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Old 08-09-2012, 05:47 PM   #81
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2008
Location: New York
Oddometer: 1,108
Therefore, I still maintain that one cannot, by slick riding, totally eliminate the hazards of motorcycling.
I don't think anyone's arguing you can eliminate risk through using your extreme skilz, but you can improve your odds drastically by doing various things to the point that riding isn't particularly dangerous--at least not dangerous enough to keep many of us from continuing to do it! And, you can gain the majority of the safety benefit by doing very simple things that anyone can master: don't drink and drive, avoid driving in dangerous areas (ice, snow, gravel), drive a bit slower than hair-on-fire fast, wear basic safety gear, use hi-viz gear, stay very alert and don't take risks, etc. The other day I was riding a very familiar rural road with very tight corners--it's fun to swoop around them at a speed that feels fast, but might be only 35 mph. But, this morning the sun was in my eyes, and the shadows were completely obscuring the road, so I dialed it back a notch from my usual pace, and low and behold as I was taking one of these corners suddenly the road surface was covered with a slippery mixture of dirt, gravel, and horse manure where I had never encountered it before. The heavy rains the previous day had washed this stuff across the road right at the apex of the corner and I never saw it until I was in it. There was a short pucker moment as both the front and back lost bite, but because I wasn't at full tilt I was able to straighten up the bike and slither toward the edge of the road, where I once again regained sufficient traction to round the corner. Taking a little bit off your pace at times when the road is unfamiliar or the conditions aren't perfect might just make a big difference in your day. Plus, I was suited up and if I had crashed at maybe 30 mph I probably wouldn't have been too badly banged up. Belt and braces...
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. Robert Louis Stevenson
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