Jun 18, 2012

RIP, Sooner or Later

In early June, an attractive, young (22) woman crashed her motorcycle and died. This Minnesota story made the news in a lot of places: England, television, more televisionthe press, and pretty much every motorcycle blog in the country. She was not wearing a helmet or any other motorcycle gear) and died of head injuries.  She was a new motorcyclist and a new motorcycle owner. Now, her mother is on a campaign to make helmets mandatory in Minnesota. I say "good luck" to her. Our legislature is too gutless to take on ABATE in good times. Without our Republican majority state house, courage is out the window and the sight of a few dozen stringy-haired Village People on Harleys would be enough to stampede the state House into full flight. They might try to figure out where the Wisconsin Democrats hid during the Walker anti-union debacle and hide there until doomsday. (According to Fox News, that will be pretty damn soon.)

Too much of the motorcyclists' response has been hysterical and irrational. Characters like Todd Riba, legislative ABATE's director; are claiming "It's a freedom issue." They don't have a problem with the Patriot Act's raid on the Constitution, but putting on a hat really bothers them. I know, it's a big deal having the wind blow your hair (as in the one hair left on their bald heads) around and they plod through the countryside trying to see where they are going through the wind-inspired tears. The stupid crap so-called motorcyclists are saying in the comments sections of the articles is embarrassing for all of us. 

Paul Hoffer's response to the discussion was, "I just cover what I don't want to lose." I've been using that phrase in a lot of my MSF classes lately. It pretty much sums up the whole story. It appears that a fair number of motorcyclists don't need to worry about losing their heads. It's not a vital organ.


  1. Very sad story and a sad commentary on the motorcycling community, such as it is....

  2. The fact that the deceased was attractive will help piblicize the isdue as irrational as that may be in our image driven world. Florida has no adult helmet law and people lose their brains as a result. Visiting Virginia which does I am astonished by the rubbish people put on their heads to "comply" with the law. A helmet law that means anything will require thought, study and real rules about what is compliant. Not a bicycle helmet or a skateboard lid. Not an ancient scratched painted full face abortion of a helmet.

    In the end allow the heard to thin, I say let the fools ride with no training, let the dealers sell them full sized powerful motorcycles, let the mothers grieve their pretty, uneducated daughters. how many stranded starfish do you want to save on the drying beach?

  3. I'm as unlikely as anyone to worry about the future of humanity (outside of my kids and grand-kids). The population does need thinning, but on a selfish note if we continue to be a substantial portion of highway deaths without contributing anything significant to transportation we're gonna be regulated into oblivion. There is no reason why motorcycles contributed 10%+ of highway deaths. We are an insignificant portion of traffic.

  4. I think the death that happened in NY during anti-helmet parade (last summer, I believe) takes the cake as the most ironic ever, when daft bastard flew over his bars and smashed that on which hat is normally put on.

  5. Yes, I always wear a full-coverage helmet, but I still think the #1 problem is the nut holding the handlebars. I read a lot of accident reports and very rarely does it sound like the rider wasn't at least partially at fault. A lot of riders are just as bad at it as they are at driving, but the latter is more forgiving as you are surrounded by steel, air bags, etc.

  6. I understand Ms. Black is getting death threats and other gaywad crap from the bozos who hate helmets and can't ride worth squat. Like the loud pipe squad, these morons are doing everything they can to prove motorcyclists are idiots and shouldn't be allowed to play with sharp edges or wheels. As if the world would be inconvenienced if these assholes refused to ride if they have to wear a helmet. If fact, I support their right to hold their breath until someone gives a damn about their piddly problems.


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