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My conversation with a co-worker about my upcoming business/ personal trip from Montreal to Winnipeg and Brandon went something like this: Me - "Ya I'm heading to Brandon and the 'Peg on my 650 next week. Gonna overnight in Sudbury and Thunder Bay on the way. I'm really looking forward to it. Gonna be there about a month".

Coworker - "Are you nuts!? Do you have a death wish!? You're nearly 60 you shouldn't be doing this! Now, he's beaking off at the office how nuts I am. I really want to plow him but of course I can't. I didn't know what to say. Man what is with some people. They see me coming to work on it almost daily. I know the risk and I accept it. Isn't that what is important? I try to use good road strategy and do my best to stay safe.

My wife is concerned too but no more than if I took one of the cars. She prefers I ride the bike as opposed to flying which I normally do when there's no virus.
I'm packing light as I'm shipping what I need for suits, documents, etc. ahead of me. Just venting. The sub-forum is titled member therapy. Thanks for listening.
 

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Co-workers think I'm nuts for a variety of reasons - downhill ski racing, waterskiing, spartan runs. At 50 it seems normal to me, motorcycle riding is just one more thing in the list. Although the ones who know bikes consider my Vstrom an old man bike, they are more surprised by the FZ1 ;)
 

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The motorcycle is no less safe than a car. A lady going to the corner market for milk for the kids breakfast cereal got hit and killed at the intersection where the store was. Died in her pajamas and robe. The creator or fate is what determines our lives.
Over the years commuted on the motorcycle to Oklahoma for training for the job. I'd be gone weeks at a time. It was a 2 day trip. I got per diem and air fare costs so I always banked money from the trip. Had 5 kids at home and that was a good thing. Besides I enjoyed the ride, well except for when it snowed.
 

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Lots of things look crazy dangerous to those who don't do them. I wouldn't go sky diving, but the folks who do say its great fun. I wouldn't worry about what they're saying around the office. In fact, it might not be a bad thing if they think you are a little bit nuts.
 

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Everyone has their ideas about what risks are and are not acceptable, and a lot of people just can't help but express their opinions on the matter. One of the people who assures me that I'm insane for riding a motorcycle has a lakefront cottage, and sees nothing wrong with allowing her 5 year old non-swimming daughter to play by the water unsupervised. Water just doesn't scare her as much as a motorcycle does I guess, but to me, that is a far more unacceptable risk than the bike.

Personally, I will make brief effort to reassure an co-worker, friend or relative that I understand the risks, take steps to mitigate them, and accept whats left. If they can't relax about it after that, then see the comments from @PerazziMx14 above.
 

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Motorcycling, particularly on the street, is dangerous. It really can't be disputed.

Some people have very different risk tolerances, and also very different assessments of relative risk of various activities. These same "safe" people may also find rationalizations for why texting while driving is OK.

I broke my collarbone skiing about 15 years ago, out at Whistler.
Never heard the end of that one from my colleagues, who apparently think I'm some sort of daredevil. I guess I am a thrill-seeker. What's the point of being alive if you never do anything fun or interesting? Many of which activities involve a little risk. That's part of what makes them exciting. Like skiing - learning to take on challenging slopes and conditions and getting better (and faster) on them is all part of the fun. If there was no risk of falling, there'd be no challenge. But I guess a lot of people don't think that way.

Now of course, those people who hang glide, rock climb and BASE jump - they're all freaking nuts!
 

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I once was getting a similar speech from a big mouth in front of other people. I turned to the other people and told them that he was right, I had been killed 3 times so far. big mouth didn't have much to say to that. To ride a m/c is not all simple. You have to accept that there is some risk, but that it is a manageable risk, you have to spend time putting on your protection, you have to careful to not let the cagers have a chance to get you. and you have to put up occasionally with some one who will never know what it is like to really be alive. to ride, among other things, is to be alive, the rest of the time is just waiting. some people will die without ever being fully alive.
You are going to meet dumb people in this world. You are going to meet more of them if you do anything not in the middle of mainstream life.
Enough of this blather, I am going to go fire up the Wee and give it a little exercise.

Cheers

RLBranson
 

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If you look at life and risk management only through the lens of “am I doing what I can to assume the absolute bare minimum amount of risk possible in every facet of my life?” To anyone that thinks like that...yes we’re nuts.

The average non-rider lumps motorcycle riding in with other high-risk activities. Ex. Sky diving, bungee jumping, SCUBA diving (other than crystal clear shallow resort dives), etc.

Several co-workers were kind enough to give me “the talk” about the risks associated with motorcycle riding, lol.
 

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"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Helen Keller
 

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There are not many people who's opinion I value when it comes to my lifestyle and those people are 100% in support of me because they know how important it is to me and the joy it brings me.
 

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There are not many people who's opinion I value when it comes to my lifestyle and those people are 100% in support of me because they know how important it is to me and the joy it brings me.
You are correct, the people who matter will support you, even if they don't necessarily agree with your choices. That support can occasionally be disconcerting though. The first time I showed up on my father's driveway on a motorcycle (when I was 47 years old), he smiled and laughed and said he never would have believed I'd ride a motorcycle Had all sorts of questions about the bike, seemed genuinely enthusiastic. A year later when my wife first came out with me on her own bike, Dear Old Dad pulled me aside, lectured me about the dangers of a motorcycle, and bluntly accused me of trying to kill off my Darling Bride. (Also told me I'd never be able to find another woman of her caliber. Gee, thanks Dad.)

I'm into my fourth season of riding now, Dad's still happy to see me when I show up on the bike, and still angry if Darling Bride comes on hers. There are no other signs of dementia in his behavior.
 

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It's not really about how dangerous it is to ride a motorcycle; it's about personality types.

There are lots of people out there who simply can't live comfortably if they know that other people live their lives differently and make different choices. It's not enough for them to decide they want to live a certain way; they have to repeatedly validate their own choices by mocking others'. It boils down to, "the only way I can be right is for everyone else to be wrong". The concept of "live and let live" doesn't register with them. I've seen it numerous times even on this forum. Someone says "hey, I really like the new BMW" and that thread will then go on for 200 posts fueled by guys who seem hell bent on pointing out that you have to be the world's biggest moron to even consider a BMW.

So, with your co-worker's anti motorcycle riding stance, it's more likely that he can't conceive of riding a bike for recreation, and simultaneously he has to reinforce the "rightness" his own opinion by asserting that anyone who does want to ride must have something wrong with them. After all, if you were as smart as your coworker thinks he is, you would agree with him and wouldn't want to ride ether. If you happened to change your opinion and agreed with him that riding is too dangerous, he wouldn't be happy because he'd saved you from potential injury; he'd be happy because he'd "won", and your change of heart just provided more sweet validation that he'd been right. The fact that your co-worker won't shut up about it is just additional proof, because what he really wants is for others in the office to agree with him, which will make him feel even more secure with his choices. This could be about motorcycles, or wing suiting, or singing in a barbershop quartet, or gay marriage, or whether you preferred Mike to Joel in Mystery Science Theater 3000, and someone with that kind of personality would react the same way.

I don't know of any tactic (other than rewiring their brains) that would make them stop, but sometimes the only response when they won't let it go is to suggest they drink a tall glass of shut the f**k up and mind their own business. They'll still go into their standard response of "can't you take a joke, snowflake", but at least your position will be totally clear.
 

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I always ride with the attitude "Everyone out on the road is out to kill me".
  • Keep your head on a swivel
  • Ride as smart as you can
  • Use every means at your disposal when riding to keep yourself safe
274014


Supplement

274015
 

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I've stopped bothering with wasting thought or energy on people like that. That may be hard to do at work, and hopefully this idiot doesn't have any influence with any decision-makers.


I've gotten some variation of "my Unca Fud KILT himself on one of them devil machines!" several times.

I'm sorry to hear about your Unca Fud.
Was Unca Fud sober?
Was Unca Fud wearing a proper full-face helmet?
Was Unca Fud wearing armored gear, gloves, and boots?
Was Unca Fud licensed and insured?
Had Unca Fud received advanced training?
Was Unca Fud riding his own well-maintained motorcycle?

In most such Unca Fud stories, Unca Fud got drunk and/or high, stole or borrowed a buddy's ratty heap from outside the bar at 2:00 am, and highsided into eternity leaving behind one flip-flop and a greasy backward ball cap that blew off in the first block.

It's one way to make a point about risk management, if you have a little time.


Still, we ain't playin' tiddlywinks here. Significant undeniable risks will always remain no matter what. I've been seriously injured in three motorcycle accidents, yet my choice is to continue to ride.

When people are interested in motorcycling, I don't try to scare them off, but I do discuss my history and the risks, and tell them it ain't worth it unless you just GOTTA ride. And if you just GOTTA ride, you'll know it. And so here are the things that will help you manage risk... this is why my jacket is armored and bright yellow, this is how I maintain my bikes, etc. and so on.

Plus, if you're sober, licensed, insured, geared up, reasonably polite, and riding a bike in good condition, you'll place yourself far, far above 99.9% of the riding riffraff out there in they eyes of any law enforcement you may encounter. Quite often they'll release you back into the wild unharmed... ;)
 

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Many people believe that life is entirely probabilistic. Since stats suggest that there are more motorcycle fatalities than car fatalities, motorcycle riding must be dangerous.

Fact is, of course, if you are a good, careful, smart rider, you can definitely influence the odds in your favor.

Most frequently, the same people who think motorcycle riding is nuts have had numerous car wrecks themselves, none of which were their fault. They "just happened".

Most of those same people will tell you that you endanger everyone in your house by buying a gun. Considering the number of guns I have, everyone in the house, and the neighbors on all sides, should have all died by now. Oddly, none have.

I tell people you are taking a much greater risk by eating at Burger King or McD's. Or slurping down a 2 liter bottle of soda every day.
 

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You can certainly reduce the probability of an accident heck just being sober and not speeding goes a long way to reduce the odds.

But there is greater inherent risk on a bike. Minor fender bender type car accidents can maim and kill a rider. Safety gear only works in certain situations, no cage and airbags surrounding you.

You can absolutely be doing everything right and still be injured or killed.

Me I don't dwell on the negative aspects of riding. I wear gear mostly because I come from a dirt bike background. I don't find it burdensome to wear and I would be mad at myself if I got hurt because I wasn't wearing it!
 
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