Motorcycle prejudice... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Motorcycle prejudice...

In a lot of ways I think we are one of the few groups left that it is OK to hate, dismiss, degrade, etc. I was reading a Chuck Klosterman book the other day. I like him. He's funny. And then he said something to the effect of how he always figured people who ride motorcycles want to die and probably deserve to (or something...sorry Chuck, your attitude makes my desire to quote you accurately a little bit less intense...guess it's the old death wish).

Obviously, I have heard these sentiments before. I'm sure you have, too. But shit. Really? Motorcycles are dangerous. I know that. I have spent a lot of money on gear to make it less likely that I will die, be maimed, crushed, etc.

I deserve to die? For real? How the hell can anyone even say that. Granted, Chuck is a humor writer, but still. How funny would it be if I said everyone who smokes deserves to die (I used to smoke, btw...not judging)? How funny would it be if we said anyone who bungee jumps is asking for a snapped neck and it wouldn't bother us a bit if it happened?

How is this shit OK? Much like a lot of you (and especially since I just had a baby), I get people judging me ALL THE F'ING TIME because I am so irresponsible as to put myself at risk. From people who are morbidly obese. From people who do hard drugs. From people who are just generally uninformed and obnoxious. It's really not OK. And I am getting sick of it. But there is nothing we can do, I guess. I just wanted to rant. And I'm hoping that someone will print up a bunch of witty stickers.

"Motorcycles don't clog your arteries."
"A motorcycle can't give you lung cancer."

Something to that effect.

Rant completed.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 12:52 PM
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July marks my 49th year riding. I've heard this crap for most of those years. I've buried friends and family who've died in cars, bikes but most from cancer. Yawn

GO RIDE Enjoy your life.

Don H
Spring Valley AZ
'03 KLR 650/DS sidecar
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Congrats on the anniversary man! That's impressive. And I agree...everyone I know seems to be dying of cancer. Life is too short to worry about everything that is dangerous. I don't usually trip off it, but I do think it is a weird social phenomena. And I do want to rock a bumper sticker.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 01:59 PM
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Deserve to die? Nobody deserves to die unless they willingly kill another.

I will admit that if I had kids I would not ride a motorcycle until they were no longer dependent on me. Also, if I had a wife who came in to problems and relied on me I would not ride either. MC riding is an extremely selfish venture. We are the only ones getting any excitement from it and everyone else we know worries. No matter how much we try we cannot make MC riding safe, only safer and everyone should know what I mean. You mention bungee jumping, but that can be made 100% safe by going over deep water or an inflated bag at reasonable heights. The only people at risk during these types of activities are those who take things to the extreme.

To me, smoking, drugs and drinking are definitely death wishes because there simply are no benefits to any of them... NONE! You have to completely accept the fact you are destroying your body with every sip, puff, snort or pill. To me... that's pretty much inviting death. People may not like that and call it my opinion, but that won't change it from being a fact!
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I agree with you. I did a lot of soul searching once I found out my wife was pregnant. I have come to a compromise that works for me. My riding style and approach to riding have changed quite a bit. I am pretty devout about ATGATT whereas I used to be a bit lazy. You're right though, it is selfish. I accept that. And it doesn't make me particularly proud.

To me, it's like this. No one deserves to die as you said. Whatever that crocodile hunter guy's name was...he chose to pursue dangerous animals. He had a wife and kids. He took a risk. It backfired. But when he died most people were very upset and nonjudgemental. I wasn't particularly upset (I don't even have a TV), but he seemed like a nice dude. I certainly never thought he deserved to die. Nor did I take any self-righteous "glee" from it.

But anytime someone dies on a motorcycle there are going to be people who make snarky comments. That's sad to me. And unfair.

Now, I'm taking my girls to the mall. See, that's unselfish. I HATE the mall.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 03:25 PM
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I think you need to quit justifying MC riding by comparing it to other things. Steve Irwin's occupation wasn't in the hands of other people like our lives are on a MC. There aren't very many sports, even extreme sports, where the persons life is in the hands of the general public. MC riders put their lives in the hands of every teen, blind elder, driver ed flunky and speed junky on the road. No other activity puts people in that kind of situation with so many aspects out of their control. This is why MC riding is ultimately the most dangerous recreational activity that exists because no matter how good you are, you cannot remove the general public from the equation. No matter how many time you say "I'm safe, etc.. blah blah blah", you cannot answer the ultimate question... "Will they see me every time"!
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I will quit comparing MC riding to other things in just a second, but I think you are missing my point...trivial as it may be. I just find it interesting how others react to it. I am not saying that cliff diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing what have you is more or less dangerous than riding a motorcyle. I was speaking towards the public's perception that injury or death is deserved when it involves a motorcycle. Probably there are folks who would say that someone who ate it rock climbing and died deserved it, too. And yes, of course, going 80 miles an hour on two wheels when there are vehicles much larger all around you is dangerous. I wasn't contesting that. I am all too well aware how dangerous it can be.

I feel no need to justify riding a motorcycle. This has nothing to do with that. I was merely reflecting that it is odd for someone to be happy or satisfied when riding goes badly for someone else. Or thinking it serves them right.

If I thought it was necessary for me to justify riding a motorcycle to anyone except myself and my family, I probably wouldn't do it.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.

Last edited by Lockjaw; 06-26-2009 at 07:23 PM.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 08:39 PM
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I can definitely see you are conflicted because you keep saying you don't feel the need to justify MC riding, yet you do so, but quite subtle. You originally made two remarks. First, "I have spent a lot of money on gear to make it less likely that I will die, be maimed, crushed, etc" which is basically justifying riding because you believe you've made it safer crash wise. Then you asked for witty stickers such as "Motorcycles don't clog your arteries" and "A motorcycle can't give you lung cancer" which are directed at downplaying the dangers of riding in order to justify riding.

In your last post you say "And yes, of course, going 80 miles an hour on two wheels when there are vehicles much larger all around you is dangerous. I wasn't contesting that. I am all too well aware how dangerous it can be." making it sound that if you aren't going those speeds everything is fine and thus riding is much safer and justified. This is all too common tactic for riders to use against non-riders.

I understand your purpose, but you hinder your cause by defining these small boundaries as to what makes riding safer. If, like you say, you truly felt no need to justify riding, you would not be making these statements because that's exactly what they are meant to do.

I'll say it again.. MC riding is dangerous and can be made safer, but never safe. And safer is subject to interpretation per each individual as we've seen many times on this forum during ATGATT discussions. We know all too well a rider with a helmet and full gear can die as quickly as a rider without. If that doesn't define dangerous, well I don't know what does then.

As for my family and friends and the non riding public, I can get as long winded with them as I do here on the forum, but since they aren't interested in the subject as much as we are on this forum, they usually give up and never bother me again.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Given that you have provided no couch for me to recline on, I decline the analysis. But thank you. I am not conflicted, but if and when I do feel conflicted, I will probably say something about it on here, so you'll just have to bide your time.

Until then I am going to take DonD's advice.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-26-2009, 09:17 PM
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Oh well, I thought you wanted to have a discussion on the subject, guess not.
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