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#16 Paul St. John

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:14 AM

Quote

If YOU don't ALWAYS wear full protective gear aka ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) then with the full understanding that as an idiot you are beyond any chance for reasoning
I've been riding for over thirty years,  and it p------ me off when some ahole tells me what I should wear and when.  Unless you wear ATGATT walking across the street or in the shower your lying to us.  Race CAR drivers wear helmets and full protective gear too,  do you wear them when driving a car?  I think it was reported that 70% of all motor vehicle deaths were from head injuries.  And don't give me that speech about how my not wearing a helmet causes your insurance to go up.  It's an unproven theory brought to you by people that want to control your life. If you ride a motorcycle you take a risk.  If you don't want to take any risks board yourself up in your house and don't take showers, and maybe a tornado wont take your house.  Every thing else involves risk that we all take.  (off the soapbox)  I think awareness of your surroundings is one of the keys to staying out of trouble.  You kind of know when some guy is going to change lanes without a signal, so don't be riding next to him.   Which is one of my main things, being next to someone (bike, car, truck or whatever) will get you in trouble.  Either speed up or slow down but don't ride next to someone.
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#17 mracer

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:36 AM

I love cars. I have a few of them and spend lots of time with them. I pilot them well and spend time on the race tracks. I am a member of a few very active car clubs. I am a very safe and attentive driver and do my best in calculating the next few steps of drivers around me. When on track you sort of have to learn to do that... I just wish that one day i will be as good at riding a motorcycle...   Now for the fun part...
I am in the process of teaching my wife how to drive. Don't laugh, she is 27 and recently came to this country from Russia so she didn't get her license at 16. As I expected, this process is a true test of my patience and I am trying my best. So far I am holding up pretty good. What I didn't expect is to be learning WITH her. Sitting on that passenger seat (haven't been in that seat for years) I realized how much slack I allow myself, esp on what appears to be small but important details like stoping before the white line. I also notice that even though I consider the other drivers to be total idiots (it's a safety measure) I also catch myself bashing them for not being up to my expectations of good drivers knowing that it is impossible, as most drivers have very little understanding of car control and don't have good understanding of the situation around them. So I better keep quiet with my "smart" remarks when on the road and show better example of an attentive and patient driver to my wife...So we are both learning...

It's been over 2 months for our learning sessions and now it is the parallel parking time for Anna. She is doing well. I think she is going to be a one good driver as she is now beginning to really SEE the road and not just a rear bumper of the car in front of her.
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#18 mracer

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:58 AM

Paul St. John, on Oct 10 2006, 07:14 AM, said:

Quote

If YOU don't ALWAYS wear full protective gear aka ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) then with the full understanding that as an idiot you are beyond any chance for reasoning
I've been riding for over thirty years,  and it p------ me off when some ahole tells me what I should wear and when.  Unless you wear ATGATT walking across the street or in the shower your lying to us.  Race CAR drivers wear helmets and full protective gear too,  do you wear them when driving a car?  I think it was reported that 70% of all motor vehicle deaths were from head injuries.  And don't give me that speech about how my not wearing a helmet causes your insurance to go up.  It's an unproven theory brought to you by people that want to control your life. If you ride a motorcycle you take a risk.  If you don't want to take any risks board yourself up in your house and don't take showers, and maybe a tornado wont take your house.  Every thing else involves risk that we all take.  (off the soapbox)  I think awareness of your surroundings is one of the keys to staying out of trouble.  You kind of know when some guy is going to change lanes without a signal, so don't be riding next to him.   Which is one of my main things, being next to someone (bike, car, truck or whatever) will get you in trouble.  Either speed up or slow down but don't ride next to someone.
I think that you are missing an important point. Driving cars and riding bikes are two HUGE deferences and your comment is extremely juvenile. People don't drive their cars nowhere near the levels of a race car driver. Entry into the pit lane is done at the speed that most drivers do on their daily commute - 65mph. When you get off the track into the pits the 65mph seems like 10 mph crawl.  Riding a motorcycle is totally different. Once you are on the road, a simple mistake at speed over 35mph will most likely cripple or kill you and/or your passenger who is influenced by your carelessness and didn't put a helmet and other gear on. I've seen it with my own eyes how two people in a matter of seconds became a pile of bloody bones and flesh in a collision they could walk away from had they wear gear and helmets.  You can disregard the value of your life all you want, but it is an irresponsible behavior that can cause the lives of other people.
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#19 MartyL

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:27 AM

I've been riding for some 30+ years and I've seen some interesting drivers. I've had people look right at me and pull in front of me. I've had drivers chase me down in big cars just for fun.  All I can say is I always wear a helmet and protective clothing. I used to ride with a full face helmet, but I didn't like the loss of perifial vision. I have a half helmet with a face shield. I always use the 2 2nd rule at Red lights. I look all around me before proceeding. A couple of nights ago I had an Ambulance behind me at a red light at an intersection. The light turned red at the cross street but mine was delayed from turning green by about 5 seconds. Well the jerk driving the ambulance layed on his siren hard behind be. Not because he was in an emergency, but he wanted me to proceed through the red light. I stayed along side him for another light just to see if he had an emergency. He didn't. I was pissed. In Florida, you wouldn't believe the amount of bikers who wear just about bathing suits while riding. We also don't have helmet laws here. I have a friend who is a cop who calls Florida a high organ donor state because of our non helmet laws. I know it's a touchy subject. For me, I have to keep what little brains I have in my head so I always wear a helmet. More people, more congestion, more accidents. Be careful out there. Don't go where the huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow! (Frank Zappa)...... ;)
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#20 IMZman

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:46 AM

Mracer...being a "teacher" is one of the most "educational" experiences one can have. As a 6000 hour flight instructor I can tell you I learned more sitting in the right seat than I ever did in the left. My understanding of flight did not truely begin until I took on the role of instructor.

As to safety equipment. No one is an "idiot" for not wearing a helmet, seatbelt, etc. It's a choice and a risk like any other made throughout each and every day. How many of you chastising us that don't wear helmets puff on lung torpedos? Drink more than one alcoholic beverage a day. Over eat? Don't excersise? How many NEVER drive over the speed limit (on rain slick roads)? Speed through yellow signals? Clearing the mower chute while the blade is turning? Come on, tell the truth. We all do bone head shiit every day and get away with it. In my world, if you want to smoke, ride without a helmet, blah, blah, blah...you should have the medical insurance to pay for your decision if the worst happens. If you get lung cancer/head injury and can't pay for the treatment...you should get shoved in the corner with the minimal care needed to make you comfortable until whatever happens...happens. It's call being responsible for yourself. But like having everyone comply with wearing protective gear...I know the above will never happen as the world we live in does not believe in personal responsiblity and accountability anymore.

Life is just like combat. You can go through it with the view that everyone and everything is trying to kill you. You can being wearing all your protective gear; flak vest,  land mine resistant boots, kevlar Fritz, knee & elbow pads...be cock & locked, wide awake and bushy tailed...one lapse in judgement...the bad guy or booby trap you don't see...that's what's gonna take you out.  Maybe all the way...or just an eye or an appendage or two. You signed up for it...so you gotta assume the risk.

To Ken U.  Accident review is always a good thing. I fly will a small cloister of fellas. After any aviation accident we hear of...we stand down and discuss it at length. We determine what, if anything we can learn from the other guys misfortune. And we modify our Ops as needed. Sometimes it may seem a bit morbid, especially if death was involved...but it is good to stop every now and then and perform a self acessment in anything (or everything) we do.
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#21 Paul St. John

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 09:03 AM

Quote

I think that you are missing an important point. Driving cars and riding bikes are two HUGE deferences and your comment is extremely juvenile. People don't drive their cars nowhere near the levels of a race car driver.
No you missed the point.  People die in car accidents every day.  Bill gets it, what  levels of risk you accept is up to you...
Paul
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#22 Ragman

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:03 AM

ChicagoRandy, on Oct 10 2006, 08:35 AM, said:

I apologize for calling a person who refuses to wear safety gear an idiot.

It is more correct to call them an ignoranus (which would be someone who was both ignorant AND an ahole).

My late Uncle always taught me to never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig. He also always said "You can't reason with an idiot" for the very same reason.
Thank you Randy, for the eloquent rapport. I will remember that, and use it in appropriate places.

Too often I hear the squawks of the intellectually challenged, who object to me caring about them.  I heard such an argument, in South Dakota, one time. The tough guy on the hog, shouted at the caring person, who suggested a helmet..  The tough guy roared into the street, and that evening, long after the argument was over, killed himself at a stop light, when he failed to see the red, slewed the bike, dropped it, and died on the spot, at less than 30mph.  His injuries would have been prevented, even with the ridiculous quarter helmets some tough guys wear.  If a rider does not care about his own life, presumably he does not care about the folk he leaves at home, when he mounts his rig, and roars away unprotected.  How are they going to feel, when the possible occurs, and the unprotected rider leaves his flesh on the roadway, and dies from 0 blood pressure.  Remove enough area of flesh, and you CANNOT stop the bleeding.
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#23 vradin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:30 AM

As a newbie to mo'sickles, I suppose I'm slightly more paranoid than some [ok-most] of the experienced riders. I tend to drive defensively, assuming that the other vehicle is piloted by "them of little intelligence". I wait at lights, even in a car, until cross-traffic is stopped (or the 3-second rule) depending on intersection. Sometimes it makes the guy behind me impatient, but I've avoided more than a few t-bones this way. I noticed that I think about riding similarly to what I do when I run a rifle range... Know where everyone else is pointed, Know where the projectile is going to stop, Try to avoid that spot.

Most of my driving is urban/suburban and I don't mind staying at the speed limit or a little over. I've had idjits pass me on a 2-lane road going over a double-yellow line just to get to the traffic light first, and having a near-miss with oncoming traffic.

I don't wear full body armor, nor do I always wear leather jacket and gloves. My choice is to wear a helmet, but I have gone without it (short ride up at camp- speed limit 10mph). I do like the reflective vest for any night riding, and just added reflective stripes to the back of the helmet.

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#24 JohnBG

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 11:22 AM

When riding and I see other vehicles near me I try to think of "what's the dumbest thing this a$$hole can do?" and then prepare for it.  

Saved my keester a buncha times.

Then again, they've surprised me by doing something dumber than what I could think of!   :o
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#25 Kirk

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 11:46 AM

Riding a cycle is inherently dangerous as many of you have already stated. I choose to do it for the enjoyment, but make every attempt to counter the risks. Full gear and a full pre-flight check each time. My driving buddies laugh at me, but I've yet to drop a bike or be in an accident, and if I did I would hope my gear minimizes the damage that's why I wear it, right?

I've taken several safety classes, with the sidecar safety class being my most recent. Just taking a few days to review basic tactics is priceless IMO. Learning to swerve properly and practicing things like quick stops is invaluable if not just for muscle memory. Sometimes I still enjoy just going to a parking lot and running some drills.

Also, I actually like the process of gearing up. It gets my mind ready for the ride and doesn't let me forget, hey what I am about to do is dangerous and I should be prepared for that. I've also found that taking the safety class has made me a better auto driver. Even in my SUV cage, I am still scanning the road and trying to "predict" what's going to happen. SIPDE all the way. ; )

#26 csbdr

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 12:00 PM

I am amazed, since I started riding 4 years ago, at the ire this subject always seems to raise. It's hard for me to fathom how anyone could approach riding without a healthy dose of fear, and concerns for one's own existance.  That, of course, is part of the fun of it.  The thrill...tempting death... and getting away with it. I know, I know, that's not all of the reasons we ride, but come on?! Who doesn't like the sheer thrill of what we do? So of course I want to survive to do it again (and againandagainandagain...you'll go blind!!) I see safety equipment ( and I wear all the gear, all the time) as part of the equation. It increase my chances of surviving someone's error, mine or someone else's.  I remember a couple close calls which were my own fault.  I "zoned out" in the fog, on a road I know too well, until I came out of my thoughts to running a stop sign into a busy main road. Fortunately, it wasn't busy then (but I did have my mother-in-law in the hack...figure that one out!) Cage or bike, we all do dumb stuff and  "should" want to increase our chances of survival

Should it be mandatory?  I don't know. I live in NY state, where it is. But even when riding in NH, where it is not, I can't bring myself to take the helmet off.  "Live Free and Die" I guess. I usually don't think that the government should get into regulating personal choices, but I kind of view this like seatbelts.  There is such a preponderance of data in support of the increased survivability of accidents with helmet use, that they probably should be mandatory. The consequences of not having one on in an accident are so wide as to be breathtaking, including insurance rates, lost work productivity to employers, ER costs, longterm care, rehabilitation costs, emergency response costs, pharmaceuticals, the list is endless.  Not counting the loss felt by spouses, children, and parents... I feel, in my humble (ever sooo humble) opinion that the argument that "the level of risk is up to you" is pure bull and always will be. "You" are not shouldering the "risk" of your shortsightedness, the ENTIRE SOCIETY is, on some level or another.  And yes, I also "get it"  again IMHO  -  Chris
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#27 GAVNO

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 12:01 PM

Paul St. John, on Oct 10 2006, 07:14 AM, said:

I've been riding for over thirty years,  and it p------ me off when some ahole tells me what I should wear and when.  Unless you wear ATGATT walking across the street or in the shower your lying to us.
Howdy!

As the newest of the newbies around here, I've got the LEAST experience to speak from...  but here goes anyway.

I've done two rather contradictory things; in the last 2 weeks I've completed a Safe Rider course, and I've joined ABATE.

To me, wearing a helmet (even if it ISN'T DOT or Snelll Foundation approved) is just plain COMMON SENSE. On the other hand, having some State legislator who has never been on a bike in his life trying to pass laws that MANDATE that I wear a helmet is a lot of BS.

When politicians get into the mix, sanity usually loses out to what's politically expedient for thier reelection...   thus, the ABATE membership. The politicians in Wisconsin made a fatal blunder...  they figured that bikers were a small, politically impotent bunch, and a helmet bill would be a slam dunk, and would look good in the press. Wrong, guys...

I well remember the biker response...  imagine literally THOUSANDS of motorcycles from all over the state coming up the East Washington Avenue hill to the State Capital square! The bikes got parked all over the place, and burley guys in leather and beat up boots and cut off denim then descended in the capital to eyeball thier representatives! The Madison police were SO far out of thier element on this one that they called in the local biker's club (the C. C. Riders) to help out with crowd control!

See the HISTORY link HERE   http://www.ccridersmc.org/


I sort of cheat on safety equipment. My helmet is a surplussed pilot's helmet from EBAY. There's a LOT of Red Chinese Air Force helmets around right now. It's a little bit short on padding, but the shell is fibreglass. I like it because it has TWO flip-down visors for eye protection, one tinted and the other clear, which can be flipped down at a moment's notice, and the visors clear my glasses nicely. Since this is NOT a mandatory helmet state (thanks to ABATE) it's a LEGAL brain bucket. On the back is a sticker bearing my blood type  (A negative), and another that says LET THOSE WHO RIDE, DECIDE.

My jacket is an A2 flight jacket...  protective, but goatskin isn't the best for that.

My jacket is gonna look sort of strange...  on the flap of the left pocket is my patch proclaiming that I'm a MSF course graduate, and on the pocket itself will be my ABATE patch!

Right pocket is reserved for an RIMC patch!   ;)


As far as safe operation is concerned...  in cars, my FAVORITE idiots are CELL PHONE USERS!

My job (a broadcast engineer) used to require me to put on a few hundred miles a week on Interstate 94, usually early in the morning  before rush hour, headed out to remote controlled, unmanned transmitter sites. You got a REAL eyefull of Licensed Morons when you're doing that!

After a few dozen close calls with oblivious cell phone bearing nuts, I finally saw the ULTIMATE.

Imagine a guy driving down the left lane of the interstate at 75. In his right hand is a coffee cup, and in his left is the handset of an old pack type a cell phone (he's steering with his KNEES). As a finishing touch...  he has the first section of the Wisconsin State Journal draped over the steering wheel!!!

I saw THIS bird from the right lane...   and IMMEDIATELY fell back. All I could do was GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS CLOWN, and PRAY for a State Trooper somewhere ahead (unfortunately, my prayers went unanswered).


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#28 mracer

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 12:01 PM

The beauty of this country is the freedom of choice. We all regularly exercise it and rightfully so. The fact that you are allowed to take that level of risk is not in question. At least not by me. I enjoy the freedom immensely. It is the choice that you do make, and the outcome of the choice that can either be a more responsible or a lesser one. And of course the results that come with those choices and people that it will affect - relatives and total strangers.
Max

#29 greenmachine

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 12:26 PM

The dreaded helmet thread......


I couldn't care less if folks want to ride without a helmet. It's up to them. It's a free country, sometimes , in certain places on certain days.....

I DO always wear a helmet. I'm not big on " body armor " when riding a hack rig. A leather jacket seems reasonable, but in the heat of summer I usually can be seen in shirt sleeves. I do wear heavy boots, but mostly cuz they are comfy and keep me from burning the flesh from my shin whilst placing tender parts against hot stuff which happens fairly often. I wear leather gloves if it's not too hot out, mostly to keep my pinkies warm, but they also will help keep some of the flesh on my hands when I hit sumthin big and go flyin over the bars one of these days.

I ride a lot of miles. I try to stay out of the big city traffic as much as possible. I stay off the slabs most of the time. I want the guy that caused the crash to be ME, and it probably will be.

Keep yer eyes peeled. Keep yer skills sharp. Keep yer rig runnin nice without any parts ready to seize up or fall off real soon. Keep yer brakes workin nice. Brake early and brake often. Keep yer distance from everybody else no matter what they are drivin. You can't out accelerate or out turn or out brake ANYBODY.

What will get you KILLED is going into a turn and THEN getting on the brakes and letting the rig drift across the centerline or into a guard rail when the chair comes up and the front tire washes out and the pusher comes up. If you DO get caught napping then KEEP RIDIN IT, get yer butt off that seat and ride it on through. You will make it. If you " freeze " and just stay on the brakes you will not like what happens next. Do NOT go around playing with drifting the rig through them left-handers unless you are willing to pay the price when the hack tire bites and the rig does a snap roll with you on the bottom when it hits the ditch. It's takes about a second to complete this interesting maneuver...

EVERYBODY gets complacent and ends up scaring themselves now and then. This is God's way of keepin us sharp. Pay attention.

It's all part of the " classic experience " .  Russian style sidecar rigs are VERY safe to ride in all weather and road conditions, but with that comes additional risk to be injured by somebody ELSE if ya don't keep some space between YOU and THEM. If other drivers infringe on your "safety space " then DO whatever it takes to immediately maintain that margin.

I dunno.
I don't make em I just break em and I don't even do THAT very well.

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and got rid of that goofy thing...

#30 zach

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 12:44 PM

Finally, I was waiting for Kermi's input!

Now I only wear protective gear when I am using 50w Non detergent oil... Discuss.




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