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Organ Donation | Helmet Laws | Roadside Assistance | Wet Weather Riding

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Organ Donation

I went through the process a few years back of deciding whether or not to be a organ
donor when renewing my license came up. For a lot of years I was quite uncomfortable
with this idea. But for some reason I changed my mind and had checked the donor box on
the form and told my family of my wishes.

Maybe its getting older and seeing people you know needing organ transplants. It could
have been just a moment that I realized it would be selfish for me to take something to the
grave that could help someone else so much.

Whatever changed my mind, the most important thing is that I did think about it and make
a conscious decision one way or the other. When I was growing up organ transplants was
pretty new to the scene. Now its common place and we are painfully aware of a long list
of people waiting for organs.

Why this is a topic I choose to bring up here is that the reality of what we do as a group is
more dangerous and potentially fatal than some other recreational activities. I'm not
saying that were the cause, we are most likely the victims as well.

I think its something that should be thought out very carefully. You have to do a lot of
sole searching. Its one of the most personal decisions you can make. I don't think of it as
doing a brave thing. Donating an organ while still alive is brave. Donating blood/platelets
is brave. Giving your time, money and energy in supporting those less fortunate than us is

I applied the following logic. I'm here for a given period of time. At the end of my time if
I can help someone who's time is being cut short than thats what is logical to do. The
more difficult part is thinking about ones self after death. What does your body mean to
you. This part was most difficult for me. I try to respect my body. I quit smoking and I
haven't drank in ages. I'm in decent shape (about 10 lbs. extra around the middle as of
late) and try to eat right along with keeping my physicals at the doctors. I didn't like the
idea and still don't like thinking about it being sliced and diced.

Below are some sites that might help you with your decision but don't just blow it off.
Make a conscious decision one way or the other and then revisit it each time you renew
your license because as your age you gain something called wisdom.


Mike Hartley

Links about Organ Donation and Transplants
A good place to start: Organ Donation from the US Gov.
The American Heart Association. Have a heart, check that box next time your renew that license.
The American Kidney Fund
Take a deep breath: The American Lung Association
The American Medical Association Organ and Tissue Donation
The United Network for Organ Sharing
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Links related to issues about Helmets
The Effects of Motorcycle Helmets upon Hearing and Seeing
New York Helmet Law
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Helmet Laws

I know I'm not going to win many friends with this one but here it goes. I'm for wearing a helmet. It is something I have done the day I started riding. To me its just like putting on a seat belt in a car. The only time I don't have one on is moving my bike from the basement to the front driveway to wash and inspect it before heading out.

I am willing to concede that you have slightly better vision and hearing without one and this does help us be aware of our surroundings but the gain isn't worth the risk. Accident avoidance with a helmet is not substantially worse than without one. The accidents it prevents by having one on when that stone that the truck in front of you threw up towards your head comes at you in excess of 100mph. As a matter of fact that was the defining moment for me wearing one all the time.

I've also listened to the argument that helmets, leathers and other devices also give riders a false sense of security. Some liken them to seat belts, air bags. Bullshit, this stuff is there in case you go down and it can be for either your failure as a driver or another persons fault. But in either case you want protection. Doctors can set broken bones but I have yet to hear of the procedure that puts brain matter scattered over the highway back into the skull and have everything function perfectly.

The personal freedom argument also doesn't hold water with me. It is proven that people getting in motorcycle accidents without helmets cost a lot more to take care of short and long medically from accidents (if they are lucky enough to live). That means your freedom can cost me money. Well I like to feel like I'm a charitable individual but like all other charities I look at it and the cause is misguided and therefore I don't wish to contribute.

I have yet to talk to a EMT who says the helmet law is wrong. Their only interest is the injured person. There isn't a lot they can do with skull damage.

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Coming 8/13/2002

Roadside Assistance

Its something that just seems to come naturally. No course is taught. No formal policy exist. No govenment law states it. Manufatures don't make advertisments about it. BUT WE ALL STOP to help a fellow cyclist in need.

I don't know what is so different about this than when I'm in a car and see other 4 wheel motorist by the side of the road. Most of them look much safer to help then some of the bikers I've stopped for.

It is like some unwritten code between bikers that someone must have wispered to you at the dealership when your purchased your first bike. Or maybe its that voice on your shoulder that says if that were me on the side I'd be glad if this guy would pull over and help me.

Towing companies
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Wet Weather Riding

This is something not to be taken lightly. First off you need to check your equipment. This means both your bike and your riding gear. It also requires a discipline that you don't normally apply during dry weather driving (SLOWING DOWN).

Your Bike - As usual we start where rubber meets the road. How good is your tire tread? Is your tire even rated well for wet weather driving?

You the Rider - Do you have the appropriate gear to go out and do a wet weather ride? Well this is just as important as having your hardware up to speed. If your worried about the water running down your back or your socks getting soaked you can't have your full attention on the road where it should be.

The Enviroment - Are there wet leaves ahead, maybe that oil slick, how bout some slimy mud in your path. Is that a foot deep pothole ahead just filled with water a just a dark spot on the road.

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Cold Weather Riding

I remember the first year I had a bike. I had sold my hot rod car because my wife sat her leg on my side pipe and burned herself good. That and the 7 miles per gallon it got during the gas crisis didn't make it a good marriage relations tool. I stuck to my guns though and got a motorcycle. But the ramifications of that decision was that I had to ride it year round for the first year because of financial constraints.

Well it did get me some good experience and I managed to keep it upright despite the elements. What I specifically learned is how cold can dull your reaction time. How cold can blur vision. How cold can find any leak in your protection. How cold can make the most pleasent of rides dangerous and unforgiving.

Where to Go
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Supporting your Local Dealer

It is your responsiblity and duty to help you local dealer stay in business. That is provided that they are providing the service and price you need. This technology for one has changed the motorcycle business dynamic. In addition to the compitition faced for years of the direct marketing catalogs and wharehouse sellers now we have the internet.

But the reality is that we are all going to be faced with either doing business electronically and face to face. The dealer should be able to compete with online businesses because they can offer something no online storefront is going to offer.

Thats the voice of experience. .