An old Harley guy said to me...


Finally made it
As a brand new rider, of course my thoughts are focused on safety. I've read a lot of posts from seasoned riders that say " Its not a matter of if you go down, its when". Words like that are just terrifying! So, of course I asked one of my long time rider-friends about this. He's a Harley guy, riding for over 40 years! His answer to that statement when I told him was " Well, those guys are just f***** idiots." He's a crusty old biker guy with thousands of miles under him in all kids of conditions. So, I value his opinion.

What do you think of that?


Well travelled
Woodstock, NY
Nothing says you ever have to have a problem. I have no idea what the few guys from here I have ridden with think of me, but I have had no problems with the guys I have ridden with. Everyone was very aware and it was just about the ride. We're also older and no one poses. I probably prefer to do my own thing just because scheduling can be a drama but riding with others is an enjoyable dynamic.

George S.

Well travelled
Went down once when I was a dumb 16 yr old trying to set the land speed record for a Sears Allstate scooter, which gave me lifelong knee issues. Then in my 20s crashed at very very low speed into a dump truck that turned left in front of me.
I'm 69 now and no other such “events”.

However, ride like everyone’s trying to kill you because whether they realize it or not, they are.
Did a 25 minute local ride yesterday and had 3 close calls. One was someone just in a funk not paying attention, turned left in front of me, second was a guy who didn’t give a F and saw me but turned left in front of me anyway because, I assume, he didn’t want to wait… and the third was an oncoming box truck approaching me from opposite direction, looking out back over his left shoulder, and kept wandering into my lane. Good thing there were no parked cars and I could swerve toward the curb while hitting my horn, which jolted him back to paying attention and he swerved back into his lane.

Gone in 60

Well travelled
It happens, and you can do everything in your power to prevent it, but nothing and noone is perfect.
I've been a daily commuter for years and take mulitple precautions. I wear hi-viz gear and a white helmet. I have three lights on the front of each of my bikes for the "triangle of safety" so that I don't look like half of a car. I ride safely and don't take undue risks.

However, even with all of this, a few years ago, after several years of safe commuting in the urban jungle of L.A. , a lady turned in front of me abruptly and cut off any escape route from an accident. Luckily I was riding at a safe speed and the impact was minimal, requiring only minor repairs to my bike and no injuries to myself other than jangled nerves. It occurred a block from my office, after I had gotten off of the freeway and considered myself safe for the rest of the ride. Her response was "I didn't see you".

It was a good reminder that you can take every precaution there is, but there's no replacement for riding like nobody can see you, and staying vigilant every mile of your ride.


Well travelled
Georgia, USA
Christina, I'm going to strongly recommend watching Dan Dan the Fireman on youtube. He regularly posts videos where he breaks down motorcycle crashes and near-misses. He explains what happened, what went right, what went wrong, and good habits to get into when riding. An aware riding mindset takes time to acquire, and he breaks things down very well. Watching his videos might seem scary at first, but it's like stress inoculation - the more times you see the patterns and learn to see when things are going wrong, the more easily you learn to recognize them and react to them in the real world.

Here's a great example of his content and riding tips.
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