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February 21, 2009

Balance is not an assumed risk.

Balance has many definitions that all require equilibrium.

The definition of balance is not a concept nor is balance a risk.

Motorcyclists need to be afforded the right to live and the right to die.
They wish freedom and fair usage of the highways and byways.
They wish to travel unimpeded with freedom of movement.
They wish to have insurance claims paid without lawsuit.
They wish protection from the bully pulpit of government under the guise of democracy.

The true issue of laws for and against motorcyclists is control of a perceived balance.

Many motorcyclists ride to live out a fantasy double life.  For them, they have purchased the costume and accoutrements of a rebel or a tough guy sanitized in their attempts at living life to the fullest.  For others, riding is a freedom of transport through the elements. Some others enjoy the use of skill necessary for survival and the challenges that are constantly changing.  Still others enjoy the conspicuity of being a risk taker.

Taking risks and meeting the challenges are totally different than risky behavior.

Anti motorcycle and, anti-motorcyclist positions range from practicality of modality, myriads of protectionism of motorcyclists from themselves, to those issues of the environment.  It has become fair game to blame the ills of society upon motorcyclists and motorcycles or the lack of them.

Viewpoints have stated that, “one major source of urban noise, that of motorcycles, is optional and totally unnecessary. In a seasonal climate, it is clear that motorcycles are not an integral part of our transportation system for they cannot be operated during our long winter. The owners of motorcycles have alternative means of transportation. The motorcycle is an optional vehicle for pleasure, not utility. It is a toy, albeit an expensive one.

Furthering the anti motorcycle viewpoint, they go on to say, “As pleasure vehicles, motorcycles tend to operate in groups and to concentrate in particular and limited traffic patterns. And, as pleasure vehicles, they are often operated in a manner that brings juvenile emotional satisfaction to their owners but distress to those who live nearby. The effect of all these behaviors is to saturate certain roadways of our city with high and excessive levels of noise.”

Many well-meaning citizens abhor the death of another for their own selfish gain.

They attach their own fears of death to the feelings and wishes of another.

Many Americans view the motorcyclist as “fair game”. They would prefer to not hear us, nor hear our pleas. They have also shown a preference for not seeing us. They have even recommended that we be put in harms way.

The minority of motorcyclists is easy to pick on.  The protections afforded by leather and helmets do not help us against prejudicial laws currently in existence or the ones yet to be introduced.

The protective gear additionally fails us within the court system.

The protective gear allows all to profile our “type” and predict our behaviors.

We as motorcyclists try to demand an equal access (balance) to all these things and we are stigmatized by our own public dress and behaviors.

Motorcyclists are portrayed constantly as irresponsible risk takers because of balance.

Motorcyclists constantly fight for balance in laws and in life.

The assumed risk, of wanting balance in life, wastes life and money needlessly when we assume the position of victim.

As motorcyclists, it is the razor’s edge that draws us.  The feeling of perfectly managing all those influences that result in what can only be described as the closest feeling to flying that can be experienced upon solid  ground.  When you’re riding on the razor’s edge, it’s the joy of feeling (and being in control of) personal perfection that is so seductive.

This joy of feeling has now drawn many of us into politics and legislation to defend our sense of control and balance in our personal and societal lives.

An amalgam of people ride powered two and three wheeled vehicles.  Many choose to be law abiding and others choose to be lawless in varying degrees.

Unless we choose to balance ourselves and unify within a framework of some common ground, we will always be victims of choice rather than have freedom of choice.

Mike Greenwald

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