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Rider Down

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by BikerRN, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Yesterday my wife and I were enjoying some time in Southern AZ with a motorcycle ride.

    We rode down the 83 from Tucson, a "Scenic Highway" by the way, and stopped in Sonoita. It's a gas station and store, not much else. It is a congregating point for bikers. While we were there we say 3 bikes, among many, that would later have a tragedy befall them.

    3 Harleys, Husband/Wife and a friend. The Father had the son behind him, about 6 or so. The Mother had the Daughter behind her, about 12 and the friend was pillionless.

    On the news yesterday night we learned that the woman failed to negogiate a curve and ran off the road hitting a tree. She was killed, the Daughter was Airlifted to the local Trauma Center. The kids were wearing 1/2 helmets, but the adults had no protection on.

    I hate to see this because another life was lost on a great road. The newspaper said the curve has a suggested speed of 35 MPH, I do it at 55 with ease. I just wonder if she was a "newbie" and paniced in the curve and froze up?

    If she was a "newbie" this is a great reason to have "graduated" licenses. My wife started on a 250cc bike for a year, then a 500cc bike for another year. Now she has an "Open License" in Australia and can ride whatever she wants.

    I do fault the parents selection of headgear for the children. The law says those under 18 must wear a helmet, but a 1/2 helmet is next to useless. If it were my child I would have them wearing full-face helmets. The son was wearing shorts even. I guess they didn't really care about their kids to allow them to ride dressed like that.

    Now before the Harley crowd jumps on me let me state, I have ridden and owned Harleys. I very seldom wore a helmet when I was on my Harley. My passengers on the other hand always wore a full-face, or they didn't ride. I also made sure they had on "proper" clothing, or no ride. I don't mind on adult being stupid, but to subject your kids to your stupidity is criminal. It is a parent's responsibility to protect and look after their children until they reach the age of majority.

    Take care and ride safe and thanks for letting me vent. We say this trio, but they were on the other side of the parking lot and didn't chat with them. We did however chat with a few folks and had a nice time.
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    It's a tragedy for sure, and I echo your sentiments. I don't care if the riders wear nothing but a birthday suit when they ride, but when they take a passenger, especially their own children, and fail to properly equip them with at least some sort of decent gears, that's just not right.

    And you were probably right with your guess about the woman probably panicked and failed to negotiate an easy curve at slow speed. I've seen it before a few times, but with less than tragic results. Usually these are the people who have barely passed the MSF course a few days earlier or never gotten any instruction other than the Uncle-Joe-In-The-Parking-Lot type of instructions.

  3. fnfalman

    Thanks for letting me vent. These days I won't ride without full gear, I don't care how hot it is.

    Take care and ride safe. :)
  4. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    I agree 100% on all three above.

    I always wear a full face helmet, leather jacket, gloves. The only things I slack on are usually jeans and tennis shoes, better than shorts and flip-flops, but not as good as riding pants and boots. If I go on an actual ride I will don my tactical boots, but usually I am riding my cycle to work and don't have room to carry a change of shoes.

    I am new at riding. I just got my endorsement in July and rode until about October, then it got a little cold out. I wish I could ride year round, but it's a little hard right now. We have about 3.5-4 feet of snow up here. But I did see some crazy maniac on a dirt bike last week riding around town. Come to find out it was my fiance's father!!;g

    Keep the shiny side up.
  5. Cryptoboy

    Cryptoboy Sr. Sr. Member!

    Dec 15, 2004
    Tempe, AZ
    I couldn't agree with anyone more on this. While I ride a Harley and I only wear my helmet about 1/2 the time (typically if I ride to work I'll wear a helmet, weekends I usually relax on that a bit), any child that would ride with me, especially my (future) children would look like that kid on A Christmas Story (Randy). If I die because of my stupidity that's one thing, but I'd rather not have anyone else's blood on my hands.

    I probably would've passed you on the road yesterday BikerRN. That is, if I had been able to get my bike running! I was all set to go out with some buddies, and I get ready to go, and looks like I left the bike to sit for too long, and the battery drained to where I couldn't get it started. (been travelling alot the past few months). Very depressing, given the beautiful day we had yesterday. :(
  6. If you see a Red Multistrada being ridden by a bloke with a KBC Airborne2 helmet come up and say hi.

    The wife rides a matte black Multistrada and has a Nolan Boxing Kangaroo helmet.

    We decided to stay in Southern AZ and not move for a while. The money, weather and roads are great!
  7. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I don't suppose that the wife's Multistrada is named Fabio?;f
  8. Rosey


    Mar 19, 2005
    Chandler, AZ
    Don't forget that kids will learn their habits by what you DO, not what you SAY or what you make them do. Teach safe, responsible riding through example...
  9. ;z

    No, it's the "Italian Stallion." ;)
  10. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Crashing sucks!!

    There is one curve on 83 that seems to get a biker or two every weekend. I think people are looking at the Santa Ritas while crusing along and miss the curve. It is a beautiful stretch of road.

    It is a law in arizona that minors must wear a helmet on a motorcycle. Of course, a DOT approved half helmet meets this requirement -- sadly.

    I ride a Harley. Arai helmets have saved my life. I never leave home without one. Never.
  11. Three Five Seven;

    Maybe the wife and I will see you on the road one of these days. I think Southern AZ has the most to offer as far as living conditions, gun laws and roads to ride.

    Take care and ride safe.
  12. JAREDG21


    Jul 11, 2004
    Coastal NC
    sadto hear the story I personally always wear a full face helmet and I always wear it.
  13. DaisyCutter


    Mar 1, 2003
    While generally good, the graduated license system would need a process of appeal. Seriously, my very first streetbike was a ZRX1200R, and I was manhandling it in a couple weeks. I had years of riding experience off road before I ever got my motorcycle license. I'd have no interest in starting out on a streetbike that has half the HP and 2X the weight of my dirtbike. I think there's a lot of riders similar to me. Maybe they could graduate the license based on skills tests in addition to experience?
  14. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

    Jan 13, 2002
    Graduated licensing is horrible. I should have the freedom to choose what I want to ride, always. It's not the government's job to decide what I can and can't handle, nor is it the government's job to babysit me at every turn.

    Don't tell me I have to wear a helmet. I'll wear one anyway, because I value my life.

    Don't tell me what kind of bike I can ride. I'll stay within my limitations, because I value my life.

    Don't tell me I have to wear a seatbelt. I'll wear one anyway, because I value my life.

    Just like I don't want the government telling me what kind of guns I can own, among other things.

    The government shouldn't be our babysitter.

    If anything, there should be helmet/seatbelt and other laws to protect children. Adults are on their own. If you're not smart enough to protect yourself, I don't need you breathing my air. But, your children aren't old enough to make those decisions for themselves, and if their mom/dad is next in line for the Darwin Award, the kids should not be forced to come along for the ride.
  15. DaisyCutter


    Mar 1, 2003
    To an extent, I agree Jtemple. Still there's droves of 17yo's drooling over Yamaha R1's that aren't mature enough to "value their own life".

    I was 17 once, and I got more then my share of the luck.
  16. While I agree with you in theory I disagree with you in reality. I was thinking of myself when I suggested a graduated licensing program.

    Because of this lady's inability to ride her motorcycle, all of us licensed and insured motorcyclist will pay for this in increased insurance premiums. I am always looking for a way to save a buck, and this seems like an easy way.

    I generally don't like the Government involved in anything I do, but in reality they already are involved. Since they are already here, and have the camel's nose under the tent so to speak, lets take advantage of the situation and make it better for all of us.
  17. DaveGT


    Dec 3, 2005
    Not to blow my own horn, but this subject is one I have a LOT of experience with through my background as both a motor officer and traffic accident investigator in law enforcement; and my being a motorcycle safety instructor and Harley-Davidson State Safety Coordinator for the State of Texas.

    I agree 100% with the above comments about parents being responsible for their children.... in so many more ways than a lot of parents even think of. Making sure kids are fully safety equipped is a no-brainer, it should be in bold print in the 'parenting handbook'... unfortunately it is not and some parents lack common sense.

    When I used to teach the MSF basic course, I was totally amazed and disgusted with parents who bought their 16 year old a motorcycle capable of doing 160 MPH... before he even took the state mandated training course ! Then they let the kid, who was an unlicensed and uninsured 16 year old rider, ride that motorcycle to the course ! That happened many times over and never failed to have me scratching my head. ;L

    Parents allowing kids to ride without full safety gear should lose their driving/riding privileges. When they finally have to think about how much THEY could lose, those kind of parents might finally be forced to think about the safety of their kids.

    For those taking the side of less government, less laws and more freedoms, consider this: the reason we NEED some of the laws is because there are those proud citizens among us who lack common sense and the ability to think for themselves. Sometimes, laws have to be passed to FORCE people to take care of themselves. In many cases, if some don't, won't, or can't think for themselves, the rest of us have to think for them.... with our tax dollars, our votes, and our abiding by the established laws of the land. Safety equipment in cars and on motorcycles are a good example, so are DUI laws.... see what I mean ? I am referring to many of the good, common sense laws that make life better for everyone.

    I took a ride through southern Arizona this past summer, the ride included the former Highway 666 in the southeastern part of the state. On many, many of the switchback, off camber, uphill and downhill 15 mph curves, there is no guard rail present... only a tumble down a mountainside if one makes a mistake. To ride that kind of a highway without proper safety equipment is something no one in my group of 7 riders would have done. No matter if it was the Harley riders of the group, the Gold Winger or the Suzuki Sport Touring rider, we all respected our surroundings and rode with the proper gear. Even a tumble down the side of a mountain could be less damaging with the proper riding gear on.

    In my own motorcycle accident in April of 2003, I broke basically the whole right side of my body when I hit a deer and bounced down the highway. With all the broken bones and injuries, I was fortunate that I had very minor road rash as a result of my safety clothing, and I never even realized that my head had impacted the pavement several times as I bounced and cartwheeled down the highway.... until my wife retreived my helmet from the hospital property room and I looked at it a few days later. The badly damaged right side and top sure made me (and my family) glad I was wearing it ! While I am fortunate to be able to ride again, I am still recovering from that accident. I will soon be undergoing open heart surgery to replace a portion of the ascending aorta that was damaged when my sternum and ribs crushed in on it. BUT... in spite of all the pain and discomfort, almost losing my leg, and now the upcoming very risky heart surgery, I thank God every single day that I am still here and that I am alive to enjoy my son and my wife.... largely because of safety equipment.

    In short, what I am trying to say is that it always has been and always will be..... up to each of us as riders to apply common sense and logic to our beloved pastime of riding motorcycles. If we ALL don't, we could lose that which is so precious to us.

    Brand mentality and putting one another down because of a brand or style needs to give way to unified thinking and, most importantly, strength in numbers.
  18. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

    Jan 13, 2002
    You are correct. That's where parenting comes in.
  19. +1 WELL SAID!
  20. Even the dreaded Honda Twinstar (twinkie) of the 70's would go at least 70 miles per hour. Thats plenty fast enough to get anybody killed.
    Graduated licensing is not going to stop people from getting hurt. It would just be a boondoggle govt program.
    I always encourage new riders to take a training course( and better yet, learn to ride in the dirt first) wear protective gear etc.
    Mandatory helmet laws are un American.
    I say, you take your chances, you pay for the consequences/not wearing protective gear and being involved in an accident should increase your own level of financial responsibility when you try to collect from someone elses insurance.