To step back for a while...
November 26, 2007

It seems that now may be the right time to step back from riding a motorcycle. I'm unsure how this decision will affect me though the reasoning to make it is sound.

There are a few reasons to step back:
  • I've been in two collisions (2001 ankle  2007 knee), both single vehicle (me only, both on left turns). It seems that it's not the motorcycle that's at issue, but rather the operator.
  • Perhaps my one personality trait to "push it" and "do a little more" causes me issue when my other personality trait, the one that says "don't do that, you'll hurt yourself", is A.W.O.L. When the first lines up and the second is gone - I might get hurt. I'm not sure I can, or wish to, change the first trait though some reliability from the second would be fantastic.
  • I enjoy being able to move about on my own two legs - and they've taken a beating.
  • While straight bone breaks heal to 100% functionality, breaks to moving joints often result in reduced performance (man-fixed just isn't the same as God-made). I have a reconstructed right ankle and right knee. My left knee has broken ligaments that may some day cause problems. My right shoulder, while a minor issue, reminds me things aren't right whenever I throw a ball as well as often when I sleep. Any further damage to my right knee or specifically my right ankle could cause issues with walking.
  • I value independence a bit more than the benefits of what a motorcycle can give me
  • I appreciate loving family stepping in when I need help during the mending cycle. I'm thinking more of them, and not wanting to ask for their help, though they would, should another accident happen.

Reasons that may make the decision difficult to accept:
  • The free spirit feeling of experiencing our environment while unencombered by the walls of an automobile
  • The feeling of being a part of all that is out there instead of being walled off from it.
  • The smells - strong or faint - that are at the nose. The aroma of pine trees while rolling through the forest. The local smells passing by an active bakery or bon fire or freshly cut grass or farm field that has just been turned. Alas there are other smells as well - the hog farm with the breeze blowing your way, hot brakes from a truck as it rolls down the hill, the skunk that didn't make it to the other side.
  • Sensing the temperature changes through the day - cool morning air with a warmng sun and the refreshingly cool evening air after hot day
  • Feeling a blast of wind where it had been blocked by a building or hill
  • Shifting through the gears with each shift being smoothly unnoticeable (rare for me)
  • Passing through a corner while you control the bike on the desired line - not too wide, nor too tight. Controlling the lean at just the right time to just the right amount
  • Having the ability to pass a slow moving vehicle so that the eyes can look ahead and around instead of paying concentration to a tailgate
  • Finding a smooth road such that it seems you're floating above the ground
  • The ability to readily pull over to capture a photo [even where there isn't enough space for an automobile to do so]
  • The ease of turning around to go back for a photo.
  • Experiencing the cooler air when rolling down a dip in the road and the warmer air coming out of the dip
  • The social relationship with other riders. Either via a congenial wave or chatting about the day when meeting at a rest stop.  [In a car] Do you remember the last time you waved "Hi" to another car driver as you drove down the road?
If you wish to offer some differing view that what I'm working with, write me, I'd like to know of it.