Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Imperfect Stranger

A sunset makes everything better, eh?

So what is the deal with people -perfect strangers- compelled to inform me of the dangers of riding? I am not completely without empathy when a person approaches me unbid, drawn by the site of a helmet or a riding jacket, to relate a story about a friend or loved one that died on a motorcycle. However, I get less than a warm fuzzy when thirty seconds into my first conversation with someone ever, someone I will likely never see again, is about so-and-so who was too young when he or she died. I can't imagine sparking up a conversation on line at the supermarket with a guy buying a case of beer. "Like that beer, eh? Yeah. My uncle Lefty liked the beer, too. Became an alcoholic. Heart disease. He's gone now. Hey, enjoy your weekend." I guess my point is, I know there are inherent risks with this mode of transportation. And those risks, for various reasons, are greater than those involved with others modes. I accept it. I do what I can to minimize it. I don't think that I am doomed to being scraped off the pavement one day. If I did, I wouldn't ride. Believe me. That would have factored into my cost/benefit decision. I hesitated to even post this semi-rant, but in just over a month of riding, I have encountered this situation on more than one occasion. Anyone else have a similar experience?


John McClane said...

All the Brits here know someone, they say, who's been killed/crippled/seriously injured on a scooter, that's why they would never buy a scooter.

I only know one, Hamdi the carpenter, who wasn't paying attention on the Kaş road, went round a bend too fast, and ended up on the rocks below with his bike in the sea.

On the other hand, I've heard of lots of motoring casualties involving cars.

Lance said...

Thanks Chris for posting this. It's happened to me as well, and I haven't really figured it out either. Could it be that some of the cautionary "advice" is under the veil of envy in seeing someone doing something they really enjoy? PS - Glad to meet another scooterist of Filipino heritage!

Conchscooter said...

40,000 people die every year in US roads in cars. 4,000 people on two wheelers. Cars are far more dangerous. Tell 'em to bugger off back to watching TV.

Chris said...

That was my thinking, too. Sort of like when I mention surfing, and the first thing people ask is why I am not afraid of sharks. :)