Insta-Killl Is Always ON

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

So I heard on the radio that there were two motorcycle fatalities in Iowa over the Memorial Day weekend. One was caused by a blowout on the highway, and another was as a result of a rider who “lost control” of his bike and was thrown down a ravine into a river. Without wishing to disrespect the departed, we can perhaps use their unfortunate demises to reinforce good habits for those of us who ride on.

First, the blowout. Sometimes, you just get a blowout and there isn’t much you can do about it. Preventative measures include visual inspection of tires, and checking your tire pressure often. But right now there are a lot of farm machines on Iowa’s backroads, and sharp pieces fall off of them with regularity. Avoid debris in the road like the plague. In the event of a blowout, gently close the throttle and brake on your good tire. Of course, that’s really only good advice as long as it’s your rear tire that gives out. A front-wheel blowout is tough to recover from under the best of circumstances with the best of riders. Wear your PPE to protect you if you can’t keep the bike upright.

Then the “loss of control”. Probably better termed “operator negligence”. The brief description was that the bike hit a railing and threw the rider a good distance down a ravine and into a river. I’m not saying this was indeed the case, but it sounds to me like a mis-judged corner entry speed. A lot of motorcycle deaths start out with the words “Hey, watch this!”. Of course, to be perfectly fair, most bikers are killed by negligent automobile operators who are too busy doing their makeup, sipping a latte’, and talking on the phone to actually pilot their vehicle.

The coolest thing about riding is the visceral experience of nothing between you and the road, the awesomeness of perfectly judging corner entry, and enjoying the quick reflexes of a bike. However, the most dangerous thing about riding is that whole “nothing between you and the road” thing. If you want to live to be an old, greybeard rider, you need to do your maintenance, train, ride responsibly, and wear PPE. Riding on a bike is like playing Call of Duty with Insta-Kill always on. Ride hard, but ride safe!

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