Archive for category motorcycling

Linda Widrich Cycled Across America In 1969

Linda Widrich in 1969

Linda Widrich in 1969

Yesterday’s story about women motorcyclists reminded me of Linda Widrich Weitz…a high-school classsmate from Miami Beach who graduated with me in 1958. She may not have been a “badass,” like the women bikers in yesterday’s post, but she was ahead of her time!

“I owned several bikes beginning in 1964 when I moved to NYC and rode until 1971. I didn’t like buses or subways – taxis were $$$ and one had to wait for an available one. I was in Central Park one day and a gang of bikers drove through. I went to Better Ideas In Motion in midtown and bought my first bike. And that began my love affair with bikes. I wanted to compete in the bike scrambles in Fishkill and other nearby places but women weren’t permitted. It was a wonderful period in my journey!

“In 1969 I went to Woodstock with my boyfriend. We attached a trailer to his Firebird – nailed parallel boards onto the floor to hold the (motorcycle’s) tires in place – and got to within 17 miles of Yasgur’s farm where the road was deadlocked with abandoned cars. We pulled off the road – left the car and trailer – and rode in the rest of the way. To sleep we rode back to the trailer and threw a tarp over it to stay dry. It was an AWESOME experience. And the MUSIC …mind blowing!

“Sometime after seeing (the movie) Easy Rider, I got the bug to just get on my bike and ride. I quit my job, packed up my bike with my sleeping bag, and took off for a two-month, cross-country trip from NY to California. This adventure afforded me the opportunity to see our country and meet people in a way I could not have imagined.

“It seems like several lifetimes ago. Sometimes I get a bug and want to buy a bike but I know it’s not the right thing for me to do at age 75 living in Miami Beach with the world’s worst drivers. I envy your being able to get on your bike and ride…enjoy!”

I dunno. If she could ride daily in New York City, how much worse could Miami Beach be? But what a trip she took! She was a real free spirit and lived one of her dreams early on…

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Women On Motorcycle Front Seats

Nina Kaplan

Nina Kaplan

Rode my motorcycle home from the repair shop today and remembered this story about badass women on motorcycles…who are driving, rather than just being a showpiece on the back:

Motorcycling is primarily a male-dominated industry. Women, historically in motorcycling, have been used as more of an accessory in motorcycling. I just think with what’s going on politically, and just how progressive parts of the country are, a powerful woman is starting to become a more trendy woman. It’s starting to be cool, you know.

I don’t know if you’ve seen Maybeline’s new girl [Ruby Rose], but she’s this tatted chick, she’s very androgynous, she has short hair. She just looks like a badass. You can see [the shift] happening in popular culture. It’s really cool to see, and I think that’s totally translating to the motorcycling industry as well.

Imogen Lehtonen

Imogen Lehtonen

And I think that the photos that we’re seeing, these kind of all women’s motorcycle events, campaigns of Harley Davidson featuring all women are just kind of proof that things are starting to shift.

Who’d have guessed that as women see themselves differently, it’s affecting where they sit on a bike? Or that they are buying more motorcycles themselves. Especially as they see other women (and photos of them) who are riding around on the front. Empowerment creates change.

The story is about women who motorcycled across the country and also took pics of other women driving bikes of their own. They followed the roads taken 100 years ago by Effie Hotchkiss and her mother, who were the first women to complete a cross-country motorcycle trip.

Nina Kaplan up close

Nina Kaplan up close

Jenny Czinder

Jenny Czinder

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Mind-Jarringly Memorable Unimaginable Creativity In Metal

This is a spectacular Honda commercial that involves motorcycles and cars. It is breathtakingly creative, imaginative and memorable. It has only received about 9-15,000 views, so it is little known…unless millions saw it on TV. Great things come in little packages.

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Daredevil Speeds Over 200 And Steers With His Feet

VD with one of his superfast motorcycles

VD with one of his superfast motorcycles

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 3.07.43 PM

Here are two unedited emails: first from me to a friend whom I have known for maybe 15 years; second is his response. Do notice that in one of the photos, VD is steering with his feet!!!

saw a guy on a motorcycle doing 75 yesterday and wondered what your usual speed is? and what is the fastest you ever went?

did I see pictures recently of you on a bike that I thought you crashed/totaled? did you replace it with a similar one?

fun speed for this daredevil

fun speed for this daredevil

Hi Ira. I love getting these randomly staggered emails from you! Not to be too tumultuous with my experience, but I am very good at being dangerous! I usually average 110-140 mph to get just to work. When having fun, I will push my bike to 170 and still have room to play. I had recently opened a suzuki Hayabusa (look that bike up) and was able to reach an even further top speed of what it is intended to reach because of the intense modifications it had such as but not limited too, turbos, nitrous, extended swim arm, fat tire, dyno jet quick shifter and a bored motor. I reached a top speed and could no longer accelerate at 218 mph. It was the single most mesmerizing experience next to love and being born that I will ever have.

feet steering

feet steering

And yes, I was in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another woman cutting me off. Her insurance company is taking over and paying for everything, even my physical therapy. I decided to no longer ride on the streets of LA. Mainly because I am too dangerous to myself. I am a passive rider but aggressive with my speed.

I had a brand new Ducati 848 evo. That was the bike in the accident. Beautiful bike in all white with mainly carbon fiber body parts!
I hope that this was a reasonably fulfilling response 😉

Miss you guys!

VD

VD on another fast bike

VD on another fast bike

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Motorcycling Vertical Wheelies In The Streets

an illegal  wheelie adrenaline rush in Baltimore City

an illegal wheelie adrenaline rush in Baltimore City

Bumped into a video in the NY Times that is part of a documentary by a college student about kids and adults in poverty-class Baltimore who ride their dirt bike motorcycles in the streets and do wheelies. I’m always nervous driving down a road when a biker is doing a wheelie in the oncoming lane…more likely to crash into me, I worry. But aside from the craft and skill, the story brings up major social issues, and the comments at the bottom of the article are worth reading too.

How do the kids find the money for such costly motorcycles? (Selling drugs and robbing homes is one answer given.)

Why do they do it? is what the filmmaker asked. They shouldn’t be allowed to endanger cars and pedestrians is another claim. And it’s illegal to even ride a dirt bike at all on Baltimore streets, so the cops are always after them.

One rider interviewed said the streets are full of drug dealers and shootings. “You will learn the right way to do all the wrong things in Baltimore City…I have a PhD in it…Yet riding is something the bikers really WANT to do.” A boy of 10-13? who’d broken his collarbone, fractured his face, lost his teeth promised to be riding again in two weeks. “I like the rush of it…I feel powerful…I am free…I can escape.”

The article and comments confront poverty, white privilege, naive liberal thinking, lack of government funds to improve poor minority living conditions and education. What do you think?

When you ride vertical on one wheel, your bike is like the hands of a clock at 12:00…so they call themselves the 12 O’Clock Boys.

Here are some provoking comments:

Michael Engel, Rockaway Park, NY
This film and the tolerant, even approving, reaction to it is a manifestation of the the type of liberal bias which says we shouldn’t expect more from these kids than their uncivilized, unlawful, aggressive, rat-pack behavior. What lives does this activity prepare these uneducated children for when they get older and try to integrate into the society at-large? Only more of the same poverty, anger, dependency and crime. Hmm, I wonder if President Obama spent his childhood having this type of “fun”. Characteristically, this is the type of item that the “Times” deems fit to print or broadcast.

Ann, Baltimore, MD
Like many of the Baltimore residents writing in, I find it hard to romanticize the riders. Yes, the subject is complex, and there is a kind of abstract beauty that the documentary may be able to communicate. But living the reality of watching these kids play out a death wish, and extend that risk to those around them on city streets, day and night? It takes your breath away to see and hear it, and inspires only dread for what could happen.

Burqueno, New Mexico
I lived in Bolton Hill for many years and remember these guys tearing down North Avenue. I also understand the terrible poverty these people endure. So you have to ask–where do they get the money for these bikes, and what if they used that money for something constructive instead? If it’s OK for the 12 O’Clock boys to ride illegally and create havoc for the thrill of it, it must have been OK for folks to break into our cars and homes, hold us up at gunpoint, shout racial slurs at us and vandalize our homes and vehicles. Instead of glorifying these idiots, how about glorifying the many people who work hard to get out of poverty in constructive ways? I know–it’s not cool enough. Way to go.

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Are You Also Driven To Risk Death For Personal Achievement?

Bill Warner had courage and drive

Bill Warner had courage and drive

Here is a story about a man I never heard of. He died trying to set a record for traveling fast on a motorcycle. Bill Warner holds the record of 311.9 miles per hour that was reached within 1.5 miles of road. His next challenge was to hit over 300 mph on just one mile of road. He was up to 285mph and then veered and crashed and died.

I was especially moved that this brave athlete not only rode these high-powered motorcycles, but that he engineered them too. Oversaw the unique manufacturing of engine parts. The article says that these vehicles were modified commercial cycles from a normal showroom, rather than uniquely built contraptions that guys put millions of dollars into to make them go faster. Bill obviously had tremendous drive and passion and courage.

I have a different point of view. When I am up to 60 on the road on my little Honda XR600R, with its 43 horsepower engine, I start getting squirmy. I know emergency room doctors who tell me about all the vegetables-for-life who rode fast bikes and crashed. Bill’s bike was goosed to 1200 hp…pretty powerful, huh?

Now what impressed me the most is that he wanted to set a record for an achievement I never heard of, wouldn’t have known existed (if he hadn’t died), and can’t feel has any importance at all. OK you do it in 1.5 miles…great. Now you go for 300mph in one mile. I really don’t care, can’t appreciate it, and am sure it is not worth risking your life for…for what? to have your name in a record book that almost no one knows about!

Am I being too honest? Do I sound insensitive? I apologize. I recognize it was important to Bill and others in his team and community. Just not to me. It’s not like winning a major sport like Wimbledon or a race like the Kentucky Derby or even jumping out of a balloon higher than 19 miles. This was not covered on national or international TV. I hope there are youtube videos of other fast runs. But Bill HAD to do this. And he died trying.

How many other records are there waiting to be broken? That are important to challengers who would almost die to be at the top of the list? Recently Nathan’s Famous promoted its annual hot dog eating contest (since 1916) to see who could eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes. A million people watch the event on ESPN TV. Joey Chestnut won for the seventh year in a row and set a world record of 69 hot dogs and buns. I understand his quest for fame.

But did you know that 13-year-old Noah Akers died in a 2010 hot dog eating contest? Choked to death.

Anyway I get the need to stand out. I seek some kind of specialness myself, even if people never know about my achievements. But I don’t plan to risk my life doing it…jumping out of planes in the army felt safer than driving a car. It was a risk worth taking, even though the week before I was at parachute school, many other jumpers died during their training.

Are we all a bit crazy? Maybe…but here is an excerpt from the Bill Warner story above:

Mr. Warner did not consider going more than 300 m.p.h. on a motorcycle especially unnerving. “It was very calm,” he told The Bangor Daily News, referring to his record-setting event (on 1.5 miles of road) in 2011.

Braking proved more challenging.

“The bike was bouncing, hopping, skipping and sliding,” he said. “It was a little scary.”

His record remains unbroken.

“I will be very frank about this,” Mr. Kelly said. “No one will touch Bill’s record in our lifetimes.”

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Early Life Of An Extreme Outdoorsman And Speed Junky (Part 1 Of 3)

idyllic cruising in the great outdoors

Met a new friend out West who described his life of total immersion in the outdoors and his love of fast cars and motorcycles. His stories were so astonishing and descriptive that I urged him to write them down. Who could have guessed that his prose would be extraordinary too. I told him he reminded me of Hunter Thompson’s gonzo style or other journalists I imagine writing about speed on speed…or some other hallucinogenic. You are in for a real treat! (I hope he doesn’t mind that I relocated the first paragraph from deep within the story to give you a perspective of what is going on)

For whatever reasons, not the least of which was my father having a triple bypass at 35, I always figured on needing to pack as much experience into one presumably short life as a person could. So I’ve had the pedal down as far back as I can remember. The joke is on me of course, I never developed heart disease, but I did break a few bones, lose a shitload of skin and probably deserve to be dead 30 times over doing various things. Also got a late start building a career, so I’ll probably be working until I am in fact dead—but I design/test outdoor gear. How bad can that be?

OK, a quick bio: I’ve always been bipolar or multi-polar regarding outdoor sports, grew up at the beach but was sneaking onto the Irvine Ranch (before it was developed) behind our house with my .22 to hunt rabbits and quail (yes, quail, you just have to make a head shot, and I don’t mean when they are flying) and started fly fishing in the mountains around LA whenever my mom could drive me or with the Boy Scouts, then Explorer Scouts. Luckily the Explorer group I joined was the mountaineering group in Anaheim, which gave me my first glimpse of the High Sierra’s, and I got as interested in Golden Trout as I did in peak bagging.

As soon as I got my driver’s license, it was good bye to the scouts, and I was off every winter weekend to cross country ski tour/snowcamp in the San Gorgonio or San Jacinto Wilderness areas, often alone, which would drive my mom crazy, then backpack with a fly rod in the summer. Surf, ski, climb, hunt, fish, and of course getting around when younger I got everywhere on a bike, which became a nicer and nicer bike which became another, lifelong passion including a little bit of road racing in high school. I quit that because I kept getting clobbered by motorists who in those days weren’t used to seeing humans on road racing bikes out in traffic. Last crash involved being hit from behind by a car and flung through traffic across three fast lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway. It was like playing Russian Roulette with only one empty chamber and surviving without a scratch. The rear wheel and rear triangle of my bike absorbed most of the impact and I came to a stop on the center divider balancing on my crank set, still clipped in, cars whizzing by in both directions. I did not get religion, I just left the bike laying in the highway and hitched home. No more road bikes for me.

Then one summer I came through Ketchum on a fly fishing trip and saw my first mountain bike—one of Tom Ritchey’s first hand-made bikes at the Elephant’s Perch, and my life was wrecked. I was living in Laguna at the time and the steep coastal hills were crawling with jeep roads, single track and game trails.

In a fitting way I was wrapping up my involvement with motorhead activities. My first car was a red Alfa Romeo Duetto softail Spider which I rescued from ruin and re-built myself. My second car was a raging-fast Lotus Elan which followed the same pattern, find a junker and bring it back to life one turn of the wrench at a time. I’d had a go-kart my Dad built for me when I was about 7, motorcycles, etc. so high performance driving was written into the software by the time I was a teen, and I could really drive. At one point I actually thought about it as a career, maybe an F1 pilot like Dan Gurney, but as I started hanging out at various tracks I realized I couldn’t stand the people who were involved with the sport. They were like golfers on crack.

With some irony I had long been co-evolving into a leftist tree hugging wilderness freak motorhead. I joined David Brower’s F.O.E. (Friends of the Earth) when I was 16, was reading Abbey, getting pangs about joining Dave Foreman’s Earth First gang but didn’t like the idea of prison. Note that both cars I mentioned were small, light, fast, fuel-efficient machines. But showing up to a Sierra Club meeting with my Lotus (even though it got 30 mpg) didn’t go too well. Which I found really disappointing. The leftist tree huggers turned out to be like accountants on crack.

In those years I tried everything that fit my personal ethos of small footprint, treading lightly, loving wild places, and having a fucking great time getting to those places. Think of hand-made (by me), aero cross-country ski racks and skis tucked behind the tiny roof line of a Lotus Elan howling through the desert North of LA at 2 A.M., on the way to Mammoth Tamarack lodge with the headlights off, navigating by the full moon at 120 mph with the Doors playing Riders on the Storm backed up by the sound of a nasty, tweaked-out twin cam motor pushing a low, smooth glass slipper through the void. Fuck the Sierra Club. (Continue to Part 2/3 in post below)

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Addicted To The Duck’s Most Musical Power Plant On Earth (Part 2 Of 3)

the author in his younger days

In this second part of my friend’s exciting story, I really feel the contrast between his life of extreme sports and unfettered risk-taking, compared to how most people live. Just this week I yet once again chose to lease an Audi A4 that will hit 60 in 6.3 seconds and not spend more than double for the RS5 that can soar from 0 to 60 in 4.5. I can’t spend that, so I ask how can an extra $40K justify 1.8 seconds faster takeoff from the light, lower gas mileage, danger when others drive my car, yatta, yatta, yatta. My friend lives his fantasy, while I just keep on dreaming…What about you?

The world was fascinating and crazy. My sister was in a rock band in Hollywood, so now and then I would dip into the dark side, Whiskeys, the Rainbow, Club Lingerie, The Troubador, Wongs; see X, China White, Fear, the Gears, Dead Kennedys, Nina Hagen; stay up till 4 then crash with bizarre creatures in strange motels or sleep in the chaparral on dirt trails above Mulholland, get up and go to work. Over time things happened that sharpened me up. Met an interesting girl. Started to get serious about doing something with my 5 years of university. Realized I could turn my outdoor addictions into a career.

So for the last few years I lived in the Southern Lands, my time was spent riding with the Radz, (including Hans Rey), hitting the mountain bike races all over, going to Fat Tire Bike Week in C.B., paddling/surfing my kayak, training with road wheels on my mountain bike by playing chicken with traffic and drafting trucks on Sunset from Hollywood to Santa Monica . . . and starting my biz…

About the Ducks. I grew up riding dirt bikes from age 8, always wanted a sportbike but, having self-knowledge about my impulse control, swore I wouldn’t buy one until I was 30, you know, Mature. So I waited, and then I did. Always having European cars, I wasn’t interested in rice rockets. I wanted a Ducati. I thought I wanted an older (78) 900ss. I had ridden a couple over the years and to me, besides being narrow and easy to ride fast, the Ducati motor was the most musical power plant on earth. I went into a local dealer looking at a 900ss bevel-head, and while I was haggling with the store owner he casually walked over to a low miles 851 Superbike that was already cammed and chipped and Termignoni-piped and started it up, letting it idle lumpily, the way tuned motors do . . . (Uuhhh, what’s THAT bike?). He blipped the throttle a coupla times. Boy did he have me made. “Why is this guy selling a bike with 800 miles on it?” I asked. “Because it scares the shit of of him”, the shop owner said. We smiled. Ah, Maturity. Ah, hubris.

I’d ridden a bunch a street bikes, from Harleys (ridiculous) to Ninjas and GXR’s, etc. and for the most part even the fast bikes were engineered to be very docile below their powerbands, except for Harleys, which don’t have powerbands because they don’t have any power to band. But nonetheless, all of these bikes could roll around town like two-wheeled sewing machines if you kept the revs down. Leaving the dealer on the 851, on the other hand, was quite an eye-opener. It made so much torque so low in the rev range it was like taking a tiger for a walk on a six-inch leash. On my ride back home I figured if I lived a week, I might make it a month, and if I made the month I was probably going to be OK. Talk about impulse control. Riding that bike was like jogging through the woods with a shotgun taped to your temple. But like with sports cars, the software was installed in my head long before—it just needed to boot back up. (Continue to Part 3/3 in the post below)

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Street Racing On My Ducati (Part 3 Of 3)

fearless racing on his Duck

Here is the last of a three-part story from a friend who loves Ducati motorcycles. This just describes one little outing on his bike, but his writing style is so powerful that I think you will not only feel his emotion and excitement, but also wish you’d been on the rear seat behind him. It’s never too late. I think I will ride my own cycle this week as soon as I have a chance and see if I can reach its max acceleration of “just” 4.9 seconds…without crashing of course.

This was Southern California, mind you. It was war. I’d tool around Costa Mesa, Newport or C.D.M. in street clothes, no helmet, but if I went anywhere else I had the full kit—race leathers with body armor, boots and gloves and a Kevin Schwantz replica Arai helmet. Too cool. But still, it was indeed war. One time near South Coast Plaza, as I was leaving my lawyer’s office, I had a gang banger in a lowered turbo Nopar sled try to squeeze me into the car next to us coming off a red light. My offense was splitting lanes to the front row at the red, usurping his turf as it were, which in California is perfectly legal but was an outrageous trespass to the guy behind the dark tinted windows and the subwoofer boom. As he squeezed he expected me to slow down and back off. Instead I squeezed back by making the Duck go quack. We had just passed a Cop on a motorbike when he heard the Nopar’s front tires light up, saw me accelerate away and (not that I was paying any attention) he started to chase us down. We hit another red a block later and the Vato tried the same thing. No traffic ahead, so I slipped around him—now I was not only adrenalized but really pissed off, and just pinned the 851, tucked my helmet, shifted my weight forward and rode a wheelie crossed-up and flat fucking out through 4 gears up and over and down the Bristol St. overpass, until I found some traffic ahead, finally, and put some cars between myself and the angry banger, then backed off, following from ahead. I half expected a pistol to come out.

Fast. This was 23 years ago and Ducati had just won the World Superbike Championship with a race version of the 851. The chasis was good, but the motor was superb. Water cooled, desmodromic four-valve, fuel injected fury. A “Supercar” from that era would do 0-60 in 5-6 seconds. A quick superbike would do it in 2.5 seconds in first gear, if you could keep the front down. The sensation is like nothing else. Tucked in tight with your tailbone pressed against the acceleration pad, in three seconds you are well on your way to 100 mph and you start to see in tunnel vision because what isn’t in front of you is passing at your periphery in a blur. If you expect to live much longer you can only look far ahead, where you WILL be . . . in another heartbeat. In 1989, with any superbike, when you decided to leave the party no production street car on earth could do anything but watch your ass-end very rapidly disappear. With an open-exhaust Ducati Superbike, the sound of your departure was akin to a P51 Mustang making a low pass. Talk about fun.

Then the flashing blue light of the policeman on the Kawasaki was behind me and I tried to play back what he’d just seen: A guy doing crazy shit in heavy traffic on a sport bike, hitting triple digits on an overpass on the rear wheel, etc. I pulled over. He started screaming at me, and it wasn’t until I had my helmet off that I realized he was angry that I had pulled over, that “we” let “him” get away. He had seen the whole episode, seen the Vatto try and clip me. I put my lid back on and “we” proceeded, in vain, to chase down the offender. When he finally pulled over on a side street, we shot the shit for a while, and he started asking about the Duck. I offered to let him ride it and to my surprise he accepted. Without thinking I told him to be careful and he smiled, “I have a gun” he said. “No worries.”

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Motorcycle Polo

A new sport was launched four years ago in Rwanda: moto-polo. I wish the video above showed some of the crashes and falls, but we can dream on…

The sport is similar to traditional polo, except it was born out of this country’s distinctive palette of characters, customs and resources…Instead of horses, of which there are few in Rwanda, players drive and ride motorcycles, of which there are many.

There are five cycles on each team, opposing goals and 15-minute quarters with a “beer’s worth” break in between. The game is played at a frenzy—drivers goose the bikes to 45 miles per hour—as players jab and motorcycles fall.

The sport is evolving. Official statistics are not tabulated. Rules have never been written and are generally thought to be limited to these: motorcyclists cannot use their feet to kick the ball, and players cannot stick objects into motorcycle wheels.

You can read more about it right here.

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Mind-Boggling Sports Stunts In 3D

This is a thrilling collection of death-defying sports clips in an almost-3D mode that adds to the breath-takingness of the stunts. I can’t believe people have the courage to do some of these things. I can’t imagine how many takes it took to get these mind-boggling shots.

Enjoy the video.

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World’s Scariest Motorbike Trail Ride

What kind of people ride for fun six inches from a precipice on a mountain trail strewn with rocks and sometimes boulders or a wall two feet high that they have to traverse. One mistake and you’re dead! Yet it never seems to phase them.

One person said they are two-wheeled mountain goats.

This second DIFFERENT video uses two cameras to show how the bikers make it across the path when it is too narrow. Watch the first few minutes and be ready to hold your breath. I love when the lead biker says what sounds like, “This is too small.” So matter of fact…Unbelievable.

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Top 10 Biggest And Best Jumps Ever

Afraid to jump into a swimming pool off of a “high” diving board of 10 feet? Then you will have a real rush watching these fearless humans perform jumps you can’t imagine sane humans would ever consider executing.

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Over Age-40 Motorcyclists Have Greater Risk Of Injury And Death

ira's bike, helmet and passenger


I’ve had a motorcycle for the last 20 years, and have never been in a serious accident. It’s a 600cc Honda that I take on roads, on trails and in the woods, where I’ve dropped it sometimes and needed a tractor to haul me out. But I always wear a helmet, which is NOT required by law in Connecticut.

I remember a doctor commenting on how many bikers are killed, because they liked the wind through their hair, and how many others end up brain dead in hospitals at the expense of the state. “It should be required by law to wear a helmet,” he insisted. But personal freedom is still the dominant principle here, even if it costs taxpayers money.

Multi-millionaire publisher Malcom Forbes took up motorcycling in the late 1960s, in his late 40’s, and became a leading goodwill ambassador for the sport of motorcycling. His international riding trips were covered extensively not only by motorcycle magazines, but also by the mainstream media.

Forbes, lived until age 71, and he made his thoughts on motorcycles and politics quite clear, perhaps differing with the doctor I mentioned above:

“I think legislative assaults on motorcyclists are totally emotional, disproportionate and totally unfair… They are instigated and implemented by people who know nothing about motorcycling, but have a prejudice. It’s easy to curb the freedoms of others when you see no immediate impact on your own.”

Forbes helped changed the general public’s perceptions of what motorcyclists and motorcycling were all about. He showed that motorcycling was not only socially acceptable behavior, but even a highly desirable pastime for people of all social walks.

Malcolm Forbes on his Harley

The article below contrasts with car drivers, where the older ones have fewer accidents than the newbies under 25. Wonder why that is? Maybe the experience of piloting a car is worth more than the strength and quicker reflexes needed to operate a motorcycle. Either way, be careful, safe and wear a helmet.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life! April 6) – As the number of baby boomers taking to the road on motorbikes has risen, so has the average age of motorcyclists involved in crashes with riders aged 40 plus more likely to be injured or killed, a U.S. study says.

A University of Rochester Medical Center study of 61,689 motorcyclists aged 17 to 89 found that aging road warriors were nearly twice as likely to die as a result of a motorcycle accident compared to younger riders.

Researchers found that between 1996 and 2005 the average age of motorcyclists involved in crashes increased to about 39 from 34 and the proportion of injured riders aged 40-plus rose to about 50 percent from 28 percent.

The study found that of all injured riders in the study, those aged 50 to 59 represented the fastest growing group, while 20 to 29-year-olds were the most rapidly declining. Read the rest of this entry »

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