NOT a good day....
My neighbor died yesterday.
I had fear that this was going to be the inevitable conclusion to his purchase of a brand new 2008 Yamaha R-1 as a very first bike.
He was out riding his new four wheeler when he stopped by and told me of the purchase. I guess he wanted me to be happy for him….it was kinda difficult as alarms were sounding in my brain.
I asked if he had his endorsement? Naw I got a learners permit. I strongly advised that this purchase was inappropriate for a new rider with no training. I encouraged him to take the msf course asap and to not ride the bike until he did so. I told him it was inappropriate to ride the bike until he had training. I used the car as an example and an airplane as an example: training first!!
I forgot I was invisible. Almost 50 years young and trying to save an immortal 22 year old from a decision that is laced with mistakes and poor thinking. My neighbor gave me the yeah yeah ..i don’t need no training arrogant response.
To those in power:
I ASK YOU SIRS/MAMS….WHY DOES THE LEARNER’S PERMIT EXIST?!?! WHY IS IT RENEWABLE? WHAT INSANE BUREAUCRATIC ACTION RESULTED IN THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On a motorcycle , in a car, in a plane……….you must have the information/training BEFORE YOU engage in the activity. We do not live in a vacuum! Decisions affect other people who happen to be in our worlds or just happen to be near us with imperfect timing!!!
It is interesting that the state requires drivers education before operating a car..
A motorcycle which is arguably more vulnerable and more demanding of good decision making of its pilot….requires no training at all.
My brain tries to blame scott b****. A successful business man who at the time he was the president of the north Carolina motorcycle dealers association..forced the learners permit thru the legislature. Scott just wants to sell more motorcycles. He is removing obstacles to that end. Guy wants to buy a bike? Sure step this way…do I need a license? No we’ll get you hooked up with a learners permit.
This allows people to side step the most important step to buying a motorcycle. most people just fumble around hopeing to be lucky. Or they let there buddies teach them techniques that are laced with assumption and hope? Bad habits get passed on and on and on.
The msf has done an admirable job at trying to address this “skills gap”…ignorance? There program is not perfect but it is very good and is constantly evolving. This training is just the starting point………..the bare minimum!
The advanced riding course by the msf is next…this goes further but not far enough..
Keith code/aaron Stevenson/ etc go even further and start getting to high skill development.
Courses and training cannot repel impulsiveness, insecurity, desperately wrong thinking, or the arrogant blindness of youth.
Once the skills package is “installed” and “in use”….threat recognition is next focus.
My neighbor is still dead…his family will naturally place blame/accountability away from him. “it was THAT bike”! “it was motorcycles in general”. He will forever be a victim.
In their mind..
In my mind . yes he was a victim….of decision making that involved way too high a level of hope,luck,assumption,blind arrogance.
Have you ever climbed up on a ladder that was unstable and lied to yourself “it will hold…it will be okay”. Only to fall and have the audacity to be surprised or to call it an “accident”?
If you get struck by a car while playing in the middle of the street. Is that really an accident? If you get struck by a car while sitting in your rocking chair on your front porch is most certainly an accident or attempted homicide.
If you consistently look down the barrel of a gun to try to assess its “status” loaded or unloaded. Is it an “accident” you got shot doing so?
If you buy a motorcycle and try to operate it with out any training….is this any different
The government should not be having to coerce you into seeking training. You should be seeking it on your own as part of a decision to learn more /participate in any activity…rock climbing, skiing, parachuting, hand gliding,equine activities, hunting, scuba diving , canoeing, boating,etc THIS IS CALLED RISK MANAGEMENT.
YOU WANT TO RIDE? You owe it to yourself and those that love you to do everything with in your power to make the activity as secure as possible. DO NOT AVOID CHALLENGE AND DO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS..but do the thinking ahead of time . do analysis of cost /benefit. Do not allow “hope” or “luck” to be the main component of your thinking.
I love riding my bikes. This morning I had a wonderful multi faceted adventure. It was peaceful and satisfying….then I came home and found the news of my neighbor hanging in the air.
Drop kick the learners permit
Evoke a tiered licensing system
Lowest level restricted to -30 rwhp
Highest level so challenging that only the most knowledgable/skilled/can pass it . you want to ride Yamaha r-1s and hyabusas? SHOW ME you have the skill package /knowledge. Level should be so high that those that achieve this level are proud of their accomplishment