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Old 06-19-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
GAU-8
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Motorcycling and Safety "culture"

-Please bear with me, as we all know my literary prose leaves much to be desired. if my english teach saw this..i am sure i would get a good ruler across the hand. context wise, i hope you will see what i am getting at.i am a bit tired as i type this so "speeling" errors.... you all are forewarned! :P

this is my one time shout out, with all seriousness, and "GAU-isms" put on the back burner. i will never admit to this if questioned.. as all evidence will be destroyed against said seriousness i have "supposedly" brought forth.

I am a squid at heart with reckless abandon!! you can even call me out out on that. i dont mind. but one of the things that i have learned (thank you oil industry) is that not only is "GEAR" a good thing to have, but so is the CULTURE of SAFETY. Good gear, not implemented, or not being PROPERLY used creates a fundamental breakdown in your safety.

where i worked they CRAMMED safety into your head, even when you thought "what is THIS going to save..really?"..sure enough that little bit of safety that some had taken for granted left them with ripped open arms with grease in muscle tissue, exploded heads, hoses slicing up a face,or loosing a whole fingernail (ouch!)..etc etc. before working in said industry i questioned MANY things about safety. but if you wanted the job, you followed the rules. slowly over time, this companies culture gets steeped into everyone, over time take it home with you. which i must profess, has saved my eyesight, fingers, neck, and other goodness,i dont want to ever lose.

AM I "safety pup"..or "rulebook Reggie?" I dont think so, but learning the values of adopting a good safety culture does no harm ..not adopting one CAN though.

since joining motohouston, i feel that we (for the most part) are a positive family looking out for each other. i have a great time with many of you. internet tomfoolery/ drama aside, i think we all look out for each other quite a bit. so for this right, i am opening up a little for my concerns that we all probably share, at some point. i may not be right by any means..but this is just how i feel. (shut the FU<K UP DR phil!)

everything ABOUT motorcyling is "potentially dangerous", the only way to never get hurt..is to never ride. (screw that!) but if that was the case there are so many dangers in life, one would never have a life at all..to make it out alive. one cannot remove ALL RISK, because you CANT. that is the way it is. On the other hand, one can help REDUCE the RISK, by looking at the potential danger to be expected before hand, and properly implementing a SAFER element to your actions, and associated risks. Awareness of said safety features being used and LIMITATIONS doesnt hurt to know as well. for an example. HELMETS SAVE LIVES. its documented studies over the years prove this. but in no way does a helmet save you from all "forseeable impacts" (as stated in the helmet linings.) i have seen many riders go helmetless to the local store. they feel the need to wear it is not worth it. statistically most accidents happen under two miles from home though. you would think that it would want to make you wear it more often, than not on short trips. on the other hand, the SAME rider i knew (and know many more) will don said helmet when they are out for a "spirited" ride. and when i say "spirited" i mean consistent speeds of 120 + all the time. are they wearing the helmet? yes, but considering the speeds, and impacts associated at elevated speed, they are potentially riding above what the helmets protection can afford, in many cases. at some point, the helmet will only keep your grey matter inside, but its still mush. a definitive "brain bucket"as loosest terms allowed. wearing gear is great, but if you ride over the standard limitations of said gear, maybe its time to upgrade to a better set? mesh jacket will do SO much. leather jacket will do more, but again within so much. as one poster made a statement "its faster to cool off, than it is to heal". (who ever that was...thank you, sweet advice)

Too often i see threads concerning riders that were hurt/killed, and often times involving alcohol. generally at some point one will say "thats what you get for drinking, i dont feel sorry for him..he deserved it" mentality. problem is those riders are US.. its YOU, ME, HE ,SHE, THEM.. all of us. i am not about to call anyone out, but far too often i see many having a drink or two before the ride. i am quite sure if i approached anyone asking "do you HAVE to have a drink, knowing you are riding" i would get the typical "its JUST ONE"...or "who the F are you..safety squid!", anything of the "i can handle my ..F.OFF. ..you" variety you can think of. that is fine and dandy, i respect that, but when the accident comes, its the typical " that sucks" response, or the fact that alcohol was involved,but was completely glazed over. "it had nothing to do with the pitcher of beer i had!..it was just an accident". you dont have to be even remotely close to your limitations to have an accident. one of the key factors I see against using better judgment..is the "i am not pushing myself" belief. the fact that they feel they wont be needing "100 percent" attention anyways, so might as well take a load off. but you NEED 100 percent attention. that little bit to take the "edge off", was probably the amount of focus you just gave up to save yourself from nastyness. have I ever drank and drive? you bet! but luckily after a one close call, i decided quits. i made my own personal promise to my self and others around me. i drive, or i drink..but i NEVER mix the two. EVER. if i drink, i make sure i have a place to stay. no place to stay? then i dont drink. i do not make exceptions. am i a chest thumper? no... but this is my statement for you guys. you will NEVER have to worry about me involving YOU or a LOVED ONE in an accident due to or even remotely attributed to alcohol. that is part of my "culture". if one adopts to this..great. if not, well that is not my decision, nor my place to force it on you. if it can help ONE person..awesome..then my getting flamed for this will have paid off

ever notice how many "SQUIDS" there are? thats right we call them all out. we all know who "they" are. but YOU.."YOU" are NEVER a squid. you have the skills to pull it off, when others cant get away with it, and be cool at the same time. "its ok.. i KNOW how to ride! wont happen to me" mentality. its squidly if someone ELSE does it, but awesome fun if you do it. at some point you are going to get bit. HARD. this is called COMPLACENY. Beginners in any situation make mistakes because they were not aware of the dangers. Experts on the other hand make the mistakes because they know the danger, but chose to ignore it.

a while back a friend of mine had a ninja 250, he road with his helmet EVERYWHERE. no matter where he went. one day he had a mishap on his bike, and it was totalled. a month later he purchased a yamaha star 1100. the helmet was gone, and in place was a bandana , and sunglasses. he road like this for several years. rain, fog, cold weather, steamy summers. he was comfortable without his helmet. we all told him, we would rather see him with a full face helmet again. never happened. despite our requests.

later he was promoted to supervisor..shortly afterward his full face helmet could be seen with him when he came in from riding to work. I eventually asked him " whats with the helmet now...? mr. "i like to rebel". he stated that, since he now had the supervisor position, he had a change of heart about our "safety culture" at work, and at home. he realised he wanted to lead by example, rather than an "do as i say, not as i do" typical shop facilitator. plus he also mentioned "wow, i cant believe i road this long without it (helmet)..if i take it off now for even a moment riding, i feel completely exposed, like i would go down any second and my would head burst open like a water balloon". incidentally the number of helmeted riders went UP. he understood the "culture" finally and helped spread it.

If one person believes in something enough and applies that knowledge personally, another individual will notice, and do the same. over time a solid foundation will be born, stemming from a single positive action. Believe it or not i am NOT about killing fun but getting killed..takes away the ability to have fun.

with that note being said. my longwinded issue has been said. never again will it happen what was the point? i dont know... but i felt it had to be said. hope it made sense. if not..ah well.. "thats GAU" for ya

have fun, be safe, and ATGATT!




(this pussified moment brought to you by the brainwasihings of DR.PHIL, and his cohort OPRAH)

FLAME ON!
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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i agree with you, it is a culture and a learned behavior. I work for NASA doing safety so i see it all the time. I won't use a ladder incorrectly at home... ok sometimes i do but i pray that if i get hurt doing it that nobody will know the real reason, but the whole time I'm thinking to myself that i shouldn't be doing this. there is a safer way i could do some things but that costs a lot more money and more time to set up.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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nice post. i agree.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Yes, good info.
Gotta make it second nature soo that you will feel naked by not wearing your gear.
I'd rather spend an extra minute or two gearing up than weeks/months/years healing up from something.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
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your post was too long for my hangover so i will agree bcuz my head hurtz..
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:35 AM   #6
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good post it never hurts to remind people to be safe
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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agreed its a culture and about spreading to fellow riders....im sitting in a dr's office right now doing a follow up after I went down a couple weeks ago. before I started hanging out with riders that believed in wearing gear all the time all I would wear is a helmet and gloves...im glad to say that when I did go down I had gloves, leather jacket, boots, and gloves....and bc of that my injuries are pretty small in the grand scehe of thngs....
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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I rode a Harley for 7 years. Often without a helmet or jacket (ALWAYS with gloves tho'). <is that stupid? I wanted to protect my hands but left my head in the wind.
Anyway I decided I wanted to get back to the sportier side of 2 wheels and started wearing a helmet. It was THEN that I realized how naked and foolish I had been.
Gear up! The risk is real and the price is steep.

And like GAU said, I can cool off faster than you can heal up.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing yoru thoughts Gau...I hope more people read this...
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #10
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thanks for the responses. it is a shame i have not been able to correct my "wordyness" problem. i try to work on it, but hard to do (didnt look like it this instance :P) punk/freak outside..GEEEEEK inside. what a combination lol

more than welcome to chop it up/edit/rewrod/repost if one/mod wishes to make it simplified, and fluent my mind "strays" a lot
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #11
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Dress for the crash, not the ride. Doesn't matter how or where you "plan" to ride, because I don't know anyone that planned to crash. Gear is also one of those few variables in our sport that is 100% in your control.

Bottom line is it's a personal decision everyone has to make. It is unfortunate that many peopla have to go down and get hurt before they realize they aren't invincible. It is also sad how self-centered many of us are, since we obviously care less about our family and friends than we do about looking cool. ONce you leave this earth, the people we leave behind are left to deal with the results of our poor decisions, whether it is our lack of gear that may have saved us, or our lack of regard to the speeds and ways we ride.

Of course, by then it's too late.

I'll continue to refer to those I see without lids, in shorts and "t's" as organ donors, because that's what they are.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:38 PM   #13
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thank you.

i feel like i just wrote a "Jerry McGuire" memo.... and about to get canned LOLZ...
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