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  1. #1
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    My wife lost a Nephew last night.

    The police report that he lost control of his motorcycle rounding a curve and died instantly upon striking the parked truck. My wife, and her family are obviously distraught, but I believe it has struck her quite close to home. Our 21 year old daughter is currently out there somewhere on her Yamaha R-6, learning how to ride the thing. I tremble with fear every time she takes it out onto the road. I never had a fair chance to discuss the purchase of said bike with our daughter, since she and the wife kept the purchase a secret until the last minute, fearing I might dis-approve (they were right, I do). I feel that I've been cheated out of the opportunity to have offered my version of common sense prior to the purchase, but that's all water under the bridge now.

    My wife's family will have the terrible task of coming to terms with the death and dealing with their greif, and my job obviously is to remain supportive and keep my mouth shut about my daughter's bike (specially when speaking with my wife and daughter). Like a good parent, I'll try to meet the challenge and suffer my horrific fears about my own daughter's safety in silence. It's time to rely on her upbringing and good sense to prevail, for her to weigh the facts and act accordingly even if that means she just gains an added sense of her own mortality. With her well being in the balance I can only hope we did a good enough job as parents raising her and her two younger sisters. Being a parent can be so difficult at times, and as my wife's brother is experiencing right now...so painful.

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I can't imagine how awful you feel, and how conflicted. No easy solutions for this one. Hang in there, buddy.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    With kids those ages I can very much relate to all your feelings and concerns. No answers here -taking a strong position against something the wife and kids support hasn't worked very well on this end for me. May you find continued patience and strength.

  4. #4
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    I understand your fears perfectly, since I used to ride motorcycles and watched a close friend die in a crash. Fortunately, my kids do not seem to be interested in them (knock on wood). However I do reflect on the fact that most kids out there somehow manage to survive motorcycles just fine in spite of themselves. So I think the odds are in your favor. Small consolation, I know.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Very sorry to hear about the accident. I have ridden tens of thousands of miles on a motorcycle. Let me give you one bit of advice. Make sure your daughter takes a motorcycle safety course. I had been riding for years when the military made me take one to ride on base. I was amazed at the things I learned. If she has already taken a basic course, maybe a gift of a class at an advanced school would be in order.

  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your tragedy, you and your family have my condolences.
    George

  7. #7
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

    I agree with the suggestion to have your daughter take a motorcycle safety course. I took one years ago when I was riding motorcycles. I had a dirt bike and only rode offroad but the course was well worth it.
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  8. #8
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    As someone who is convinced that he is only alive due to a helmet
    I believe that I understand you. I just want to point out that there
    is a potential upside to the unfortunate death: it is an opportunity
    for the living to learn. In spite of being an intergalactic expert at
    screwing things up (and being unable to shut up) I would recommend
    avoiding pointing out the dangers now. Belaboring the obvious is
    ineffective.

  9. #9
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    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    I agree with the suggestion to avoid the uncontrollable (must be) temptation to advise her now..... and I bet you don't even have to utter a word anyway, this tragic accident has probably already done enough.
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
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  10. #10
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    Very sorry to read about the loss of your family member.

    In the case of your daughter, you must force yourself to 'let go' and realize that you've done all you could do to raise her properly. At age 21 she sees herself as an adult, there is really not much you can do to change that, nor would you want to. Hope that her common sense kicks in and don't keep beating yourself up.
    Last edited by Louis; 05-20-07 at 06:26 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude
    Our 21 year old daughter is currently out there somewhere on her Yamaha R-6, learning how to ride the thing. I tremble with fear every time she takes it out onto the road. I never had a fair chance to discuss the purchase of said bike with our daughter, since she and the wife kept the purchase a secret until the last minute, fearing I might dis-approve (they were right, I do). I feel that I've been cheated out of the opportunity to have offered my version of common sense prior to the purchase, but that's all water under the bridge now.
    I'm really sorry to hear of your family's loss. I have been an avid motorcyclist for over 30 yrs. and have made more than a few cross country trips with my bikes. I currently ride a Ducati 998 and Triumph Sprint RS. When you say that your daughter is "out there somewhere on her Yamaha R-6 learning how to ride the thing", are you saying she's teaching herself? I do hope she has taken an MSF course. I used to teach them and they are incredibly valuable. My son (age 24 and a Service Mgr for a local Yamaha/Suzuki dealer) also rides an R6. He's an incredible rider who spent years on a dirtbike and now has his road racing license. But, I made him take the course because street riding has so many more variables. If she hasn't taken the course make her take it. Other than that, make sure she has all the equipment and always wears it. I sure hope for the best.
    Last edited by bruce19; 05-21-07 at 06:42 AM.

  12. #12
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    Cranky,

    Your worst fears were tragically brought home to one in your family. Sorry for your loss.

    MSF course! MSF course! MSF course! MSF course! MSF course! MSF course!

    Buy your daughter this nice gift.

    Like Rocky Mt. Merlin and Bruce 19, I am a dedicated MOTORcyclist as well as a BIcyclist. I have something over 300,000 motorcycle miles (commuted daily for years in horrendous LA traffic). Still love motorcycles and ride often with my wife who has been an avid passenger since she was my girlfriend in 1971.

    Tyson

  13. #13
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of this.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Speaking as a fellow who bought a motorcycle at age 23, and someone who went through a month where every single person who he knew that rode a motorcycle or bicycle dropped their bike(himself included), here's my two cents. Pressure from you now to give up the motorcycle will probably only serve to further her resolve to ride. But don't think that she is unaffected by her cousin's accident though. She knows the dangers. It's hard to ride a block without a motorist reminding you of them.

    I think that it may be one of those times that where there isn't really a whole lot you can do except to ride it out. You have my empathy.

  15. #15
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    Thank you all for your condolences and thoughtful input.

    My wife and I visited her brother today. He's reeling from the loss of his son. I found my self almost wishing that my daughter (Susan) could have been with us to witness the pain caused by one mis-calculation or what-ever may have caused the accident. It tore our hearts out to see the quizical, sorrowful look on our Neice's face as she held her sobbing 58 year old father in her arms.

    They'll get through this, we all will, of that I'm certain. I only hope this tragedy becomes a life lesson that all the family and freinds will learn from. I pray that this accident combined with the three day Motorcycle Safety Course she was required to take (New York State Law) awakens a sense of mortality in our otherwise extremely intelligent daughter. My wife feels that Susan is rethinking the wisdom of having the bike shipped to El Segundo next month where she'll be on a six month co-op assignment...so maybe the words of caution are starting to take root in there someplace.

    Again, thank you all and God Bless !!!

  16. #16
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19
    I'm really sorry to hear of your family's loss. I have been an avid motorcyclist for over 30 yrs. and have made more than a few cross country trips with my bikes. I currently ride a Ducati 998 and Triumph Sprint RS. When you say that your daughter is "out there somewhere on her Yamaha R-6 learning how to ride the thing", are you saying she's teaching herself? I do hope she has taken an MSF course. I used to teach them and they are incredibly valuable. My son (age 24 and a Service Mgr for a local Yamaha/Suzuki dealer) also rides an R6. He's an incredible rider who spent years on a dirtbike and now has his road racing license. But, I made him take the course because street riding has so many more variables. If she hasn't taken the course make her take it. Other than that, make sure she has all the equipment and always wears it. I sure hope for the best.
    Prayers up and +100 on the advice for a safety course. I can't find a link right now, but something like 90% of motorcycle accidents occur for riders with one year experience or less.

  17. #17
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for your loss. I feel your pain re having a young adult & trusting in them to use the tools you gave them so that life doesn't sneak up behind them & bite them in the **s. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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  18. #18
    Senior Member rbrsddn's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your loss COD. I'm concerned reading about your daughter. An R6 is NOT a good bike to learn on! Does she have prior experience? If she doesn't, that is an accident waiting to happen. Get her signed up for an MSF course asap. And a smaller bike like a Kawasaki Ninja 250 would be a better starting bike. Best of luck.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    +1 to the R6 as a bad choice for a first bike. Ask her if she knows what countersteering is. 'Cause if she doesn't she is in deep sh*t. And, that's just the beginning of her education.

  20. #20
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19
    +1 to the R6 as a bad choice for a first bike. Ask her if she knows what countersteering is. 'Cause if she doesn't she is in deep sh*t. And, that's just the beginning of her education.
    +1

  21. #21
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Dear COD:
    Add me to the list of people offering condolences to you, your wife and especially her brother ands sister-in-law - as the father of a 16 year old boy, I can not imagine anything worse than losing a child.

    I have a slightly different take on your daughter's motorcycling. I agree that you should not try to make her stop - probably won't work, and has the potential to but a damper on your relationship with her. That does not mean, however, that you shouldn't share your concerns with her in a one-on-one, father-to-adult-child way. The "adult" part of that means a give-and-take conversation, not just you dictating. (But you clearly get that.) The "father-daughter" is what gives the right to offer some unasked-for advice (so long as you don't abuse the right. ).

    I see no harm in telling her that her being on a motorcycle scares you. I don't even see any harm is saying that what happened to her cousin is exactly what you are afraid of. I would add to that an explicit statement that you are not trying to talk her out of it, that she has to make those decisions herself and that you trust her judgment. Next comes the real point: ask her - not tell her - to please always, always, always wear a helmet (a real one, not a skullcap) and protective clothing, to take the safety course if she hasn't, and to always remember to be extra-vigilant. Done that way, you get to have your say in a way that both lets you air your (legitimate) concerns, you convey an important message that has a decent chance of getting through to her (i.e., take all reasonable precautions) and you also communicate a more general point that you understand that, while she is still your daughter and that you care deeply about her well-being, she is now a woman in charge of her own destiny.

    Okay, maybe I'm being a Pollyanna, but I think such a conversation has the potential to do both of you a world of good.

    It won't get her off the motorcycle, though.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  22. #22
    sdime
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    I don't understand why the government would not allow car makers to build cars without airbags, seat belts, antilock brakes, ESP, and crash tested body structure, but would allow motorcycle makers to build viciously fast machines with no form of safety system.

  23. #23
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    so sorry

  24. #24
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    Bikingshearer has some good insights and practical advice. I suggest you follow some of what he advises. I also personally use "tried and true" psychological techniques on myself: denial, repression, avoidance. Doesn't really change things, but maybe you'll sleep better at night.

    Remember, lots of us ride (motor)bikes for many years and many miles and suffer no permanent damage. I don't want to overstate it, but I personally cannot imagine living my life without all the great times and tons of smiles motorcycling has given me and my wife.

    Tyson

  25. #25
    Howler Sgt Fury's Avatar
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    I ride both a motorcycle and a road bicycle. I have seen cyclist ( motorcycles and bicycles) in accidents with automobiles. Would it make a difference to you if the tragedy had occurred on a bicycle? Life happens. People ride and people die. Harsh? Cold? Maybe, but reality. Teach your young to be afraid and they will!
    Life is out there. Go for it!!!!!

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