For my son, if he ever reads my blog: I have failed as a father

2566_74993152585_507567585_2330894_8083964_nI owned a motorcycle when I was 20.  I bought my first mini bike when I was 10 with money earned on a paper route. I graduated to a little 50cc honda. When I was 19 or 20 I graduated to a semi-chopped 500cc Honda.  In the short span of 3 months thereafter I was almost killed 3 times. Once, a dumb woman pulled out in front of me. I had my headlight on, it was broad daylight, it was a 35 mph zone, and she just pulled right out in front of me. Another time, I was going 45 in a 45 zone around a curve to my right on pavement. There happened to be some gravel in the road, I started to lose traction, and had to drift to the left or lose control.  I drifted into the oncoming lane, and right into the path of an oncoming car. I had to leave that lane and drift into the shoulder and off into the whatever. Fortunately, there was no ditch or tree or other object, or I would be dead.  I can’t remember the third incident at this moment, but believe me it was real. 

And so I gave up my bike. I wanted to ride a cycle all of my adult life. I really did. It is the nearest thing to flying ever invented. It is great. And it is dangerous. The most simple accident is life threatening. I had a client on a bike in a parking lot. Some ditz backed up from her parking spot and pinned his leg between her bumper and his bike. At 3 mph he almost lost  his leg.  My best friend pulled from a stopped position at a stop light, had another ditz pull into his lane at 5 mph, and he had to have an operation and is now stuck with a permanent pain in his shoulder due to her negligence.

The sole reason that I gave up riding a motorcycle was so that my son would not ride one. I loved it. I just did not want to be a bad influence on him.  I gave it up for him. I secretly thought that if I waited until he was a man, until he was old enough to think for himself, I could then resume riding, doing what I loved, and it would not be my fault if he started riding a cycle. I was wrong. On his own, despite all my efforts, despite being engaged, he is planning to become a biker. Arggh. 

“Per vehicle mile traveled in 1996, motorcyclists were about 15 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and about 3 times as likely to be injured.”

“Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 16 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and about 4 times as likely to be injured. Per registered vehicle, the fatality rate for motorcyclists is 3.3 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants, and the injury rate is 1.3 times the injury rate for passenger car occupants.”

Don’t do it. You owe it to your new wife. Life is too short as it is. Wait until you are an old man like me, about to the end of my journey. 

p.s. And I’d give up riding a bike all over again if it even had a chance of influencing you not to ride a motorcycle.

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