I remember you posted before, but I think that might have been the time we moved to the new board shortly therafter, and perhaps you might not have seen the responses to your post. But here is one I put together for you at the time:
In reply to:
How can I risk all of that by getting back on a motorcycle? But yet I knew all those risks beforehand and rode anyway. The risks are the same now as they were before the accident. And if nothing else, this episode has taught me that life can be snuffed out at any time, and you need to enjoy the moment.
You are so lucky to be alive, let alone that you are almost back to 100% normal. Very glad to hear that, the whole thing is pretty terrifying - and thanks for sharing your story.
I quoted you above on a part that I'd like to offer some insight on, perhaps it might help you, and the others on this site.
You talk about the risk -- and as we all know, we assume a higher level of risk by riding our motorcycle, and in exchange, we are rewarded with the many 'joys' of motorcycling. I manage and analyze risks for a living, and I often equate what I do in my job to motorcycling. Managing large risks in the financial world is not much different from managing higher levels of risks in life, such as riding.
But even if we are all motorcyclists, we each have and assume different levels of risks -- in other words, RISK will vary according to how intense our exposure is to particular part of motorcycling.
There is a way to segregate many of the high-risk aspects of motorcycling, in order to DRASTICALLY MINIMIZE the overall safety RISK in motorcycling. For example: (Most of these are well known.... but just bear with me. )
- People who ride their motorcycles on Friday, Saturday and Holiday nights are MUCH MORE LIKELY to get hit by a drunk driver than riders who only ride in the day time.
- Riders who stunt their motorcycles have close to 100% CHANCE of crashing. Just count the number of riders you know that wheelie, stoppie or otherwise just STUNT in any way, and if you know enough of them, you will get 8 to 10 out 10 of them that have at some point crashed.
- Riders who go 2, 3 or 4 times the speed limit, especially on the twisties are MUCH MORE LIKELY to crash than those that have a lower risk tolerance by not deviating too far from the speed limit.
- Riders who FREQUENTY commute during rush hour traffic/riding in HIGH TRAFFIC area are MUCH MORE LIKELY to encounter collision than those who infrequently or flat-out do not commute during rush hour, or ride at High Traffic areas/times.
- Inexperienced riders that do not go through a safety course and cannot wait to test their bikes/their own limits are MORE LIKELY to encounter an accident than inexperienced riders who are more disciplined or safety oriented.
- Frequent speeders and riders who ride at higher speeds for longer durations are at a HIGHER RISK LEVEL than riders who are very selective about when, where and how frequent they will ride at higher speeds (;'about' more than 15mph above speed limit).
- Track Riders who make cutting LAP TIME as high priority are MUCH MORE LIKELY to crash on the track than riders who elect not to be pressured by lap time.
- Riding in the rain increases risk to MUCH HIGHER LEVELS than due to reduced traction, visibility of not just you and your bike, but also the motorists around you. So the guy who flaunts his rain-riding ability will only 'usually' flaunt an assumption of higher risk, rather than a higher level of skill or ability. You cannot meaningfully minimize the risk of getting hit by skidding car, no matter how experienced you are in the rain.
- Riding in a community that is well-populated by elderly people is an ELEVATED RISK for motorcyclists in general, as they are LESS LIKELY to see you or anticipate your speed.
- Riding without a helmet increases the risk to MULTIPLE TIMES that a rider will die or get seriously injured in the event of an accident.
- Back to drunk drivers -- for example here in California, the bars close at 1:30am. So riding on a Friday night between 1:30 and 3am carries a MUCH HIGHER level of collision risk with a drunk driver than say, 9 pm .on Friday night.. just ask the cops. The same goes for Big-Game-on-TV ending times ...
- Riding at 2:30 to 3:00pm at or near a High School, filled with new-driver, hormone-crazed kids when they get out of school is an ELEVATED RISK as opposed to riding in the EXACT SAME AREA only 30 minutes before...
There are more of course... And of course these are well known issues and are not new to most of us.
But a lot of the worst accidents will usually be a COMBINATION of TWO OR MORE of the risks above that contribute a highly ELEVATED risk level .....
We as riders basically have to take notice of the possibile COMBINATION of elevated risks every time we decide to ride... your risk today can be DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT from your risks yesterday, just because of the TIME and PLACE you chose to ride, even if you are planning to "take it slow."
While each of the risks above are relatively low BY THEMSELVES, even for stunting (say, a stunter will crash for every 50 or 100 times he wheelies -- that's about 1 to 2%) ..... the COMBINATION of INTENSITY, DURATION and FREQUENCY
of overall risk-taking don't add-up in a linear way ... the add-up in an EXPONENTIAL way ...
I hope I am making a point...
If you are talking about RISK, there is a way to DRASTICALLY MINIMIZE Risk level and exposure, and still be able to enjoy your motorcycle. If you go down the simple list above, you can CONSTANTLY MONITOR, VARIATE and ADJUST your motorcycle experience so that you are always carrying MINIMAL Risk exposure.
Being very selective, disciplined and CONSTANTLY ADJUSTING the WHEN, WHERE, HOW FREQUENT, HOW LONG and HOW INTENSE you ride your motorcycle will often make all the difference.....
This post is not a list of what you shouldn't do ............... it's a post about DISTRIBUTING RISK and being in a state of CONSTANT ADJUSTMENT to minimize your overall risks in riding.
KEEPING MENTAL TRACK of the FLOW OF YOUR PAST EXPOSURES to the risks above will be crucial in making an INTELLIGENT DECISION on how much you will expose yourself to these risks today and in the future.
Hope this helps you decide whether you are going to get back on your bike or not... since you mentioned "risks..." as your main decision factor.
Hope this helps other current riders too.