Clarksville, Tn — I shared this image on Facebook recently and it’s been viewed from my account, 75,000 times. It obviously struck the same cord with you that it struck with me. It caused me to write this post.
When I began this journey, I took it VERY seriously. Not only was it a financial decision, but it was a safety issue. I was 63 years old when I entered this lifestyle and there were questions.
Could I still ride a motorcycle? Was I strong enough, were my reactions still sharp, did I have the stamina? I felt that I could answer “yes” to all of those concerns. Even though there are many factors that are completely out of my control, I knew that I wanted this, I NEEDED this and I was DEFINITELY going to do this and I KNEW it was dangerous.
Death is a certainty. There’s no getting around it. I’m not consumed by it. I don’t live in fear.
Now, trust me, I’m not ready to “check out” just yet, but I’m not consumed with it. I believe there’s a plan for my life and when the final chapter arrives, I hope it’s been a good, and I leave my mark.
As I’ve said before, “If I could live forever, I would ride forever.”
With all of that said, all bikers understand the risks, the dangers, the possibilities of what could happen. We just choose not be governed by fear. If we were, we would never leave the house, and the irony of THAT is, you could trip down a flight of stairs and break your neck.
Having spent my career in the media business, I’ve been involved in every possible public safety campaign that you could imagine.
“Don’t Drink and Drive”
“Say No to Drugs”
“Crack is Whack”
“Don’t Text and Drive”
I could go on and on.
My personal opinion is that these campaigns are needed and necessary. The problem is, we don’t listen. We don’t seem to be affected by it because, “It’ll never happen to me!”
When I saw this poster about paying attention and look for motorcycles, it hit me like a sucker punch. It is one of the most POWERFUL images I’ve seen about looking out for bikers. I stared at it for quite a while. I have children and grandkids. I can relate.
We can all share stories of what NON bikers say when they learn we ride. Usually it’s a story about someone they know who’s been killed on a motorcycle. I’ve never been able to discern if that’s their way of expressing concern for me, or calling me out for being crazy. Maybe we are, but either way, I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking with it.
What bothers me are reactions like this:
“Well Hell, you shouldn’t be out there if it’s that dangerous.” Or, “You oughta know better!”
These types of reactions make me feel like it’s my fault if something happens. Kind of like an “I told you so” moment. Granted, a lot of motorcycle accidents ARE the fault of the operator. I get it. But, we have a REAL serious problem with distracted driving. The cell phone is what appears to be the greatest problem I think it’s the most dangerous thing that’s ever been put in our hands. And that INCLUDES guns.
Everything we do, we’re accountable for. Whether it’s guns, planes, motorcycles, cars or our family.
WE. ARE. ACCOUNTABLE!
I would like to think that moving forward, people WOULD accept the fact that they are NOT paying attention when they’re on their cell phone. I don’t care what you think, YOU ARE NOT paying attention to driving! Just keep telling yourself you are. One day you’ll see, and sadly, so will a biker.
But hey, it’ll never happen to me.