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RATS - I Cant Believe I Said This

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RATS - I Cant Believe I Said This

Old 05-04-24, 12:09 PM
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RATS - I Cant Believe I Said This

My young North Carolina Suburbia grandson is very interested in motorcycles now. The pressure in mounting. He does not ride a bicycle. Not really by choice but his parents have deemed it to dangerous for him. True, he lives in an area with well paved roads but no side walks. More dangerous is people driving around in fancy cars with their heads buried in cell phones or watching their console. But I had to tell Mom this.

"Its a different world out there now days... Before ya ride a motorcycle ya need to be proficient in riding a bicycle. If its too dangerous to ride a bicycle then stay off the motorcycle..."

After I said this I reproached my self. How could I? I got a 1952 Cushman Commando when I was 12. Of course I had been riding a bicycle for as long as I could remember and all over San Antonio and beyond by then. Was it safer? Were the roads any better? Were the drivers any more attentive? Or did I just learn how to watch out to the point of growing eyes in the back of my head... Ha

Is riding a Motorcycle safer then riding a bicycle now days?
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Old 05-04-24, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval

Is ridding a Motorcycle safer then ridding a bicycle now days?
Nope and riding has only one “d”.
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Old 05-04-24, 02:51 PM
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I cannot imagine that a motorcycle going faster is going to be a safer option. I feel much safer on a bicycle than I would on a motorcycle though to be fair I haven't ridden a motorcycles but I know going faster is generally less safe in the conditions we would be talking about.
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Old 05-04-24, 03:05 PM
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Well, at the very least when riding a motorcycle one is less likely to irritate car drivers who think you are too slow/in the way/interlopers on their sacred space.
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Old 05-04-24, 04:12 PM
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When one takes up cycling, it's a given you will eventually take a fall. I remember reading an article in Bicycling Magazine (years ago) on the amount of miles traveled for cyclists, (of various levels of experience), before their next accident. My last accident was a few years ago...I think I'm due....

Isn't it the same for motorcycles



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Old 05-04-24, 04:13 PM
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With comparable skill, it might be a draw. The MC has the advantage of staying with the flow of traffic. OTOH, MCs operate at higher speeds making potential crashes much more serious.

But that assumes sufficient skill that all accidents are caused by others. With poor skill or lack of experience, there's no comparison,----- motorcycles are vastly more dangerous.

There's no way I'd put someone on a motorcycle unless they have plenty of experience riding on two wheels.

Last edited by FBinNY; 05-04-24 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 05-04-24, 07:45 PM
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I started riding a motorcycle when I was 12, it was a Honda motocrosser which was so tall I couldn’t reach the ground with my feet. But I loved it. I rode motorcycles for another 30-something years, usually sport bikes, my last one being a Yamaha R1. I managed to get through those 30-something years unscathed, though I had many close calls.

Would I let my son or grandson ride a motorcycle? Over the years I have seen friends and acquaintances hurt or killed while riding motorcycles, too many of them. I also spent several years in law enforcement cleaning up wrecks, and motorcycles were involved in a disproportionate number of fatal accidents. One of these fatal wrecks I rolled up on involved a motorcycle which I had previously owned, the rider was run over by a truck while he was stopped at a red light, the medical examiner’s people needed to use a shovel to clean up what was left of him.

During my life I’ve had a sixth sense or guardian angel looking over my shoulder, and these have always made me raise my head or otherwise see something coming up which I might otherwise have hit (or hit me). I quit riding motorcycles when I began to get a sneaking feeling that my lucky streak was running out.

Bicycles are safer than motorcycles. Relative to their numbers on the road, there are fewer serious or fatal accidents involving bicycles, at least in my experience.
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Old 05-04-24, 08:24 PM
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I've now seen several video evaluations of e-bikes with powerful motors and big batteries, and the road evaluations are always riding at car (city) speed limits, while using less caution, such as rolling through stop signs, cutting between stopped traffic and parked cars, at higher speeds than bikes, and, wearing a bicycling helmet which is not rated for higher speeds.

I've also frequently seen sportbikes on the freeway weaving through moderate traffic at 80+ mph, fast lane changes with small margin, etc.

Bicycling is slower than motorcycles, that provides more safety, unless the bike route is awful with no paved shoulder, narrow lanes, and wide motor vehicles constantly passing without the ability to move over; In that case, a fast e-bike or motorcycle might be safer. Same for if a freeway is the only route between two points. But only if having taken an extensive motorcycle safety class. Where I worked in suburbs right after college, there was not a safe bike commuting route. I always drove home and then biked several hours via a well-planned route though sidestreets to a park, around, and back again.

I would have gotten a motorcycle by now if not for the danger. I've seen great deals on the used market.
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Old 05-04-24, 09:38 PM
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At issue here is not that bicycles are dangerous. The parents are wrong.

Cars are dangerous.
Cars are dangerous because of how they're driven.
Cars are driven the way they are because our infrastructure sucks.
Our infrastructure sucks because it fails to effect the proper and correct behavior by way of intrinsic design. Ergo improper, dangerous driver behavior is the result.

Your grandsons quality of life, his freedom and opportunities at independence and normal development into an empowered, fully realized, confident adult person with well developed social skills and relationships is infringed.

The grandchild's parents live in a terrible neighborhood.
It is terrible because there is no reasonable, practical alternative to cars.
Reasonable, practical alternatives to cars would lower the car traffic level to that which it was when you were growing up 60 years ago.
In a good neighborhood children would be free to play outside. To be healthy. To meet other children. All of which is what he is likely in search of with his own self directed transport desires.

This is why you said what you said. Only the parents don't know that and they don't have a point of reference to even understand the freedom you enjoyed or the freedom of the child they curtail. If they did, it wouldn't be the bicycle they call dangerous...And we wonder why kids are "lazy," "dependent," "socially awkward," and have ailments like anxiety, depression, loneliness, dispair or fail to develop attention spans, need parents for everything and fail to care for themselves well into adulthood... It is literally indoctrinated in to them by well meaning parents who have succumbed to poor car-dependent design. Today's children suffer from absence of connection to their place in the outside world in which they live. The consequences are life long. At 3 or 4 or 5 generations deep into this car-dependency experiment it is unlikely the parents can even comprehend the nature of the problem. It has become cultural at this point

It is not "motorcycle" that is dangerous.
It is not "bike" that is dangerous.
It is going outside around cars that is the dangerous thing.

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Old 05-04-24, 10:36 PM
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There is a reason why they are called "donor-cycles."
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Old 05-05-24, 09:04 AM
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Is it safer? I have no idea. But the consequences of a wreck are probably worse. Even for wrecks that don't involve another vehicle. In my early teens I watched a older teen girl try out a friends new Honda 450. She collided with a car that pulled out in front of her and had a compound fracture of her leg with the bones sticking out. Pretty gruesome. I'll never forget that. Thankfully she did recover fully AFAIK. But was in a half body cast for quite a few months.

However for smaller and lighter motorcycles I wouldn't have much of a issue. Especially if they are off road trail bikes. Assuming there is a place for them to be used where you are at.

The other frequent choice for kids and teens is worse. 4 wheelers. I've seen and heard of too many killed on them. More so than people that get hurt on them. I rode one for much of a year. And I did all sorts of stupid stuff with it. They feel perfectly stable at any speed until the moment they aren't.
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Old 05-05-24, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Nope and riding has only one “d”.
I've tried. He apparently doesn't believe it. Weird.
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Old 05-05-24, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I've tried. He apparently doesn't believe it. Weird.
Classic Spellchecker error.

Both are legitimate words so no highlighting of a typo. As people rely more on things like Spellchecker, wheel sea moor* of this.

*just making my point.

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Old 05-05-24, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I've tried. He apparently doesn't believe it. Weird.
That’s odd. Especially on a cycling forum where the word “riding” is often used.
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Old 05-05-24, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
That’s odd. Especially on a cycling forum where the word “riding” is often used.
He uses it (riding/"ridding") in many, if not most, of his posts. It grates every time.
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Old 05-05-24, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
He uses it (riding/"ridding") in many, if not most, of his posts. It grates every time.
To be fair, he did correct some of them after I mentioned it. Maybe just missed the others.
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Old 05-05-24, 01:32 PM
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On those days when I ride both a bicycle and a motorcycle, I've felt more exposed and vulnerable on the bicycle.
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Old 05-05-24, 01:41 PM
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I admit I lost track during the spelling debate. But motorcycles are safer if the operator has some training. I took a course, classroom only in 1975 put on by the Peace Corps for people like me who had bought a motorcycle. In Ghana. I think it helped me a lot, and I still remember some of the lessons on my bicycle today. One that comes to mind is dealing with potholes. Don’t crash through them and don’t get the front wheel caught in them. Swoop around and out the other side is and always has been the way to go.

Good luck also helps!
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Old 05-05-24, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
"Its a different world out there now days... Before ya ride a motorcycle ya need to be proficient in ridding a bicycle. If its too dangerous to ride a bicycle then stay off the motorcycle..."

After I said this I reproached my self. How could I?
I've long thought the sentiment true.

Balance is far simpler on a lighter bike. Speeds are far lower. The learning curve's much the same, as there's much the same balance, turning challenges, risks of running over junk in the road. And, assuming a bike is ridden off the vehicle roadways (on MUPs and paths), there's vastly less risk of tangling with a much heavier object (vehicle).

I don't blame you for having pointed out the concept. If they're disliking the risks of cycling in that area, it's hard to imagine being more comfortable with a motorcycle on those same routes.
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Old 05-05-24, 03:39 PM
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I haven't ridden a motorcycle. But I'm thinking bicycles and motorcycles are like small sailboats and large ones. Small boats teach you to sail by instinct. Things happen fast, especially the boat's response to wind changes. Your instincts become honed or you capsize frequently. Those who learn on big boats find the learning much easier but ... when things happen, they go not have the instinctual - when this happens, do this! And by the time they've reasoned out what is needed, it's too late.

My experiences as a young teen sailing on the windy days my little 12 footer could go really fast often ended with the harbormaster fishing me out of the drink and towing my boat in. What a gift years later sailing a 34' boat in the mid-Atlantic in a 60 mph storm.
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Old 05-05-24, 04:48 PM
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I've ridden thousands of miles on both bicycles and motorcycles. Neither are inherently dangerous.

However, both are unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing. Especially the motorcycle.
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Old 05-05-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill
I've ridden thousands of miles on both bicycles and motorcycles. Neither are inherently dangerous.

However, both are unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing. Especially the motorcycle.
A few statistics from this page:

Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die and four times more likely to be injured in an accident

Motorcycle riders have far less protection in a crash, which has contributed to a significantly higher risk of fatalities and injuries. Motorcyclists face 28 times the chance of dying in an accident compared with those in passenger cars. They also face four times the injury risk.

83,000 Motorcyclists Were Injured in 2021

In 2021, a total of 83,000 motorcycle riders sustained injuries. A total of 468 injuries occurred per 100 million vehicle miles traveled over the course of that year.

More Than a Third of Motorcycle Accidents Involve Unlicensed Drivers

Motorcycle accidents often involve untrained drivers. An estimated 36% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve riders who do not have a valid license to drive a motorcycle.
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Old 05-05-24, 06:46 PM
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Not sure why you quoted me, but I stand behind what I said. Motorcycles are unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing.
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Old 05-05-24, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I haven't ridden a motorcycle. But I'm thinking bicycles and motorcycles are like small sailboats and large ones. Small boats teach you to sail by instinct. Things happen fast, especially the boat's response to wind changes. Your instincts become honed or you capsize frequently. Those who learn on big boats find the learning much easier but ... when things happen, they go not have the instinctual - when this happens, do this! And by the time they've reasoned out what is needed, it's too late.

My experiences as a young teen sailing on the windy days my little 12 footer could go really fast often ended with the harbormaster fishing me out of the drink and towing my boat in. What a gift years later sailing a 34' boat in the mid-Atlantic in a 60 mph storm.
Truer words were never said. I always recommend people learn sailing in capsizable dinghies (but with masthead floats so they don't turtle, mast fills with water, difficult to right). They become much more sensitive to not doing a crash jibe, greater heeling on a close reach, spotting gusts on the water, sheeting in while tacking from a beam reach, how to do a dime tack if they stall, etc.
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Old 05-05-24, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill
Not sure why you quoted me, but I stand behind what I said. Motorcycles are unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing.
r
Perfect word choice. I hate it when people categorize stuff ss dangerous.

Unforgiving better describes how something can be either safe or dangerous depending on how they're done.
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