I have been wrestling with this post for a few days, and in the interim, I simply posted some fluff regarding stupid commercials. Now, however, its time to actually say my peace about a particular subject.
About, oh, 12 years ago I purchased a motorcycle, a 1994 Honda Shadow VT600CD. A simple and fairly entry level bike with an engine size of 583 cubic centimeters. In the world of motorcycles this is considered a small bike. And really it is. With just me on it, it’s a nice ride. With a passenger, though, it really begins to lag. But I am generally the only rider, and I am really quite content with it for now.
For a bike that is 16 years old it’s in great shape, and quite honestly, a lot of fun. So for the next few years I rode the heck out of that thing. I commuted to work, I went on Saturday rides, and I was all over the place.
Then I moved to Humboldt County. I had no one to ride with and slowly I rode less and less. And eventually, the cost of a little maintenance got in my way and I garaged the thing.
Fast forward six years to the present. My good friend Dean, after making some life changing decisions, decided he wanted to get a motorcycle. His wife was supportive and soon the purchase was made. I know what some people may be thinking, something like, “Oh my! Those things are dangerous! He’ll kill himself!!”
To these nay-sayers, I say, “*%#* off.” In actuality, there is just as much chance as any accident happening to me or anyone else, as soon as I wake up in the morning. Are there some inherent dangers to riding a motorcycle? Well of course. But as long as one is responsible, and takes the proper safety precautions, it can be an extremely enjoyable thing to do.
And so I began the quest to get my bike in running condition. It’s been a rather lengthy process, but overall, hasn’t been too bad. In the meantime, Dean had to opportunity to ride north into Washington with a friend, and he took it.
The other day, I got a phone call at home from Iver. It started like this, “First off, I want to assure you that Dean is OK.” This, for everyone’s reference, is not the way you want any conversation to start. Long story short, he had a pretty good wreck while in the area of Longview, WA. He has been in the hospital with a little bit of internal bleeding because of a lacerated spleen. He has been recovering, and is scheduled to come home today, and spend some time recovering.
Now comes the question I have: Will he ride again? There are going to be a slew of people who are going to be stopping by to see how he is doing, and then will turn around and tell his wife and say, “I just knew he shouldn’t buy a bike. You’re not going to let him ride anymore are you?” And to those types of people, with that particular attitude, again I say, “%#*& off!”
There are a dozen things we do every day that could kill us. And lets face the honest truth, at any given time, under any given circumstances, getting into a vehicle accident is a simply a possibility. But if it’s something a person enjoys, then let the person alone to his own devices.
I have had to sit on the sidelines, watching with great envy as my friend spent his weekends riding around the north coast. My bike is coming home from the shop, hopefully today, and will be in perfect running order. And I have to admit, I hope this doesn’t sour my friend on motorcycle riding.
I know it won’t be my decision, I know I don’t want to be some sort of influence that is contrary to what ever he and his family may decide.
But I can still hope, can’t I?