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Thread: The Lecture

  1. #1
    Rollin' On
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Titusville, PA

    The Lecture

    We've all had it, some probably dozens of times. I just started riding (street) this year, so I'm still not quite accustomed to dealing with it. But this past Sunday, I was chatting with a fellow windsurfer, an older guy who has spent his life in the medical profession. He was telling me about his new Prius and the amazing MPG he gets with it. So I mentioned my bike and how it gets 65mpg, and how much I enjoy commuting to work on it. I don't know the guy enough to know his position on motorcycles, but I do now, and I'm not sure I want to maintain a friendship with him. He felt compelled to share all the gruesome details of someone he knows who crashed into a guardrail and has been fighting for her life as they repair her broken body. I was very patient with him as he continued with his quiet rant, and my only response was that we all choose our level of risk in life, and what's acceptable for one, may not be for another. So I'm curious, how do y'all respond to the folks who feel the need to give you The Lecture?

  2. #2
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Chandler, Arizona
    I tell them a story about my best friend who was killed in a car crash. He was stopped and the following driver was distracted.

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    I'd be asking that guy about the risk level of motorcycling versus windsurfing. Bet he doesn't know.

  4. #4
    Here's how I handle it:

    "Of course there's a level of risk with riding motorcycles. To mitigate that risk, I have taken training courses, I have learned how to be a defensive rider, and I wear the best gear that I can. I have been injured more often playing softball than I have riding my motorcycle. I'm not going to stop doing either. The bottom line is, we all know someone who's been hurt doing something. That doesn't mean you stop doing it. It means to do everything possible to make sure you don't make that other person's mistakes -- or make your own mistakes again."
    '02 Shadow Spirit 750 - The R-Honda TRADED IN
    '07 BMW F800 ST - Eyegor TRADED IN
    '17 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT - Phantom

    "I own a Goldwing...when I get cold, I just turn on the autopilot and go downstairs and sit in front of the fireplace and drink hot chocolate. The bike beeps to let me know when we're starting our final approach." -- shonuff

  5. #5
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Woodstock, IL
    Blog Entries
    Lots of things you can say. Chance of changing the other person's opinion is slightly better than nil, though.

    You could tell a doctor about the horrors someone who experienced malpractice went through, or a lawyer the financial ruin brought about by predatory lawyers, or how much carnage auto drivers go through, etc., and it will be as if you weren't saying words in their language.

    Of course, they're right that riding is more dangerous than [insert activity THEY like here], whether it is true or not. Or you could pick apart their particular example ("What did your friend do to run so wide in a turn that she hit a guard rail?", "The majority of such crashes are the result of inadequate skills on the part of the rider.", "Motorcycle riders have been fighting for better guard rail designs for many decades."), but, again, it will probably be misinterpreted as a foreign language.

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline DUISparky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I don't even engage in those conversations. If someone opens with a "But motorcycling is sooo dangerous." line I just tell 'em to have a nice day and walk away. I've been riding a long time. I know the dangers. I don't need "Biff and Buffy" to tell me how dangerous it is.
    2015 Indian Scout First Run #500
    2016 Indian Chief Vintage

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodstockJeff View Post
    Chance of changing the other person's opinion is slightly better than nil
    Very slightly better than nil therefore no point in trying. Although, I admit, I have tried. I suspect I am zero for however many times I have tried.

    So lately, I thank them for their concern for my well being and let it go.

  8. #8
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Tell them "It's safer than laying in bed, fretting over what life could have been."
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  9. #9
    I think I would have told him medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country ... . That usually shuts the medical types up ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  10. #10
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Chandler, Arizona
    Hearing about how I manage and measure risk is not what the storytellers want to hear. All that they are concerned about is that they are better than me because they are safe and I am a stupid risk taker. So I turn the situation back on them and tell them that they are going to die. Occasionally, that makes them think. Always, it stops them.


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