hip69[1]By Victor Wanchena

I guess I’m a Boy Scout or at least I think like one. Remember their motto is “Always be prepared”. I like being prepared in all manner of ways when it comes to motorcycling. If it is going to rain I have my rainsuit. If the weather is going to cool off I carry extra clothing. And if I’m going to crash I wear protective gear. That’s right, I consult Miss Cleo, the Caribbean psychic, every day before departing on my bike to find out if this is the day I’m going to crash. I ride with reckless abandon otherwise, safe in the knowledge that today is not my day. It makes life so much simpler, being able to move about unencumbered by the knowledge that despite my best efforts to avoid it, an accident may find me.


The reality of motorcycling is that it’s a great big world filled with a lot of variables out of our control. To deny this fact is to deny part of the substance of life. The unknown makes our lives infinitely more spicy but at the cost of adding risk. Those that claim to have a handle on the unexpected do not. Motorcycling, like life, is full of twists and turns. It is a wise person that prepares for those unexpected circumstances. I do not mean to be so esoteric but I continue to be amazed at the number of riders that fail to grasp this. None of us know the time or place when the unexpected may happen. This to me is most evident in those who wear little if any safety gear when riding. To them the unpleasant ugliness of a crash, be it their fault or someone else’s, is simply a buzz kill. For some preparedness is simply a hassle; the best way to suck the fun right out of something.


I have decided to take the opposite approach. Instead of refusing to acknowledge that due to my own short comings or just bad luck, I could be involved in an accident. I embrace the idea that I must be prepared for any reasonable situation. Please note I said “reasonable situation”. The reasonable does not include any of the following: a government conspiracy, meteors, Godzilla, aliens, or anything else the paranoid would expect. Simply put, I prepare for those situations that I have a legitimate chance of encountering during my day-to-day travels. No more, no less. This preparedness includes keeping my motorcycle in good repair and wear of safety gear: jacket, gloves, boots, heavy pants and the “H” word, a big white full face helmet. Oh the humanity. I do not deride those who choose not to prepare themselves in the same manner, but I do hope they have made that choice with a full understanding of the situation. Too much disinformation is spread by those whose concerns for our rights as riders have blinded them to the best interests of motorcycling as a whole.


My view is most probably uncommon among motorcyclists, but that does not deter me. You do not have to be popular to be right. Be prepared so when life throws you a zig you are ready to zag.


Ride fast, take chances.



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