Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Objectivists on Motorcycles

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Hope this is appropriate here, if not feel free to move or delete it.

Anyone on this forum ride a motorcycle? I suppose a motorcycle could be called an "other place"! ☺

I ride a Road King Classic. It is my primary mode of transportation. I ride all year (unless there is black ice). I'd be interested in getting together for a ride a beer and some intellectually stimulating conversation.

post-10456-0-99086500-1317701109_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful bike, Rain. I too ride a motorcycle. I've had a 2001 Yamaha V-Star 1100 since I bought it in '03. It's been a great bike, my fourth. There's nothing comparable to riding on the open road.

post-4290-0-02336000-1317869214_thumb.jp

Edited by Trebor
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always wanted to own one and ride it, but they seem waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too dangerous. I don't like the idea of a vehicle that can fall over (and doesn't have active stability control or traction control or airbags or more than two wheels or anti-lock breaks, etc...) for so many, many, reasons. If I wreck in my car I might get hurt. I might break a leg. Statistically, if a motorcyclist gets in a wreck, they die. Not a good story.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Statistically, if a motorcyclist gets in a wreck, they die. Not a good story.

I'm thinking, worth it. But I've been debating with myself for a few years now. If I get on one and it's everything I've imagined, the enjoyment will outweigh the risk.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice bike Rain. I'm somewhat of an active rider, but not as my sole mode of transportation. I like distance/endurance rides like Iron Butt runs and such. This summer the wife and I rode from VA to Pass Christian MS on one trip and VA to Charleston SC on another trip. I'm riding an ''11 Ultra Classic now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Statistically, if a motorcyclist gets in a wreck, they die. Not a good story.

Riskier than cars, yes. There are a couple good motorcycle crash studies out there (if I find the one's I know of I'll provide links), as well as good rider training courses. I'm not sure if when say what I quoted above that you actually have looked at the statistics, but they aren't that absolute. I have several riding friends who have survived significant motorcycle accidents; some continued to ride, others stopped. But they did live. If you educate yourself, go through a rider safety course and heed what you learn, you reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle crash significantly. The idea is don't be the "average" rider. But yes, in the end, like most ventures in life, you have to decide whether the risk you are taking is worth the pay off. It is for me. You experience traveling in an entirely different way. For me it is a very visceral and sense heightening experience. You can't help but be more aware of things going on around than when you doing 70-80 mph on the highway with a car 5-6 feet to your side and NOTHING in between you but air.

EDIT: PS - a point of clarification, some motorcycles do in fact have anti-locking brake systems, such as my Ultra Classic. And while cars are safer, they do have fatalities too, I've been to many.

Edited by RationalBiker
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking, worth it. But I've been debating with myself for a few years now. If I get on one and it's everything I've imagined, the enjoyment will outweigh the risk.

I may have said this before to you, but I tell everyone considering riding; Rider Safety Course!

The people teaching the class are very experienced riders, they know their stuff and they will teach the fundamentals in a way you will probably not get if you self-teach or learn from a friend. It is not a "gimme" class, you will have to demonstrate the skills they teach you the way they teach you or they will not pass you. In many states, the Rider Safety Course is sufficient to satisfy DMV written and practical requirements to get your motorcycle class license AND some insurance companies will give you reduced rates.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a former rider, I can only offer this:

Motorcycles are dangerous. Period. My father was killed in a motorcycle accident the day I graduated from high school. Needless to say, humanity lost a great man that day, and I only wish that people who jump on one of these confounded two-wheeled contraptions can see that you're cheating death every time they kick-start.

Be careful out there; I guarantee no other motorist is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm genuinely sorry to hear of the loss of your father, but I disagree that "motorcycles are dangerous. period." It is true there is a greater risk factor on bikes than in cars, but that doesn't make them "dangerous". I can understand why you might feel that way but even the statistics do not bear out that one is "cheating death" every time one rides any more than one who does anything is "cheating death" as long as they are alive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the studies I mentioned. The first, the Hurt report was (to my knowledge) the first comprehensive report done on motorcycle crashes and fatalities. It is a dated study and some factors have changed over time.

This report from 2001 covers single vehicle motorcycle crashes.

Here is a more recent European study but I have not reviewed it yet.

Lastly, wikipedia gives a good overview of motorcycle safety in general, referencing the above reports at times as well as the various attitudes towards the danger element involved in riding. I think that section demonstrates (somewhat) who the determination of whether or not it is or isn't dangerous is somewhat subjective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a former rider, I can only offer this:

Motorcycles are dangerous. Period. My father was killed in a motorcycle accident the day I graduated from high school. Needless to say, humanity lost a great man that day, and I only wish that people who jump on one of these confounded two-wheeled contraptions can see that you're cheating death every time they kick-start.

Be careful out there; I guarantee no other motorist is.

I am sorry that your father was killed in a motorcycle accident. That's truly unfortunate and sad. An irreplaceable loss.

In my own view, safety is primarily a matter of awareness, of choosing to be aware of the dangers, taking them into account and acting accordingly. Though there are dangers, it is possible to ride safely.

I too recommend the Rider Safety Course. There's also a good book on all things relating to riding a motorcycle, Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough, which I recommend.

A couple of sites on motorcycle safety:

All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle

Motorcycle Safety Site

Edit: Thanks for the links, RationalBiker.

Edited by Trebor
Link to post
Share on other sites
I may have said this before to you, but I tell everyone considering riding; Rider Safety Course!

You sound like my dad. :) He used to love riding, but wrecked once, messed up his leg, and will probably never ride again. I tend to think he just wasn't paying attention enough (unmarked one-way road... I say look both ways always). Of course, paying attention isn't full-proof, but it's worked excellently for me. I'll probably wait until I've been riding long enough before I tell him, otherwise I'll never hear the end of it.

Even with the risks associated, I just love driving, and I've had a bike on my mind a long time. Maybe 2012 will be the year!

Edited by JASKN
Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting, well-written story of one woman's discovery of her own freedom, in her later life, by way of becoming a motorcycle rider:

"I am a motorcycle" by Wendy Moon ("Riderchick")

"I am a woman. I am a rider. I am a motorcycle. And I won’t ride bitch in anyone’s life."

Miss Moon died (Obituary - PDF) on January 11, 2011 of a heart attack, not in a motorcycle accident. She was 57.

cropped-donspixof-me.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome, Vern. She was a professional writer, so the writing is good. I think you'll enjoy her story. (It is rather long, however.)

Her own initial comments on it:

"This personal essay is the nucleus of a book I am working on about women riders. It has nothing to do with rider ed and everything to do with who I am, where I came from and why I ride a motorcycle. What needs to be changed has been changed in order to protect who it needs to protect. It is frank. It is also long. You are warned."

I have not read her writings, but from the obituary I linked to:

"In 2004 David Hough [author of Proficient Motorcycling, I assume], Fred Rau and Wendy researched and published a series of articles in Motorcycle Consumer News that sparked a national dialog examining the relationship between the MSF and the motorcycle manufacturers who finance and direct its activities. Wendy’s tireless and tenacious research exposed the motorcycle industry’s alleged plan for monopolizing motorcycle training. It also revealed a disturbing trend in fatalities and near-fatal injuries to students in MSF-approved rider training courses."

I'm curious as to the "disturbing trend in fatalities and near-fatal injuries to students in MSF-approved rider training courses." Perhaps it comes from a false sense of confidence and safety, having taken The Course. Don't know.

Apparently, she had some problems with the server that hosted her blog, "Riderchick," and so she started another: "Moonrider Redux." I can't post easily now due to the trouble I'm having with this new forum software (a problem with the reply/edit module loading correctly - sometimes it works fine, other times (like now), it takes minutes to load, and then it still hasn't loaded correctly, and it's near unusable excepting for simple posts.) The URL for "Moonrider Redux" is: wmoon dot wordpress dot com [seems the reply/edit module has finally loaded properly.]

She had a master's degree in theology and apparently wrote for some religious journals/organizations, but still, from reading her own story, she had freed herself from living rather selflessly, taking up motorcycle riding, moving from the back seat as a passenger to the front seat and in control, accepting the risks and responsibilities for riding as well as for living.

Edit: She was the mother of four children, all grown, I believe; two boys and two girls, if I remember correctly.

Edited by Trebor
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...