In light of a spate of motorcycle crashes that have involved high speed and some rather high profile motorcycle impoundments and costly tickets I feel the need to ask how fast is fast enough...

I have in, days gone by, been heavy footed/heavy handed depending on the vehicle I am driving...on the advice of my dad I started hanging out at the drag strips as a young person because I wanted to go fast...When we are young we tend to think we are invincible and even as we get older sometimes we allow the pressures around us to affect our driving/riding.

I get that -  And no - none of us is perfect...far from it...
I love to cruise - I love the feel of the wind on my face, buffeting my body and moving my soul.
But 160 through town? Through construction zones?

Really? Is that appropriate? Or safe? I won't even ask about smart.

On September 3rd the tally for fatal motorcycle accidents  in Canada stood at 131, but since then there have been at least 4 more fatal accidents that I am aware of.

Somewhere a mom is burying her son or her daughter, somewhere a dad is wishing he could talk to his kid. Somewhere a sister or brother is missing her brother/sister, a wife or husband is missing their spouse - a child their father or mother and why?

Because they rear ended another vehicle going too fast, or took a ramp too fast or a corner too fast or they became a statistic because of a rider or driver doing those and other unsafe behaviours.

Excessive speed kills - not just when you are on a motorcycle but in any vehicle.

If a deer or moose comes out of the bush...when you're on the highway...
If a child comes out between two vehicles while you are in town...
If a construction worker is moving equipment/pipe or lumber across the road - what do you do?

How do you stop? 

Who or what do you take out?

Years ago, I had a boyfriend who really liked to drink and he rode like an idiot - 200 KPH on his Suzuki down gravel roads - that sorta shyte - a real adrenaline junky. He was the exact same way in his truck - he thought he was the BEST driver/rider ever.

He and I had a number of heated debates over his driving both in a vehicle and on a bike.
At the end of it all I realized that no matter how wonderful on so many other levels this man was - and he just can't fix hard headed or stupid.
Or an addict - and he was addicted to booze and adrenaline rushes.

He lost his license for dangerous driving, then lost it for drunk driving and last I had seen him he was driving suspended...some people sadly just do not have any regard for themselves much less anyone around them. How many just like him are there out there?

The sad truth is - is that these are the people that tarnish and hurt our community because they are far more visible when they are on their bike.  These adrenaline junkies who have NO concept of anything else beyond the next thrill, the next challenge and while in certain circumstances in life that is a plus - when it comes to operating a motor vehicle - of ANY kind - it is a recipe for disaster waiting for Murphy to bake it up.

Or it belongs on the track.

Too bad none of these people will ever read the words I lay down here -  or heed the advice of the people who love them. Too bad they will most likely become a statistic or cause one and it is too bad that in too many cases these are the type of people who make our community a target for the police services and for John and Joan Q Public to vilify and despise.

Like always - I welcome your comments and feed back - PLEASE remember it is only through honest and open dialogue that we will ever find common ground or empathy.
It is the only way to become a strong and united community.

In the News Today:

A Saskatoon SK rider's pockets are going to be a whole lot lighter...

In Vernon BC a pedestrian is lucky to be alive after a motorcycle runs over him...

In Surrey BC a rider is dead after failing to negotiate a curve.

In the lower mainland of BC two riders lost their motorcycles - each for a week PLUS they are each getting huge fines...they are charged under the excessive speed act.

In the US - a young man has developed a solar powered motorcycle.

Also in the US - the NHTSA is being asked to stop Motorcycle ONLY Check Stops.

I hope and pray that if you are riding today you will Ride defensively, ride your own ride - do NOT let peer pressure get the best of you...Ride like everyone around you is BLIND, has an UNSAFE load and IS out to get you and please - ride Proud not Loud - invest in a 140 DB Air horn instead! AND CHECK YOUR TIRES AGE - AND YOUR TIRE PRESSURES DAILY!!!!

If you are attending any of the toy runs or end of the season runs - PLEASE be safe you lucky dogs and take a bug or two for me - my ride won't be home until next week - (I hope it comes home then...)

Belt Drive Betty
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  1. I don't understand it.. sure, sometimes, on the highways in Alberta, or safe roads, in good weather, you might see me ride a bit over the speed limit. But I get enough adrenaline rushes during a ride from the cagers around me, the wildlife around me (I've had a white-tail jump OVER me.. during the Ride for Sight parade..there's lots of witnesses.. that is adrenaline) and just plain having the wind going by. Intentionally riding like an asshat is stupid. The guy who got fined for doing 160 in a 60 zone should be prohibited from riding for a full year.. then he'd feel like slowing down.

  2. Anonymous9:04 AM

    I get just pissed at friends who insist that a "nice ride" consists of riding a buck sixty on the roads and passing everything they can! This is the type of behavior that gets us all branded as idiots by non-riders.People have to slow down and actually enjoy the wind in their face, the smells of the country side, the sun on the fields and trees. I hate to say it but sometimes we as riders are our own worst enemies when it comes to the public perception of riders. Slow down and enjoy the ride folks! If you don't believe the stats about excessive speed and fatalities you're wearing blinders. Slow down and live!

  3. Anonymous, you write very well and express yourself so well - I find it sad that you choose not to share who you are.

  4. Gerry McIntyre9:17 AM

    Sorry about that. It was me Gerry McIntyre from Sylvan...half asleep

  5. The only place to really drive/ride at extreme speeds and to fulfill an adrenaline rush is on a race track. Doing so on public roads is simply not acceptable because of the danger posed not only to the driver/rider but also to innocent bystanders.

    I understand the thrill of danger and high speeds but the track is the only place for that. At least if something goes wrong, there are emergency services quickly on hand. Not to mention that a race track doesn't have potholes, frost heaves, or pedestrians so a driver/rider can push even harder.

    The fastest I've ever gone was 240km/hr...on a race track and it was amazing. Until these speed junkies try it themselves, they have no idea what they are missing and will continue to act recklessly and further endanger the public.

  6. Anonymous9:45 AM

    I really agree with using a local track to get those adrenaline rushes; besides you get a lot more out of it, have the advantage of safety procedures, EMS services and being a part of a group of like-minded people in the racing fraternity. I have two sons (now 21 and 27) who have driven very fast since they were small. They have done it all on the track and now are enjoying life and I don't worry about them or the decisions they make.

  7. Debby8:23 PM

    I sign every email and letter I send with the old saying "dont ride faster than your angel can fly". I dont sign it that way because its just a saying its my own motto...that I want all my friends to live by. As my angel ages..and so do reaction time slows. I know my limits. Oh sure Ive been stupid and flown down the highway..loving that rush that you get when you and your bike are definely as one and feel you are truly being flown by that angel but reality quickly sets in as I think about the friends I have lost due to riding too fast for conditions. My angel is older, my angel looks after me and I want him along for the ride so I slow down so we can both enjoy the sunshine, truly feel the road, and enjoy a conversation or two with those that have passed and always, always asking my angel to watch over all my friends and keep them safe. Be good to yourself and more importantly be a friend..cause we dont want to lose one more riding buddy to speed.
    Remember always how it feels to lose someone you care about and pls dont make me feel like that again!

  8. John Reed5:54 AM

    I frequently ride well over 200kph on great twisty "roads".
    I don't even have any insurance on my R6
    Heck I don't even have lights on it.
    I never have to worry about a car turning left in front of me.
    So do a whole lot of my buddies, Heck, A lot of them don't even have motorcycle licences.

    Cops, What Cops ?
    In fact they even stand by and cheer us on.

    Fatalities in Canada this year on the "Roads" I ride, 0
    (That I'm aware of)

    We have some great "Roads" located in Cayuga, Shannonville and Bowmanville. where you can ride as fast as you'd like and never have to worry about losing your licence.

    Riding a sportbike fast is fun, Take it to the track and have a blast.

  9. Oh John - I LOVE the way you put that - at first I wasn't so sure where you were going with that but that kept me reading - I love your idea of riding the twisties!

    If ever you want to submit some articles to The Busted Knuckle for our sports section we would LOVE to have you promote riding fast - safely!!!!!!

  10. John Reed6:49 AM

    Thanks Betty,
    I may just do that.
    I've been street riding over 25 years, Track Riding for 5 or 6 and Racing in the SOAR series for the last 2 seasons. I also work as a on track marshal / Instructor at many of the Racer5 days at Cayuga helping new riders get their start at track riding. Many find their first day at the track a intimidating experience and we show them there's no reason for it. New riders are always very welcomed and there are many experienced , Licensed Racers willing to help them. I find it very rewarding.

  11. Gerry McIntyre12:33 PM

    Kudos John... very well said!