Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Travel tips and common sense....

Just taking a step away from how wonderful the Deuce looks for a minute (he says still grinning ear to ear), I'm getting everything together for the trip up to Daytona.

Looks like I'll be leaving Fort Lauderdale no later than 10am on Thursday getting in around 3ish by the time I stop for gas and the other 'human needs' along the way. Hopefully it'll be in time to see some of the attractions for that day, but if not at least I'll have a fresh start to Friday morning! It was nice that the current edition of HogTales has a special about touring with some great tips. One I didn't know was to pack your clothes by grouping them in one gallon kitchen ziplock storage bags which makes it easier to get them out of the saddlebags as well as keeping them dry and clean! Something that wasn't mentioned but is just as useful, using the bags coming back to store all the smelly clothes! Had to smile when the article recommended taking the old natty, holey underwear you were planning on throwing out and wearing them only to trash them when 'done' with them. Didn't our mothers always warn us about getting in an accident with this kind of undergarments?

Counterpoint with commonsense
A few days ago I mentioned the tragic motorcycle fatality that turned into a anti-motorcycle story by the time the funeral made the papers on February 26th. Finally a motorcycle rider has written to the Sun-Sentinel with a response to some of the comments and general feel of the article.

He makes such great points, here it is in it's entirety;

I am sorry but I just had to write this letter.

I am sending you this in regard to your Feb. 26 article, "Mourners hope death sends a message; motorcycling's 'a dangerous hobby,' sister says."

I just want to know who that is directed to. I am a motorcycle rider who has been riding dirt bikes since I was 8 years old and I have had my motorcycle license for over 15 years now. Guess how many speeding tickets I have from riding my bike. Zero! Wanna know why? I am not an idiot who rides reckless. How fast was the dead rider going again? 120 mph?! I can't lie, I have had a bike up to 100 mph a couple of times, but it was on open interstate highways with excellent weather conditions -- and luckily I am still around to talk about it.

Let me tell you something, 80 mph alone on a bike is a lot faster than in a car. Even to experienced riders, high speeds can be intimidating at times. I am so sick of people saying how dangerous riding motorcycles is when in fact a little bit of common sense goes a long way.

I am sorry that this man died but the blame should not be on motorcycles. What was the total number of violations he had? Oh that's right, 11 including racing and reckless driving.

Motorcycles are not dangerous, people are. Speaking of people, it's not only idiot riders but other drivers who pull out in front of riders thinking we can stop on a dime, the people who drive too close to us (beside us or behind us) and the ones who fail to see us in their mirrors.

Oh, not to mention the drivers who are afraid to use their turn signals.

And how can I forget the people who pull out onto roadways to assume riders can easily accelerate and maneuver around their ignorance. In regard to statistics, of the 70 people who died in Broward County, how many were single-bike and speed-related accidents? To experienced riders, cars are our biggest fears. I am more afraid of inattentive drivers than myself on a bike or other riders.

And on a final note, there are motorcycle safety classes held in a variety of places such as Hollywood Dog Track on Sunday mornings. Motorcycling is not a dangerous hobby as long as one uses common sense and good judgment.

There you have it.....it'll be interesting to see if there are any responses back, bearing in mind this is the same community that want's to ban the Toy Run which raises $400,000 simply because it ties up the freeway for three hours on a Sunday morning.


sparx said...

Over here in the UK, America is percieved as the land of Litigation. We are always hearing about people suing because a person/company didn't take into account the accusers lack of any sort of sense. There always seems to be someone trying to blame everyone else for their shortcomings. Let's hope that letter gets a few people thinking or before long Messers Honda, Yamaha et al are going to find themselves in the dock because they make bikes that exceed the speed limit.

At the end of the day the individual has to take responsibility for their own actions. My Bike does 162mph. Doesn't mean I have to do that. And if I did and killed myself then that's my own stupid fault isn't it. I know the risks. I enjoy myself on my bike and I don't need reckless idiots and 'blame culture' to take that away from me right now.

Gymi said...

You can bet there won't be any responces. I wrote a similar letter to the editor of a local paper a couple years ago in responce to a article about suing gun manufactures for wrongful death. The author felt the manufactures should be held resposible for the deaths caused by people killing other people with their guns.The just of my letter was not unlike the one sent to the sun sentinal. It is the people that kill, not the gun, by itself it is just another inanimate object. Didn't get one letter in responce. great post.

Beaker said...

That letter was an excellent response.

It is sad that a rider has lost his life...but "officials say he traveled at 120 mph".

Just remember that the aim of all journalists is to sell papers - they will always try to make a story out of something, and usually fact is overtaken by fiction.

These guys will take the actions of the minority and wrongly try to convince the general population that all bike riders are like this guy.

I recently posted an article published in our local paper that had the same type of slant - anti-bike propaganda. Mind you the guy they were interviewing was an absolute idiot.

You can just hear the car drivers blurting "Oh, another idiot on a bike killed" into their cell phones as they drive down the motorway!!

KT Did said...

This is why I truely believe it should be mandatory for ALL LICENSED DRIVERS to take a motorcycle safety course REGARDLESS of whether they want to ride or not... They don't have to take the skills test, but they should be made to take a serious test instead of the few questions on the drivers license test. Its just bold ignorance. We all share the road. The other day I watched a man..at an intersection...back up because the light turned red and he wanted to get behind the line...DID'T look and hit another SUV... just plain stupidity!!! I was one of 2 witnesses and told the idiot that if he had backed into a motorcycle he or she would have been seriously injured or killed...he said sorry....I told him "sorry doesn't bring back lives"...I just can't keep my mouth shut about that stuff anymore.
On another note, You have a blast in Daytona!! I hope you take pictures...I haven't been out that much since No. Cali. trip and am excited to hear about yours.
Happy Trails to You

Christine said...

I just got an interesting e-mail from someone who is a non-biker...and there was a reference to the 'biker mentality'. My reply was that 'just like all caucasian men with beards must be like Ted Kaczynski--yes the e-mail writer has a beard.

We girls here are going through 'biker education'. We are getting an education on all the 'unwritten rules'. It's all very interesting. I do see their point, however...because as a motorcycle rider, I resent being lumped into a category of a careless rider because some idiot is an idiot.

Yes, one guy got killed doing 120 MPH. What about the other 6 million riders??

Buffalo said...

Well done!

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