Live to Ride (Another Day)
Riding a motorcycle is a hazardous sport. It’s kind of in between skydiving and boating.
As God’s alpha creatures on earth, we get tremendous satisfaction and a feeling of being alive from challenging ourselves with these activities. However, they are dangerous and we must take appropriate precautions. The better prepared you are, the more likely you will live to play another day.
Here is a picture I took of my 2011 Harley Wide Glide laying in the middle of Thirteenth Street NW and New York Avenue, two blocks from the White House. I was able to take this picture because of being prepared for the unplanned. Even though it was after sunset, there is a lot of artificial light allowing the photo to be taken without a flash. What should be noted is that I was able to stand up to take the photo.
Kudos to HD for making engine guards that work. They minimized the damage to the bike to the right side signal lights, the windscreen, the pipes and a mirror.
With Bohn body armor pants under my blue jeans and wearing a Bilt Techno hi-viz mesh jacket having CE Level 1 armor, I managed to execute my unscheduled dismount onto asphalt at 10 miles an hour without bruises or road rash. However, I was reminded the following day that my 67 year old body is afflicted with osteoarthritis. Fortunately the Bell 500 open face helmet with face shield I was wearing did not hit the pavement. Remember: “ALL THE GEAR ALL THE TIME”.
Education also helped me walk away from this situation. I took a basic rider safety course 10 years ago. But I continue to build on that basic training by reading articles in HOG Magazine and other publications. By following these nuggets of knowledge, you too can “Live to Ride” (another day)!
Reference: HOG Issue 048, 2019.
BE VISIBLE. THINK INVISIBLY.
When all is said and done, no matter how conspicuous you’ve made yourself, a good rule of thumb is to ride as if you’re invisible. Assume that other drivers (and riders) can’t see you, and act accordingly. This will help keep you in a defensive state of mind. After all, you can’t do anything to make the drivers around you drive better. But you can do a lot to help make sure they see you – and be ready to react when they don’t.