It seemed a little odd getting a call from my father. We had talked only a few days ago. He seemed up and chipper. We chatted about this and that. Then he let me know that he's had another motorcycle accident. You may recall that last year, en route to Bag End, my Dad dropped the bike and broke his clavicle. It also messed up the bike quite a bit. He's spent mush of the year tinkering with it and has been riding again over the past few weeks.
He was riding with another Pacific Coast rider when the guy in front stopped at a yellow and Dad had to hit the brakes suddenly. He stopped fine, but the bike tipped and when he put his leg out to stop the 700 pound bike from going over, he broke his ankle.
He'll be laid up for 6 weeks. The bike took a few nicks again. Our respective wives have engaged in some gratuitous eye rolling. There is some distinct muttering, My Dad is 73. Should he be riding at his age? Are his reflexes up tot he task? Last year I said "No problem". Everyone who rides WILL have an accident (likely several). This is a FACT.Having an accident in a car doesn't mean you stop driving does it?
But I cannot help but be a little worried. Time robs of of our facilities by inches. At 73 you just don't bounce back from injuries. Maybe he should listen to assorted friends and relatives, play it safe and give it up.
Or maybe everyone can just shut their mouth. The man has been riding for decades. On all kinds of bikes. That's an ass load of experience. I won't be the one to tell him to stop doing something he loves. It's possible continuing to ride will kill him. I'd be especially depressed if the accident that ends his live hurts others. But having just watched my wife's father meekly shuffle off the mortal coil I would argue that anything is better than "the straw death" as the Vikings called it.
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Sounds idyllic dying doing what we love to do... the perfect ending... what if the end isn't actually the end? I've been in motorcycle accidents and you're just as likely to break your neck and become paralyzed from the accident as you are to die from it. Doesn't sound like a happy ending to me. When the skills and capability are gone, especially on a motorcycle, it's time to hang it up!
I don't know what he rides, but perhaps your father needs to trade down to a smaller/lighter bike. That way he can still ride, but be able to handle easily. Like a HD Sportster - only 500 lbs.
Speaking as a man whose Dad was killed on a motorcycle, I say let him ride. My Pop died the way he would've wanted to go and had a lot of fun right up until the end.
A smaller bike might not be a bad idea though....
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