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The One Big Flaw...His Motorcycle!

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NWfleur posted 8/26/2013 23:51 PM

Okay, so I am feeling really, really good about my SO. He's taught me so much about what is feels like to be loved, adored and respected. He's funny, smart, fun and sensitive. Perhaps it helps that he too was a BS, so has that unique perspective on life that we all share.
He drives a motorcycle!!! He's very outdoorsy, skis, mountaineers, loves adventures. He's works in the tech field, so probably needs hobbies that are less "dry" and give him a sense of adventure. But I HATE the motorcycle thing. He has a car, but drives the mc everywhere. He loves the freedom it brings him. He's not so much into the "biker"'s a BMW not a Harley, but it's his vehicle of choice for sure.

Everyone I know has a terrible motorcycle story. I read statistic after statistic about how dangerous it is. I am a worrier by nature. And it sort of feels like, I finally met this wonderful partner...why must I worry about THIS!?

Do I need to let it go? Talking to him does no good...he just talks about how he's safe, wears his gear, blah blah blah.
Anyone have any perspective? Thoughts?

Sad in AZ posted 8/27/2013 04:20 AM

The X was a biker-Harley. We grew up and lived in NY till we were 36, so he always wore a helmet. He had a few incidents, but nothing more than road rash.

We rode all over the place. Some rides were glorious; my favorite memory was riding around Long Island on a warm spring or summer night. Some were hideous, yet are remembered with a filter--one particularly nasty one was being stuck in the Baltimore Tunnel at rush hours--the fumes!

Ironically, his life threatening injury involved being run down while walking his beat in NYC by a drug dealer on a motorcycle. So I guess you could say that motorcycles were dangerous to him but not in way you are worried about.

hill posted 8/27/2013 07:20 AM

I'll preface this by saying I hate motorcycles.

But, this is something he's done for YEARS before you came along, his passion, and you knew it when you started to date him. I don't think this is something you can ask him to give up.

cayc posted 8/27/2013 07:33 AM

I've been a motorcyclists for almost 25 years. I worked in public relations for the industry, I was the person journalists called with NHTSA released accident and fatality data, I was instrumental in getting the Motorcycle Safety Foundation coursework re-written and updated ... I raced motorcycles at Willow Springs Raceway in CA.

I've known 1000s of riders. I don't know anyone killed or hurt outside of a racing environment. The overwhelming majority of people hurt riding on the street are people who do it to themselves. There's only one scenario where the car is truly at fault.

What that means for riders is that doing things like, wearing protective gear, updating their rider training regularly, not riding while drunk, not speeding, recognizing that cars often don't see them and slowing when they see cars that might pull out in front of them so they have time to take evasive action.

Riders of BMWs are notoriously safety-minded.

I agree, this was one of his primary hobbies when you met, then it's not fair to demand he give it up because you are fearful of something you don't completely understand. If he's doing all the things I mentioned, then he's a responsible rider and for that he should be commended.

I know you're scared and venting. I just wanted to show you that there's more to this than you've previously realized.


Williesmom posted 8/27/2013 07:53 AM

t/j: cayc - you a one cool chick!

OK, here are my thoughts on the sitch: It's his thing - let him have his thing. There are so many worse things that he could be doing. As long as he's safe and enjoying himself, let him be.

Newlease posted 8/27/2013 08:45 AM

Life is uncertain. You could be killed in a car accident. You could get cancer. You could get hit while walking.

I started riding my own motorcycle at age 50. My adult sons were not happy about it, but I have always lived my life by "the rules" and it's time for me to do what makes me happy!

There is something about riding a motorcycle that lets your soul soar! If you are riding safely, you have no room in your mind for anything but what you are doing. You have to pay attention to everything around you.

I call it "wind therapy" and there is no way I would give it up until I can no longer safely do it. Then I will get a 3 wheeler.

My SO has a pillow on his couch that says, "You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a therapist's office."

Sending strength and peace.


nowiknow23 posted 8/27/2013 09:15 AM

Have you ridden with him?

h0peless posted 8/27/2013 10:09 AM

I'm not sure I would have gotten through this without my motorcycle. It was literally the only hobby I had prior to Dday that even remotely appealed to me for months. Riding is great therapy.

Anecdotally, most motorcycle accidents I've seen involved alcohol, excessive speed or both. It can be dangerous but it's so relaxing.

TrulyReconciled posted 8/27/2013 10:29 AM

I grew up on two wheels as a teen but gave it up. I also know a former motocycle racer. Not to be a wet blanket but I know two people who were killed (young) by other drivers (not biker's fault).

Sorry, but I do understand your concerns. I do not ride any more.

lynnm1947 posted 8/27/2013 10:37 AM

I understand your concerns as well, but what you are trying to do is change the man--risky business in itself, especially since you knew he rode a motorcycle when you started seeing him.

Personally I was scared to death of motorcycles, but I rode behind XS/O, put my life in his hands and loved it. Yes, my nurse friends call motorcycles "donor mobiles" and I have seen some horrific bike accidents, but mostly, TR's experience notwithstanding, they seemed to have been caused by stupid biker behaviour--too high speed, too sharp maneuvering, passing a turning bus on the right side, etc.

[This message edited by lynnm1947 at 10:38 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

hexed posted 8/27/2013 10:41 AM

I'm not a fan of motorcycles. I do know someone who awas killed.

All of that said, do you know how dangerous mountaineering can be? back country skiing? I do both. I know far more people killed and injured with those hobbies than I do motorcycles.

You have a choice to make. Your SO likes to do some things that are risky. Its not fair to ask him to not be himself. I think you need to accept it or move on.

Just a little perspective. I ride horses competitively. After the Christopher Reeve's accident a friend of mine's husband started trying to forbid her from riding. Always hated it anyway. He was a jerk. One day on a simple trail ride, her horse stumbled, she fell of and broke her elbow. Her husband was PISSED. A few weeks later he tripped over the transition from the carpet to the wood floor and broke his arm. Sh!t happens all the time. You can't prevent everything. I think you can either do things or avoid things....its kinda hard to do both 100%.

[This message edited by hexed at 10:42 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

asurvivor posted 8/27/2013 10:41 AM

To argue whether not riding a motorcycle increases risk is silly...of course it does, it's freaking dangerous.

I have owned and have been on bikes for most of my life and have personally experienced safe riding and unexpected pain. It is dangerous and to say it isn't is wrong. I mean all it takes is a tailpipe that falls off that you don't see and then you run over a 60 mi an hour...but that is another story.

However, I don't regret for a moment my time on the bike and if this is his thing it his thing and I don't think taking away his thing is a very good thing. Enough things for ya

HardenMyHeart posted 8/27/2013 10:42 AM

Do I need to let it go?

Yes. Leave him alone with respect to the motorcycle. My suggestion is to go on rides with him and have a good time.

movingforward777 posted 8/27/2013 10:48 AM

My SO has a motorcycle and it is his vehicle of choice.
I embrace I understand why dogs hang out of the windows of cars....the feeling of the sun on your shoulders and the wind against your body is the most amazing thing to experience!
Do you go riding with him? Have you learned to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature from the back of a bike?
There is nothing so nice as smelling the lilacs that grow along the road when they are in also get the smell the manure when the farmers are spreading it on the fields, but those things are few and far between.
I suggest you try going with him and learn to enjoy it with him....the time together is awesome...
I call it my SO's "other woman"...he calls it my "big vibrator"...but that is another story.....

TrulyReconciled posted 8/27/2013 15:21 PM

When I was 14 I desperately wanted a motorcycle. My (single, psychiatric social worker) aunt was visiting and I thought I could maybe get her on my side (parents were against it).

"What do you think of motorcycles?" I asked her naively.

She paused for a moment and then responded "Oh, I think they are phallic symbols."

I thought my mother was going to kill her ...

lost_in_toronto posted 8/27/2013 16:52 PM

Well, unlike some of the other posters, I have known personally people in serious motorcycle accidents - my father being one of them. In three of those instances, it was the fault of the automobile that struck them. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous.

That being said, my WS started riding eight years ago and rides his Barley a lot. It makes me nervous. But so does the thought of flying in an airplane and getting cancer. I weigh the risks against the obvious benefits and pleasure he gets from it.

I personally believe you need to let this go and be glad he is riding safely, with the proper equipment and on a bike that isn't built for racing. That's what I do, as difficult as it can be sometimes!

NWfleur posted 8/27/2013 18:09 PM

I learned so much reading your responses, it gave me a lot of perspective. This is why I love SI!!

I'm a worrier. I like to say my brain is "chewy," always thinking thinky thoughts. I have never been a risk taker. So of course his riding gives me more anxiety than it might others.

Like you all said, it's his thing. It was there long before me. And he's as safe as I believe it's possible to be on a motorcycle. I don't want to rob him of something he enjoys so much. Do I wish he'd ride less? Yes. But you are right, I have to let this one go. Figure out a way to not worry each time he gets on it, I guess. And the skiing and mountaineering, I guess that's risky too. I can't put him in a box (or my kids, who happen to be boys who love all things adventurous.)

And I guess loving a man who rides a motorcycle is better than loving one who CHEATS!

[This message edited by NWfleur at 6:10 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

JustDesserts posted 8/27/2013 20:32 PM

"You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a therapist's office."


CAYC nails it.

Motorcycling safety is not about avoiding danger. It is about managing risk. Any rider who takes managing risk seriously will do some very simple things to reduce the odds of experiencing injury and/or death:

Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.
Get a motorcycle endorsement on your driving license (huge % of riders DON'T have one).
Wear an approved DOT helmet.
Wear protective riding gear, head to toe.
Don't drink/drug and ride.
Assume every oncoming car will turn left in front of you.
Utilize a headlight modulator for street riding.
Respect your limits and the power of the throttle in your right hand.
Practice emergency braking and accident avoidance scenarios. Then practice them again. And again.


Superbike rider. Oh, and I do all that dangerous mountain stuff, too. Adrenalin is the only drug I have left! Oh, and caffeine...

[This message edited by JustDesserts at 8:35 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]

143ANF posted 8/27/2013 20:59 PM

I was a motorcycle hater. Until I rode one. Its a experience like no other, to me, it was close to flying.
I liked it so much, I took the safety class, got my endorsement, and bought a bike.

He sounds like he's doing all the right things for his own safety. Have you considered trying it out? You just might like it.

h0peless posted 8/27/2013 21:15 PM

Respect your limits and the power of the throttle in your right hand.

Unless you ride a 150cc 1965 Honda like me. Then you open it up wide and hope nobody runs you down from behind! :)

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