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Post  Kim Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:18 am

Just got a call from a very messed up friend of mine, Vince, who watched a mutual friend of ours die from massive head injuries in bike accident.

The group of three bikes crossed into Arkansas, a non-mandatory helmet state, stopping to remove their helmets (except for Vince).  They only made a few miles, when they decided to pull over and look check their maps.  The lead bike apparently had a moment of indecision, and turned in front of Dave's.  Dave went over the bike and landed on his head, dieing a short time later (Vince said the EMT told him he was pretty much gone at the scene).  His son suffered internal injuries, so it's hard to say if a helmet would have helped him.  He lingered for 12 hours before he passed.  Vince said the whole thing happened at about 45 mph.

When they stopped to take off their helmets, Vince was challenged by the others who couldn't believe he wanted to keep it on, but like me he won't ride without one.

If we're gonna ride these dangerous machines, we ought to at least do what we can to stay alive for our families and the ones who are gonna be asked to haul our carcasses to a hole in the ground.

Dave was truly a great guy and, I suppose a real biker for wearing a band of cotton around his head in place of a helmet.

Wear Your Damn Helmet Dave10

Sorry for my vent...just got the call and am still shaking....
Kim
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Post  fredvon4 Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:47 am

I hear you loud n clear brother Kim

I spent a lot of my life as what could be called a educated safety Nazi..in the Army

I also have a very strong hatred for Laws that impose or infringe on ADULT US citizens right to DECIDE

So I fought hard to get the Texas Helmet law repealed and we did win a compromise... over 18... no helmet if you have proper medical insurance

As some know here, I had a slow speed Motorcycle wreck 2 yeas ago that beat the crap out of my old body

What I did not post was my stupidity of wearing a NOT DOT APPROVED HELMET (Novelty half helmet) and it nearly cost me badly... fortunately the damage was just enough to make me ugly and not DEAD!

I truly believe (from helicopter crash experience) that NO helmet will save you in a HIGH Speed crash

BUT I would never ride my bike without one except under very limited circumstances

And not to detract from Kim's message--- the reality is YOU must know what a DOT helmet will and will not do...when it is a bigger danger to wear one, and when it is damned important to have it on...

Final thoughts...
I HAD a close friend die BECAUSE of a full faced helmet
I HAVE a friend still ALIVE BECAUSE of a good DOT helmet

and I challenge every one who thinks this an easy a no brainer (pun intended) to consider:

150 times more citizens die in bath tub head injuries each year than from helmet-less motor cycle accidents

Should we.... if saving lives is REALLY the issue... require a helmet while bathing?

Kim brother...very sorry for your loss



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Post  crankbndr Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:49 am

+1 on the helmet, if you ride you will go down sooner or later. Sounds like a very freak accident since they tangled with each other. Very sad.
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Post  KariFS Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:14 pm

So sorry to hear about your friends Kim. It is a tragedy that the surviving friend will never forget.

I have an open-face Nolan helmet, approved but of course not the safest possible. I just find the full face ones claustrophobic, or maybe I just haven't found a good one yet. I also have no proper gear, should get some though.

One thing that increases the risk of accident is riding in groups. The bigger the group the riskier are the situations when the group rides in heavy traffic and/or unknown areas. It is easy to get distracted and end up too close to your buddies and forget you are going 50 or 60 mph where one needs the entire lane to avoid the occasional pothole or road debris.

Two members of my engineering team crashed with each other in this kind of situation, fortunately they lived to tell what happened. One of them got some road rash, the other got the footpeg of his Harley through his leg plus some burns from the hot exhaust pipe. He was out of action for a couple of months. There were about half a dozen bikes in the group, they were looking for an intersection, and when the lead guy saw it, he instinctively braked suddenly and the harley guy hit him. The other four or five bikes scattered all over on and off the road, nobody went down and fortunately there were no trucks or anything coming right at them.

This (and the fact that my bike has 36 horsepower and the maximum semi-comfortable cruise speed of about 50mph) is the reason I prefer riding alone.
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Post  ian1954 Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:18 pm

There are two types of biker - those that have fallen off and those that are going to. I have had a couple of spills, all my fault, and have the scars to prove it.

I am neither pro or anti helmet. I think it should be a choice though and not compulsory. I always wear a helmet but didn't until they were made compulsory.

Because I wear spectacles - I always opt for the full face jobby but with the flip up front - BMW, Schubert or Shoei - so I get a choice of open or full face.

Over the years, I have lost three mates following motorcycle accidents - all wearing full face and having broken necks. The pros and cons of wearing helmets are debatable.

All I know is that without leather gloves, a helmet and reinforce motorcycle gear - I would have lost a lot more skin as I slid along the road. My helmet had almost abraided through!

Over the years, I have seen some sickeners in London involving motorbikes and, more recently, cyclists who choose to wear no protection at all.

I love riding a motorbike but am limited now by my eyesight.

Losing a pal is a terrible experience - no matter how it happens. I am sorry for your loss.
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Post  Cribbs74 Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:29 pm

I am pro helmet, although when I am riding trails and such I don't always wear one. On the open road it's not even up for debate. I am good with not being mandated to wear one, it should be a choice. However, I think everyone should wear one as a matter of common sense.

Kim, I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend. What a darn shame.
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Post  Marleysky Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:28 pm

Kim, I am sadden to hear of this loss of friends and family. No matter if helmets or not, they were doing what they enjoyed right to the end. Please extend my sympathy to their families and friends.
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Post  duke.johnson Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:47 pm

Kim, I'm so sorry to hear about your friends. This will be a hard thing to deal with for all involved
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Post  Oldenginerod Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:38 pm

Argue and make excuses all you like.  More people die from not wearing helmets than those who die because of their helmet.  (How could you prove that!)  Same as seat belts.  Both helmets & seat belts are compulsary here in OZ.  I wouldn't even consider going without either.  Evidence has proven their effectiveness.  Also, regardless of whether someone was doing something they loved or not, they're dead.  It's little comfort to family & friends that they loved it when they're the ones who need to deal with senseless grief. I Know.
My brother loved flying, but it killed him.  Little mistakes are easy to make, but the results can be eternal.
Kim, it's hard to make sense some times, but the most you can do is look to the support & comfort of friends and remember all the positives of the departed's life.  Sorry for your loss.

Rod.
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Post  RknRusty Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:52 pm

Sorry. I know it hurts, and I wish I could say something more profound. I can't.
Y'all just try to be the best you can be every day.
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Post  dckrsn Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:59 pm

Sorry, Kim. I hope time heals for you.
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Post  Admin Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:04 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your friends. It really is a tragedy.

In Minnesota, anyone under 18 and anyone with a learner's permit must wear a helmet. All motorcycle operators must wear eye protection. I don't have a motorcycle however I've driven my uncle's before. My aunt, uncle and cousins all ride motorcycles. They don't like to take them on the highway and refuse to take them out on the freeway. Too many distracted drivers these days, cellphones, dashboard computers in the new cars... My uncle is also afraid of taking his bike out on the country roads at night as hitting a raccoon or some other animal would not end will.

Be sure to let your friend's families know we're thinking of them. Pray

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Post  roddie Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:35 pm

I'm sorry to hear this Kim. I know that you've been riding for years.. and I can't even begin to imagine how this makes you feel. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend.
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Post  Kim Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:56 am

I don't normally vent like this, and sorta regret it now...the whole thing just caught me off guard, with getting the call from Vince as I was eating breakfast in town.  Like everyone whose thrown a leg across a bike, I've heard all the 'comparable' statistics about bathtub falls, lightning strikes, spider bites, and all that.  Guys are gonna do what they want to do, and I suppose it's still better than a life of hiding in the house and peeking out the windows.

My flying bud Earl, back in the day, liked to say that if he was ever killed while flying, no one should cry, because he was doing what he loved to do.  When he and a friend disappeared in his Citabria over Kentucky Lake, their bodies to be recovered weeks and months later, I can assure you that there was a lot of crying.

The incredible, and heartbreaking irony of these guys purposely stopping to remove their helmets, and then being killed a few miles on down the road, ticked me off.  Add to that, my longtime bud, Vince, who was always the ballsy one on our trips--wanting to push on through blinding rain and even up the side of a mountain in Colorado as a snowstorm came down the slope above us...to now have him talking about selling his bike and giving up riding, is to be expected I guess, but the switch-a-roo is still irritating.

Anyway, this will all pass, as it always does, Vince will either ride again or not, and my Night Train will keep it's parking spot next to my old Sportster out in the shed...'till the day comes that I decide to stop tickling the dragon...
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:30 am

Death and dying isn't high on any ones agenda, but it happens. In my rather long and troubled life I have lost many friends including gifted classmates of high school days. I learned early on that life isn't fair.

In 1941 when I was four years old I was hit and ran over by a car with a drunk at the wheel. I was watching my father hitch a tow chain to a car he had just sold when it happened. I remember spinning in the air. The driver stopped with the rear wheel sitting on my stomach. "Back up your right on him" my father yelled. I remember while on the way to the hospital laying on my fathers lap that his light colored pants were stained red and watching the long rope back seat hand hold common on cars of the era swaying back and forth.

Six weeks later I was out of the hospital and back home only a few short years later to exceed the light of a bonfire and skate into a void in a fast moving river. I popped to the surface only to see the edge of the ice fast approaching as the rivers water formed a U. Holding my arms up, I grabbed the edge while my legs swept beneath it. Five or six of my friends formed a human (kids) chain and Bobby Dickerson pulled me out. The next opening was miles down the river.

The only motorcycle event that I had was when I lost control of my Honda "Super 90" while attempting a "wheelie" and nearly wiped out a fruit stand. That one was funny.

There were other situations as well, us survivors all have had them but I would rather not go there.

In so far as losing your life "doing what you love to do", I'm not a fan. I have told my kids never say that about me. "Well Dad lost it working in the woods doing what he loved to do" when that tree kicked back and caught him. Double hockey sticks kids, I loved life not dying.

Sorry about your friend Kim, the coincidence of removing his helmet and subsequent demise is disturbing. The old "What if" kicks in.

Bob
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Post  getback Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:48 am

Kim , Very sorry to hear of you losing your best friend like this but as has been said we are going to do what we want sometimes even if it don't seem right . I just had a some what friend get killed by a 29 YO driving a truck , the young man of 44 and his fiancé were out for a ride on a Sunday only a week ago..... (U must wear a helmet around here ) She was also hurt but will recover . Gives life a new meaning when these things happen (((( Live to Die /// Live to ride ? ))))
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Post  pkrankow Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:08 pm

I am sorry for your loss.

Phil
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