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After reading that S&W Winger went down this weekend, and knowing how much she loved riding around Flordia and up the east coast,
I have to ask those riders that been in the saddle many years:

After years of riding cycles, do you get to a point were you actually ride were you let your safety instincts down??

I'm not saying that happen to Beverly, but I find myself at times riding were I'm to relaxed and taking my riding ability
and the mechanical state of my Goldwing for granted.

Your Thoughts Please
 

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I think it happens to us all at one time or more. Terrible news like we just had or even a relatively close call tends to shock me back to reality. It is to dangerous a sport to take anything for granted.
 

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I don't think any of us like to admit it but it does happen. That's the reason we don't recommend riding when you are taking some over the counter medications. Each of us react differently to different meds so make sure you know how you react before you ride. Temporary physical limitations can be an issue as well as emotional distractions. No matter how hard you try you may on occasion find your mind wandering, its time for a break. I believe the majority of accidents didn't need to happen. We talk a lot about cages violating our right of way, it happens a lot. We need to remmember that being right on a motorcycle isn't good enough, you may be right, dead right. Inattention is a big killer that can happen to anyone.
 

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It reminds me of something so basic that we take it for granted or some people don't even know it. Motorcycles turn by countersteering, you actually turn the handlebars the opposite direction that you want to go. I had been riding for years before I discovered this, nearly cost me my life. I was in the Smoky Mountains back in the 70's, before the roads were as improved as they are today. I was rounding a left hand curve (no guard rail) when I realized it was a decreasing radius and I was going too fast. It was a huge drop off, hundreds of feet down the side of the mountain, and I was in danger of going over. I consciously turned the handlebars to the left to get away from the edge, but to my horror the bike went to the right, even closer to going over. At the last moment I violently flung my body to the left out of desperation, effectively countersteering and moving me away from the edge. Afterwards I wondedred why the bike had behaved the way it did. I soon learned about countersteering. The same thing happened to my wife years later when she was a new rider. She went into a curve too hot and when she consciously tried to turn away from the edge, she went off the road. Luckily for her it was just a cow pasture, flat with no obstacles. For anyone who has never done this, the next time you're on a long straight road, push on the left grip (effectively turning the handlebar to the right) and see which way you go. You'll go LEFT. Remember, push left go left, push right go right. Wish I had known that in my younger days.

Tom
 

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I just don't want to be too hasty in thinking it was rider error. I looked at the locating of Bev's accident on areial view and it appears sparsely populated in the area. Not knowing yet if there were witnesses, it is possible another vehicle (cage) could be involved!
The most important thing is that Bev gets the best possible care!
 

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After years of riding cycles, do you get to a point were you actually ride were you let your safety instincts down??

Your Thoughts Please
Personally I believe all of us at one time or another have ridden with our safety instincts "down" and are concentrating on something else.
 

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It is very easy to become too comfortable with your riding and loose your attentiveness. On the other hand with more years under the belt and all the attention to distracted drivers, I often find myself ever more vigilant of whats going around me, in my lane, ahead of me and behind me. Almost to the point of saying to myself "what are you doing out here" on two wheels amongst the four wheelers on cell phones etc...
Every spring I go thru this period of should I or shouldn't I and maybe just move onto a different means of personnel enjoyment.
 

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My brother,a long time rider,said you will have at least one scary moment every five hundred miles.
If you don't get some butterflies when I crank the bike.
Get off it.
 

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After 50 plus years, I am always a little "cranked up" when I ride (no butterflies, though). When the attention span starts to lose its edge, I get off until I can rev it back up to have full or nearly full situational awareness. So far no accidents or drops of any kind, but several close calls - mostly animals.
 

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After 40 years of riding and knowing how people dont know how to drive cars. I tend to be overly cautious sometimes.
 

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I have many prayers out for Bev. I think your point is well taken about relaxing our guards and relying too much on the mechanical strenghts of the wing. I too did the same thing in May 08, found myself surfing across that hard asphalt with the wing going in a different direction. I had full leathers on and a full face helmet. I ended up in the hospital, but nothing as severe as Bev's initial diagnosis. Long story short....I developed leg blood clots from that. I have decided that the trike is the only answer. When I was able, took the wing directly and had it converted. No matter what you say, the two wheeler eventually can turn around on you, whether it be weather, road conditions or personal misjudgement.

Prayers for healing and comfort for Bev!

Ken
 

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The newspaper report that Bartman posted said she lost control for no apparent reason. If it was a fairly deserted area, then another thing comes to mind....DEER? Or furry critter of some kind? Who knows. Our prayers go to out to Bev and her family.
 

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When i ride to work everyday i am on a constant vigilance when riding. On weekends i am with someone most of the time so i have to be aware. I have yet to catch me day dreaming and if i start to i pullover as the cost is too great if you fall asleep at the wheel
 

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Last year was my year I guess. I dropped a bike for the first time ever late last fall after 35 years of accident free riding.

I was going a little too fast on a narrow unknown road when a car going the other way drifted just a bit out into my lane. It was a sharp left hander over the crest of a hill. He didn't come very far into my lane, but just enough to un-nerve me about where he was going, make me drift out to make sure there was clearance, and then drop my front tire off the edge of the pavement and into the dirt. From that point, it was in Gods hands. Fortunately not a lot of damage to me when the bike went down (good riding gear), but almost $6000 to fix the bike. The other car never even realized what had happened.

Was it inattention? Sort of. Had I been going a little slower on a road I didn't know, I wouldn't have been leaned in as far and his drifting over wouldn't have startled me as much. So I guess we can just get complacent and get "into" the fun of the curves without thinking far enough ahead and that's when we can get hurt.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if we are not careful, we can be our own worst enemies. When I used to fly, we called that getting "behind the curve" as far as thinking ahead to what "might" happen next.
 

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Lost vigilence on Saturday. Normally I don't get to ride much around here in the winter; but Sat it got up to about 60. I'd ridden about 100 miles and it was great. Just purring along about 60 mph on back country road, sun on my body, no cars to be seen, cruise control set, and BAMMM pheasant takes off right in front of me about wheel level from left to right not 2 feet in front of me. I was so zoned out(relaxed -not under the influence) I didn't even react. Thank goodness he (big rooster) missed me; but it just reminded me how we have to always be alert even when it seems no danger is around.
 

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As I get older and more miles, I think I have become more attentive, maybe a little scared ( which isn't a bad thing I guess) not scared of the motorcycle or my skills, scared of the inattentive drivers out there, cells phones, makeup ( sorry girls) guys reading the newspaper while driving...scary stuff....:eek:4:...they're all out to get us!!!!!
I too ride with the "what if" thing going on....I try and think ahead, "what if that car pulls out, what if a animal jumps out....just never know...BUT, I'm not going to give up riding because of the unknown, nor sit on a front porch thinking "gee, I wish I would have....." life is too short...not saying we should be careless....but I do love motorcycles, as does Bev....she a strong person and I pray she'll come out of this OK....

Be safe all and get well soon Bev.....
 

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I had lunch with Bev a couple of weeks ago and she told me then that she had not yet gotten over her bout with phenmonia and collapsed lung. She said that she was still weak and didn't feel that good. Bev is the type of person who just loves to ride her GW and will push the envelope sometimes to do just that. What factors that were involved is yet to be determined. I have rode that same road several times and it is usually lightly traveled. But on a Saturday nite many things could have come about that caused her accident. I'm thinking that she met a car coming around that curve in her lane and she had to get out of the way and lost control, and the other driver either didn't see her crash or didn't stop. (this happens a lot around here) I'm hoping and praying for the best for her, she is a great motorcyclist.
 

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I think safety and play the "what if" game all the time while riding. Having ridden to and from work in "heavy metropolitan traffic" for about 25 years, I had no other choices if I wanted to stay alive.

Dave Bohrer
Silver Spring, MD
 
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