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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This goes for whatever you are doing at any given time.
I'm not saying to be afraid, that doesn't do any good anyway. Just be aware of what can happen if things go wrong. I think sometimes we enter into certain activities, and we don't think through what the ultimate risks are and how deeply they can affect us. This may be more prevalent the younger you are.

I posted about a NESBA rider, Shannon Bitzer, who was seriously injured during a track day last weekend. He died this morning.

I didn't know him, but I have to say it's tough being this close to it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

Not to sound cavalier about the subject but...it's about living NOT worrying about dying...


LIVE LIFE...
you have the choice of HOW you want to live...


You will have NO choice of how/when/where it will end...


Get busy living and leave this life with no regrets...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

Ya know... James... I hear ya... I do... and this rider deserves a moment as a fellow rider and moreso for his family... and the fact that you've taken the time to give this guy (who you don't even know) an acknowledgement as a rider and person is cool.

Still, I really don't like to hear about this kind of stuff. Not the initial report about the rider and donation info ... just stuff that pushes me to ponder my mortality. The older I get, the more I think about it on my own. Then reading it in print, out of the blue, is kind of a figurative slap in the face. Chances are, the first thing I'm going to think about when I get on the bike for our track day this Monday is this guy. Maybe that was your point and that we should all be careful?

Anyway, I think I understand the nature of your post, but I HATE reading this kind of stuff.

Oh yeah... it's approaching 7pm on a Friday and I'm still at work... so maybe I'm already a little sour.
I need a few
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (Tripod-R)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Tripod-R »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
Then reading it in print, out of the blue, is kind of a figurative slap in the face. Chances are, the first thing I'm going to think about when I get on the bike for our track day this Monday is this guy. Maybe that was your point and that we should all be careful?

</TD></TR></TABLE>

Slap in the face is kind of what I felt when I heard about it.

I'm thinking dead from a track day? Man, that's the last thing I'm thinking about when I suit up. You know what I mean? It's a track day. No one is making millions putting his life on the line like a pro racer. We're just out to have a good time. Sure, it's a freak accident. They happen.

And, no, I'm really not saying to be careful. By definition, we (to one degree or another) pretty much say screw it ....... I'm going out and having a good time and to hell with the associated dangers of track riding (or whatever else we are into).

Fine. I'm all for that and I do it all the time, and I'm not going to stop.

I guess my point was don't do it blindly. Know damn well what you are into, what can happen and then move on. And as Old Timer said LIVE LIFE.

Ya know, I have to admit I go back a few years to when I was waiting in the ER as my bro was being worked on after a track day accident. I had to sit there and come to terms with the fact that, damn, I didn't expect this. The blood, the ambulance, the ER, the three days in the hospital. My own ignorance, my own short sightedness ........ whatever. It slapped me with the bright light of day and through me for a loop.

I know I took a risk making a post like this. It's pretty heavy. Twenty years ago, maybe I could shrug it off, pay my respects and move on.

It's a little tougher now.




Modified by JamesP at 1:50 AM 8/6/2005
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

I guess I just can't get too worked up about this, though I certainly understand why it gives some people pause. And I am very sorry for the rider and his family. The only thing we can do is live life to the fullest, and do what we can to manage the risks inherent in the things we choose to do.

The last thing I should do is get on a soapbox about how "it can happen anytime". So I'm not lecturing here. But just from a personal perspective I have seen so much death, sudden and in mass (I was at the WTC) and long in coming and up close (cancer). The sheer randomness of it makes worrying about it for me a pointless exercise. One quick story on point - about 6 years ago a friend into offshore boat racing was killed. There were three in the cockpit. One was unhurt, one treated and released for the hospital, and my friend was killed leaving a lovely family behind. People die from pretty mundane things, others take huge risks and seem to live forever. The only thing you can control is the quality of now.

+1 for Old Timer's thoughts....
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

Sorry to hear about Shannon.
I'm sometimes amazed at the lack of thought that people give to the potential consequences of trackday screw-ups.
I read posts from guys who have low-sided when the rear "stepped out with no warning" and want advice on how to avoid it happening again. Dude, the rear gave you warning!! You just didn't notice, becuase you are riding way over your head.
Then again, you have the idiots who ride bikes with no brakes or worn out tires or no rear shock. WTF is that clown thinking? The answer is next to nothing.
I've seen guys bring beat-up stunter bikes to the track that have effed up transmissions. One guy went out for the 1st session and the bike was "popping out of gear". So they start it up on the stand and BANG it through the gears up and down for 5 minutes... and go back out! Where do they think the metal from the chipped gears is going? And what's gonna happen when a big piece makes the crank seize up... and a rod go through the case... and the oil goes everywhere.
Thinking about it is a good thing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (Racer666)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Racer666 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I guess I just can't get too worked up about this, though I certainly understand why it gives some people pause. And I am very sorry for the rider and his family. The only thing we can do is live life to the fullest, and do what we can to manage the risks inherent in the things we choose to do.

The last thing I should do is get on a soapbox about how "it can happen anytime". So I'm not lecturing here. But just from a personal perspective I have seen so much death, sudden and in mass (I was at the WTC) and long in coming and up close (cancer). The sheer randomness of it makes worrying about it for me a pointless exercise. One quick story on point - about 6 years ago a friend into offshore boat racing was killed. There were three in the cockpit. One was unhurt, one treated and released for the hospital, and my friend was killed leaving a lovely family behind. People die from pretty mundane things, others take huge risks and seem to live forever. The only thing you can control is the quality of now.

+1 for Old Timer's thoughts....</TD></TR></TABLE>

Roger that.

While I certainly feel for Shannon's family and friends, at some point in life you have to say, "Whaddya gonna do?"

Maybe it's just in the cards. If Shannon had never ridden a motorcycle or done a track day, and he had lived his whole life trying to avoid danger, who's to say he wouldn't have still died today when a tree branch fell on his head?

In a way, this shows that you really should pursue your goals and dreams with vigor.


Godspeed, Shannon...
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (AZ Scott)

RIP.............
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (Giannis)

Ditto to all of the above.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I knew Shannon. Met him at Great Lakes Dragway, CLSB trackdays, CLSB rides and when he showed up to events at BHF. He was the kind of guy that everyone could get along with.

 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

You can step off a curb and get greased by a bus. It's all relative.

The varying amounts of risk we're willing to take in life is what makes us all different.

There's a popular country song that talks of a guy finding out he is dieing of cancer, so he then starts to "live". I choose to live now. And if I die "living"... so what.

Being afraid of life is a waste of life.


I feel for the family, but the guy was doing what he loved. How awesome is that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

Good points, all.


I think most of us here have thought about this, long before suiting up to go out on a street ride or a track day session or a race. But we do it anyway, and I think it's because we believe, usually correctly, that much of the danger is under our own control. Yes, there is risk, and someday any one of us might die in a completely random unpredictable incident. But for the most part, it's up to us as individuals to be aware of where we are with respect to our own personal limits and make intelligent decisions about how much we are willing to risk at that particular moment. To me that's part of the allure of track riding - learning how to gently push those limits without leaping past them, getting better and faster without wadding yourself and your bike, staying just this side of madness at all times so you can come back and do it again next month, healthy and whole.

The folks who worry me are the people who don't look at it this way at all, and never have - mostly younger inexperienced riders, who've never been slapped in the face with the reality of how much they're risking riding like idiots. There's usually not a lot you can do for those people except stay away and try to ensure that when they do go down spectacularly, they can't possibly cause you to crash along with them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (Mental998)

Every time you turn the key of your bike you're taking that "chance". That's life... If you're prepared to go, then all is well for you and your family. The time we have here is only temporary, a moment in time. Enjoy it wisely and your reward is abundant. Waste it away in fear and you've gained nothing.

Simply put, life in itself is a risk. Prepare your sole and all is well...

Sorry, didn’t mean to get biblical, but that’s what I believe and take to heart. I pray every time I start my bike that I return home safely to my family or God’s will be done…
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (999)

RIP.
I am sad for the rider, and more sad for the family and friends he left behind.
RIP.

Good post, and good 'heads up' JamesP.


<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by 999 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
I'm sometimes amazed at the lack of thought that people give to the potential consequences of trackday screw-ups.
I read posts from guys who have low-sided when the rear "stepped out with no warning" and want advice on how to avoid it happening again. Dude, the rear gave you warning!! You just didn't notice, becuase you are riding way over your head.</TD></TR></TABLE>

Off topic...
I agree w/ 999

The bike has limits. Every bike, tires, etc has it's own limits....it's up to the rider to find and know the limits of the particular bike/tires he is on.
Unless another rider/racer takes you out, it is your fault if you go down.

As far as living life to the fullest and consciquences be damned...I am not so sure about that.
Try waking up paralyzed for the rest of your life, and and having the same mindset.

It's all fun out there, but discretion is needed. Ride at you skill-level, because anything more is a potential accident, and potential personal disaster waiting to happen.
A trackday is NOT a race, and should never be treated like a race. A trackday is to learn a track and hone your skills. A race is for putting those skills to the test against other racers. Never confuse the two.

I have seen many people gain lifelong injuries/tragedies, dismemberments and death from backroads, trackdays, and racing.

Thinking, "it will never happen to me" is ludacrise. Be aware of the worst that can happen, understand you will have to live w/ that the rest of your life...then w/ that in mind, ride and have fun.

Be careful out there, fellas.


Modified by CCS-Expert347 at 8:43 PM 8/5/2005
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (CCS-Expert347)

Live life and do it, life is not a dress rehearsal, there are no second chances you are on stage NOW.

I take careful consideration of everything I do but things can change easily in a quick flash, some cannot be avoided.

To worry about it is removing ones ability to enjoy life and therefore you are not living but rather existing, ....live don't exist.

My
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (JamesP)

Well my wake-up-call came last summer while out for a drive (in a cage) with the wife and kids, traveling one of the twisty back roads we come around a corner to find traffic at a stand still?? Well curious, I walk down the street to join the crowd, there I see the twisted remains of a fellow biker his pride and joy is wedged under the guard rail. Not only that this biker is from Holland and about 10 other of his buddies where ridding with him. So now I can imagine what it was like for them, hundreds of miles from home in a foreign country and here is your buddy..... dead! Took me a while to get over seeing that or to even ride that road again on my bike
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (999)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by 999 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
I'm sometimes amazed at the lack of thought that people give to the potential consequences of trackday screw-ups.
I read posts from guys who have low-sided when the rear "stepped out with no warning" and want advice on how to avoid it happening again. Dude, the rear gave you warning!! You just didn't notice, becuase you are riding way over your head.
Then again, you have the idiots who ride bikes with no brakes or worn out tires or no rear shock. WTF is that clown thinking? The answer is next to nothing.
I've seen guys bring beat-up stunter bikes to the track that have effed up transmissions. One guy went out for the 1st session and the bike was "popping out of gear". So they start it up on the stand and BANG it through the gears up and down for 5 minutes... and go back out! Where do they think the metal from the chipped gears is going? And what's gonna happen when a big piece makes the crank seize up... and a rod go through the case... and the oil goes everywhere.
Thinking about it is a good thing.</TD></TR></TABLE>

One of the reasons I wont do some trackday orgs. Alot of egos out there so concerned about getting a certain lap time so they can go "advanced". Then they start taking chances even racers wouldnt take in a race. FUnny that I'd feel SAFER during race practice on a RS125 while on track with 1000cc bikes than do a trackday with the main one here locally. Hell I'd feel safer riding with the local STUNT TEAM on backroads than I would at trackdays.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (RP Racing)

I think about it everytime I get on my bike. I guess because I've got a wife and three kids to provide for. But I don't let it worry me- check out the quote in my sig. What amazes me about it is that is was said by a very poor, blind and deaf young lady who had more insight into life than most.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Take a few minutes and make sure you understand what you are risking. (RP Racing)

There are no guarantees, we hear and say this all the time, but how many really live it and understand the balance? How many of us on this site ride while only wearing shorts and sunglasses, none if any at all, yet I see guys on the street here dressed like that. Every one of us who straps on a back protector, leathers, boots, helmet, and gloves does so because if we knew the day we were going to crash, we wouldn't go riding that day. Deep down inside we wear that gear hoping it can protect us, but we all know that people die doing this and we are looking for some attempt at a buffer by using the right stuff. It's the very reason I always tell my wife and or son "I love you" before I go out on the track or for a street ride............it's gods will and I don't have any vision of the big plan. All of us have to believe it "won't happen to me" or we would all quit today and work on making quilts.
 
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