaust that balance the look of the bike, i.e. one pipe on each side. If I am successful in plugging the oil leaks on the bike, I will be riding once more and still be just as vigilant of my surroundings, as I always have been, while riding.

          David Ward
          Memphis, Tennessee

          • Hi David.
            Sometime I feel I’m at war with the cagers when I’m out on a bike. It is way more gratifying to be in the air doing 120+ knots, in a straight line, at 2500+ AGL. Even so, 140mph on the ground is still a thrill for me, as long as there are no 4-wheeled types in the vicinity. I find that even at 52, I have very little willpower to resist temptation on a 2-wheeled machine of any size, really. I must confess I have pushed all of my machines too close to the limit at least once, with only a few exceptions. BTW, the 700 Shadow can be a very attractive bike when restored tastefully, so I wish you all the best on that project!

        • Nunzio, 180mph can also be done at a track facility, no soccer moms, no texting teenagers, no OMG alarmists. I tell you what; go watch some youtube documentaries on the “Isle of Mann TT”. Europeans still use hay bales, barbed-wire fencing, and spectators for guardrails. Perhaps all those “crazy” people enjoy a better “quality” of life than you dare to imagine. If you had lived through what David has, or even half of that, perhaps you might gain a better appreciation for what most of us here are trying to say.

    • The idea that riding a motorcycle will inevitably result in your death or injury is, in my humble opinion, propaganda put out there to prevent liberty from taking hold. If you are on a motorcycle, you cannot be controlled and you are most certainly not a clover. While there is certainly risk on a motorcycle, if you don’t drink and ride and you are skilled and you take reasonable precautions, the risk is minimal. I would take that risk over texting and driving. And I do. I ride and I have never had an accident – or even close really. If they ever outlaw motorcycles, I will know that the time has come to find another home on this earth. Hopefully, the freedom of a motorcycle will be allowed somewhere. And if it isn’t, we may have to create our own liberty minded country.

      • Hi Krista,

        Top drawer!

        Bikes are a very real expression of the desire to be free – in a way that cars no longer are or can be. They are still largely free of controls – and very to control.

        Which, of course, is why they are hated!

      • I’d never want to see them outlaw bikes….nor anything else. And I agree, that they are an expression of freedom. Personally though, as much as I’d like to ride, I always pictured what it would be like getting scraped off the pavement, and spending a few months in a hospital bed (if you live)…not so free.

        I’ve held this position since I was young, and now, ready to turn 55, I look back over the years -and although I never really hung out with bikers, I can rattle off a list of people- from friends and relatives, to acquaintances, and relatives of friends, etc. who all checked-out real early on a bike- or wish they had, because life now isn’t very good for them after a few crashes.

        You ride a bike, you’re going to crash. To deny that is just not realistic. I’ve heard over and over again ‘Yeah, but it was my fault, I went into the turn a little too hot” or “I hit the brake in the curve because I thought I couldn’t make it, and i crashed. If I hadn’t have hit the brakes i would have been fine” or “She just came out of nowhere” or “the drunk blew the light”- whatever- it doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, your time comes.

        With what you see out there? I want 8000 pounds of steel around me when on the road among them, because I see stupid stuff each and every time I go out- and one day, you’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and won’t even see it coming- those are the ones that get you. That’s why they call ’em “accidents”.

        So, for you that ride, do you guys have sufficient resources or insurance that will cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment and rehab and long term care/disability if/when something goes wrong? I may be sounding like a Clover here, but nothing makes a statist out of a Libertarian faster than a major injury/disability which they can’t pay for.

        I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. Cycles may make you feel free, but that is not the essence of freedom; and in fact, when something goes wrong, through no fault of your own, they can make it so that you’re suddenly as un-free as you can possibly be.

        As I see the people around me deteriorating and dying… -heck, I have a relative 20 minutes away who is my age, and he’s essentially an old man- while I still have 20-something year-old girls flirting with me, and can still enjoy taking care of my acreage and life in general, because I’ve never been seriously injured.

        A few even not-so-serious injuries in your 20’s or 30’s might not seem like a big deal- but believe me, you pay dearly for them when you start getting older. People tend not to believe that till it happens to them, but it’s true. I see the evidence all around me- and I’m just glad that I never took big risks when I was younger.

        I can still live in the sticks, 120 miles from any city, and not have to worry about where the nearest hospital is, or if “my doctor” is nearby. (Me? I don’t even have a doctor!), whereas SO many others my age and even a good deal younger, can never know this freedom.

        Being able to live like this is not just “feeling free”, it is a good degree of actual freedom. Hard to have that if you’ve been busted up, and are living on a disability check in some HUD apartment, with Medicare and or Medicaid paying for the several thousand dollar a month medical services and drugs you need to keep going.

        Just something to think about.

        • Wow! I know personally of 3 girls that were killed in separate automobile accidents. A car doesn’t guarantee survival on the road as the 30k plus a year that do die from auto accidents can attest. That is not to mention the millions of people a year that are maimed in auto accidents.

          Additionally, I have approximately 100k miles of motorcycle riding under my belt. The bike accident I was in occurred when I was 16. Since then I can tell you I’ve been in much riskier situations that do not involve a motorcycle.

          You know worrying about injuries is not the tact to take. I’ve broken both of my ankles playing basketball.. I guess, I should not have played, eh? I almost lost an ear in a bar fight. I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me (though I admit it was fun up until the beer bottle sliced my ear).

          The health issues that I now experience have nothing to do with my motorcycle riding and everything to do with wear and tear of my body. Yes your body wears out! Who knew, right? I guess my joints would have lasted longer if I never played baseball, football, tennis, golf, basketball, swam, exercise on a trampoline or rode a bicycle. Or for that matter never touched a guitar (I own 22) ,piano (one 88 key digital, one 61 key synth workstation and one 24 key sequencer) or computer keyboard (how I currently earn my living).

          Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the motorcycle accident. Why? Because I learned how to be a better rider because of it.

          I’d rather live an active life than worry about what might happen.

          David Ward
          Memphis, Tennessee

        • everything you talk about above can happen to you whether or not you choose to ride. sometimes bad shit just happens and you have no control over it.
          what’s more important (than any perceived safety) is your attitude, don’t be the one that blames everyone/everything but themselves for all their troubles.
          as far as painful old injuries go, they build character.

          • Very true, DBB. But on a bike, you are FORTY-TWO times more likely to die. (Makes skydicing look like a sport for little old ladies!).

            Just because we don’t want to see “saaaaafety” shoved down our throats, and don’t want others to be in charge of determining the level of risk that we should take, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily a good idea to disregard safety, either.

            I mean, I support the legalization all drugs….but I’m not going to use drugs myself, nor pat you on the back if you decide to use them.

            “Blame others”? I’m afraid i don’t understand. I am saying that WE are responsible for our own lives and situations; and that choosing to risk our health and futures and ability to live free, work, and enjoy life, for a few minutes of pleasurable sensation, may not be the wisest choice we can make. And when something goes wrong, we only have ourselves to blame for engaging in such an activity, and we had better be prepared to pay for the long-term costs of our choices, rather than expecting the stinking socialists to take from others to pay for our mistakes.

            Hey, I have an older friend (68) who’s been in 5 bike crashes when younger (and still rides a Goldwing); been shot; yada, yada. Has three or four artificial joints now- some old enough to require replacement now; Half his stomach removed, etc. Comes from a family of long livers. His 90-something year-old father is in better shape! My friend is suffering already, and though he’ll probably live another 25 years, it will not be pleasant, nor allow him to do the things his father can still even do. My friend is worth a lot of money, but can no longer really enjoy it.

            You make your choices, you ultimately pay the price.

            • wasn’t saying that you’re a ‘blamer’, just that having a good attitude is more important. was using ‘blame others’ as an extreme example.

                • I just have one more to say about this matter.

                  A life well lived is better than a life lived long without risk.

                  David Ward
                  Memphis, Tennessee

                  • Morning, David!

                    I look at bikes much as I regard bacon. Let me explain . . .

                    Both can be dangerous. But I mitigate the risk (or riding) by being on my game while riding. And I hope I mitigate the risk of bacon by going for as run almost every day! 🙂

            • Funny you mention skydiving. One of my good friends died at a skydiving incident. No he didn’t ride and no he didn’t die skydiving, although he did even on the day he died. He died because he was in a hospital after a fellow skydiver crashed into him at an event while he was videoing it. I personally think the hospital stay kill him but who is to say?

              I want to know where you pulled that 42 times more likely crap from! I know people that have been riding all their life that has never had any kind of incident while riding a motorcycle.

              Could it be the same people that propel the crap about handguns? Just asking..

              David Ward
              Memphis, Tennessee

              • Hi David,

                Ditto, amen.

                I’ve been riding since I was a kid and – so far – no fuss or muss.

                As I once tried to explain to our long-gone Original Clover, it is probably not blind luck that I have gone three decades without a scuff.

                Many people drive – and ride – their entire lives without incident.

                While I don’t deny that accidents happen, most “accidents,” aren’t. An accident is something entirely out of your control, an act of God. Or some Clover. Most events that are somewhat erroneously called “accidents” are in fact the result of avoidable human error.

                In other words, one has a great deal of control over what happens.

                • The worst accidents are the ones in which you say afterward “If I had just ________ I would have been fine”.

                  We all draw the line where we feel comfortable- I just hope you guys STAY comfortable.

                  Now I’m going to go run with some scissors… 😉

      • Damn Krista! I think I love ya! thinking something to do with Wild Thing….

        Song coming up… 😀

        David Ward
        Memphis, Tennessee


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