Quitting (Motorcycles)?

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by g7s6, May 2, 2011.

  1. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Nov 19, 2005
    right here on my thermarest
    If you're feeling leery of riding for some reason, you have another option besides giving up riding. Get a small dual-sport motorcycle and a trailer and go on riding adventures that avoid highways and traffic.
  2. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

    Jul 3, 2007

    I can't fathom negotiating the traffic mess that is DC. I go out to ride and avoid traffic at all costs. Obviously one assumes other risks while off road etc.. but I am sure a whole lot happier.
  3. JHVA

    JHVA Long timer

    Mar 21, 2010
    Lanexa, Virginia
    In 2005 I was headed to lead a monthly club ride in Williamsburg VA. It was August and around 8AM. Lot's of walking tourists etc. Came to a 4 way stoplight intersection. I was the 2nd vehicle to proceed through the green light. Out of nowhere, speeding along was a tourist from PA in a mini van. T-boned me. Claimed his wife distracted him while looking at a map. I never saw his face since I was thrown from the bike and laying face down on the pavement. The pain was unbearable but the guy stayed with me until the ambulance and fire trucks got there. I had a fractured Tibia and Fibula. I had surgery to have a 14 inch long titanium rod (they call it a nail) driven down through my tibia. Also have 4 screws holding it all in place. Had one screw removed a few years ago because it was giving me pain. My BMW R1200C was totaled in the sense that the scratches to the paint repairs were more than the bike was worth. I keptthe bike and didn't accept the money the insurance offered. I was out of work 3 months. At the time of the accident I was separated and my wife lived in another state, so I was lucky in that I had a friend drive me to MD appointments and take care of my 2 dogs. Also lucky that I had short term disability and long term to supplement my sick leave to have a my pay check for the full monthly amount. Five years later it freaks me out when driving in a car when I see a car fast approaching an interection. Never bothered me before but now it is pretty bad. Often times just a gasp or if I'm a passenger in a car I get tensed up pretty good. I don't know if I will ever get over that or not. Also don't like it when on the highway and a I see a car in the breakdown lane and it starts moving, etc. Anyway, the Orthopaedic Surgeon suggested I never ride again because he said if I were in another accident with that leg then it would be a very bad if the titanium nail were to get bent inside my leg etc. He scared me pretty good with that comment and I didn't ride for about 12 months after the accident. I am ATGATT and just super careful riding. I couldn't bring myself to the accident intersection either by car or bike for 2 years and try to stay away from touristy areas in Williamsburg. Oh, and Allstate (other guys insurance) puts a specific price on a broken leg. They don't care about lost wages, lifetime of pain, etc. Also, the driver was cited with failure to yield.
  4. ! Danimal !

    ! Danimal ! --Dan--

    Apr 18, 2011
    Altoona, WI
    Sorry to hear about your friend and take some time off if you need but promise yourself you will go for a ride in a few weeks...things like this hit close to home and can mess with your head. However this is like crashing...sooner or later it is going to happen, the important part is getting back up, learning, and trying again. Don't let something like this defeat you. Ride safe.
  5. RideOn2

    RideOn2 Been here awhile

    Nov 26, 2006
    It all comes down to risk managment. My 1st get off was at age 20, didn't get back on a bike til my son talked me into dirt bikes he was 13 I was 55. Now we have 5 bikes in the garage. lots of close calls. My son just ran into a car that stopped quick in front of him.

    I worry about myself and I worry about my boy......

    A kid on his bicyle knocked him off his longboard(skateboard) the other day. More damage than 3yrs on his dirt bike.

    So far I still choose to ride.....
  6. glasswave

    glasswave Been here awhile

    Feb 4, 2007
    Wasatch Mtns, UT
    I am avidly engaged in a number of sports that are considered by most people to be dangerous (whitewater kayaking, back country skiing, alpine climbing). That said, none come even close to the danger of riding a motorcycle on the streets. When you add in that most of my riding is done in developing countries with terrible road safety records, riding is by far the most dangerous thing I do.

    The empirical data for serious injury or death from motorcycle accidents is gruesome." Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists' risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car."


    OTH, these dangers can be mitigated in several ways. Wearing helmets, distantly followed by other safety gear can improve your chances greatly. The 2 most common types of serious moto accidents involve either the rider going around a corner too fast or having an automobile fail to yield the right of way in urban/suburban settings (usually a motorist turning left in front of an oncoming moto). Most accidents occur within a few miles of the rider´s home. These 2 causes can be reduced by riding style and keeping urban/suburban travel to a minimum. The other major contributing factors are darkness and drunkeness.

    Obviously, safety can be greatly increased by behavior with rider´s control. Serious off pavement injuries or deaths occur at a fraction of the rate of on public road accidents. are these risks worth assuming? Only each individual can answer that.

    I personally avoid daily commuting because of the risk involved and becuase I personally don´t find commuting via moto to be that much more rewarding than driving. I don´t ride about town much for the same reasons. Others draw their lines much differently.
  7. smr238

    smr238 Sam

    Aug 29, 2005
    newnan ga
    About eight years ago I went through basically the same thing as you. I was in an accident where a car made a left turn in front of me and another rider we both hit her and he died. I quit riding on the road for a while. I road in the dirt and on the track. After a year or so I decided to start riding on the road again. It is a dangerous hobby. You will need to measure if that risk is worth the happiness riding brings you. If you are like me being a rider is more than just going on rides. It's the people you meet and the friendships. The riding community are some of the best people I have met. When you make the decision as to keep riding or to stop, it will be made with an honest realization of the consequences that decision may bring.
  8. red ryder1

    red ryder1 Adventurer

    Oct 11, 2010
    NE flatlander
    I am sorry for your loss. There are some very well thought out replies here, along with some replies from the soul.

    If the tables were turned what would your advice be to him? Yes, I've been there(38 yrs ago).

    The cold morning has broken and the warm sun is shining through the clouds. The bike is packed. Ugh! -the last swallow of lukewarm coffee, as finally I quit shaking. Let's go bro - our miles are all ahead of us!
  9. brendonb11

    brendonb11 Been here awhile

    Jul 2, 2011
    Lower CT & NY

  10. CharlesLathe

    CharlesLathe Been here awhile

    Dec 14, 2010
    I stopped riding for a long time and didn't miss it much. I became a pastor of a church and there was a conflict because some parents were battling with kids who wanted motorcycles and I felt my motorcycle would just add fuel to their struggles. Also, my own sons were ten and seven and I hoped they wouldn't ride motorcycles. So I sold it before the congregation ever knew I had one.

    Durning the following years, I built a schooner and then sailed it and that was a big time user. Then I got way back into bicycles and began building them as a job. Fourteen months ago, I dropped a bicycle frame off at a new powder coater who was around the corner from the Triumph, BMW, and Ducati dealer. My last two motorcycles were BMWs so I stopped in to see what the new ones looked like. A week or so later, we bought a Bonneville T100 and I have 24,000+ miles on it now.

    So, as another poster pointed out, quitting doesn't always mean forever.

    By the way, I just spent a few days riding with my sons in Colorado. They still live in Washington and we moved to North Carolina. I kind of wish they didn't ride motorcycles, but they do and they ride well.

    Regards, Chuck
  11. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

    Jun 3, 2004
    West of Waco, Texas
    Haven't lost a close friend...but I have lost a friend and some acquaintances. I am very sorry for your loss.

    I know several Central Texas fellas have commented that they are re-thinking their riding after a couple weeks of carnage here locally. I hit a fawn (or really, the fawn hit me, taking out my front tire) and broke my wrist and hand pretty badly. Two weekends later, my riding buddy hit an oily spot mid corner and just lawn-darted himself in a high-side. 11 broken bones and still counting. Surgery Monday.

    But if history holds, none of my bunch will quit. I have only had two fellas quit over the years and stay quit. One couldn't ever get over the randomness of his two accidents. The other developed a heart issue and became tethered to within half an hour of a major hospital. I still miss both of them on the road.

    I stopped riding for 5 or 6 months when my daughter's first year med school tuition was in a critical situation (as in, I had no idea how I was gonna help her pay) and I simply couldn't afford to fall down. So, maybe I "get it". My kid ain't gonna lose her dream if it's something I can control. So, for next 3 or 4 years, if ya see me by the side of the road, and it is pretty much guaranteed that I'm gonna be disabled for a fair bit, run over me again. ;)

    So....for my kid. I get that. The rest of it? Not really. I'm gonna ride 2 wheels till I can't. Then I'll get something with 3.

    Again, it's a personal choice. Take some time, and then do what feels right.
  12. California

    California Motorcyclist

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lantana, TX...after 56 years in Carmel Valley, Ca.
    I have maintained, for years, that you can not become the safest, best rider you can, until you have realized, and fully comprehended what risks and responsibilities come with motorcycling.

    The key word is "responsibilities"! Are you prepared for the potential injuries to you, your family, your friends. Are you actually aware of the possibilities, and have you done everything in your power to be prepared? Do you have the right insurance? Is your medical and long term disabillity ins. up to date? Are your assets in a trust so your spouse doesn't have to go through probate? Are you wearing appropriate gear? Have you done all you can to make yourself and your bike more visable?

    Do you accept the responsibility for whatever happens to you while riding? I believe that at least 95%, maybe as high as 99% of all motorcycle accidents could have been avoided or prevented by the rider! Sure, cars do make unexpected U-turns, and they do pull out of driveways without looking, and they do change lanes into "your" space, but should you have "seen it coming"? Should you have been riding slower and noticed the car up ahead put on their brakelights and pull to the right shoulder? That would be a warning that even without a turn signal, they might be U-turning? Why were you doing 40 through a residential neighborhood and not noticed that the streets were lined with parked cars that a dog, a kid, a ball, a car could come out from behind with little or no warning? Have you practiced your emergency braking? Did you skip getting ABS because "I can brake better" or "it costs too much"!

    When you have answered all the questions, and looked yourself in the mirror and said, I am doing this as safely and as well as I can, I love riding, and I'm prepared for the worst, then and only then, should you get back on a bike and call yourself a "motorcyclist".

    It's just my opinion, and it's worth what you payed for it......
  13. lampy29

    lampy29 Adventurer

    Nov 1, 2010
    Sorry for your loss.

    I'm a medic for a local ambulance corp and even after responding to some pretty grizzly motorcycle accidents I wouldn't give it up for anything. Live well and die happy. Even after considering it there's nothing that's like riding down a dirt road with a couple buddies.

    And +1 for what California said
  14. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

    Mar 9, 2009
    in a coma
    "If I die and on a motorcycle, then it was a good death. I died doing something I love to do. No, I don't want to die young, but if I don't do those things I love to do, am I really alive, or am I just living for the possibility of life tomorrow?"

    That's how I felt until I got married and had my daugter. Now every time I go for a ride I see her running down the back lane yelling "daddy come back". I have had many close calls including being hit from behind by a van that was doing 60 mph. It's seems every time I go for a short ride i come across a cage who nearly kills me. Yes I love to ride. But over the years I have lost five friends to motorcycle related fatalities. There are other things in life that are more important at the moment. I've been riding since the age of 7. Losts of crashes, and lots of scars. If you are worried that "today could be the day" each time you get on the bike. Then it's time for at least a break.
  15. Snowlover

    Snowlover Been here awhile

    May 8, 2007
    Kent, WA
    Saw a MC accident scene Friday minutes after the crash. Body was in the road with a blanket over it. Slept very little and still cannot get the image out of my mind. Found out Sunday morning it was a cage that drifted into the MC lane. Did not look like a head on, but the cage clipped the bike and that was it. I have really been hankering for a sport cruiser, but this shot of reality has made me focus on MC riding for pleasure and reduce opportunities to be hit, so for now, the 2nd street bike option will be delayed and I will continue to ride my dual sport with increased attention on cagers.
  16. eddie bolted

    eddie bolted BOING!!!

    May 31, 2009
    st. clair pa.
    sorry about your buddy.i've lost 3 friends in bike&4 wheeler accidents.
    never even considered giving up either .but it does make you think.
  17. mrxinpa

    mrxinpa Just Get Out and Ride !!!

    Feb 21, 2009
    NEPA Right at Base of Blue Mountain Ski Area .5 mi

    I think this is an excellent point. If there is any doubt in your mind .. doubt has no place in a helmet!!
  18. craigman

    craigman That PATRA guy

    Feb 11, 2008
    DeadCenter, PA.
    Sorry about your friend. Over the years I've seen my share of get offs, (Dirt and street) And I never thought of giving this up. I think your friend would want you to continue living a life full of happiness and adventure. If you're not feeling it right now thats understandable. Take a break and mix it up. My guess is you'll end up back in the saddle. Good luck.
  19. tallnbig68

    tallnbig68 Adventurer

    Jan 13, 2007
    north west corner of Lake Ontario
    Rode BMW's with a sidecar summer and winter when younger. About 1978 an altercation with a Toronto streetcar on a wet slippery winter's night destroyed the chair, the bike and my physical being. Three years later purchased a new Honda Goldwing, and started to ride, again. Four years ago and now retired and still riding was told I had cancer stage C III and it would be best if I lost my left kidney and my spleen and all my lymph nodes, all riddled with cancer. A long surgery followed by chemo of three years with breaks in between ensured whatever strength I had was now gone. The Goldwing had been well used, had over 500,000 on the clock and it too was tired.

    Was physically weak and unable to do many things I could once do. Even driving an automobile was difficult.

    Sold the Goldwing with much reluctance. In the process of the cancer chemo discovered I had Lupus which explaied the heavy perspiration under my leathers from years before. Am a very big person, close to seven feet in height and weighing about 400 pounds. Have always been enormous from grade school through secondary school and in the working world. Have thought of returning to motorcycling perhaps with a sidecar once again (have no love for trikes) however even finding a large enough tug is well nigh impossible. There would have to be serious alterations performed to the machine for me to ride again.
    It is bad enough looking for a new motor vehicle to replace my 14 year old Honda Civic. Not much with sufficient leg room and head room and comfort. And if I was to return to motorcycling, would look for custom made non-leather riding wear.

    Presently there are too many negative factors; large protective motorcycle riding boots can be found, however often are not wide enough, ditto fabric based riding wear, gloves (I can still pick up a fully inflated basketball with one hand) and of course large helmets (head size is now 8.75) which means I'd have to really look for something.

    At age 65 do I really want to start all over again? As it is even lifting a leg over a motorcycle saddle can be fraught with difficulties. And too all those people wI rode with years before are now gone, either deceased or have stopped riding a motorcycle for various reasons. Life changes, and with it our own outlook on life itself.

    I don't travel stateside for various political reasons however that's where many people prefer to tour. Nope, the idea is good, the possibilities are not endless. And the roads are becoming populated by more and more vehicles with drivers who have a total disregard for rules and laws.

    And yes have lost friends, more from cancer and coronary thrombosis than from trauma post motorcycle incidents. The young riders of today still consider themselves indestructable; i always wore full leathers top to bottom and heavy construction boots and welder's goves for protection. The helmt was often the largest Bell, with the foam lining pressed with a rounded object to relieve pressure points. Life was good, then; now am still alive and dreaming wistfully.

    Returning to ride depending upon your ow mental being as well as where you dwell makes a difference whether you return or not.
  20. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

    Feb 4, 2010
    so. cal.
    Just found this thread. A bit late, but sorry for your loss.

    I always reflect, at times like this, on the loss of a friend of mine, I will call him D. He was driving home in a motorhome from a great weekender with his wife and sons and friends all in a caravan. Some idiot decides he cant go on with life and wants to kill himself in his little econoturdbox car and crosses the centerline straight infront of my dear friend D who was so full of life and kindness and generosity.

    It devastated his wife and 4 sons lives, they have never been the same. It affected 2 other families who he helped support in more ways than one. A family of 11 (yes 9 kids...all boys) and a quadraplegic father who thru the generosity of my dear friend D got to enjoy many vacations and great times. D took the family of 11 camping and to the river and always included them in his social gatherings, always on D's dime. D was truely a wonderful man.

    The point is here, at least for me, is: Should D have just sat at home and not taken his family out on vacations and just sat at home just in the interest of what "might happen"? Of course not! Then his kids would not even have those great memories of times with their dad.

    I can not and will not live my life worrying about what could happen! A plane "could" crash into your house while you are sitting at home wishing you could be riding.
    A car could run a red light and t-bone you in your family car, same thing as a bike.

    Take away my pressure vent of riding a MC and my life be miserable anyway. BUT, not every MC rider is as dedicated and commited to riding as I may be. Not every rider may get the release of anxiety that I get from riding. I see some people ride that seem to do it for some status or to fit in and identify with some group or friends and deep down may not LOVE riding. I know a guy who even seems stressed out FROM riding. I tell him to quit. He want to fit in with his biker crowd buddies. Why ride if that is you.

    If you love it, keep doing it. If it is just economic transportation for you, stop riding.