BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum

Go Back   BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum > Moto > 1Rider


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-24-2015, 04:30 PM   #1
flying_hun
Adverse Selection
 
flying_hun's Avatar
 
AMA #: 281672
BARF Admin
BARFie Winner 2010, 2014 & 2017
Contributor ++++++++++++++++++ ++++

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Orinda, CA
Motorcycles: A hot red Italian named Sophia! Versys - three of 'em!
Name:
What's Luck Go To Do With It?

Sing along with Tina,

What's luck got to do
got to do with it?

Luck is a hot button topic. Maybe you don't want to call it luck. Maybe you want to call it cosmic good fortune. Maybe you want call it surfing the space time continuum. Maybe you want to believe it's got nothing to do with you.

Cool. It's got something to do with me. I'm not fatalistic. I don't believe in pre-destination. I don't believe when "your number's up, it' up". But I see "luck" all over the place.

Some recent posts in which some experienced and respected riders have mentioned luck - and others have reacted adversely - got me thinking about it.

Here's the deal; I've been at this a while. I've pretty much always taken riding seriously, always wanted to be good at it, always wanted to do what I could to make myself safer. Read the articles, paid attention on the roads, went to riding schools, paid attention to the instructors. And for the most part, I've done okay despite being a daily commuter, a long(ish) distance tourer, and an enthusiastic weekend twisty rider. I'm still here. Been riding on the street since 1976, and only had physical contact with a car once (touch wood).

I believe that each of us has responsibility for our actions, and that it's up to each of us to make ourselves as safe as we can - with the knowledge that the safest motorcyclist is the one home in bed. I believe that each time something goes wrong, or I get surprised by something, that's a failure, and a failure is a learning opportunity.

So why do I believe in luck? This could apply in so many instances, and to so many people, but I'll use two as examples.

I used to sort of know this guy. Met him on a Doc Wong ride. He had an infectious enthusiasm for riding. He was a guy who did it all. He'd raced AFM, he'd toured all over hell and gone, including rides in Baja, and the farthest reaches of the Canol Road in the Yukon and NW Territories. He rode to work. He got other people into riding. He gave back to the community. He was a rider's rider. He was the kind of rider I aspired to be. His name was Craig Hightower and he was killed commuting to work.

I used to know this other guy. Met him on a tard ride on Mt. Hamilton. Guy was riding this little POS 250, and was effortlessly quick and smooth. He had raced AFM, been a class champion. He instructed at track days. He wrote books on better riding. He was featured in national motorcycle publications. He showed up for the community. He helped other riders improve. I rode with him occasionally, but only kept up when he let me, and I never saw him try to ride fast. His name was Gary Jaehne, and he was killed on a beautiful spring Saturday out riding with friends on a roads he knew like no one else is ever likely to know them.

We could go back through old threads and debate the "causes" of their crashes, but that's largely a waste of time. They were highly skilled riders who in each case got killed doing something they'd done many times before with no bad consequences, just like there are things I've done many times that could potentially kill me, but haven't. Just like I would wager there are things you have done many times that could kill you but haven't.

The point is, both these guys were far better riders than me, and both of them died riding. Bad luck vs. good luck.

I believe in doing what I can to be the best rider I can be. I don't believe in infallibility. I don't believe popes are infallible, and I sure as shit don't think motorcyclists are infallible.

There were enough Greek tragedies taught when I was in K-12 that I soaked in the lesson that hubris is a bad thing and will lead to a bad end. If you've got the hubris to believe you're infallible, well then, all I can do is suggest a little humility and awareness, and wish you good luck.

That's what luck has to do with it.
__________________
Kurt

BARF Terms of Service
TheFlyinghun Blog
Tenth Annual BARF Fall Rally - Hawthorne


Quote:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
- Dalai Lama
flying_hun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 04:36 PM   #2
UDRider
Leftist apologist.
 
UDRider's Avatar
 
Contributor

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: .
Motorcycles: The lulz machine.
Name:
__________________
Going fast on a motorcycle is easy, making turns is the tricky part.
EFF fighting for our rights to post stupid shit on on internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebeast View Post
no. nothing against strippers. just have never completely trusted anyone in sales and marketing.
UDRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:10 PM   #3
Lunch Box
Useful idiot
 
Lunch Box's Avatar
 
Contributor ++++++

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Motorcycles: Dino and electron. Street and dirt.
Name: Aaron
Good thread, and a good topic. I disagree that it is a hot button topic. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one person on the board who is so skilled that he is immune to bad luck. The rest of us understand that skills are VERY important, but luck will always play a role. Always.
__________________
"No orifice is safe! Spread the word." - byke
Lunch Box is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:15 PM   #4
ilikefood
Veteran
 
ilikefood's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Francisco
Motorcycles: Suzuki DR-Z400SM, Ducati ST4
Name:
Luck, chance, and randomness don't really exist. By saying that something happened randomly or by chance we're merely admitting that we don't understand the complex chain of causes that led to that event. It's really not that different from our ancestors saying that lightning is caused by gods when they didn't understand what causes lightning.

Similarly with riding. There are causes of crashes that are more complex than just riding skill - e.g. hubris - and I think our choices (related to riding) have a lot more impact on our safety than we typically believe. Truly unavoidable crashes are extremely rare, if you broaden your view beyond the most immediate observable causes of crashes.
ilikefood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:18 PM   #5
asthmodeus
Banned
 
Contributor +++++

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: in hearts and minds
Motorcycles: Multistronza 1100
Name: assmo
being very good at riding can get you killed as easy as sucking at it.

luck is of course a factor for everybody from noob to sensei, but overconfidence and acclimation can get you easy as squeezing the bars like you're trying to choke two chickens and fearing what's around every turn. not casting aspersions on the riders you mentioned, speaking to the scenario.
asthmodeus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:19 PM   #6
danate
#hot4beks
 
danate's Avatar
 
AMA #: 2948810
Contributor + + + + 3%

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: East East Bay
Motorcycles: Big pompous Beemers
Name: Nate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunch Box View Post
Good thread, and a good topic. I disagree that it is a hot button topic. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one person on the board who is so skilled that he is immune to bad luck. The rest of us understand that skills are VERY important, but luck will always play a role. Always.
I think there are two, as the Sith has an apprentice again.
danate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:27 PM   #7
louemc
Veteran
 
louemc's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calif Sierra
Motorcycles: 05 Kawi ZX10R
Name:
Glad to see, Flying Hun start this thread.. I agree with what he is sayin.

And I agree with Ilikefood's post as well.

And unirr's as well...
__________________
Hyper Alpha Faux-Tard

Last edited by louemc; 07-24-2015 at 05:34 PM..
louemc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:32 PM   #8
budman
General Menace
 
budman's Avatar
 
AMA Life Member #203453
Highway Aviator
Founding Member
Top Percent Poster
Community Contributor + BB
Moto Junkie

Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Palo Alto, Ca.
Motorcycles: A few here and there
Name: Budman
Nice post Hun.

I am alive because of luck.

Coming over a blind hill at the speed limit and find a horse trailer and PU pulling into a D/W is was luck that I hit the paneling and not the steel rails.

When I crashed at 125mph on oil going into T1 at Sears it was luck that I hit the tire wall right and I was not parallized from a broken back or neck.

When I high sided at Laguna and only broke a rib and got a concussion rather than a Wayne Rainey career ending injury it was luck.

Watching Hun miss a U turn dipshit on 128 I knew luck was with us.
I could go on for paragraphs.

Skill counts. NO Doubt.

So does luck.
budman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:34 PM   #9
rodr
IBA # 56746
 
rodr's Avatar
 
AMA #: 2846730
Contributor + + + +

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Oz
Motorcycles: 2016 CB500XA
Name: Rod
Nice post Kurt. Whether skilled or not, we all choose a level of risk that we operate with. Some of us do it knowingly, some are deluded. Either way it's up to luck from there.
rodr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:41 PM   #10
injun
Veteran
 
injun's Avatar
 
Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: SF
Motorcycles: ZRX 1200- Cagiva Gran Canyon
Name: nobody
Have had so many pass over the years many were pro riders some were just long time riders my brother passed in 59, I remember watching him on TV at Ascot park doing flat track and TT, he was one of the official starters at Riverside, I don't think he ever drove a car.

Me I been riding since 66 got my license in 68 one accident have no idea of how many miles I have, many bikes over the decades (yes I can say that ) why I'am here and so many others are gone who can say.

Just live every day.





__________________
We Do What We Can
But There's Nothing We Can Do.
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it" Pablo Picasso
"It's like standing in the rain with a sieve trying to catch a bucket of water" Adam Guzzo! RIP 4-11-15 A great painter and friend.
injun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 05:42 PM   #11
Gary856
Are we having fun yet?
 
Gary856's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Motorcycles: WR250F, 690SM, SD990, R1200GS, MTS1200, 950SM
Name: Gary
Guys riding effortlessly fast on the street still has to face reaper physics, i.e., kinetic energy, in a crash.

It’s less mysterious when you think of luck as probability.
Gary856 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 06:05 PM   #12
revnort
Tasty Pants
 
revnort's Avatar
 
AMA#: 1108597
Contributor +++++++++

Join Date: May 2008
Location: The Sunny Mission, SF
Motorcycles: F800GS, Dr. Zoidberg
Name: Dan
Great post.
__________________
Hunger is the best seasoning.

Who do you see? Who do do you watch? Which is your flock? Do you watch at a distance from the side you have chosen? Whose answers serve you best? Who'll save you from confusion? Who will leave you an exit and a comfortable cover? Who will take you oh so near the edge, but never drop you over?
revnort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 06:10 PM   #13
byke
Veteran
 
byke's Avatar
 
Contributor + 1%

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: norcal
Motorcycles: gas
Name: penorface
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctwo View Post
unirr didn't post here, yet!
Yeah, but when he does come in here and post, it will definitely be something he agrees with.

I think there are two types of luck. One is inversely proportional to skill and the other is the black cloud that can strike anyone at anytime and there's nothing to be done about it.
__________________
FREE HAND JOBS__Teh Poopie Thread__Fetal Liver on Sale!
"It's a joke. It's all a fuckin' joke. God help us all."
byke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 06:13 PM   #14
TrplGrl
Team Old Age & Treachery
 
TrplGrl's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Brisbane, CA
Motorcycles: S3r
Name: Lili
Luck?

I word: Deer.
__________________
"it's not a crotch rocket, and it's not one of those Harleys. I don't know what it is but it doesn't make me think you're a dirt bag." (random woman to guy with an S3)
TrplGrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2015, 06:14 PM   #15
Lunch Box
Useful idiot
 
Lunch Box's Avatar
 
Contributor ++++++

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Motorcycles: Dino and electron. Street and dirt.
Name: Aaron
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrplGrl View Post
Luck?

I word: Deer.
It's spelled "dear," hon.

__________________
"No orifice is safe! Spread the word." - byke
Lunch Box is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.