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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Motorcycles and Death

I had a family friend die in a motorcycle accident when I was about 12. The story of the accident is indelibly etched in my mind. I decided then that motorcycles weren't going to be for me.

And motorcyclists like the one lane splitting on my way to work when traffic was going 65 to 70 on the freeway with the motorcyclist lane splitting at about 10 mph faster, those motorcyclists I expect to die, and don't expect to mourn.

But when Bates had his little accident a few weeks ago, it reminded me of all the motorcylists I know and love and would mourn deeply. Bates is fine, healing, and so on.

But my morning email brought sad tidings. Leigh Ann Hussey, cousin to the woman who wrote and taught the fabulous jig on Monday at the Plough, noted musician from the bay area with bands like Brazen Hussey and Annwyn, someone not quite a personal friend, but certainly acquainted and part of my social world, was killed on her motorcycle on 580 last night.

Being careful on a motorcycle just isn't enough. There's no seatbelt. There's no airbag. There's no bumper. There's just you, having to be on alert all the time, and the rest of the motorists, not necessarily being nearly as alert. I just worry about those friends who choose to ride - Ari, Sean, Bates, Arthur, and so on. It's just too easy for something small to go wrong and recovery not to be graceful. I love you all and hope to never associate you as one lost to a bike.


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