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Thread: To Ride or Not?

  1. #1

    To Ride or Not?

    I’ve had a motorcycle license longer than I’ve had a car license… To stop writing, would be like cutting off my throttle arm. But here’s the question… I took this from an article and I did some cutting and pasting to make it pertaining to motorcycle riding not cage drivers. Please read the whole thing...
    Should I ride during a pandemic? The answer is remarkably simple.

    Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road depicts a world in chaos.
    It’s a midwestern March day. In perpetuity.

    McCarthy never mentions the catastrophe that precipitated the crisis. Was it nuclear war? Global warming? Or this: a virus hopscotches across the world and kills the compromised—the old, the weak, the dim-witted too ignorant to heed warnings. Today, we live in a dystopian novel.
    Keep reading..
    Healthcare workers are soldiers dug into trenches. We rally behind them. Toot our horns outside hospitals. Sew them masks. Lend them our camper trailers to live in so they don’t risk infecting their families. The most coveted commodity on the black market today? The N95 mask.

    ... We depend on healthcare workers. As motorcyclists, the relationship intensifies. Maybe, so far, you’ve been lucky. You haven’t snapped a clavicle or broken a leg. But what we do is risky. This isn’t hearsay. It’s backed by the numbers. As my mother never let me forget,

    Motorcycling is dangerous. Every time I go into a hospital, for an MRI or x-ray, or, not long ago, to get stitches for a finger I slashed open on a razor-sharp shard of aluminum, I take it all in. The doctor’s skill. The nurse’s no-nonsense capability. All here for me and my motorcycling.

    Many motorcyclists, too, are gearing up for the season as if, by way of a miracle, we’re exempt from the chaos around us.

    For a motorcycling publication to suggest that riding is unacceptable is untenable to its advertisers. Cycle World, in an online piece suggesting videos to pass the time, skirts the issue. “Some are choosing to social distance themselves by going for rides,” they write, “but many feel staying at home is the best move for everyone.” The Motorcycle Cruiser website advises readers to “avoid the elderly.” Asphalt & Rubber notes a KTM rear brake recall.

    At first, it seems like Rider magazine editor Mark Tuttle, in an online column, faces the question directly. Tuttle (who, like his magazine, is sensible, thoughtful, and measured) addresses the ride-or-not-ride conundrum. Tuttle writes, “…riding a motorcycle can be the very definition of social distancing and the soul-cleansing joy of a ride is needed by all of us now more than ever,” though he suggested “extra caution to avoid placing an additional burden on the healthcare system.” Tuttle’s answer is the one I’d like to believe.

    A hospital visit is out of the question if you bin it during a pandemic. What to do instead? Pack sufficient tools to refashion a fork tube as a leg splint and double-up a radiator overflow reservoir as an intravenous bag. Alternately, stay home.

    Been tempted to learn how to set your Ducati's desmodromic valves yourself? Now's the time to learn. If it's your first attempt, you'll be ready to ride just in time for the next pandemic.
    That we need our souls cleansed by a ride—in the midst of a global crisis—is disappointingly self-serving. As is the notion that we should take “extra caution.” Motorcyclists tend to believe ill-fortune awaits them on that once-in-a-lifetime trip across a far-off desert. It’s not true. The most dangerous intersection in the world is where your driveway meets your street. Because that’s where you ride the most.

    “In areas where it’s still permissible to visit public parks and go walking, running, and bicycling,” Tuttle continues, “it seems to me that motorcycle riding adheres to the spirit if not the letter of a stay-at-home order and provides an equally and adequately social-distancing venue for recreation.” But recreation is not the goal. Exercise is the goal, and motorcycling, as typically practiced, is not exercise. Tuttle’s caveat of adhering “to the spirit if not the letter” of a stay-at-home order is his uncertainty in his own words.
    Think of the hospital you’ll be stepping into if you lowside your V-Strom on a gravelly spring bend. You won’t be greeted by tolerance (the most a motorcyclist can ever hope for.) You’ll be loathed. You’ll need a bed, and a doctor and, perhaps, surgery. And you’ll be on your own. No visitors. And what if your injuries are serious? Are you ready, just like the COVID-19 patients who’ve died, to end your life in isolation from your wife, your husband, your parents, your children? Irrespective of the severity of your injuries, how will you justify to healthcare workers that you’re in hospital because you craved the “soul-cleansing joy” of a ride?

    that’s the end of the article and it’s me again.
    The burning question is... Do We Ride Today?

    With my wife being one of those front line medical professionals.. do I have the right to put myself and other people at risk.

    Riding to me is part of my mental health due to my past history. With the hugely lessened traffic flow on the roads in this time, I find it a lot safer to ride now than it was a year ago.

  2. #2
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    See the several threads in the just riding section on the same topic...
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 09 K1300s

  3. #3
    Nick Kennedy
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    Call me a idiot, I don't care.
    I've put alot of thought into this and I choose to ride as much as I can , which is recently, alot.
    I look at all the thousands of Opioid overdose's happening everyday, NRA nuts shooting themselves and their friends, General daily heart attacks, strokes, etc etc.
    My wife is a active ER nurse, she can easily bring this into our home and kill us.
    I know the upending ways people make their way into our local ER, I know I've been in their too a couple of times.
    F*ck it, I'm being more careful than usual but I'm going to ride.
    Nick

  4. #4
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Much depends on the situation where you live. Montana has 17 people in hospital; none are in an ICU or on a ventilator. There have been 13 confirmed cases in my county and none since March. I feel no fear, guilt or shame when riding a motorcycle. Ten people have died from the Chinese Virus in Montana, sad for sure, but not a reason to go beyond the basic social distancing that seems to be working for us. If the situation changes, then I shall change accordingly.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  5. #5
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Nick please refrain from any further ad hominem attacks on the NRA. I am a proud member. I suspect you will find that the “nuts shooting themselves and their friends” are as likely to be Christian, Jew, liberal, conservative, or motorcycle rider as they are a NRA member.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  6. #6
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Nick please refrain from any further ad hominem attacks on the NRA. I am a proud member. I suspect you will find that the “nuts shooting themselves and their friends” are as likely to be Christian, Jew, liberal, conservative, or motorcycle rider as they are a NRA member.
    Yes, I would second what akbeemer said, Nick. As an NRA member I will suggest that irrespective of your view of the Second Amendment and those who support it (or anything else not bike related), we should all leave that stuff "at the door", as it was. Thanks.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  7. #7
    Nick Kennedy
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    OK
    Sorry about that.
    Nick

  8. #8
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    I am among the riders who are choosing to either not ride at all, or riding a lot less than BC (before covid-19). For me it simply comes down to "feeling comfortable" on the bike these days. For all the reasons stated above, and all the stuff I am seeing on TV and in the newspapers, I am not at ease when I swing a leg over the saddle. And I really am trying not to be judgmental about the few riders I do see on the roads these days.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  9. #9
    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Okay - I'm being nit-picky here, but in his novel 'The Road' Cormac McCarthy does provide a hint regarding the cause of societal collapse and it is clearly not a pandemic. In the novel the planet's temperature has dropped due to particulates in the atmosphere - as would occur with massive volcanic eruptions, a meteor strike or a major nuclear war. The sun has been blotted out, collapsing the food chain (all animal life is dependent on plants). IIRC the storyline also details massive blowdowns of trees and fires.

    Could a viral pandemic cause social collapse? Sure could - look what European diseases did to Native American societies - but this particular virus is unlikely to accomplish that. This is the sort that 'thins the herd'; the elderly (that's me!), anyone with a vulnerable respiratory system, individuals with compromised immunity. What makes this one especially insidious is that many individuals who are spreading it don't realize they are infected. Recent reports suggest as many as 80% of cases may be asymptomatic.

    When deciding whether or not to take the bike out for a sanity restoration ride recognize that should you crash and wind up in the ER you will have placed yourself in a corona virus hotbed. The only places more risky to be in right now are probably a jail or a nursing home.

    Aargh!!! I'm going out to the garage to sit on my bike.
    Steve
    Current Hottie: '00 R1100RT
    Old Flames: '85 K100RT, '80 Yamaha XS850, '67 Triumph Bonnie, '66 Honda 90 Scrambler

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREGFEELER View Post
    Yes, I would second what akbeemer said, Nick. As an NRA member I will suggest that irrespective of your view of the Second Amendment and those who support it (or anything else not bike related), we should all leave that stuff "at the door", as it was. Thanks.

    One more vote in favor of the NRA.

    I am certain that there is a very low percentage of NRA members getting shot in the slums of Chicago or East St. Louis.

    As for riding or not, i would evaluate it on a local scale. Downtown New York City? Probably not. West central USA? Not a problem.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  11. #11
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Moderator interruption-
    Before this goes down the tube, let’s go easy.
    Thanks.
    The Moderation Team.
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  12. #12
    Enough about the NRA. It is just gun talk sloppily disguised. You guys know better.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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