Motorcyle Sorrow

Two days ago I was telling a colleague how, until I was about 35 years-old, I felt fairly invulnerable and was a chance big chance taker.   It wasn’t until I had children that I gave up motorcycles.  Bikes are so fun and they seemed worth the risk when I was child-free, but the risk to my children tipped the balance.

Yesterday morning I cared for a patient who shattered his pelvis, ruptured his spleen and broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. We discussed how pleasant, yet how deadly motorcycles are.  I shared how I have had several bad accidents on bikes but always walked away with only bad bruises or burns.  I always looked back amazed at how lucky I have been my whole life.  I sold my bike thinking I did not want to tempt chance.

Yesterday afternoon I heard that a friend was killed on his motorcycle during a day trip this weekend when he slipped on wet road. He was a physician I have worked with for four years. He had done Aikido like myself, brewed beer, ground his own coffee and loved playing music. We shared much in common. He was a very relaxed, jovial, and naturally friendly man — a joy in the hospital. I was greatly saddened and felt weak-kneed for about 2 hours after hearing the news. My friend leaves behind 4 children and a wife.  Life can turn on a dime.


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12 responses to “Motorcyle Sorrow

  1. The Wise Fool

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, and the tragedy which now lingers behind for his family.

    Earlier this year, a good friend of mine lost a good friend of his to a bike accident as well.

  2. jfinite

    That’s terrible, best wishes to his family and friends.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that, Sabio. A pity for the family, especially.

  4. That sucks, Sabio – I’m sorry to hear that.

    It shows how fragile our lives really are and how quickly things can change.

    Hug your family and friends and tell them how much they mean to you.

  5. My condolences on the loss of your colleague.
    May your memories of him bring a smile to you for many years to come.

  6. Sad and sorrowful news about your friend, Sabio.

    I know exactly your feelings, though, about giving up risk-taking for the sake of your kids. I was never a fan of motorcycles (too much risk for me one way or the other), but when my first child was born, I was really hit with the need to be careful and minimize risk (not that I always was or did).

  7. Sorry about your friend.

    Motorcycles look like so much fun, but they scare the crap out of me. I don’t like the idea of a vehicle that can fit so easily in the blind spots of other vehicles.

  8. As a biker there isn’t a time that I ride that I’m not concerned. As a human I’m aware that at any moment, bike or not, the end could be near. I’m sorry about your friend. 😦 Warm thoughts and gentle hugs.

  9. @ All:
    Thanks. I will miss his fun company. But as many of you say, I am sorry for his family — young children and a wife who does not have job skills. BTW, I talked to the guy who was messed up in the accident today. He knew this doctor and liked him. He said, “I ain’t ridin’ again! I’ve got two little kids. Besides, my wife won’t let me.”
    We’ll see.
    I don’t know the family at all so my sorrow won’t be stretched out. And I am sure my sadness is selfish as my mind realizes once again, concretely, how fast now can disappear.

  10. My condolences, Sabio. I have been behind on my blog reading and just saw this today.

  11. My condolences as well, so sad.

    I had a motorcycle until my wife became pregnant for the first time. Just not worth the risk. I still bicycle on roads, which has its own risks, but I figure they are less and the activity has a more positive benefit for me.

    My father has a friend, a surgeon, who was in a serious motorcycle accident, completely the fault of the other (car) driver involved. He survived, but with brain damage. Fortunately he was able to return to an enjoyable life, but a much different one, not able to practice medicine anymore. Brilliant person, he studied and started in the medical profession later in life, I think after practicing as a lawyer.

  12. Thanx James & ATR.
    ATR: Wow, something else you and I hold in common. How uncanny. Wow, your father’s story is important — was his accident after you gave up riding? How did he talk about riding after the accident? This is a post you could do. The parallels to the religious inner life are potentially rich.

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