When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Murdercycles

Darwin fishJust a couple of lines tell the whole story:

Gomez’s helmet lay in the middle of the street, blood dripping from it, as cops investigated the crash.

Further down the road, the mangled black Honda motorcycle lay on its side on the sidewalk surrounded by debris.

via Motorcyclist dies after losing control of bike in Queens – NY Daily News.

Nathaniel Gomez won’t be down for breakfast.

You know what a doctor friend of ours calls motorcyclists? “Organ donors.”  Hope Mr Gomez checked the box, some good might have come of this.

Of course, it’s a free country, and you’re entitled to indulge in sports that have a nonzero risk attached to them. And we’d never suggest that motorcycles be banned because some people die in accidents. Cyclists know they’re taking a risk, and they ride anyway. Maybe some of them rationalize the risks, but that’s their business.

It’s a free country, and they can do that.

Now, if only we could make more people see it that way. About motorcycles, and maybe about firearms.

15 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Murdercycles

  1. Alan Ward

    One of my favorites I heard from a surgical nurse after we had listened to Cheech and Chong’s take on it. She said that they called motorcycle riders orthopedic suicides.

  2. Lost Dog

    The term I frequently heard during my riding days was “donorcycles”. Typically young, healthy, fit males with a high propensity for severe neurological trauma – the perfect organ donor.

  3. Greg

    Been riding most of my life. Have the handicap placard to prove it. They say flying in small aircraft has about equal risk. Think about that next time you’re bucking rivets ;)

  4. DaveP.

    Meh. Wear the armor, get good training (and practice it), and ride like you’ve got a brain. The definitive study of motorcycle injuries (the Hurt Report… really!) connects the majority of wrecks with serious injuries to some combination of riding drunk, riding like an ass, inexperienced rider, and no proper protective gear.
    Most states have a MSF training course: they provide a 250 cc bike, you bring a helmet. Go try it. Even if you never get on a bike again, it’s a great experience.

    1. Law of Self Defense

      Yep, take out the unlicensed rider, persons under 25 years of age, and alcohol, and you’ve eliminated almost all motorcycle accidents. Not QUITE all. But almost all.

      I note Gomez, the subject of this post, was 22yo. There’s a lot to be said for the European system of licensing riders by incremental cc. Keeps the young 20s from hoping right on a 1000cc sport bike, which WILL kill you if you look at it sideways and don’t know what you’re doing.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      1. Hognose Post author

        After they got weary of replacing splattered privates in the 1980s, US Army Europe commanders simply issued a dictate that forbade them to buy Jap superbikes, Ducatis etc., with their enlistment bonuses. Those killjoys probably saved a few lives. But then again, young GIs found ways around the ban and had to keep proving that their illusion of immortality was just that, an illusion.

  5. Y.

    You know what a doctor friend of ours calls motorcyclists? “Organ donors.” Hope Mr Gomez checked the box, some good might have come of this.

    Same thing in eastern Europe. Heard it multiple times from different people.. :)

    I think it’s good. There is a yet unexplained natural surplus of males, and motorcycles are one way of whittling it down.

    See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC102777/

  6. Mr. AR-10

    “You know what a doctor friend of ours calls motorcyclists? “Organ donors.””

    Donorcycles.

  7. TRX

    > You know what a doctor friend of ours calls motorcyclists?
    > “Organ donors.”

    I got run down by a four-time loser flying high on a mix of meth and cocaine. He had five felony warrants outstanding when he decided running over me and my Yamaha would be amusing. He had been out of prison for a little over 72 hours.

    In the hospital, before the first operation, half a dozen “healthcare professionals” made “donorcycle” comments. Six months later, out of rehab, I went to the DMV and got the “organ donor” part removed from my driver’s license.

    I’ll take all of my organs to Hell with me.

  8. S

    Wise advice, TRX. Never forget, your kidney may be more valuable to the man with the scalpel, than your continued use of it. If the medical malpractice story ever got out, the world would be in an uproar….but if it took notice of the active criminality in it, it’d be on the streets tonight with ropes in hand, and no ear for pleas of mercy. And no anasthetic.

  9. Jim

    I live in Connecticut and ride 5-7 days a week spring summer and fall. In the winter, certain road conditions tend to put a crimp in the riding, but I’ll usually manage to ride at least a couple of days a week. Yep, I’ve had accidents. My last was 2 years ago and was the result of the combination of an idiot running a stop sign, a rainy morning and me locking up the touchy rear brake on my old Harley. It was a basic low speed low side/slide. Picked it up and finished the ride home. The idiot never stopped. I didnt mind the crash that much. Bike wasnt much worse for wear. I hobbled off to the ER a few hours later when my ankle ballooned up and turned an interesting shade of purple black. Long story short, the doctor somehow missed the fact my leg was broken just above the ankle. I knew it was, but he insisted it was just a bad sprain. So yeah, I really couldnt care less what doctors think of bikes and those of us that ride them. My only regret was I wasnt riding my BMW that day. A much better machine for foul weather. Actually its just a much superior machine period but I do love the old bikes. I dont own a sportbike and I have nothing against them, but I do believe they provide an added level of danger to certain types of riders. We call them squids. The kind of idiot that wheelies a bike on a busy interstate. That kind of clown. I doubt we’ll ever see a Euro style graduated licensing system here but I think it would help. The other problem is that motorcycles are looked at as toys in the US, while in most other places its just a cheaper way to get around. As far as rider education goes, in reality the only way to learn how to ride safe is to get out and ride. Thats probably the cause of a huge percentage of serious bike accidents. Lack of experience. We have too many squids that only ride a couple of days a week maybe 3-4 months out of the year at most. It’s just like any other activity. Skills get rusty after a short while. It’s not just young guys on sportbikes though. I’ve noticed over the last few years a fair number of old farts like me getting into wrecks. These guys are usually riding big cruisers. Maybe they arent riding wheelies or stunting, but its the same thing..lack of experience. Gramps sinks a ton of money into blingin out the Harley, but he only rides it on the weekends during the summer. If its nice out. So he goes from say, accounts manager during the week to “bad ass biker” on the weekend and as he’s chuggin down the road, a coupla balloonheads that just spent the last hour splittin a sixer and doing bong rips pulls out in front of him. By the time he snaps out of his daydream its too late. Its metal on metal contact and with any luck, it’ll be helmet on asphalt, not skull on asphalt contact. I cant fathom how or why there isnt a nation wide helmet law. In 30 years of riding (not counting dirt bikes, falling down is a given at times) I’ve had 4 accidents. All were low speed either because I was anticipating the possibility due to traffic conditions or (in one case) I was stopped and got bumped from behind. I’ve walked or limped away from all of them, but I’ve known guys that werent as lucky. Guys not wearing hemets. Riding in shorts. Riding loaded. Or just riding stupid. Anyways, the whole point of this ramble is that riding a motorcycle is just as safe or as dangerous as most anything else. Main thing is to not have your head crammed up your ass while your doing it. And wear a damn helmet!!!

    1. Hognose Post author

      In aviation we note risks increase with lack of experience and (something you describe without naming when talking about the weekend-riders and the warm-months-only guys) lack of currency. Current, recent experience is better than “just like riding a bike” stores of old experience but anything beats nothing, and inexperienced riders should ride defensively — and their biggest risk is their own attitudes and judgment.

  10. John D

    “Losing control and falling off” a bike on city streets is right up there with “Shot and killed while cleaning his gun”.

    1. Alan Ward

      Up here in the semi frozen north it can be quite common. Stems from being cooped up inside for five months then when the days get longer and the weather warms above 40F guys just have to hop on their wheels. Still lots of loose gravel in piles and strips on the edge of the road plus unaware or inattentive drivers equals several lay downs or spills.
      The more experienced riders usually keep the speed under control and just get scuffed up. The inexperienced/ over cc’d guys end up as a headline!
      As for cc limits, probably the sanest thing out there to keep neub riders in one piece.
      In Alberta kids under 18 can’t ride anything bigger than 125 cc. My son got his first bike two years ago, after taking training and lots of lectures from mom and I. He bought a 250cc which was a good compromise bike for a 23 yr. old who only weighs 130 lbs.
      Almost immediately he began planning to get something bigger due to bike mag advertising etc.
      Luckily so far he has resisted that urge. In his youth my dad rode bikes for 10 years, nothing bigger than a BSA 250, often carrying my mom on the back!
      I keep telling boy wonder if it was good enough for Granpa that should be good enough for him.

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