A Cautionary Tale

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 935 times.

SteveFord

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 5013
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
A Cautionary Tale
« on: 6 Jul 2017, 01:46 am »
Many years ago I read an article on motorcycle safety and they found that the majority of the accidents occurred within a few miles of the rider's home.  Some people drew the conclusion that it was because that is where the majority of the riding is done, I feel that it's because you're in familiar territory so you let your guard down.
DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, EVER!!!

After work I put acid in a new battery for a Buell and started fooling around with fuel injection adjustments on my 2004 Triumph Sprint.  Typical motorcyclist unwind after work behavior.
Adjustments completed to my satisfaction I put on my helmet, jacket and gloves (already had boots on) and went out for the all important test ride.  The test ride is always the best part!

I live on a shaded, residential street atop a small rise in the road and the speed limit is 25 MPH.  My driveway is pretty long so I get going and pull the clutch in look ahead, all clear, look right, all clear, look left and HOLY SHIT!!! here comes an SUV doing about 40 and he's about to run me right over!
I grab the front brake and I'm on a small patch of dirt so I skid for about 3' until the front wheel hits nothing but pavement and it decides to throw itself on top of me at the end of my yard.  Luckily, my fat (but hairy) body prevented any damage to the motorcycle but my left foot and both shoulders sure took a good shot.
To his credit, the teen aged boy who was driving the SUV stopped and helped me right the bike.  Everything looked okay, I was crunched but not broken so I told him it's okay and he can go, I'll just soak everything in ice.  I was battered, he was shaken, kind of like a martini, ha, ha.
Of course, I had to complete the test ride before everything tightened up.  Yes, everything worked fine.

The moral of the story is: do not EVER assume that you're safe on a motorcycle no matter where you are or how slow you're going. 
Learn from my mistake and take the extra second to stop and be damned sure that the coast is clear.
Even at the foot of your driveway they are out to get you.

Elizabeth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1732
  • Love is all there is....
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #1 on: 6 Jul 2017, 03:14 am »
On a motorcycle I always assume every human driving a car IS totally out to kill me.. if they can.
Same thing on a bicycle.
I gave up two wheels on public roads as I am way to old to have shattered bones.. anymore.

When I retired I fancied buying a hot Japanese 2 wheel pocket rocket to do 200mph runs...
However the realization of what would happen to my old carcass falling off at 187mph...
Well. I decided to not buy the bike.
My 155mph car has to do.

The luck of the gods was on the side of a young man when I was racing around on a back curvy road.. I saw him wayyy back, as I turned (fast) into a driveway and back out to do a 180 turn.
I was just lucky I heard the bike as I was crossing back onto the pavement and STOPPED hard. just as the bike blew past.
He had (naturally) sped up a lot (I would guess 80mph ish), and I almost killed him with a T bone of my front vs his total ass in my hand. I used up one of HIS nine lives that day. I have no idea if he was grateful for my NOT killing him that day? I certainly am glad he did not total my nice almost new car.. Nor me to murder him.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8489
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #2 on: 6 Jul 2017, 11:02 am »
As a 15 year old I got a 10 speed for Christmas (stupid because we lived in snowy Michigan and had to wait in order to enjoy it, already owned a small motorcycle, and of course I was months away from getting a license).  So after the snow finally melted I took it out and within a 1/4 mile of our place got run off the road by a vicious motorist who decided to pass, then turn right, immediately in front of me forcing me into the ditch at the intersection.  Note that it was a clear day with no visual obstructions.  That was the end of my 2 wheel days.
« Last Edit: 6 Jul 2017, 12:06 pm by JLM »

Wind Chaser

Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #3 on: 6 Jul 2017, 11:43 am »
On a motorcycle I always assume every human driving a car IS totally out to kill me.

A deceased friend of mine told me the same thing many years ago. It is also equally true that many motorcyclists can't resist the urge to ride drive like they have a death wish.

Elizabeth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1732
  • Love is all there is....
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #4 on: 7 Jul 2017, 12:57 am »
Back maybe around 2002.. I was driving my Contour SVT around a big freeway curve at 90 mph.. Alongside me is a bike doing same.. So as we get to straight. He looks at me, I give him a 'thumbs up'. He pops a wheelie (at 90mph) and pulls away like I am standing still.
Wow... coolest thing I EVER experienced.

JakeJ

Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #5 on: 7 Jul 2017, 04:00 am »
Excellent advice, Steve, excellent.  On a motorcycle always watch your surroundings.  Most of my injuries occured while mountain biking and skateboarding.  What can I say, I love speed and still do!  However I do it wrapped in steel like Elizabeth.  :thumb:

Letitroll98

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 3781
  • Too loud is just right
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #6 on: 7 Jul 2017, 05:26 am »
Many years ago I read an article on motorcycle safety and they found that the majority of the accidents occurred within a few miles of the rider's home. 

Your advice in the body of your post is well taken.  So please don't be upset when I said this is the absolutely stupidest statement I've ever heard, and I've heard it often.  (I know you're just quoting it)  Of course the most accidents happen within a few miles of home because every friggin time you leave home you're a couple of miles from home no matter what your destination.  If you went to the grocery store every time you left your house, most of your accidents would be on the way to and from the grocery store.  The analysis should be per miles driven.

Wind Chaser

Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #7 on: 7 Jul 2017, 07:09 am »
Back maybe around 2002.. I was driving my Contour SVT around a big freeway curve at 90 mph.. Alongside me is a bike doing same.. So as we get to straight. He looks at me, I give him a 'thumbs up'. He pops a wheelie (at 90mph) and pulls away like I am standing still.
Wow... coolest thing I EVER experienced.

On one hand I can see where you're coming from in your role as a spectator. On the other hand as a moderate thrill seeker, I have had to suffer the consequences of cool suddenly turning into crap. Not fun. I hope you don't ride or drive anything in a manner where that can happen. 
:beer:

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8489
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #8 on: 7 Jul 2017, 11:38 am »
Your advice in the body of your post is well taken.  So please don't be upset when I said this is the absolutely stupidest statement I've ever heard, and I've heard it often.  (I know you're just quoting it)  Of course the most accidents happen within a few miles of home because every friggin time you leave home you're a couple of miles from home no matter what your destination.  If you went to the grocery store every time you left your house, most of your accidents would be on the way to and from the grocery store.  The analysis should be per miles driven.

I agree with your mathematical logic, but would like to take it further.  Closer to home the better you know the roads and the traffic patterns, the less chance of getting distracted from confusion or being lost, but at the same time all that familiarity could cause one to let their guard down a bit (the purpose for the adage that most accidents occur within 25 miles of home is the encourage everyone to stay alert).  At the same time as drivers age (thinking into their 80's) and their abilities diminish, they usually keep closer to home.

Bob2

Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #9 on: 7 Jul 2017, 01:04 pm »
As I understand it the largest number of motorcycle accidents occur within 25 miles of the dealership.

LesterSleepsIn

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 791
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #10 on: 7 Jul 2017, 04:35 pm »
Stephen Wright said that he was alarmed when he read that most accidents happen within 25 miles of home ... so he just decided not to ever go home.

SteveFord

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 5013
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #11 on: 7 Jul 2017, 04:42 pm »
Stephen Wright was a smart man! 

I did hear of one lady who bought a V-Rod, left the dealership's parking lot and went straight into a corn field!
Oops.

The majority of my riding is done more than a few miles from home.
During the warm months I probably do 700 miles per week with only 50 miles of it being within a 5 mile radius. 
I'll be out and about tomorrow, I'll give my foot one more day of rest. 
I will be sure to stop at the foot of my driveway and make damned sure there are no killer SUV's bearing down on me piloted by high school kids off for the Summer.

thunderbrick

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 5248
  • I'm just not right!
Re: A Cautionary Tale
« Reply #12 on: 7 Jul 2017, 06:26 pm »
On a motorcycle I always assume every human driving a car IS totally out to kill me.. if they can.


That's what the dealer told me in the 70s when I drove my first Honda off the lot, and I followed that advice.
Many thousands of miles year-round on my various 350/360/400-4 bikes and loved it.  Never hit or dropped it but had some VERY close calls, all women who turned left in front of me. :cuss: I can't imagine riding now with all those cell phones attached to drivers' hands.... :peek: