Feb 3, 2006

Not suited for motorcycling?

A colleague just bought a motorcycle. I should be happy about that, right? After all, it's one more member in the tribe, more power to us and all that sort of thing, right?

Truth be told, I'm disgusted. The personal reason is that the man is irritating to an extent I did not think possible. He's awkward, seemingly unmotivated about everything and just aargh... But the reason I'm really not happy about him buying a bike is that I think he'll crash it. And crash it good.

No, this isn't a wish list sort of thing, I'm convinced that there are people out there who carry a sort of blinking sign atop their helmets (or worse, grubby smoke-laced hair) that says, 'Look at me, I'm about to crash this rig.' They come in both the ultra-safe, ultra-aggressive formats and I think there's ample numbers in the middle as well.

I can't quite put my finger on what it is about them that becomes the flashing neon sign. Or for that matter, any specific behaviors (off and on the motorcycle) that make me feel this way. But unfortunately, once the sign is spotted, at least by me, a crash follows with frightening regularity. Thankfully, most are 'escaped lightly.'

Take this man, for instance. He just bought the bike sight unseen. He's practically never ridden before and he sincerely believes that water cooler riding tips are all he needs to sort his riding. Since he didn't have a lid, he rode for two days saying, 'I'll just go out and get one.' Now that he has one, I wouldn't be surprised if I caught him the parking lot with the male end of the quick-fastener canoodling with his shirt collar (!), rather than the female end.

There was a minute there when I thought, maybe I shouldn't be such a boor (no matter how enjoyable that is) and actually teach him.... nah...

Today he waltzes in saying, 'you know motorcycles make you feel like god.' Right. I agree. And then, 'Oh and I nearly fell off. A woman crossed the road. I came around the corner, spotted her and the front brake... you're wrong... it causes the bike to skid...' Jesus. This is the same fellow who was playing flash games at work two days ago. Whom I re-directed to msgroup.org for riding instruction.

Let me assume for a minute that we're in the US and I recommend him an MSF programme. That, I'm convinced will improve his machine control. But I'm not sure that will make him any safer, or less prone to crashing.

Because I don't think the majority of riders crash because of machine control issues. They crash because they just aren't paying attention. And this man has a ultra-short attention span.

Or am I just trying to wriggle out of teaching him?