Riding season is slowly starting across this country and most of the USA.

And, as an editor, I can sure tell too.

The news feeds are filled with crash articles, many of them resulting in death.
Yes, most are from the US where the population is far greater and they have been riding a little longer that us here in Canada. The spike in the reports of crashes, injuries and fatalities started about a week ago and now instead of one or two crashes, the feeds are two and three pages of crashes.

Reading a lot of the reports on early riding season crashes I have learned something.

WE ARE OUR OWN worst enemy.

Our skills are rusty, the roads are gritty and we have more distracted drivers on the road than ever to contend with.

In crash after crash we are hearing about riders rear ending other vehicles, loosing control in curves (probably as a result of gravel and sand in the curves - or potholes) and excessive speed crashes.

On the weekend in Calgary a young man died when he was out test riding his buddy's new bike.  Reportedly speed was a factor.

And sadly his family and loved ones have a funeral to prepare for.

I posted this video to my Facebook page, a lot of the crashes in this video are from other countries like Russia, but nonetheless, it emphasizes quite clearly the need for people to slow down and be HYPER aware of their surroundings.

I read an article from Texas this morning where people in Dallas were being Tweeted by the police there that some 40 riders had shut down the freeway and were doing stunts.

Now I know I am not going to be popular among some of the riding community for what I am about to say, but it's the elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed.

WHAT IN THE HE Double Hockey Sticks are these riders thinking?

We have motorcycle only noise bylaws, the clubbers and their relationship with the police that tar the rest of us and we have inconsiderate boobs like those in Dallas seeing how many people they can piss off.

It makes me wonder what these riders are thinking, or if they think at all.

TAKE IT TO THE TRACK you selfish boobs.

When you see an unsafe rider - what do you do?

Do you shake your head and think;"Natural Selection"?
Do you ignore the rider and go about your business?
Do you call the authorities?

When you are on a Poker Run, or at a rally and a guy/gal has too much to drink and tries to get on their scoot, what do you do?

Ignore them?
Try to take their keys away?
Try to change their mind?

If you have a rider on a run who is riding erratically, what do you do?

WE need to police ourselves.
We need to watch our throttles, be respectful in town and be hyper aware of our surroundings.

As a rider, an individual, its up to you to decide what risk level you are comfortable with and that includes the people you ride with. I have, on more than one occasion left a group to ride on my own because I did not like the way things are about you?

I love to ride, I love this community and I mourn every time a rider goes down, their fault or not.

I don't love attending funerals and I don't love an elevated police presence that we face so often because of the adrenaline junky or the attention seeker.

Everyday during this riding season I want to ask you to please, be that rider, the one who cares about their loved ones, their that rider who is considerate of others around you, and when you encounter someone who is not a safe rider, do SOMETHING.

Either talk to that rider if they are approachable, or if the offence is serious enough, I hate to say this - REPORT THEM.

We need to be proactive instead of always being reactive.  Our lives, our families and friends, our lifestyle depend on it.

Please people, live to ride another celebrate the birthdays and accomplishments of family and loved ones.

If you are blessed enough to be riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you and remember to dress for the slide, not the ride.
And remember, the slide is probably going to happen when you are just out for a putt around town...

What say you?

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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