Commuting Thoughts

I’ve been pondering motorcycle commuting. Despite perfect weather for it, I’ve had absolutely no desire to hop on the bike to go to work, opting for the car instead, despite the rental car being a penalty box. Although I’m perfectly fine and not even sore after the car accident, it’s been a wake up call to me. What if I was on the bike?

While discussing this in Facebook comments, my friend Kate made some very excellent points. I’ve quoted them here with her permission.

You’ve gotta be realistic (and you are!) about the risks of motorcycling. Every morning I plan to ride, when I put my skivvies on, it is in the back of my mind that there is a real possibility that I will not be the one taking them off that night, but instead a trauma team will be cutting them off me. That said, if motorcycling were taken away from me, I would have a tremendously difficult time adjusting. I know that my peace of mind comes on two wheels, and it’s (ZERO QUESTION) worth the risk for me. If it isn’t worth the risk for you, that’s OK — but it’s the question every halfway intelligent motorcyclist has to think long & hard about, and decide for themselves.

It’s true. And that’s why I’ll never tell anyone “I think you should get a motorcycle.” If someone chooses to, I’ll help them as much as I can, but the choice is yours, and yours alone.

I’ll set one thing straight. I am NOT thinking about giving up motorcycles completely. Not happening – like Kate, and many of you, I suspect, I just love it too darn much. But I am seriously considering giving up riding my current commute. I work in the Framingham/Natick, MA area. There’s always a lot of traffic and inattentive drivers. I already avoid riding there anytime I’m not working. Sure, I won’t get a guaranteed hour of riding in each day I commute, but the riding itself isn’t even that fun. I stick to back roads anytime I can, but even they are clogged with slow drivers who back up traffic. And some of the intersections I need to turn at require a significant burst of speed between cars if you’re going to get anywhere before lunch. It’s just not enjoyable.

So why take the risk? Allstate just released a report saying that the two worst cities for accidents are Boston and Worcester, MA, and I live and work directly between them. Is it any wonder I run away from this area to ride any chance I get? I’ll just have to work on creating more chances for that in the future to make up for the time I lose by sticking to the cage for the commute. Not that it’s such a great loss in quality of the ride.

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