A Heavy Monday

Apr 28, 2012 View Comments by

Monday mornings always rank low on the spectrum of life. Unfortunately, this past workweek began with a heavy slap of tragedy. I found out that we lost a fellow motorcyclist. I didn’t know Danny; he was a friend of a friend. I’d seen him around and we often exchanged “How’s it goings”. I wasn’t even aware that he rode. My buddies that did know him spoke very highly of him. He was a great guy, a hard worker, and had a zest for life. That last part must have been especially true; he rode a CBR600. Danny was only 34. According to the report in the newspaper, the accident involved speed and a tractor-trailer. Those two factors in combination will never fall in the favor of the motorcyclist. It would be easy to play armchair accident investigator and ask all the usual questions. Was he wearing a good helmet, was the truck driver negligent, how fast is “too fast”? Really, those points are all academic and now in the hands of the police investigators. The bottom line is that we lost a fellow rider, a fellow enthusiast. I’m sure that the thoughts of all reading this will go out to Danny’s family.

It’s a bitter truth that stories like this accompany our great sport. To ride a motorcycle in any circumstance is to assume a certain level of risk. To some, that risk is unacceptable. To others, it’s simply part of the game. As riders, we eschew the comfort of the armchair and relative safety of the seat belt in favor of the sounds, smells, and sensations that life in the wind so generously throws our way. We laugh off the warnings of well intentioned relatives, take in stride the “death wish” and “organ doner” wise cracks of coworkers, and refuse to listen to that little voice that we sometimes hear just after missing that Buick bumper by mere inches. To us, the rewards of the ride far outweigh the risks. To those that don’t understand, turn on the AC, turn up the stereo, and bask in your orb of metallic sterility, more power to you.

Motorcycles are certainly not for everyone. Maybe that’s why most of us wave to each other. We know that despite our different tastes, preferences and even social standing, we share at least one common bond. Let’s face it, total stranger on a bike is never a total stranger. I didn’t know Danny personally, but I might as well have, we shared that bond.

Godspeed brother, we’ll miss you.

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About the author

At 16, I got my motorcycle license and cut my street teeth aboard a Honda MT250 dual sport. I quickly discovered that motorcycle touring was an excellent antidote for acute wanderlust.