Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Ruin Credibility and Respect

I am far from being a prude and have never been accused of not having an open-mind. True I sometimes guard against exposing just how open-minded I am, especially if I don’t know you well. However there are just some things that I’ll never accept. Drinking and driving. Worse than the damage you can do to others is the damage you can do to yourself, especially if you are on two wheels.

Recently while browsing a favorite motorcycle link geared toward woman, I stumbled upon a page within the site that left me feeling betrayed and doubting the credibility of all the content I had thus far enjoyed. I felt duped. The link is a list of Best Biker Bars and the states where you can find them. I felt paralyzed when I realized such a page even existed within the content of a formally appreciated woman rider friendly site.

I’m disappointed in Thunder Rose Alley in providing a list such as this. Considering the ways in which the general public holds a negative view of riders, and as David L. Hough describes it the “safetycrats” are trying to regulate every miniscule aspect of riding, getting on a bike drunk is not the best way to convince people we are responsible citizens. If you compare motorcycles to cars the fatality rate among drunk drivers is 1.4 for cars and 22.4 for motorcycles. Sober yet?

I remember trying to help my own Dad feel a bit less worried about me being on a motorcycle. I carried with me on a visit with him the statistics from my motorcycle safety course. While I don’t have them here at hand to quote verbatim, I do remember that most of what happens to riders comes from their own hand. This includes rider error, and riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Even over the counter drugs can be fatal if you are on two wheels. The end result is that taking charge of what you have control over reduces your chances of a fatal accident to 25%. With that, I promised Dad that I would be diligent to the 75% I had control over.

The arm is long in those that are touched by the death of someone killed in a bike crash. Your loved ones, relatives and friends and co-workers will all need to adjust to your loss. Ruined reputation among the public’s perception only results in influencing laws to regulate things we should be self regulating in, and being targeted by law enforcement who are upholding the letter of these new laws.

As one troublemaker at a party can ruin it for everyone else, one drunken rider can deliver a perception that we are all irresponsible. Does Thunder Rose Alley endorse drinking and riding? Maybe not, but by posting this page, they are making a statement I’m not sure they fully realize. It’s a statement I want no part of, and will take my online reading to more responsible sites. If one drunk rider can make an impact on perception, I’m sure my one person stand can make one of its own.

1 comment:

Willie aka NomadWillie said...

I hear ya on this...If you look at the site Best Bike Bars sits right over the link to Safety / Training links...go figa