Unnatural Disaster Strike Again

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A mile-high tidal wave could not do more damage to human beings than the unnatural force called government. In terms of outright mass murder – line ‘em up at the edge of the ditch and mow ‘em down – government has no equal. Jeffrey Dahmer – America’s most prolific serial killer-cannibal – got maybe 40 victims over a ten-year period. For Uncle Sam, that’s not even an afternoon’s work. In “peace” time. storm 1

Here’s the latest example:

According to a study published in the Feb. issue of the academic journal, Injury Prevention (see here) there has been an Everest-like ascent in motorcycle injuries during the past decade. Older riders (age 60 and over) are getting hurt the most – up 247 percent, from 4,300 injuries per year in 2001 to 15,100 in 2008 – but it’s not just them. Accidents involving riders in the 40-59 bracket are also up 61 percent; for riders in the 20-39 bracket, it’s 28 percent.

What’s changed?

More people of all ages are riding.

But why the sudden uptick in motorcycle riding?money 1

Follow the money.

Or rather, follow the lack thereof. The ridership explosion has tracked in correlation with the economic implosion. You know – the unnatural disaster caused by government.

More people have taken to riding because it’s less expensive to ride than it is to drive. One can buy a 60 MPG-capable commuter bike for about 75 percent less than the cost of a 50 MPG Prius. And the bike only costs about $10 to fill up – vs. $40-$50 for the Prius. It’s a great way to cut down one’s costs of getting around.

But, there’s a catch.

A rider is not only more vulnerable than a driver, he’s more at risk if he’s an average (or less) rider – because it takes a great deal more in the way of physical and mental skills to competently ride a motorcycle than it does to drive a car. Excellent vision – and excellent reflexes (including physical flexibility, such as being able to quickly turn one’s head, shift one’s weight in the seat – and so on) are not required. But without them, your odds of going down are probably much greater than they would be inside a car. Because in a car, maintaining control is not as dependent on the driver’s physical capabilities. There are also more – and different – tasks one must handle. For example, almost all motorcycles have manual transmissions as well as separate front and rear brakes that must be operated individually, yet in a mutually complementary way. And there are unique tasks – such as learning to steer by learning to lean – that require physical skills some people don’t have. Or don’t have enough of.

Many 70-80-year-olds can still drive perfectly well (some extremely well). Few 70-80-year-olds can still competently ride a bike.

The closer one is to average as a driver – the closer one is to marginal (or worse) as a rider. bike wreck

Historically, the higher skill threshold involved – and frankly, the fear – acted as a kind of natural check on motorcycle mayhem.

Much in the way that skiing has for the most part been a niche hobby. Something only a relative handful of people – most of whom had the skill/experience necessary to do it successfully – got into doing. Likewise, bikers chiefly rode because of the fun of it. And because they could.

Not because of the economics of it.

Now – out of desperation – lots of people who probably ought not to be riding are taking it up. And ending up badly.

Ironically – sadly – the uptick in bike accidents has happened despite the fact that bikes today are in numerous ways far safer to ride (if you know how to ride) than the bikes of the past. While that is also true of cars, it is much more true of bikes. The typical 1970s-1980s-era motorcycle was – in terms of important things like brakes – roughly where cars were circa 1955. It was commonplace for a ’70s bike to have a single nearly useless disc bake up front (if you were lucky) and an utterly useless drum brake out back – but often, an engine capable of pushing the bike to 130 MPH in less time than it took most cars to get to 70. The suspensions were typically terrible, the headlight inadequate and the tires insufficient. They were scary – which was part of the attraction, of course. But it did help keep many people who had no business riding from even thinking about it.bike wheelie

Modern bikes, on the other hand, are like modern cars in that they are deceptively easy to ride. Even elite high-performance sport bikes are startlingly docile-seeming . . . given what they are capable of (0-60 in 3 seconds; 9 second quarter-mile runs; top speeds approaching 200 MPH). Big touring/cruiser bikes are super-comfortable and friendly-feeling. Until the day its 60-something newbie rider sweeps over the double yellow in a curve because the 800 pound bike got away from him.

I wasn’t able to sift it out, but I suspect the stats in the Injury Prevention piece also include scooters and mopeds. These have become even more attractive than bikes – as an economic end-run – because they’re (typically) even cheaper to buy and (usually) much more fuel-efficient (some are capable of 100 MPG or even more). And: Many people who’ve been convicted of “drunk” driving resort to a moped or scooter to get around – because in many jurisdictions, a permission slip (i.e., a driver’s license) is not required to operate them.

They’re also easier to ride – because most are automatic and also what’s called “step-throughs.” Unlike riding a motorcycle – which is more like riding a horse – with mopeds and scooters, you don’t throw a leg over. Instead, you step through and sit down – with a riding position very much like sitting at a desk.

But, these not-quite-bikes have their own set of issues – in addition to the motorcycle issues discussed above. Most of them are really slow; some have top speeds no higher than 40 MPH or so. This often means they’re incapable of keeping up with traffic. Cars tailgate and swerve as they try to get by the moped doing 40 on a road where traffic is running 55 or 60. Not infrequently, they swerve into the moped or scooter rider.mopedians

Nonetheless, moped and scooter sales have – like bikes sales – dramatically upticked in recent years. Arguably, out of economic necessity.

And thanks to government. Its policies – and their destructive effect on people’s financial well-being.

But government is never held to account for the mayhem it causes – whether directly or indirectly, consciously or not. For some bizarre reason (lack of ability to reason, actually) many people give government a pass – accepting outcomes that would never be accepted if they were the result of the actions of private individuals or privately owned businesses. When GM cheaped-out on the design of the early Corvair and a few people got in over their heads (and some got killed) there was hell to pay. But when government policies lead to mayhem, most people shrug it off as the cost of doing business.

What was it Stalin said?

A single death is a tragedy – a million deaths, a statistic.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  164 comments for “Unnatural Disaster Strike Again

  1. trackdaze
    January 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I just sigh whenever I read, “learning to steer by learning to lean”.

    Thank you, Boothe for covering this MOST important, but little mentioned law of physics!

  2. Tre Deuce
    June 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Reg; “Each of us has a natural right to choose for ourselves.” Your speaking to the choir, Eric

    You don’t need to defend your choices to me. And, of course we have the right to choose certain types of personal behavior. I was just relating how I make ‘My’ choice based on your ‘Comfortable’ criteria, when it comes to whether to wear adequate protection for the activity… or not. As I also said, I don’t believe in ‘Nanny’ Laws, which deny choice.

    Another part of my equation of choice, regards the concomitant effects of my choices. When I was younger, I had responsibilities to my wife, children, and employees. And, I succinctly know what happens to a family when a Dad doesn’t come home again.

    Today, my responsibilities lessened to a degree, I’m guided by the fact that I still want to hike the trails and manage on deck on the open sea. High mobility is a priority for me. I also want to keep my competition and pilot licenses, so I manage my weight so diabetes doesn’t develop… again my choice not to eat that second helping of apple pie or drink another Rita. I don’t preach to others to deny themselves, because of this or that danger.

    At the track I often run the safety inspections or school the novice participants on track safety. Why do we teach safety, we want to send everybody home to their families in good shape and grow our sport. If we send people home injured or worse, our sport withers and our track day insurance goes through the roof, not to mention the deleterious effects of lawsuits. The result of all of this emphasis on safety, is more participation at affordable costs, and our club remains viable. Our sport is growing, vigorously.

    There all kinds of way to die, even with all my gear on, an approved roll bar or cage on my race cars, or riding my bike, I can still be injured or worse. Since I do aerobatics, the plane could suffer structural failure, something I’m also well aware of, but I still choose to do it. I could also die tripping over and air hose in the shop and hitting my head on one of the vehicle lifts.

    The activities I enjoy and choose to do, are in themselves quite dangerous, so common sense has to play a large part in those activities.

    Get out and ride…………>

    Regards…Tre

    • June 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Triple dittos, Tre –

      I also keep myself in pretty decent shape, physically – for all the reasons you’ve listed.

      When we lived in crowded (and Clover-suffused) Northern Virginia, I almost never rode without gear. But now, I live in a one-stoplight county – and feel comfortable riding less-dressed … sometimes.

      PS: I wish, wish, wish I had the time to take flying lessons. I love airplanes; everything about them. But I’ve never gone farther than looking and lusting. One of my few semi-regrets in life is when I decided as a young man in college not to pursue military aviation. I never wanted to bomb anyone, but the idea of being at the stick of something like an F/A 18, afterburners lit, always gave me a chubby… still does. If I were a rich man, like Tom Cruise rich, I’d have an F8 Crusader restored for my personal use, then train to fly the beast…

      Of course, even back then, I was very ambivalent about authoritay. That’s what steered me to a different course, ultimately. And that’s ok. I experience much the same violence of thrust on a hot sport bike (or doing a track day in something like that CTS-V) and unlike being in the Navy or the AF, the cars aren’t built to kill or with taxpayer’s stolen dollars… er, uh…. well, with the exception of that CTS!

  3. Tor Munkov
    March 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

    TPTB Create Unnatural Famines – Codex Alimentarius
    http://www.youtu.be/mTs408Nzl0A

    “Under the WTO’s Codex, (1) significant nutrients will be illegal in the way that heroin is illegal. Not even available with a prescription… (2) Every dairy cow on the planet will be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone… (3) Every animal used for food on the planet, whether it has fins, feet, or feathers, will be treated with subclinical antibiotics. (4) All food be irradiated.

    In any WTO dispute, the nation who has more fully adopted the Codex, automatically wins any trade dispute. Many disputes will be initiated, you can be assured” – Rima E. Laibow M.D.

    TPTB Create Unnatural Sterility – Global Depopulation & Eugenics
    http://www.youtu.be/KHqdwmqu-h0

    “We must eliminate 350,000 people per day” – Jacque Cousteau

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alimentarius

  4. Tor Munkov
    March 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Man Is Amazing
    http://www.youtu.be/vOlGGGnXQl0

    If you live an amazing life
    A life that meets your definition of amazing
    Then you will be immune to disasters natural and unnatural

    When you live outside the mon-archs
    When your compass functions without the mon-ists
    Then you will be truly free from care though people, religions, and nations all come and go.

    In modern relationships, one becomes the stronger. The stronger can always bring great disaster to the weaker at their whim. Learn to be a SEAR(sumam eam(take it) – aut relinqueret(or leave it).

    When you can TIOLI(take it or leave it) you’ll have no cause to fight to be the stronger in a relationship with your spouse, your government, or with anyone. Being ready to leave keeps the power in your hands, keeps you from violating your principles. You return or do not return when your terms are met, or you rationally choose to compromise.

    In this system, it is only the trap which you must fear. Debt is a trap. Being dependent or having dependents is a trap. Being a compliant subject in a nation is a trap. Being dependent on a man-made church or philosophy is a trap.

    Stages of Man
    1 man lived under natural animal tribalism and many instincts
    2 man lived under superstitious chiefs and many Gods
    3 man lived under a single sovereign and a single God
    4 each man lives as his own sovereign and his own God

    Most of man is experiencing his local sovereignty and religion consolidating into the global sovereignty and religion. Most men are still in stage 3.

    We are the men who dare to progress to stage 4. This means starting at the bottom, and that beings from stage 1 through stage 3 may temporarily have the upper hand over you.
    —————————-
    YouTube Video Soundtrack – Sail – Awolnation

    Sail!

    This is how I show my love
    I made it in my mind because
    I blame it on my A.D.D. baby

    This is how an angel dies
    I blame it on my own sick pride
    Maybe I should cry for help
    Maybe I should kill myself (myself)
    Maybe I’m a different breed
    Maybe I’m not listening

    La la la la la
    La la la la la oh!

    Sail with me into the dark
    Sail!
    —————————-
    Who is my sovereign? Who is my God?
    1 The producers and makers. Any who make life pleasurable.
    2 The bicameral* people. Especially women and friends.
    3 The Lutheran church- the parts that I accept and believe
    4 The laws of the land – the ones that make sense and are helpful
    5 The sense of play and wonder I’ve kept since childhood
    6 Earned epicureanism** – the joyful opportunities to bring joy or receive joy when the requirements of the day have been met

    *bicameral(two-chambered) mindset: One part of your brain speaks to a second part which listens and obeys.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

    –Choose Your Moral Compass Bearings & Reckoning System–
    Learn the details of the great men and beings who are deified. Determine their significance in your life with your own mind.
    1 love and reward yourself
    2 love and reward those who make your life possible
    3 love and reward the ones dear to you
    4 love and reward your close neighbors and kindred fellow men
    5 fully respect and do no harm to those who don’t concern you

    —————————-
    Technology can be a God. When you sit in front of TV, website, or YouTube video to be entertained; In many respects, you are worshipping your God. If you’re not vigilant, you become the subject and the media becomes your ruler.

    If you lose yourself in the moment, be sure to get yourself back. Beware the symbolism, advertising, and conditioning that can permeate and alter your consciousness. There is no free lunch. There is always some unspoken agenda that may include making you dependent and controllable by powerful corporations who mass produce electronic appliances.

    **Philosophy of Epicurus of Samos
    http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/epicurus.html

    A) The art of rational living. One seeks means to an end.

    B) Pleasure is the end you seek in life if you live a rational life.

    C) Pleasure is the freedom of the body from pain and the soul from confusion.

    D) Live under moderate asceticism, self-control, and independence. One should not undertake heavy responsibilities and serious involvement.

    E) Pleasures which endure throughout a life-time are greater than momentary pleasures. Live a life that escapes other people’s notice.

    F) Lesser pleasures are also an end: intellectual pleasure, serenity of soul, health of body.

    G) Even though every pain is evil and pleasure good, Epicurean hedonism is meant to result in a calm and tranquil life, not extreme the life of a libertine and excess.

    H) Avoid pleasures which are extreme: they have painful concomitants.

    I) Lasting pleasure is not a bodily sensation.

    “Though he is being tortured on the rack, the wise man is still happy.”

    • methylamine
      March 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Good stuff Tor!
      I’ll have to parse it fully when I’m not about to run to work…lots of material to cover.

  5. Tre
    March 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Something looking for an event, at great cost to consumers. They also modified the new MX-5 hood to accommodate the one in a million chance that you will collect a pedestrian.
    http://gajitz.com/a-safer-sedan-volvo-offers-first-car-with-pedestrian-airbag/

  6. Badger
    February 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I quit riding bikes at 25 myself. I just didn’t have the reflexes and I got tired of being wet and cold all the time. I bought a Honda Accord, sold the leather and the insulated ripstop nylon pants and never looked back.

    Bikes are fun but they were never OK as basic transportation for me. I used to commute from San Francisco to the airbase I worked at and since we flew at night I spent quite a few evenings and early mornings on the road in the dark on a Kawasaki 440 LTD. After a year or so it was just “done!”. I love bikes but not enough to ride them anymore :)

    • February 26, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Fairings make all the difference!

      I’ve got five bikes at the moment – and only one is truly cold/poor weather viable: The ’83 GL650 Silverwing. The other bikes hibernate during the winter (I do take them out for short rides when the occasional warm-enough/nice-enough day comes along). But – unless there’s snow/ice on the road – the ‘Wing is ridable almost anytime, because of the protection afforded by the fairings.

  7. February 26, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Bikes are great, but there are a few problems: cagers on bikes (as you describe, to get around DUI laws etc.), cagers in cars (of course), and cagers in office! Now, the cagers are even giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens! WTH is going on?

    • February 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi Bob,

      The whole licensing thing should be thrown in the woods. Why should anyone have to go begging for permission from the government to use their vehicle?

  8. Johnny
    February 25, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    CAFE standards also play a huge part in accidents. I heard a great presentation a few weeks ago on Mark Levin (not my favourite, but it’s where the dial stopped). He broke down the numbers from the 60’s to today and was able to trace the increase in vehicle fatalities not just to increased population, but to the government mandate for lighter vehicles.

    Why do you think so many people moved to trucks in recent years? CAFE standards didn’t apply in the same way. Bigger, heavier is safer. Unless you can pay $100,000 or more for a top end Volvo or Mercedes, you are worse off in a car with plastic bumpers.

    Great article. Out of control government is a scourge to freedom and life.

  9. Tor Munkov
    February 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Where do we start? It’s easy. Stop calling the Unnatural Disaster Hotline and ordering state created tornadoes and earthquakes over the phone like they’re pizzas or something. Every act of State collusion means self-destruction and NAP violation. Having a mailbox, tags, and licenses, legibly & coherently filling out forms, is like a dear putting a neon target on his own hindquarters. Don’t do it, at least be deceptive and strategic about it.

    1 Bastards. Don’t admit to the state your parentage. Get your woman to agree to keep it between you and her. Make it worth her while. Devise contracts and artificial creatures of the state that work even better than the nanny nuptial kool-aid. I’m a defeated shadow of myself, post-documented natural citizen production. It’s better for everyone if done right.

    2 Get the milk for free. Give the beef for free. Don’t be foolish enough to fall into the marriage trap. Devise contracts and customized agreements that suit you both individually. Time for some hard work and deep thoughts about what attraction, fidelity, vows, affection, friendship, and all the rest mean to the both of you.

    3 Separation. Look at the Talmud and other ancient books for ideas. Bottom line, you broke her/him, you bought her. Sex/relationships potentially mean a lifetime of dealing with someone. The ultimate clover bitch move is to pull the Batman Two Face caper.

    Day 87: Oh I love her, I would do anything for her. Day 88: Oh, she cheated, got fat, now I am suing her and trying to destroy her life. Hell no. Stop being a Maggot. Seriously. Adhere to the NMP (non-maggot principle with someone you have sex with)

    4 Work independently. Become a craftsman. Be part of an informal guild. Exchange favors for favors. Avoid working for dollars ASAP. Live frugally so you don’t become a pathetic wage slave. Be your own man/woman so that you report 10% or 0% of your income to the goons and end up feeding the FSA that has declared you an enemy combatant.

    Learn to be proud of your independence. Stop trying to achieve second-hand praise for owning expensive and desirable things. Its pathetic and even deadly in the long run.

    5 Build & Use the Polish Mafia. You should always “know a guy.” The one that fixes cars, has a blog, does maintenance, rents living spaces and sells stuff from a private location off the books. Have lots of brothers and uncles, even to the point of deputizing and nicknaming people into your “fambly”
    Get known as “the guy” to others. Someone to be counted on, but not trifled with or talked about.

    6 If you can’t escape, Always Be a Paul, Never Be a Peter. Fascism, communism, and all the new systems are about transfers. They claim to transfer from a wealthy citizen Peter to an underprivileged citizen Paul, but that is not what they do. In the end game they rob all the Peters, and leave the Pauls in the lurch. Make every effort not to be on their radar. If they find you, establish yourself as a needy Paul. Hide everything and deny everything to them and everyone you know.

    7 Go out like a Boss. When the end time comes, and there’s precious few days left. This is the time to saddle up and go for it. Liberate. Obfuscate. If you lived as a slave, die with complete fulfillment. Carpe concumbere diem.

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Tor’s opinions about love and marriage seem plagued with misperceptions to me. Done correctly the relationship with one’s significant other can be a huge asset, and the epitome of synergy.

      Nevertheless, I Really Like his points “4” through “7.” Especially “5” and “6.”

      • Tor Munkov
        February 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        Thanks Mike for feedback, problems, questions. To be sure, I disavow being of the highest morality or character as commonly touted as ideals.

        I’ve never used force or violence in my life, and that’s the bar for me, lots of other things are permissible at least in words and thoughts as passing possibilities. YMMV. (Your morals may vary).

        The current reality of love and marriage is plagued with false facades and rampant willful misperception. The original sacraments should be restored to correct the relationships with one’s significant other so they can be a huge asset, and the epitome of synergy.

        Let’s be honest about synergy. Men, woman, and children all must be weaned from the state. They should hate it much in the way a wild animal fears a jerkoff human who is “there to help” him.

        Perhaps, man, woman, and child are anti-concepts. If we look at “humans” at a deeper objective level, maybe there is a better basis and approach for one Sentient Being Grokking another Sentient Being.

        – – – –

        If you look at the entire bible and new testament. It is all homogenous except for the anomaly of Jesus & the Apostle Paul. How can it make sense to disregard millions of relationships for only 2 outliers?

        We are used to the one man – one woman, cats’ tail wagging the dog, but for later generations, there can be additional options rather than yet another neo-kantian inhuman ideal straight-jacket that harms more than it helps.

        The Mormon churches, if allowed free choice, might shed their recently inflicted stunting and become a home-grown American solution to the Muslim version of Natural Polygamy. Mormons who have toppled authoritarian statism in 50 some countries and put Kings and Ministers below “God’s Law.

        Look at Saudis. No ruler is above the church. Bedouin people still kill (like early Americans) any prying census taker, revenuer, or pervert that came snooping around their wives, children, and homesteads. There is no and will be no “Saudi Census” unless maybe America sends in some drones.

        1 We could keep the same system we have now for children. Even look for improvements. But don’t let the state horn in on who kids are whose. Even lie and mislead as a guerrilla tactic.

        2 We could keep the identical wedding system also. An improve. Again, keep the state completely out of it. Even to the point of false marriages. Hell, no one need miss out on “state marriage.” To male friends can marry your financial advantage. Who cares what the state knows or thinks.

        3 Divorce is the tricky one. Perhaps, at time of marriage set some joint property aside to “fight” over.

        – – – –
        New thread. Stop trespassing and feeding the world’s children in nations where anyone doesn’t want us there. Hunger arises because of societal breakdowns and misuse of official force. Better people should starve than they become dependent on foreign subjugators and their lifeforce and minds should starve instead of some individual bodies.

        Sending in soldiers to pacify and kill so that UN food trucks can roll in is an act of war.

        The NAP demands a whole new way of looking at charity and good deeds. Force and guns can never be a part.

        The more I think about it, the more optimistic I am that we can bring about world peace and solve world hunger, simply by removing ourselves and other outsiders and their force.

        Health isn’t a statistical body count of how many people get malaria or other illnesses. Health is measured every day, by whether individuals have the opportunity to feed themselves or tend to their health. Outcomes must not be artificially arrived at through force.

        • German rebell
          February 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

          “Men, woman, and children all must be weaned from the state. They should hate it much in the way a wild animal fears a jerkoff human who is “there to help” him.”
          I totally agree. The gov is based on violence, force and injustice and we should not let these monsters get involved into our bedrooms! Marriage means the two or more people made a commitment to stay together and support each other. This is none of the business the evil gov should be involved in.

          • Tor Munkov
            February 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

            Green Vegan Anarchists
            http://en.forwardtherevolution.net/

            Ideals(not yet attained) of moneylessness, statelessness, & forcelessness.

            Caution: evil murderous anarcho-syndicalists lurk in the shadows.

            Refuse/Dumpster Dining?(Beats Slavery?)
            http://foodsharing.de/

            Why not initiate UN Agenda21-Double++good? (infiltrate then hijack the one world soft-communist world-spirit with the addition of NAP and the demilitarization & defunding of the UN)

            Kew Bridge London – Live without $
            http://www.youtu.be/339Xfbm_LkM

            There are 900 million people living in shacks, slums, or as vagrants outside the grid. Many because they value freedom over comfort, I would assert.

            Free Shit Army Bad
            Free Shit Family Good (if NAP compliant)

      • methylamine
        February 26, 2013 at 4:41 am

        Mike, Tor is what we refer to in the business as “bat-shit fucking crazy”, which is one reason I appreciate him so much :)

        The resident channel for our much-missed gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson!

        • Tor Munkov
          February 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

          “Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked.”

          ― Hunter S. Thompson

      • MoT
        February 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

        With how marriage has been warped by the State’s constant meddling I can see how Tor views the present institution as being insane and corrupt. How else could it be? By reasserting ourselves and disassociating with Leviathan can we be truly free.

        • Tor Munkov
          February 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

          Mom loses her son to Free Domain Radio

          http://news.sky.com/story/657603/website-led-teen-to-quit-family

          I may be a terrible “father/husband” by some measures. In fact, I’ve have abdicated the position entirely, and made alternate arrangements. But I am always open to a cost/benefit discussion of why they should keep me around, whatever I am, and how I can better suit their needs and wants within my constraining principles.

          Tonight the gals will watch novelist Sara Shepard inspired “Pretty Little Liars” & “The Lying Game” and eat a nourishing dinner in a cozy TV room. Should they tell me to “bug out & bug off” as the estrogen hits the fan like an army of angry Pat Benatars, well, “there’s an app and a plan for that”

          In 2005, Molyneux published a controversial conclusion on maintaining relationships with parents based on his and his wife’s evaluation:
          Does this sound too radical? Do you think it extreme for me to say that almost all parents are horribly bad? Perhaps it is. However, if you look at the state of the world – the general blindness and the slow death of our liberties – the challenge you take on by disagreeing with me is this: if it’s not the parents, what is it?

          Either the world is not sick, or parents are. Because, as my wife says, it all starts with the family. If you want to perform the greatest service for political liberty, all you have to do is turf all of your unsatisfying relationships. Parents, siblings, spouse, it doesn’t matter. If you can do that, you can speak honestly about freedom.
          —Stefan Molyneux

          A forced evil state is mostly a reflection of countless individual forced evil families.

          – – – –
          Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to work on my San Francisco Fed Building seige trebuchet. Sometimes it’s easier to be an enabler of the whims of consumerist overlords I choose to live with.
          – – – –
          Pretty Little Liars Archenemy “A” Moments

          Lying Game Promo Bride & Go Seek

      • liberranter
        March 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        Tor’s opinions about love and marriage seem plagued with misperceptions to me. Done correctly the relationship with one’s significant other can be a huge asset, and the epitome of synergy.

        Once Upon a Time in America that was true. But no longer. Yes, it’s still theoretically possible, but only in the sense that it’s “theoretically possible” to adopt an adult wolf out of the wild and domesticate it. That is to say, it’s theoretically possible, but both highly unlikely to succeed and suicidally and foolhardily dangerous. But that’s all fodder for another thread in another venue…

        • March 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

          I’ve been married going on 11 years and – so far – so good! No complaints – though she probably has some!

    • Badger
      March 2, 2013 at 2:46 am

      “Get the milk for free. Give the beef for free.”

      Tor, I like your style but I have come to learn while marriage is ephemeral, real estate is forever :)

      • Tre
        March 2, 2013 at 3:20 am

        Nothing is forever.

        And married eleven years or 31 years, you still really don’t know who your sleeping with, and never will.

        Wishing you luck, Eric

  10. Don Cooper
    February 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    “You know what’s much worse? Stork parking.”

    What if a mother is only a few weeks pregnant? Is it more difficult for her to walk in the store?

    What about parking for people with kids? Isn’t it more difficult for their short legs to walk long distances? And what about old people parking and dumb-as-a-stump parking?

    Shouldn’t one’s IQ be a factor as to how difficult it is for them to safely make their way into a store?

    We live on the other side of the looking glass man.

    • methylamine
      February 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Ha ha ha ach I’m dying, Don…“dumb-as-a-stump parking”

      That’s a keeper thanks. Trouble is there’d scarcely be places for the rest of us to park anymore.

      • Don Cooper
        February 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        Aint that the truth.

      • Tor Munkov
        February 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm

        Duhhh. That’s true.

        The human herd progressed, but in the days when babies came from storks weren’t the individuals more generally knowledgable than us?

        Stork Startling – Family Guy
        http://www.youtu.be/2bqAs0KGDVY

        Who today knows the details of the bull, steer, or cow; or of the sheep, wethers, goat, ewe, lamb, ram, or mutton?

        Worldwide Cattle Count
        19 billion chickens, 1.5 billion cows and 1 billion sheep, 1 billion pigs, (and 7 billion human sheeple)
        Cattle in Millions India 282, Brazil 187, China 140,
        US 97, & EU 88.

        Legend of the Stork
        http://www.youtu.be/tAvQCzJMD0I

      • liberranter
        March 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        Trouble is there’d scarcely be places for the rest of us to park anymore.

        Methyl, you took the words right off of my fingertips.

    • February 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Moo entitlement is one of the most virulent forms of entitlement….

      • Rooney
        February 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        Are you claiming us crips tend to “milk” our disabilities?

  11. methylamine
    February 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    tagged for emails…

  12. Tor Munkov
    February 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Who is one enemy of liberty in America?

    The cripple and the infirm. Consider all the handicapped accessible rigamarole business owners are forced to provide at gunpoint. The handicapped parking and accessible toilet and crap. Besides having the burden of physical struggle when in public.
    You are tempted and baited into being a freeloading scumbag at someone elses expense. Every business you frequent, you harm. Fuck you cripples who proudly gimp into your special spot. You should have the dignity to bring an end to this perversion of property rights.

    1 The government skims 10% of a properties’ utility by designating it “handicapped” It lowers peaceful citizens enjoyment, now they have to worry about “handicap laws.” Business owners artificially made criminals using their own property.
    2 It brings forth 10% increase in malinvestment with lawyers, handicap industry, additional enforcement.
    3 No one with a handicap placard or user of special privilege can be admitted to be a libertarian in good standing. Prima facie, they are co-violators of the NAP.
    4 All handicapped laws of every kind need to be repealed immediately.

    • Myles
      February 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Ever notice how the handicapped parking spaces are almost always empty? If they’re almost always empty, isn’t this a sign that too many have been allocated?

      • Tor Munkov
        February 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        You’re right. I would say because the spots are made with the rough iron fist of the state, and not the wise invisible hand of the market.

        Why stop with the current easements and entitlements. I saw a study where handicapped people enjoyed 70% less sex than able people. Shouldn’t they also be provided free conjugal visits to un-attached females and males?
        They need sex-stamps. And free sexual appliances if they can’t get it up.

        Look at the poor bastards. Must be a real struggle getting a date or keeping a mate. It’s unfair. We’re all going to be them someday. They are people too, and must be made whole and equal to achieve non-discrimination.

        Also what about bald people, like myself, having to pay the same haircut price as someone with a full head of hair. There needs to be a law. At the very least, I deserve a free hat.

        It’s very offensive, when people talk about having a bad hair day. Especially when they look at us and snicker while saying it.

        Their should be hair stamps. Or maybe the best thing to do is include free hairplugs as an amendment to Obamacare. That way we’re all equal, the way the founders intended.

        • MoT
          February 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

          If it were as the founders intended then you’d likely get a nice powdered wig with the Federally mandated amount of curls at the approved length with non-flammable federally funded materials. Yep! Just as Jefferson wished.

      • liberranter
        February 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        Even when they’re not empty, you’ll notice that almost all of the cars parked in them have not the handicapped license plates, which indicate that the driver/vehicle owner has a permanent physical disability confirmed by a doctor’s professional, notarized statement, but rather removable tags that anybody can grab from God-knows-where and slap around their rear view mirror.

        Speaks volumes about who is actually parking in these “reserved” spaces, methinks.

        • Tor Munkov
          February 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm

          It’s for the disaaaabllled. $250 fine for any unauthorized use. Hey, you walking your dog keep clear of that space or I’ll write you an additional ticket. So far it’s $13,725 for the following…

          Let’s see un-neutered, no current shots, no tags, illegal breed, aggravated nuisance barking 2nd offense, failure to heel, illegal collar, failure to control, excess flea health violation, improper grooming, attempted assault of endangered squirrel with a deadly canine…

          • February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

            The handicapped thing is – as most here will surely agree – utterly out of… hand.

            I think I counted more than 10 of them at Lowes last time I was there.

          • methylamine
            February 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

            I’m savage about those.

            I mean honestly; why do crips have to show up in their ugly wheelchairs at our nice normal DIY stores, with their disgusting shriveled limbs and embarrass us all with their infirmity?

            :)

            It’s the typical Statist way; “help” people in inane and useless ways, at high cost and inconvenience to everyone, when they weren’t asked to in the first place…and the “helpees” don’t want it.

            • February 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

              False pity – state pity, enforced at gunpoint – is a vicious, awful thing. Just as wealth transfer at gunpoint causes many to resent – even to hate – “the poor” so also has the ADA and similar legislation caused many people to quite understandable resent – and even hate – the crippled.

              You may have read, as an example, of the little walk-up food joints – basically, a hole in the wall kitchen with a counter where people can stand to eat/place orders. The ADA demands that these be made “handicap accessible” – at whatever cost. Business destroyed.

              Now no one eats.

              It’s the same old idiocy. You’re “mean spirited” if you oppose “helping” the “differently abled.” But that’s not what we’re talking about, of course. Because “help” at gunpoint is no such thing.

              In fact, pointing guns at people is pretty goddamn mean-spirited.

          • Rooney
            February 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm

            LOL-I’ve been asked why I don’t use them. I’m a cripple due to an unfortunate encounter with an antlered field rat and my Harley.

            Damn near lost my left foot. As a matter of fact the docs were urging me to have the foot amputated. They claimed my quality of life would be better.

            I didn’t believe them then and I don’t regret my decision.

            So the ankle is fused and my left leg is substantially shorter than my right. It pains me sometimes but I usually take care of that with a couple of aspirin.

            This may sound stupid. But to me using the handicapped spaces would be an admission that I had been beaten by life.

            And that will not be.

            • February 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm

              You know what’s much worse?

              Stork parking.

              Have you seen that?

              I have deliberately parked my sport bike in these – even when there are plenty of open spots available nearby…. for hate’s sake (quoting Kahn from Star Trek).

      • February 26, 2013 at 7:51 am

        No. 100% usage is only optimal for certain categories of things. For instance, ship owners don’t do best when their ships travel with unused capacity, but department stores (used to) work best when there was always an assistant free to assist whenever a customer came in; 100% usage would sometimes have required customers to wait for assistants to get free.

      • MoT
        February 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

        Its been said that handicapped parking is really just a parking spot “tax”. It provides little if anything in return for WHAT? Now think about this…. if all the slots are full, and I’ve never seen this, and you’re forced to use the very next one over, just how much further do you have to shamble or roll before getting to the front door? Is there a mandated amount of distance from parking space 5 to business owner door, exhibit B? Don’t laugh because I wouldn’t put it past these bastards to actually have such regs on the books.

      • Ed
        February 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        “Ever notice how the handicapped parking spaces are almost always empty?”

        Yep. Lots of times you see cars with the mirror hanger permit (which you can buy online) parked in an HP space and see a perfectly healthy driver get into or out of it.

        One local grocery chain has several spaces in each lot voluntarily designated for “Pregnant Mothers or Parents with Infants”. That’s a nice gesture, But I wonder how long it will be until some politician gets the idea to make that mandatory as well.

        • liberranter
          March 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm

          Yep. Lots of times you see cars with the mirror hanger permit (which you can buy online) parked in an HP space and see a perfectly healthy driver get into or out of it.

          I like to remind these people that “handicapped” DOES NOT refer to the obvious handicap between their ears.

  13. February 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Also young drivers think they are immortal, that crashes always happen to the other guy. I was doing my motorcycle thing, which means relaxing (but not relaxing too much), when a bunch of rice rockets passed me about a hundred miles an hour. Do Japanese motorcycle manufacturers dislike black people? Are they invested in the local hospitals?

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Hi Doc,

      Actually, the demographic most likely to wreck (statistically) is middle-aged, first-time riders on big cruising/touring bikes. It’s not age – or the type of bike – that matters most.

      It’s lack of experience and skill.

      • February 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

        Also it’s pride that has to do with a wrecked bike. I used to work at a motorcycle dealership. We sold a two-stroke triple to some young guy and I made sure (extra sure) that he rode a motorcycle beforehand. He told me he could. He could not. He wrecked the motorcycle before he left the lot. Years before I rode a motorcycle with someone on the back to pick up my car. I also asked him if could ride a motorcycle. He told me he could. He could not. He wrecked the motorcycle before he left the lot. I remember the looked of shock amongst the car mechanics before the sounds of the crash hit me!

        ahhhh, the motorcycle wreck memories!!! :)

        • February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

          Hi Doc,

          False pride! If you can’t ride (or ride well) don’t pretend you can – or the results will be as you’ve described.

          Bikes are not unlike guns in that they’re dangerous in the hands of idiots!

        • Herb
          February 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          I’m still riding @ almost 65. One minor accident @ ~21. Totally my fault. After that I remember someone told me; ‘there’s bold riders and there’s old riders but there’s no old, bold riders.

          I think of that axiom evertime I fire up the Burgman.

      • David Ward
        February 26, 2013 at 1:19 am

        Eric,

        You have it right, of course. When I was a kid (16) I had a Honda powder blue 305 grand touring commonly called “The Dream”. Great bike. I was tooling down a road I’d never been on before when in a literal hair pin turn the road surface changed to loose and I mean very loose gravel. I went one way the bike went another. Suffice to say, I survived after 6 months in traction and 3 cracked ribs. Not to mention the other broken things. When I got out of the hospital, I found out me mudder sold the bike LOL! The point is your statement of inexperience.

        I, now, ride as if I’m a bobble head doll. I’ve been riding again since 2001. Again, strictly as a means to save moola. I ride every day it doesn’t rain in the morning. After all I don’t care if it rains on the way home.

        In the winter, I will not ride if it will rain at all during the day. But I will ride no matter what temp it is.

        So back to your point, the only way to stay sharp riding is to RIDE! No only riding when it is 72 degrees! No riding when it is not raining! As my music teacher once said, “Practice makes perfect!” If your bike is only there for fun then you won’t practice enough to be proficient at riding.

        While I do admit that age can be a factor, I point out that Richard Petty, who I can’t stand but I do respect, drove race cars a lot longer than I would have. LOL!

        Petty, at 55, was driving 160 mph plus cars with people out to get him out of the race. Dog eat Dog. Me I’m riding a bike from my house on back roads to work daily. Well, when it isn’t leaking oil like a sieve. Before you ask it is a Kawasaki Vulcan VN750 and not a Harley.

        David.

        • February 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

          Thanks, David!

          Same here. I try to ride as often as I can during the off season for exactly the reasons you’ve laid out. It’s difficult to ride the sport bike (zero protection) but luckily I have a fully-faired touring bike for the shit weather!

  14. Tre Deuce
    February 25, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Eric/Dom! How do we get assigned our Avatar/Modicons?

    • mithrandir
      February 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

      go to the gravatar site and choose your avatar

  15. Tre Deuce
    February 25, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Regarding? “sat down and never got up again”

    Man sit down… Man die! _Confucius

    I have seen it too many times in my 66′ years, Boothe.

    All the men I know who lived long, lived(!)and were active and still curious. They had drive till they dropped… most standing up.

    I want be shot by pirates at 95′ off the coast of Indonesia or spin out of bright Blue skies after trying to fly to the Sun.

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      February 25, 2013 at 7:03 am

      Cool: “I want be shot by pirates at 95′ off the coast of Indonesia or spin out of bright Blue skies after trying to fly to the Sun.”

      … But hasn’t that kind of thinking been outlawed?

      Isn’t it a crime to think those kind of thoughts?

      Shouldn’t you be thinking how you can serve the state?

      What better sacrafice is there than to serve the state?

      Sacraficing to the state has always been an american tradition.

      Loving the state more than your own children is the highest ideal.

      Why else is our supreme leader allowed to decide who lives?

      The supreme leader is The Tiny Dot:

      I get it now: to be an american means one submits to a tiny dot.

      It all makes sense now.

      • Tre Deuce
        February 25, 2013 at 7:27 am

        Reg> “‘shouldn’t you be thinking how you can serve the state?”…> LMAoff ‘DownshiftFast5to1′ I have been on the ‘Trail to the Moon’ ever since my country tried to sacrifice me to the maw of its voracious deceit when I was 18′.

        Can I change that to what I really wanted to say… ‘I want be shot by pirates at 95′ off the coast of Indonesia or spin out of the bright Blue sky after trying to fly to the afternoon Moon while high on acid’

        You be careful ‘DownshiftFast5to1′, your obvious ability to think, question, is anarchist by its nature, and puts that little red dot right in the middle of your forehead.

        Regards… Tre

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Hunter Thompson – who also saw it (this, what’s happening) coming (and didn’t want to be around to see it) had his remains shot out of a cannon.

      • liberranter
        February 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        Reminds me of what the late, great, irreplaceable George Carlin said in his book Brain Droppings (and I’m paraphrasing here):

        “Some people want to be buried after they die. Others want to be burned. Me, I want to be blown up!”

        • MoT
          February 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

          Wasn’t that part of his “Two minute warning”?

    • Ed
      February 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

      “I want be shot by pirates at 95″

      Well, I want to live to 120 and be shot down by a jealous husband.

      At my funeral, I want’em to be saying, “Damn, he was old”.

    • rEVOLutionary
      February 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      It’s that “2nd Hand Lions” mentality. Go for it.

  16. Gil
    February 25, 2013 at 6:08 am

    CloverWell there you go – Libertarians should make everyone rides motorbike and ban cars. After all, it’s about risk-maximisation: do something stupid and flip out on a motorbike and you’re in for a world of hurt. Hence if everyone was on a motor scooter or motorbike they by definition have to ride more sensibly than driving a car.Clover

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

      “Libertarians should make everyone rides motorbike and ban cars”

      Clover, is it really possible you’re that dense? It’s people such as you who are into making people do things (i.e., forcing them to do things) and banning things.

      Your projection is most interesting.

    • Ed
      February 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Fuck you, Gil.

      • February 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

        I let one through. No more!

        • Ed
          February 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

          OK, sorry.

          • February 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

            No worries!

            We let one through every once in awhile for purposes of intellectual dissection. The mind of a Clover is a fascinating thing….

          • liberranter
            February 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm

            Why are ANY of you giving this pathetic trolltard the time of day, let alone responding to his inane verbal drivel?

  17. MoT
    February 25, 2013 at 4:50 am

    I rode scooters while living in Japan. The sky high price of fuel was a primary reason as well as the fact you didn’t get insuranced to death like an automobile. Then there is the other fact you could actually find a place to park the damn thing. One last thing… you couldn’t actually drive much faster than 30-40mph because of the speed limits and the relatively dangerous roads. They were in great condition just extremely narrow and trafficked.

  18. Tre Deuce
    February 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Shit! Patrick loses a third place finish… back to work.

  19. Tre Deuce
    February 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    The shop had a visit by one of these last week, seems a good vehicle for transport duties, and a lot safer for inexperienced riders. Owner claimed an easy 60 MPG in town, I have my doubts, but certainly in the fifties.

    • February 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      I like these a lot more than the converted trikes I see a lot of around these parts. You know the ones… as they go around a corner, the front (single wheel) wants to lean but the rear (solid) axle, can’t…. all of a sudden, the outside rear wheel of the trike gets daylight underneath – and better pray the Motor Gods are smiling upon you now….

      • Rich
        February 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        I’ve always seen trikes as the worst of both worlds. Can’t lean and take advantage of vector forces in a turn, and don’t have enough wheels to keep them all on the road.

      • February 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

        That’s why, if you do want a three wheeler, the Morgan layout with two front wheels and one rear wheel is better.

        A few years ago now, a British firm decided to try making a specialised tricycle scooter for grannies to get to the shops. Instead of being solid, it had a two wheeled bogie at the rear (with just one wheel driving), arranged with light springing to pull the frame upright as it pivoted around the bogie. The idea was to combine natural stability at low or zero speed with good behaviour at higher speeds. The firm tested it out thoroughly and released it – but then reports started coming in of grannies being flipped off all over. It turned out that it somehow developed an instability that slowly built up at a certain sustained low speed range, and the test riders had just never stayed that slow very long – they had all pushed through the resonance. Grannies, though…

  20. Tre Deuce
    February 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I guess I will be the contrarian here.

    Bike deaths are up because people are riding more for the fun and pure joy of riding and the relationships it brings in riding in groups, and almost tribal relationship.

    The destination bike riding season has already begun around here(So. Oregon) with small and big groups of riders coming into town, and doing the local wine tasting runs. Touring groups of couples have already hit the highways with their big bikes/trikes and trailers. I just don’t see much or any evidence of people riding because of the economy. Talk, but no action.

    Most of these recent riders never had much, or any, early riding experience, especially off-road or racing.

    I evaluate a riders abilities by their tendency to put there foot down or lift it in a tentative effort to catch the bike.

    A good street rider never lifts his/her foot off the pegs until stopped, and knows when to un-weight his body and radically shift body weight on the bike. If you can’t put a bike sideways under power without lifting a foot off the pegs, your probably just a so so rider and can’t handle a critical evasive situation. If you don’t know how to put a bike down _rather then hi-side it or t-bone something_ and ride it, your survival skills on a bike are limited to luck.

    Like an airplane in a spin, you better know what your options are and have the developed skills to employ them in a fraction of a second. Racing and serious off road work, gives you those skills.

    My many hours of Moto-Cross, TT, Flat track, Desert, and Enduro racing, allowed me to develop those street survival skills.

    Go ride in the dirt… often!

    • February 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Deuce,

      The number of scooters/mopeds on the road in my area went from almost none (you’d see one or two every few weeks) to see them every day… several of them. No question in my mind that the primary reason behind this is the economy. The uptick happened almost overnight – when gas went from under $2 a gallon to over $4 a gallon.

      I’ve also noticed that the going prices for used commuter-type bikes upticked similarly during the same timeframe.

      I have trouble with the notion that more people are riding now for the fun of it because buying even a $1,500 bike (plus the tags, plus the insurance, plus the upkeep) let alone a $7,000-$12,000 bike for the fun of it – as a hobby interest – is just not something most middle and working class people can afford to do anymore. But if they can justify the expense by driving their car less – or even not at all – then it does make sense.

      The surge in riding should have taken place during the ’90s and early 2000s – when people did have discretionary money for “fun” – not during the past 8-10 years.

      That’s my 50, anyhow.

      • February 25, 2013 at 12:59 am

        I think that more and more later born boomers are buying Harleys. It’s quite the fad. Perfect for middle class nobodies, including sheep. Suddenly they are romantic……tough even, with their boots and leathers. Jackets with sewn on patches hinting at some club, or just maybe….gang affiliation.

        It has little to do with the thrill of riding a motorcycle. Nothing to do with saving money…they are willing to shell out big bucks for “that image.” Clearly, they have no idea of the image they actually project.

        I’m not talking about all motorcyclists: only the group I’ve described above. If there is a surge in the motorcycling demographic, they are a big part of it. If there is an increase in motorcycle casualties, they will unfortunately be a big part of that too.

        • Ferret
          February 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

          Back when I used to ride a motorcycle as my sole means of transportation, it wasn’t for fun (Not as to say I didn’t have fun on it at the time, though). It was because I was broke – back around the time a gallon of gas was just starting to climb above a dollar. Something odd I noticed was that other people on motorcycles would wave at me when we passed. It took a little bit to figure out that it was just a sort of camaraderie thing between fellow riders.

          These days, I no longer have a bike (though I’m considering getting one for trail riding), but now that Harley Charlie, DDS and his ilk have invaded the roadways, I hardly ever see riders sharing that sort of greeting anymore. What I do see is a lot more of the entitled “me first” douchebaggery on the part of that crowd. I’m sure a lot of that is from living in proximity to places that host many high holy days of the biking faith – Bike Week, Biketoberfest, Bikesmas, BikeDependence Day, etc. (though I’m pretty sure the last few are made up)

          • February 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

            Around here, bikers almost always wave to one another when passing.

            But I also see the “Harley Charlie” phenom on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The demographic Duece described: Old. Fat. No Neck. Riding a $30,000 chromed-out HD (usually with multiple flags fluttering). They’ll Clover along at 35 MPH (or less), wandering over the double yellow… not giving a shit about the traffic behind them.

            But I have just the thing for dealing with them: A two-stroke Kaw triple. I pull around them, then smoke ‘em …. literally. T’aint nuthin’ like the oil-fog of a Japanese two-stroke to ruffle the feathers of a Clover… on two wheels or four!

        • Boothe
          February 25, 2013 at 5:34 am

          Eric & MikePizzo – I see a lot more scooters, “vintage” bikes, sport bikes and rat bikes around these days here in central Missour-uh. I’ll state with confidence that it’s economics at work. But the HD phenomenon Mike mentions is also glaringly present with middle class and predominantly middle aged biker wannabes. I used to want a Harley back when I was young. But I’ve noticed the snootiness of some of these Harley Charlies. By not wanting to acknowledge my “Rice Burner” with a friendly wave they’ve turned me off to the brand. We’re all riders and if they can’t find solidarity in that, I say screw ‘em. I’ll just show them my ass and the tail light on my Z very briefly as I leave them behind. Let them figure out that Kawasaki’s been around as a company a lot longer than Harley.

          I really got a good laugh when I found out Harley was using Keihin CV carbs…just like Kawasaki. I guess it shows they can be trained by the free market after all. I used to take pleasure in stomping the shit out of the old v-twin oil leakers (and their owners’ egos) back in the day with my little Yamaha RD350. It’ll be that much easier with the Z. No offense intended to you Dom. ;)

          • BrentP
            February 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

            Before it got cold I started seeing motorcycles out on the road I hadn’t seen in ages. Things like early 80s Hondas and the like. Not particularly ‘cool’ bikes but something people had sitting in the garage for ages.

            When gasoline first spiked with hurricane Katrina all these geo metros came out of the closet. They are gone from the road now but in their place seem to be old motorcycles.

          • Tre Deuce
            February 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

            Update> According to a post here, That red dot is being focused now or soon will be on sites like this and its more notorious posters, you know… the ones that have independent thought and are not endeared to the corporatocracy.

            • February 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

              Probably so.

              But so be it.

              If it is to become that bad – if we must live in fear of speaking our minds, for advocating non-aggression – then let the chips fall where they may.

              I want to live a long life, but not a life lived in chains – or fear.

          • February 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

            The Harley Attitude thing is real – and unfortunate. By no means are all Harley riders so afflicted – but some are. It’s of a piece with the “Ford Rules – Chevy Sucks” idiocy one encounters at old car shows sometimes.

        • Just Dont Get In My Way
          February 25, 2013 at 6:49 am

          In the summer of 2007, I stayed in Custer, SD, in my motorhome, during Bike Week (Sturgis, SD). Even in Custer, 70 road miles to the South of Sturgis, there were always at least 300 big beautiful motorcycles parked in the center two lanes of the main highway through town, as well as along each curb. I talked to a number of the owners. I came away with the impression that this was the most elaborate, expensive, and fun costume party in the nation. I’m not dissing them for this. It was really fun to see and, for them, I’m sure the thrill was even more. In Custer, at least, I’m guessing 90% of them were pretty well off individuals. Sturgis, I think, had a somewhat rougher crowd. The most interesting thing I found as I approached the area, and as I departed, was the incredible number of motorcycles anywhere within 500 miles of the Black Hills.

        • February 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

          Hi Mike,

          It was the fad – no question. But Boomers have (like most people) also seen their net worth plummet since ’08, due to the collapse of the housing market and all the rest of it. They no longer have the equity in their McMansion to draw on – and their 401ks are either cashed out or worth half what they used to be worth. Boomers – probably more than any other demographic – have lived beyond their means, and it has caught up with them.

          Sure, there are some people who can still afford to drop $30k on a bike – but not nearly as many as there were just a few short years ago.

      • Tre Deuce
        February 25, 2013 at 5:19 am

        Hi! Eric,

        Yes, probably, also, a locality situation. In the wet and icy NW, people don’t ride as much, and, I didn’t consider the uptick in scooter ridership, probably because I don’t consider them bikes, and I have little regard for them even though I have a pair with the boat in Ft. Lauderdale. No place in the US has more bikes/scooters then Ft. Lauderdale.

        I just grit my teeth in visceral fear when I see women riding these things with no idea of how fast a classic style scooter with small diameter wheels will dump them. The big wheeled ones are the only reasonably safe ones.

        What I have seen, is, as stated by ‘MikePizzo’, is the baby boomer buying a bike for what ever reason, be it a need for Macho presence(You ever notice Mike how they all look the same, short, fat, no neck, and black leathered. Sorry if I offended any readership…col!), or couples touring… a good thing.

        My brother’s _who previously never owned a bike_ partner bought him a $30,000 Harley, and numerous acquaintances, have bought bikes for weekends and trailer-ed trips to the Black hills. Most would never do a multi-state/province 3,000 plus miles on the seat of a bike. Not one has bought bike for transportation because of the price of gas or the economy. Only one of my younger family/friends has bought a bike for transportation, and that was for the commute advantages of the bike, not the price of fuel or the economy. He put put about 400 miles on it, sold it, and went back to driving his M_Coupe.

        So, yes, there probably is some uptick because of the economy and fuel prices, in areas more conducive to year round riding. I wonder what the manufacturers are seeing?

        Regards …. Tre

    • Ed
      February 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

      “I evaluate a riders abilities by their tendency to put there foot down or lift it in a tentative effort to catch the bike.”

      Yep, that’s a dead giveaway that the rider is incompetent.

  21. liberranter
    February 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    BTW, Eric, somewhat OT, but I caught your podcast interview with Lew Rockwell yesterday. You were great, man!

    • February 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks!

      I’m always nervous as hell doing those things. I’m a very introverted person by nature and much prefer a quiet room – and a good book!

      • liberranter
        February 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        Well, you had me fooled. You sounded just like you were in casual conversation with Lew. I hope you get to do more of those in the future!

      • Larry
        February 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

        Yes, I too enjoyed your interview with Lew Rockwell; it was well done and easy to listen to.

        I’m surprised, Eric, that you don’t have a link to the interview on your web site. Those who did not hear your conversation with Lew Rockwell would have a chance to do so and comment. ;-)

    • Rich
      February 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      I caught it too, Eric. I’ll be watching for more!

  22. Patrick
    February 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    If both Prius and a bike make both 50 MPG, what difference does it make how much it costs to fill them up? Totally illogical, otherwise an interesting article.

    • dom
      February 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Good catch. I think Eric wanted to point out how much would be dished out to top off per visit.

      • Rich
        February 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        Plus the difference in the price of the vehicles could buy a lot of gas.

        • GW
          February 25, 2013 at 3:26 am

          Plus+ – the bike is a helluva lot more fun, and has a way more cool factor than a Preeeeious

    • February 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Good point, Patrick –

      I’ve adjusted the text accordingly.

    • Ferret
      February 25, 2013 at 12:55 am

      Still, it bears mentioning that of the two vehicles, the bike is orders of magnitude more likely to actually achieve that 50 MPG. After all, unlike the Prius, it’s not having to waste power to spin a water pump, A/C compressor, and generally move much more mass than a small vehicle should have.

      • February 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

        Yup –

        My ’83 Honda gets 50-plus even at 70-plus MPH.

        I assure you, the Prius doesn’t.

    • Ed
      February 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

      “If both Prius and a bike make both 50 MPG”

      That’s a big if. Prius mileage figures are propaganda. 40mpg is actually an exaggeration unless the Prius is driven only in flat country or strictly downhill, which isn’t really possible.

      One thing I’ve noticed about Prius drivers is that they’re very quick to jump into the left lane and cruise there at 5 mph below the speed limit.

      Assholes.

      • Eightsouthman
        June 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        A friend on the high plains got in a tizzy over driving what he deemed a gas hog, actually a small car that got good mileage BUT he had the money and was really wanting a new car. I rightly pointed out the carbon footprint(one of his big concerns)of building a new car as compared to just driving the one he has. He didn’t reply to me but did to others who didn’t point this out. So he goes shopping, family in tow, and doesn’t like the experience. He finally found a dealer he could stand and bought a new Prius, so very happy, so very fuel conscious. Another friend stopped by to visit and noticed his new 2012 Prius was a 2011. Not a car guy but a do gooder looking to assuage his conscience I guess. I’d much rather have a Camry or a bigger Toy or Nissan. A friends Q-ship is mighty nice and gets 24mpg at “his” speed, something well over the 75 mph max.

  23. Boothe
    February 24, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Eric, I’ve commented before that I’m seeing a lot more two-wheeled motorized conveyances on the roads these days. Even my son and his wife both have bikes now…due to fuel prices. One thing you mention is having to “lean” a bike. But what most folks like us, who are natural riders do instinctively to steer, many newbies don’t grasp the mechanics of. The most important thing I’ve been able to teach some new riders recently (and unfortunately for two of them, it was after they crashed on a curve) is counter-steering. Once they get the concept down that above about 15 – 20 MPH one must push right to go right and push left to go left, motorcycling becomes a whole new world for them.

    Here’s a very good short video on the subject:

    As veteran motorcyclists, I believe this is one key concept we really need to impress on new riders for obvious reasons.

    • dom
      February 24, 2013 at 4:53 am

      Hey Boothe. I just noticed your avatar! Ha

      No Cops

      • Boothe
        February 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        Thanks Dom! I concocted that myself in Gimp. I don’t know if you can see it in such a small image, but the driver’s head is what a detective was called back in the day…seemed appropriate.

        • Olaf Koenders
          February 25, 2013 at 1:25 am

          I’ve wanted to change mine but can’t figure how – a little help pls..?

          • Boothe
            February 25, 2013 at 4:58 am

            Olaf, you need to log in first. Then go to the upper left of the WordPress bar where it says “Eric Peters Autos” just to the left of the WordPress emblem. When you mouse over Eric Peters Autos you should get a drop down that says “Dashboard”. Click that, go to your Profile and then you’ll see your Avatar to the right. Click ‘manage’ and browse to the image you want to use. It will need to be small, somewhere on the order of 100 x 100 pixels. Once you manually crop and edit the uploaded image, just close the pop up and your Avatar will be there under your profile. I hope this helps.

        • GW
          February 25, 2013 at 3:23 am

          It seems to me that the “detective” may be “saluting” as well..lol!

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      February 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Boothe wrote, “Eric, I’ve commented before that I’m seeing a lot more two-wheeled motorized conveyances on the roads these days.”

      I’ve noticed the opposite.

      I wonder what the numbers are and is it just a regional thing?

    • February 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Amen, Boothe –

      I’ve tried to do the same whenever I get the opportunity to tender some advice about riding. The first few weeks/months are critical. Assuming the person has the native abilities, the skill will be acquired. But they are new skills – and they do take some time to “wire” into one’s brain/body so they’re reflexive and automatic.

    • Rich
      February 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      If counter steering is counter intuitive, check out “gyroscopic precession.”

      • Boothe
        February 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        Rich, I don’t think counter steering is counter intuitive; we learn to do it instinctively as kids when bicycling. Granted it’s not as pronounced on a pedal bike as it is when handling 400+ pounds of machinery as highway speeds, but the same basic physical principles apply.

        Now torque induced precession on the other hand is a different matter altogether. It occurs without operator input and is negated by attaching the axis of the gyroscope (the wheel) to (essentially) immovable points on the motorcycle (i.e. forks or swing arm) or the gimbals inside a navigational gyroscope. Although the phenomenon is still present, the axle is prevented from describing a conical motion on one end. Thinking about it as hard as I can, I cannot recall ever noticing the effect when riding. Maybe I’m just not aware of what I’m not feeling? Please enlighten me.

  24. 3DShooter
    February 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

    As someone who rode two stroke triples back in the day, and used too love to make the now ex-wife squeal on the big four’s by lofting the front end at 60 plus – some of your observations are probably appropriate.

    But there’s a couple things you might be overlooking. Those of us who used to ride, rode in a time where there simply wasn’t the traffic congestion that exists today. The other, which you kind of touched on, is that we don’t ‘bounce’ well at our age (and I say that as someone who has flown across a highway and landed spread eagle on the other side – thank goodness I always believed in full-face helmets cause that is the first thing that hit the pavement).

    I thought about getting another bike a few years back after dumping the ex-wife baggage, but I was inclined towards another big bore Suzuki four (900+ cc, nothing like launch speed). But settled on a used Mustang convertible as I figured I’d kill myself on the bike :)

    • February 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Hi 3D,

      No question, traffic has increased. But even in rural areas where traffic/density is light (such as my area) there has been a noticeable uptick in two-wheeled activity. Mopeds and scooters in particular.

      I have a friend who owns a bike shop – sales and repair. He became a dealer for Chinese scooters a few years back and tells me the demand is brisk.

      • Eightsouthman
        June 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        And here I thought it was all the men(tens of millions)having mid-life crises and buying a Harley so they can feel “tough”. Typical conversation: Hey, nice bike. Yep, you oughta get you one. Women love ‘me you know? Well, you know I’m not hot on Harley’s and everybody including the wife would think I’d lost it if I showed up on a big Zuk. Besides, I can’t afford an Asian girlfriend.

  25. February 24, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Eric, Why do all three cyclists you pictured have helmets on? I thought you Hated helmets?? Somewhat of a conundrum here. The government has “increased” motorcycling mishaps by crashing (pun intended) the economy. But many states have minimized the extent of injuries by mandating helmets. I guess you will have to condemn government both for simultaneously increasing and minimizing motorcycle casualties. ;-)

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      February 24, 2013 at 5:56 am

      I don’t know about others, but I don’t hate helmets, I dispise being Told I Must wear one.

      Can you see the difference?

      “But many states have minimized the extent of injuries by mandating helmets.”

      Are you certain?
      Seems to me helmet laws came into vouge about the same time insurance was required to drive a motorcycle. The crazy guys we all knew while growing up could no longer afford to drive and were replaced by a more moneyied class less likely to go beyond thier boundaries.

      That’s my perception from here anyway.
      That and cars are better at stopping, headlights are brighter, roads are generally wider in many areas, and with the boom time economy the roads were in better shape.

      It could be there were lots of unseen factors which resulted in lower statistics.

      • February 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

        Same here.

        I would wear a helmet voluntarily – most of the time. And gear, too. But there are times when I’d prefer to ride without a helmet – and it’s my right to decide.

        Unfortunately, the Clovers have abrogated that right in my state.

        Yet, one can legally ride wearing shorts and a t-shirt and flip-flops.

    • February 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Hi Mike,

      I hate helmet laws! (Not helmets, per se.)

      They’re as illegitimate as seatbelt laws.

      I would probably ride wearing my helmet most of the time, law or not. But there are times when I’d prefer to ride without – and that’s by right my decision to make. The Clovers have simply arrogated unto themselves the authority to dictate otherwise.

      And: The idiocy of helmet laws is made apparent to any thinking person when one discovers that while it’s illegal to ride without a helmet, it is perfectly legal to do so while wearing shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops.

      Your face may still be pretty after a crash – so it’ll look nice for the funeral. Or perhaps you’ll still look good in your wheelchair.

      Bottom line, my personal “safety” (and health) is no one else’s lawful business. That includes the state. It’s no more the business of “the law” to tell an adult man to wear a helmet – at gunpoint – than it is to insist he eat his veggies, also at gunpoint.

      • liberranter
        February 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Arizona, where I live, is one of those weird states that makes helmet wearing while motorcycle riding optional, but makes it mandatory for bicycle riding. I guess the cyclists lobbying groups didn’t fight as hard for freedom as the motorcyclist lobbyists did. That, or the cyclists’ groups are cloverishly in favor of mandatory helmet laws.

        • February 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

          Wow – that’s just bizarre!

          But, of a piece with what the state does so routinely: It’s arbitrary – and contradictory. But nonetheless, it’s “the law”!

          • BrentP
            February 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm

            It can happen when motorcyclists and bicyclists don’t stick together I suppose. All two wheeled travel is in the same boat as far as I am concerned. Both are deemed unsafe by the clover majority.

            unfortunately bicycling has been infiltrated by clovers because it’s ‘green’ or some other bs. Chicago is littered with crappy bicycle lanes. I didn’t bike 31st street last summer… going to the autoshow I saw 31st for the first time in a year. Horrible bicycle lanes on both sides separated with dead zones and posts. The bike lanes are filled with winter debris. Another road that has been degraded.

          • February 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

            The vast majority of bicyclists tend to be very very liberal and in favor of the nanny state. So chances are most of them were actually in favor of forcing people to wear helmets. If they really cared about freedom they would have fought it.

            • February 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

              Probably true, Moto!

              It’s an example of what goes around, comes around.

              I got a lot of sour looks at a Tea Party gig I attended a while back when I pointed out that supporting any form of wealth transfer at gunpoint – and that includes spending on “defense,” and “the troops” and (of course) Social Security – means you’ve ceded any principled, ethical basis for objecting to other forms of wealth transfer, such as welfare, subsidies for Tesla electric cars/Solyndra and all the rest of it.

              It’s either – or. Do – or don’t.

              I don’t!

          • BrentP
            February 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

            I haven’t followed any bicycle discussion groups since I was widely attacked for also enjoying automobiles and understanding proper traffic engineering many years ago. However at the time I did follow them there were the great helmet wars.

            There at least was a strong anti-helmet or should I more properly say, foam hat movement within bicycling.

            The ultimate goal of forcing foam hats is to reduce bicycling. Foam hats have been shown to be ineffective when injury numbers are corrected for the reduced bicycling due to the law requiring the use of a foam hat. Clovers ultimately want all two wheeled transport removed from the road and they push for all sorts of punitive taxes and so forth on to bicyclists to make that happen.

            • February 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

              I’m kind of surprised they haven’t mandated spandex!

          • February 26, 2013 at 7:27 am

            Eric wrote on February 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm:-

            I got a lot of sour looks at a Tea Party gig I attended a while back when I pointed out that supporting any form of wealth transfer at gunpoint – and that includes spending on “defense,” and “the troops” and (of course) Social Security – means you’ve ceded any principled, ethical basis for objecting to other forms of wealth transfer, such as welfare, subsidies for Tesla electric cars/Solyndra and all the rest of it.

            No, because that’s just precisely what you may have to do to collect a debt that was incurred properly, if the debtor decides to welch. From the outside, there’s no way to tell the difference between that and demanding money with menaces. What’s worse, people favouring taxes do indeed compare it with such things, e.g. comparing collecting tax with collecting rent, so arguing against it along your lines will get rejected for not “getting it”.

            • February 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

              I’m not following you, PM.

              I don’t care why (that is, to what end) my property is taken from me at gunpoint – just that it has been taken from me at gunpoint.

              Theft isn’t transformed into not-theft because the proceeds are used for “helping” the poor – or funding someone else’s retirement.

              If one objects to any of it, one must object to all of it – else be guilty of sloppy thinking.

      • Julie
        June 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        So just a quick question about riding gear….

        What do you do when it’s hot as hell outside? Just sweat it out till you get to your destination?

        • June 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm

          No, I admit to riding without gear at times. In fact, I’d ride without a helmet at times if I could do so legally.

          But, horses for courses.

          I usually gear up when I ride a sport bike – and (or) plan to ride hard. On the other hand, if I am going out on one of my antique bikes (or the cruiser) and I know I’ll just be poking around, I’ll often (if it’s hot) just wear shorts and a T-shirt. I realize things can happen that are out of my control, but figure my overall risk is pretty low. So far, so good – but you’ve got to decide what you’re personally comfortable with.

          Remember: I live out “in the woods” – rural SW Va. Lightly trafficked roads. Main hazards being farm equipment, old coots and deer.

          But it’s much less perilous an environment than suburban DC….

          • Tre Deuce
            June 28, 2013 at 4:25 am

            Reg; ” personally comfortable with.”

            In a nut shell, and experience has my comfort level at ‘0’…

            Back in the early seventies, we had just arrived back in town at my cousins place after driving home from a weekend of desert racing in Central Washington. We unloaded my cousins bike and a friend of ours who lived across the green way from my cousins condo. He pushed his bike around the unit to my cousins back patio where we sat down in the shade. All of us had a couple of beers and relaxed except our friend who didn’t drink. After a bit he started his bike up and road across the greenway to his back patio.

            When he went to stop, the bike’s front wheel washed out on the green grass, he counter-steered to compensate and the front wheel caught the dry concrete patio and over the handle bars he went in a classic hi-side. His head hit the gas meter on the side of the house and he died 3 days later.

            He had just won the open class at the Mattawa 100 desert race that weekend He was one of the best desert and enduro riders in the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC, area, as a dedicated bedroom full of trophies attested.
            Always careful and deliberate, he could read terrain like a computer.

            The race is quite dangerous with gullies, washouts, big rocks, low lying concrete structures, fence posts, etc. People have died racing the 100. But he died after winning the 100 and then riding over to his patio, with no helmet on.

            And so it goes………..

            Every time I think I’m not going to put my helmet on, cuzz I’m just going to ride around the shop, I pause and remember my long dead friend.

            I don’t believe in nanny laws that pertain to adults. But some deliberate actions are just ill advised. I never travel without my helmets, one for bikes, one for cars.

            If I go out in my street/Spec Miata in the early mornings to bomb Forest Hwy-25 or Jump Off Joe, I wear my helmet. If a friend wants me to try out his new bike, there is my helmet, the one fitted to me, very important, and if if you ever slide out or hi-side at the track or take out and exit sign and get thrown back onto the freeway and end up watching tires and oil pans as people desperately try to avoid running over you, you will understand why.

            Here is another safety tip for riding gear.

            When you hit pavement in a leather riding jacket, the leather will offer a lot of resistance, increasing the impact loads. Always wear a nylon jacket/shell over leathers as it will allow you to slide, dissipating energy over a period of time and not nearly instantly. My road and race suit has built in(back, shoulders, hips), and removable ‘sliders'(knees, elbows), made out of ballistic materials.

            Of course if you slide too far, there is a chance of hitting something, especially on the street, but the light windbreaker type jacket wears away quickly and then the leathers take over to slow you. But, anytime you come off a bike at speed or idling across a green way…. your in big trouble.

            Another example.

            We had ridden down to Laguna Seca from Portland, Or(750 miles) for one of big annual bike events. A friend decided to ride into Salinas, to find something. He took off in flip flops, shorts, muscle shirt, and a helmet that wasn’t buckled. At the time, California didn’t have a helmet law. While on Hwy-101/El Camino Real a motorist made a left hand turn from the right hand lane to enter one of the highway’s turnabouts. In the attempt to avoid hitting the car, he came off the bike and tumbled and slid down the highway. His unbuckled helmet came off, he lost most of one ear, a good part of his nose, and chin, and had injuries and deep abrasions all over his body. It was estimated that he lost 2-3 pounds of flesh. Today he has scars all over his body… He still rides, but not without gearing up.

            Ride Safe, and teach it by example

            http://stumpjumpers.org/desert100/

            • June 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

              No doubt, Tre – such things can (and do) happen.

              That said, life’s about balance – and (to me) choices. Each of us has a natural right to choose for ourselves. I won’t deny for a moment (because it would be stupid) that riding in shorts/T-shirt or without a helmet massively increases your risk profile if you go down. Of course, it’s the “if you go down” part that forms a major portion of the equation. Same as regards wearing – or not wearing a seat belt.

              I choose to sometimes ride without the jacket, pants and boots because sometimes, it’s just more enjoyable to feel the air – even though I’m well aware that I might pay dearly for it. I might also break an ankle while trail running in the my woods (inherently more risky than running on a flat surface such as a track) and I probably incur a greater risk of both cancer and heart disease by eating a marbled rib-eye steak a couple of times a month. Choices. Balance. Not saying I’m invulnerable; not denying the very real risks. Just expressing my opinion that all of us have choices to make – and these choices ought to be entirely ours alone to make.

              Addendum:

              I mostly wear ratty cammo (hides stains) cammo shorts because they’re comfortable and fit my lifestyle. I haven’t been near an office in 15-plus years (in an employee capacity) and I’m mostly “doing stuff” – whether out in the garage or out in the field. I find pants hot and restrictive and not comfortable at all. Bottom line, I stopped giving a damn about what others think about my couture a long time ago!

  26. Zippy the Pinhead
    February 24, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Here motorcycle riders must have their headlights on at all times day or night. Not sure it that is nationwide or a state by state thing. Scooters are on the streets but the kids don’t need license or insurance but that is probably going to end this year as the best government money can buy realizes all the money they are missing out on for lil’ Bobby’s scooter enjoyment.

    • February 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

      It varies – but de facto, it’s a non-issue, because modern bikes all burn their lights automatically whenever the ignition is on.

      I’m not sure exactly when the change happened – but it’s almost certainly been more than 25 years since one could buy a new bike with a headlight On/Off switch.

      I’ve got two bikes with an On/Off switch – both made in the mid 1970s.

      My ’83 Honda’s headlight comes on whenever the ignition switch is on.

      • Olaf Koenders
        February 25, 2013 at 1:18 am

        In Australia the headlight switch was removed in ’92, so my ’90 CBR1000 and ’86 K100RT still have a choice.

        This “no choice” headlight thing, although intended for greater safety, reduces the visibility of pre-’92 bikes far greater than before. Car drivers now expect to see a headlight burning in the distance on bikes. Most car-to-bike accidents occur at intersections and agree with global studies of the greatest cause of accidents for any vehicle – failure to give way.

        One thing I’ve always done over the last 27 years on bikes (the cops naturally love it) is travel 20-30k faster than traffic. A small, fast moving target is really hard to hit. The road rules be damned! Controllable high speed, aggressive (but not obnoxious) riding and doing the thinking for the clovers out there is the best way to survive. My non-crash record is evidence this works.

        On safety – the standard crash barriers we used to have:
        http://3.imimg.com/data3/LB/DT/MY-3054954/w-metal-beam-crash-barrier-250×250.jpg

        ..are now being replaced with these:
        http://www.mravic.org.au/forum/uploads/img4b430472077d8.jpg

        As you can see, the posts in the “post and wire” rope barriers aren’t even round. I’m not sure if these new barriers have contributed to bike crashes yet but a bike contacting the old smooth barrier has a chance of bouncing off with minor damage. The new barriers ENSURE you not only get your leg torn off, but come off completely and get chewed right up not unlike going through a blender. I’d like to know Which committee thought this up..

        Higher fuel prices began big time with the Gulf War, pushing many people here to get mopeds. Considering the rising cost of everything, including gubberment excess, failed Green schemes and excessive baby-bonuses, make small bikes, especially in the city, an attractive option.

        The main problem with that is these ex-car drivers don’t have the necessary road experience, creating a rise in 2 wheel crashes.

        • February 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

          Amen to all that – and:

          DRLs (cars) have arguably increased the threat to bikes immensely. Pre-DRL, a bike (with its headlight on) really stood out in traffic. Now, because almost all cars have their headlights on, the visual clutter drowns out the bike. That makes it a lot less safe for the biker.

          Same issue with emergency vehicles and funeral processions.

  27. dom
    February 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Furloughs have begun! Just got a call from a friend and he’s getting a 20% cut starting in April. He works for the Army Corps of Engineers.

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      February 24, 2013 at 5:46 am

      The half-way good people holding everything together now have a reason to jump ship. Without them – Much – falls apart.
      The acceleration increases. Faster.

      The ones I know are Not very happy.
      I hope they find happiness.

      • DownshiftFast5to1
        February 24, 2013 at 6:31 am

        “The monthly premium for him and his wife was about $400, but when he received his first bill in January of this year it was for $1,200. He hasn’t been to a doctor in years, his wife has only gone for minor care.

        Apparently there is some clause in the Affordable Healthcare Act that results in health insurance firms using a new method to calculate premiums.” …

        http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/02/first-obamacare-horror-story.html

        That supports what I was saying the other day.
        Stack that on top of everything else.

        What was that saying the army guys had in the 80’s?
        “Make do with less”?

        • Ed
          February 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

          “What was that saying the army guys had in the 80′s?
          “Make do with less”?”

          Wasn’t it “Do more with less”?

          I can see what you mean. It seems to me that simply saving $400 a month just in case medical treatment is needed would enable a family to accomplish more with less money than paying premiums.

          Insurance premiums are spent-and-gone money. Insurance is a form of gambling, after all. You’re betting the insurer that you’ll need expensive medical care, he’s betting you won’t. You lose the bet every month that you pay in without making a claim, while the insurer loses a bet here and there out of a pool of thousands of gamblers getting their antes raked in regularly.

          Of course, it always morphs into a more rigged game. The insurer gets to welsh on the bets in various ways, such as delaying payment, disallowing certain procedures, and even changing the terms of the bet after the fact, which is called “post claim underwriting”.

          Laws are put in place to legalize the welshing. For instance, if you defraud an insurance company, it’s called Insurance Fraud and is punishable under criminal law, usually as a felony.

          When an insurance company defrauds a claimant, it’s called “insurance bad faith” and is treated as a tort, and must be pursued as a civil court matter, by lawsuit.

          That isn’t enough, though. Insurers lobby for laws to force people to place bets at their crooked tables. It’s a racket, but….

          Whattayagonnado?

          Fahggedaboudit.

  28. Ferret
    February 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    How long before we start seeing people take that extra step and ride those scooters with the entire family of 4 or 5 (or more) hanging on to it like they do in India?

    I’m sure our staunch defenders of truth justice and the American way will have something to say about it, but they’re used to siphoning money from the people who can least afford it. Thinking about it one way, though, it could end up being just like the larger fireworks people set off during the 4th of July. In many places, they’re technically illegal, but the police don’t seem to bother going after a victimless crime when 80-90 percent of the town is committing it.

    • liberranter
      February 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      How long before we start seeing people take that extra step and ride those scooters with the entire family of 4 or 5 (or more) hanging on to it like they do in India?

      If not actually riding on the moped itself, I can see desperate people doing something something equally Third World-ish like hitching some sort of lightweight open-bed trailer onto the bike and having family ride in it.

  29. BrentP
    February 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    The natural progress towards better and cheaper has largely been stopped and in some places put into reverse. It has been done on purpose by people who knew exactly what they were setting in motion. They shaped the schools and the discussion and people fell for the con.

    • liberranter
      February 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Perfectly said, Brent! We can only hope that these people who bought the bullshit and ate it up as if it was gourmet chocolate finally wake up to the taste, spit it out, realize that they were conned, and demand the real thing (i.e., truth).

      • Jean
        February 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        They prefer the lie, though.
        People always HAVE preferred the lie. Not new, it’s been that since Greece at least. Athens learned, even Sparta learned; they were destroyed in doing so. Same for Rome. Bread and Circuses. Real men and women were outside the walls, didn’t matter – the circus was running!

        Most people want to be led. They will accept ANY chains if you promise them food and a place to sleep. That you’ll kill them in a week? Well, they’ll worry about that, then, if they don’t just accept it outright. Give them bread, entertainment (alcohol and whores seems good – much like we’ve got already), and they’ll take almost anything up their (ahem). And beg for more…

        It is up to those who wish to change the world to get up and DO something, the problem these days being – we’ve been enslaved by debt and don’t have good, honest (or even dis-honest) ways to make a living.

        [OT: Makes me wonder, though - I read and hear of divorced men, paying child support and alimony, living in the cheapest hovel, which is all they can afford any more; yet they are happier that way, than married. they have MORE money and more time than when they were married. I'm in an LTR that cost me over $750K AND COUNTING, not even married. I could exclude probably half that, were I on my own, as expenses - yet even when we were "broke" - I mean, unable to pay the tolls so I could get to work, and she wasn't working - SHE went out for lunch. Now she's working, too, and I'm earning more, and... I still can't go out for lunch... But she can. Same thing, I think: the contract is broken even while it's being made. We need to accept some privation, as the relationship between patriot and country is similar to a marriage. We can get divorced (expat if we start it; prison or "disappeared" if they do). But if we stay and feed the beast? We are responsible for it.
        Counting the days until my "liberation." I'm almost - ALMOST - sorry she'll have $10K in medical bills to deal with, but they're for her and her daughter, I haven't been to the hospital or even the doctor, save with one or both of them (as a visitor).
        The FedGov is the same: it wants my money, wants my "love", wants the social position; it doesn't want to pay me back when there's a request for reciprocity. Like unemployment: 6 months they wouldn't talk to me. Loneliest times in my life are sleeping next to her at night. In terms of a country? My country ceased to be several years... Decades? ago. The country I tried to serve (denied: medical: Eyes.) But there was still freedom then, the regulatory state hadn't grown to encompass nearly as much as it covers now. Fred has it right: Fredoneverything.net, take a look - his sardonic, nasty posts really are funny. :-) ]

        • JuanMatus
          February 26, 2013 at 1:38 am

          Fred Reed is great!! Love that old fart.

          • February 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

            He’s a helluva writer – and a very clear thinker. He was the “police beat” columnist at The Washington Times back in the ’90s, when I was there working as an editorial writer and car columnist.

            A fine American.

  30. mikehell
    February 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Yeah, I just don’t think that I have the mental and physical sharpness required to keep me alive on a bike, especially the need to quickly turn the head left or right and then quickly return the gaze forward. That ability just ain’t what it used to be, even at the relatively young age of 46. More power to those who have the ability bike with both gusto and elegance, but I don’t think I’m one of them.

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      February 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

      I quit riding at age 53. I was still good but somehow it just wasn’t fun anymore. My last long ride was returning from Jacksonville Florida back to New Orleans in Hurricane weather.

      At 76 I still do well with driving automobiles. I no longer drive at night and I’ve made some minor adaptations because of slowing reflexes and spousal deafness.

      The important thing is to be fully aware of your limitations. Don’t want to forget to zip up after stopping to piss and risk getting your dick caught in the chain.

      tgsam

      • Boothe
        February 24, 2013 at 12:49 am

        Tinsley, I just started riding again…at 53. I’m going to do everything that I can to keep right on riding when I’m your age. The way gas prices are going I may not have a choice if I want to go anywhere…

        • Tinsley Grey Sammons
          February 25, 2013 at 12:07 am

          I wish you well but many things are likely to change with aging. Many more cells die than are replaced and the process accelerates with age. Also, certain body parts such as joints do not regenerate. One of the many things I must compensate for when driving is a neck that no longer swivels well . . . especially when looking to the left.

          On his ninetieth birthday Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was asked how he felt about death. Without hesitation Shaw snapped back with, “I’m ready to die. I am utterly tired of everything.”

          I have no difficulty understanding that.

          tgsam

          • February 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

            Dear Tinsley,

            That’s why vampire movies such as the “Twilight” saga, shows the female protagonist frozen into immortality at age 18, while everything is still working perfectly!

          • Boothe
            February 25, 2013 at 4:42 am

            Tinsley you have my empathy. I nearly broke my neck back in my twenties doing a back flip off a Jetski and I’m paying for it now, trust me. My neck still swivels, but C1 and C2 want to stay put so it hurts like hell. But I make sure I keep swiveling it daily. I also know that feeling of being ready to check out; the state of affairs in what’s left of this nation alone has been more than enough to depress me to the point of hopelessness on more than one occasion.

            I gave up motorcycling for my family’s sake for many years. But now my kids are grown and my time is limited so I’m going to savor every mile. Let’s put it this way, I’ve ridden both my bikes enough this winter that I didn’t need a battery tender or fuel stabilizer. After taking riding back up again, I feel more alive and have more will to live than ever. I’ve read numerous motivational authors that tell you to find your passion. As *things* go, motorcycles are indeed my passion; perhaps because they represent Liberty to me personally more than anything else (bearing arms aside).

            I was at an auction recently and met a man four years your junior. He was looking at high end bicycles and gear. At 72 he is still bicycling long distances, even after recovering from a broken neck last year. He (and BrentP) inspired me to get off my ass and get moving, so I’m bicycling again as well. I picked up a copy of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and have put it in practice. It’s working for me and I feel better than I did in my twenties. I can relate to his philosophy: Live Long / Drop Dead.

            I’ve had several friends and acquaintances that continued to be very active well into their eighties. The one thing I’ve noticed though is they never stopped going, pain or no pain. I’ve also had friends and family members that retired, sat down and never got up again. So what I intend to do is to keep going as hard as I can until I drop dead. Life’s too short for me to do otherwise. Who knows, maybe I will still be riding at 76 and if I were to die on a bike at least I will have died free and happy.

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            February 25, 2013 at 5:59 am

            “Live Long / Drop Dead.” – Again, perfect. Best ever, in fact.

            Runs parallel with something I saw on modernmarketingjapan:

            Grandfather dies.
            Father dies.
            Son dies.
            Grandson dies.

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            February 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

            “Live Long / Drop Dead.”

            Much better than “The best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

            However i don’t want to flop about in a Walmart aisle in front of a bunch of snot-nosed kids and their mindless mothers who should have been spayed when they reached puberty.

            tgsam

          • Boothe
            February 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

            I don’t know Tinsley. Flopping around in the aisle in front of a group of proles might just be a very entertaining way to go; but it’s not really “dropping dead” if you’re flopping about, now is it? I’d dare say the looks on their HFCS fattened faces, when forced to confront the very real spectre of human mortality, would be priceless. Of course I’ve always had a rather twisted sense of humor when it comes to the macabre.

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            February 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

            “if you’re flopping about, now is it?”

            Dammit, I had hoped no one would mention that. Karma Payback I suppose for all the times I aggravated my teachers by smartassing in their classes.

  31. John G.
    February 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Great insight, Eric, calling out the unnoticed — and ugly — effects of printing money on driving choices.

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