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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Kevin Moore, Feb 14, 2013.
Never believe anything printed in the NY Fish Wrapper.
It is the same as that statement, that it's not if, but when you crash a bike that some people always trot out. The defeatist attitude, you'll crash no matter what. I don't think like that.
On the other hand, I know a couple old racer guys from years past, that quit riding because they didn't feel their reflexes were good enough any more to deal with shit out on the road or trail.
Hmmm...Seems like common sense to me. Riders getting older and riding larger and larger bikes while skills gradually diminish.
Maybe the article's stats aren't perfect but someone show me better data that contradict what the article says.
I'm 57. I just spent four days in Milwaukee, my home town, because I was summoned to the deathbed of my mother who's 91. Watching the woman who raised me and taught me how to ride a bicycle reduced to a shrivled, helpless, incontinent shadow of her former self makes me want to ride faster. I'd much rather go out with my brains splattered against a tree or the grill of a Buick. My apologies to Buick owners.
Your mileage, of course, may vary.
The article is standard fare, and doesn't really make any causal claims that are unsubstantiated by the data used. If you get confused by it that is your failing, not that of the original article. There is a tiny amount of speculation, and that speculation is at the end, where it belongs. Based on emergency room admissions, the number of motorcycle injuries involving older riders is on the rise. Most of the lines people get pissy about are cites to other articles. Get pissy about those, not this one, which is essentially a research note (we looked at data X and found relationships Y and Z between variables A and B). I'd wager it jives with the findings of sports medicine, too: older bodies get damaged more easily.
The number of people that come out of the woodwork to play scientist whenever a slightly controversial article gets press would be a good thing if most of them had even the slightest clue how to read and understand the original article. Cripes, it isn't as if the NIH is champing at the bit to fund motorcycle injury studies, and you sure as hell wouldn't get IRB approval to have a bunch of people of various ages fall on their elbows at 60 mph. Data on accidents like this is very limited access, and other than emergency rooms the only other real sources are police reports and insurance claims.
It's flawed because it doesn't consider riding experience. There's a lot of difference between a 60 year old rider who's been riding for 45 of his years and a 60 year old newly retired person who buys his very first motorcycle and expects to tour the USA a month later.
The news business loves to tell the public how to live their lives. I just ignore it all.
It isn't flawed - it is making an interpretation of the best data available.
To follow along with a good enough sample of riders, say ~5,000 riders cluster sampled for age and education level for, oh, lets say four years to ensure a good enough frequency of accident would cost tens of millions of dollars. Tens of millions. The study that's under discussion? The data exists, so it only costs the time of a researcher to acquire and analyze the data, write it up, revise, etc. Any grant proposal for that multi-million dollar study that will never happen would require citations of studies like this one anyway, and if studies like this didn't exist they'd need to be completed to justify the money for the big study.
Such a grant still wouldn't get funded, and the public would be livid if the NIH funded a $20 million grant to study "how dangerous motorcycles are". Can you imagine that news cycle?
People like to complain that the research done wasn't some other research study that's impossible given the political climate, ethical standards, time, or interest. Be happy anyone is paying any attention to motorcycle safety at all. Further, don't confuse the research with the science reporting after the fact - journalists have their own standards and agendas.
Sounds like you've got a dog in the hunt here.
Those few paragraphs are known in the newspaper business as "filler". If the paper really cared, they'd run a multi page article and cover the subject thoroughly.
Did it ever occur to you that some of us don't really care? I don't need gratuitous advice on how to live my life. I'd be happy if more people minded their own fucking business.
Not really my field. Ignorant folks trashing studies when they fully comprehend neither the study nor the environment it comes from on the other hand grinds a gear or two.
You care enough to post in the thread, don't you? I don't see how he original article makes any prescriptive statements - the number of older riders that visit the ER is on the rise, full stop. Sounds more like you are upset about what you think the findings may mean. Don't worry, the actuarial scientists already know.
Nah, I have it handled. As I mentioned before, my take is that those getting hurt are older noobs, something that the "study" didn't address. Learning to ride at 60 has to be problematic, especially if the person has been flying a desk for 40 years and is probably somewhat obese. I've been riding since I was 16, and that was in 1958. I figure I've still got at least ten good riding years ahead of me, maybe more. Actuarial tables are just an average, and I'm not an average individual.
The flaw is in the interpretation as it simply does not cover all bases yet makes an assumption that injuries are due to age. It tows the lines with all other statistically driven articles...Take raw data, make glib interpretation to suit the fear which you are trying to instill in people, imply that interpretation is fact, rinse and repeat. This is done all the time and it works quite well for convincing stupid people that something is inherently dangerous.
1) It has worked with Pits Bulls.
2) It has worked to convince some people that a particular race or culture is dangerous.
3) It has worked to convince people that guns are dangerous.
4) ad infinitum
None of the above are fact, not even a close yet millions of dumb-dumbs will point at the stats and proclaim "See,see..It's TRUE!!" . As the number of idiots that support a particular claim increases, the more that others will point to them as backup because morons know that consensus equals truth. Wucha gonna do? Dumb people are dumb and "dumb" is easily convinced that partial truths are 100% fact.
All of the glib interpretations were by the journalists, from the several newsy articles about the original paper I have read. The original was careful not to overreach. I read it. You only care because of the journalistic megaphone, anyway. I doubt any of us were combing through preventative health journals for fun, so it is unlikely we would have heard about it otherwise.
A lot of social science is making do with imperfect data. If you can't get your head around that, then there is a fundamental lack of understanding about how this kind of stuff gets done.
You can bet insurance companies have better data, but they aren't sharing.