Guest Writer: Big Guy 82
A few weeks back, I was picking up my new Gold Wing. While waiting for the obligatory paperwork to be processed, I went over to the parts counter to spend even more money on a new bike that had not yet been delivered. In my opinion, this is perfectly normal behavior.
I waited patiently while a young woman ordered some parts for her bike. While there, she started explaining to the person at the counter why she needed the parts, which involved two (count ‘em, TWO) accidents in one day. Now really, you just can’t make stuff like that up, so as she walked away, I turned and told her I didn’t want to be nosy, but I was very curious how she became involved in two motorcycle accidents in one day.
She proceeded to tell me about the accidents, both involving her falling off the bike, while “learning to ride” (in traffic no less) from her boyfriend. Since her forearm was bandaged and she had a bit of a limp, I asked her if she was wearing protective clothing when it happened … you guessed it … no (other than the helmet that is mandatory in the state of New York). I then asked how much time she had on a motorcycle and she told me that this happened on her FIRST DAY out … like I said, you just can’t make dumb stuff like this up. Apparently, her boyfriend took her to a parking lot for a while and then out on the road they went. The very best part is that after arguably putting her life at risk, this guy actually sent her to the dealer to buy the repair parts! At least he didn’t make her ride the bike!
Now, normally, I really do mind my own business, but I kind of thought that this could actually be a life/death situation, so I asked the woman if she had considered taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation safety course. She said no and I got the impression that she didn’t really know much about it. I told her that when she completed this brief course, she would come away with enough skills to safely control a motorcycle. I also told her I was an experienced rider and I highly suggested that she take the course for her own safety. The counter guy even piped up in support. Certainly, none of this was my “business”, but I took some comfort in knowing I may have saved her some pain or worse.
This woman and her boyfriend are just two of many riders who are on motorcycles and don’t really have a clue about how to control the damn thing. They get a license by riding around with a friend or relative who may be just as clueless as they are, then they take a cursory road test (only if required by their state) and then off they go. At this point, they have a huge chance of becoming an unfavorable statistic. Their ignorance causes injury to themselves, endangers others and puts all motorcycle riders in an unfavorable light.
Since I am anti-mandatory on most things, what is the point of this little tale? To suggest that you encourage those new (and maybe not so new) riders you know or meet to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.
Why? To help them stay healthy and to help maintain a more favorable image of motorcyclists in general.
Big Guy 82