BIKELIFE… Some people throw the term around frivolously and light hearted, almost like an accessory or a badge of social status. But what does it really mean to you, to your family and friends?
Personally I’ve never taken the term lightly. Perhaps I’m a bit too serious in my views but maybe that’s also why I’m so passionate about what I feel when I ride and why I love to ride so much. With “Bikelife” comes a great responsibility to your friends and family. I’ve heard our sport and lifestyle called selfish, and I understand now where that comes from. When people die or get terribly injured, the responsibility and grave reality to put the pieces back together falls on the people that are left behind. The fear of losing a loved one to a motorcycle accident has always weighed on me heavily as I’m sure many of you feel the same exact way. I for one can not imagine going through that and losing my husband for example. However it’s a very real possibility given that nature of our risky sport.
These thoughts come to my mind this week as a result of the recent death of Malachi at the North West 200 race in Northern Ireland…and also so many others that have passed in the last recent years. I’m not certain if it’s because I’m into the sport now more than ever, but it seems there’s been a rise in track racing deaths along with street of course. Having lost friends both in racing and on the street, this thing called “bikelife” doesn’t always associate a light happy meaning to me. Perhaps this is why I give it a more serious personal meaning.
But if you ride then you’ve most certainly been touched by all this yourselves. Crashes happen every weekend on my backyard mountain twisty roads. Most aren’t terrible but there have been quite a few horrific ones in the 3 years I’ve been riding there. These are just a constant sobering reminder of the scary realities. Yet…despite all of this I still can’t and won’t stop riding. The more I learn the more I realize just how fast your life can change. Perhaps I’m over-reacting, taking life too seriously or just focusing on the bad…but I feel that with all the recent events and rise in accidents I can’t help but ponder on the serious aspect of riding my motorcycle and the outcomes that may one day arise.
May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, and so I just want to bring to your attention that as riders we have a responsibility to stay as safe as possible for the sake of our friends, family and loved ones. It’s not just our life that gets affected when things go south, therefore I urge every rider to take responsibility for their actions. On the street, gear up properly, don’t take that unnecessary risky chance, don’t let your temper get the best of you and don’t lose focus. On the track, don’t pull stupid trackday hero sh!t, stay focused, don’t get cocky and let those tires warm up 😉
Above all else, remember that nothing is certain ever. I don’t say this to scare or put a damper on your splendid Sunday morning cruise, quite the opposite. I want you to go out there and enjoy the time with your motorcycle like no other! But be smart about it so that you can ride another day and hopefully share a lifetime of bikelife with your friends. Know that accidents will happen regardless of how careful you are, so be mindful of that reality. If you are not willing to sacrifice a part of your life then simply don’t ride…hoping it just won’t happen to you is silly. I know we all do it because lets be real, who really is ok with a terrible outcome? But just be truly conscious of it. I think that if people really considered and took to heart these realities then they would ride a little safer, gear up a little more 😉
Bikelife….what does it truly mean to you? There’s so many wonderful facets of this sport as well as the dangerous ones. But life is short and uncertain regardless. Do what you love with a full heart so that every moment counts—love it and live it!
— Ride Smart. Ride for a Lifetime my friends.
This somewhat more serious post comes from contemplation on recent events that have given me pause and thought. I noticed I am not the only one that feels this way and was inspired by a fellow rider from across the pond [ @pistonhead_chaz ] to formulate this into words.