This article was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse by David L. Hough on January 13, 2016.
“Based on a column by the author published in Motorcycle Consumer News, March, 2015
By David L. Hough
So the phone rings and it’s some guy from New York City who has tracked me down because he read one of my books and wants some inside information. He explains that he had always wanted a motorcycle but his mother absolutely forbade it. He was now an adult in business and no longer living with mom. One day he found himself walking by a dealership that sold scooters. The temptation was too great. He bought one. The salesman rolled it out to the street and suggested he take it around the block. It suddenly dawned on Scooter Guy that he had never ridden any two-wheeler in his life. Not a problem. The salesman showed him the throttle and brake, and how to get it started.
Scooter Guy somehow managed to wobble around the block in New York City traffic, and returned to the dealership, shaking like an Aspen leaf. He asked the salesman, “Is there some way we can just tear up the contract and forget this ever happened?”
“Aw, relax. Everyone gets a little nervous on their first ride. You’ll get used to it after a while. You don’t want to give up all the fun.”
Scooter Guy gained a bit of experience, and discovered my book “Proficient Motorcycling.” Reading the book caused him to become jittery about all sorts of traffic and surface hazards he’d never thought about. He wanted to know if motorcycling was really dangerous, or just seemed dangerous. And was it possible to learn enough to become safe?
“Listen, I can’t afford to end up as a vegetable in a wheelchair. You’re the expert. Tell me, is riding a bike really, really dangerous, or just scary? In your book you talk about managing the risks. Can I expect to get good enough to never have a serious crash?”
So I told him, “Your mother was right. Motorcycling is really really dangerous. If you can’t afford to get hurt, sell the bike.””
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