DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO PLANS TO CRASH? Judging by the way some motorcyclists ride around in shorts and a T-shirt, it’s likely they believe it will never happen to them.
Wearing a helmet and protective jacket, pants, gloves and boots is one way to afford yourself better protection in the event of a mishap.
But even the best gear is no guarantee that you aren’t going to get hurt or killed when things go bad.
So, what else can you do?
Crash avoidance can be heightened with education, training and experience. Taking a break when you are tired, hungry, cold or hot can also maintain greater alertness and motorcycle control, resulting in enhanced safety – but of course with no guarantee of ultimate safety.
No matter how much gear you have, no matter how educated, trained and experienced you are, and no matter how alert you are…well…crashes happen.
What about your attitude or viewpoint on crashing?
So far, the best words I’ve come across on the subject were written by Keith Code in his book A Twist of the Wrist. Chapter 15 is aptly titled “How to Fall.” The following quotes highlight a few critical points, and I encourage any rider to get the book and read the entire chapter over and over. (The rest of the book is good, too.)
“No one wants to fall down, but once you’ve done it and it comes out alright, falling isn’t as fearsome any more. Your best insurance against falling is not to resist it.”
“If you resist falling, you are more likely to fall.”
“Be willing to fall off.”
“You don’t have to want to, but being willing to is very different, and it has to do with your attitude about falling. If you ride a motorcycle – and especially if you race one – falling is an activity you’re likely to become involved with. It goes with the territory of riding.”
“You simply decide that you might fall off and accept that it can happen, at any time, anywhere. You have to look at it and say, ‘Okay, I can fall off one of these things. I might break a bone or have a hell of a slide, or I just might die doing it.’ All of these things can and do happen to motorcycle riders. So, get it out of the way by taking a look at it and then making your decision from there.”
The book also elucidates the theory behind this. And, it also gives practical tips on what to do during a fall, and after a fall. There is even a section on practice falling (not while actually on a bike).
Hmmmmm…any chance you should do a little crash planning?