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Hey fellas,

As most of you know, I have been quite active on this forum since I joined just over a month ago. I rode dirt bikes as a kid, then glorified mopeds in Asia (motorscooters with a clutch), and then took a 13+ year hiatus as I finished high school, college, and got married.

Last year, just before my daughter was born, I decided to pick up this hobby of riding bikes, as I enjoyed it alot as a youngster and always had this inner desire to ride. I had been on friends' bikes over the years taking a quick 1-2 minute spins on their sport bikes and before deciding to give it a go before baby was born. Got a GS500F late last spring and rode that around putting on 1,000 miles the first month and then another 1,000 over the next 3 months before letting it sit in October.

Then I made the dive and purchased a 2013 ZX6R a few weeks back and I have only put on 33 miles since purchasing it due to the weather (Wisconsin). On Sunday, there was a tragic accident where a driver under the influence of marijuana hit two motorcyclists, killing one and the other in critical condition. On Monday, another rider got hit by a truck, serious injuries and another rider Tuesday morning got rear ended at a stop light.

In light of these recent events, it has me thinking about life in general. I have a 7 month old that giggles and looks forward to seeing me come home everyday from work. I know I enjoy riding and it's a personal choice but there's a part of me that says this choice is quite selfish in that I am the only one getting joy from it and it is an extremely dangerous and risky one. Sure we COULD conceivably get injured or killed doing everyday things but realistically, riding a bike is much more dangerous than most, if not all, of the everyday things I do. I want to be a father to my daughter and I want to be in her life.

I look back and have fond memories of riding and have had my share of accidents when I was younger. I think of the 13 years I went without riding and I really didn't miss it like crazy, just something I thought of every now and then. Although I have the itch to ride, I believe if the bike was gone, I would go on with my life and I would likely enjoy life just as much without a bike. Sorry for the ramble but I often wonder if I am the only one who thinks like this? I don't know, I'm just wondering if riding is really worth it? I am contemplating letting the bike go...not sure what to do. Wife said it's up to be but to wait a few weeks to see if this will pass. Just not sure and wanted a place to vent, I guess
 
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Someone brings this subject up pretty regularly, once every few months. It really comes down to a decision you as an individual need to make, for yourself and for your family. In my case, I am fully aware of the risk I take every time I swing a leg over the motorcycle, but I can't imagine trading the feeling I get riding, both on the street or on the track, for the additional saftey of not doing so. Bear in mind I don't have a child and I have no doubt that could change ones opinion, but I can't imagine giving it up. I've been putting thought into this as I may be making a life-changing move cross country, but the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that I'm willing to give up in order to continue riding.

(and that's coming from someone who physically hasn't been able to ride for the last 3 months, although the weather has been near perfect)
 

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Not the first time this discussion has come up on this or any other motorcycle related forum. In the end only you can decide. Are you going to live life enjoying the things that make you happy? There are ways to significantly reduce the risk. Rider training and proper gear being the most obvious and accessable.

I can count off the top of my head at least 4 situations on the street that I avoided harm because of my track experience. I had the confidence and ability to manuever my bike and avoid bad situations that I likely would not have been able to without the track/racing experience I had. I have been riding on the street for 23+ years and have never had a serious accident or injury (on the street...have had major crashes with minor or moderate injury racing). By serious I mean not able to pick up and ride the bike home.

The question is whether your passion for the sport is greater than your fear of what could happen. It's the same question every person who engages in any sport or activity that has risk, must answer. If you have true passion for the sport, no arguments or statistics will ever be enough to convince you to stop.
 
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The decision is really up to u in the end. I actually told my girl when we started dating that I might stop riding when we have a kid. But then again...u never know!

It is a dangerous sport which can change life very quickly. Very fun tho...no doubt.
 

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I'm not going to beat a dead horse here as the others have mentioned that it is ultimately your decision. I couldn't imagine giving up either of my bikes, but I'm single with no kids. I did think for a while after my accident last year about giving it up, but it was brief. I went ahead and got a dirt bike again with the idea that it won't keep me off the zx6r, but it reduces the time I'll be on it. To be honest though, it just means that my car sits a lot more than it usually does. If I'm not on the dirt bike, I'm usually on the street bike.
 

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i hear all the horror stories and am aware how dangerous it is or how quickly life can change. and truly it does scare me, but it doesnt stop me from getting on my bike and riding, i feel free when i ride and i wont let fear take that from me. but this is also well knowing what could happen to me. its a hard choice.
 

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I am a father of two and my wife stays home with our kids. It worries her every time I ride. She knows how much I love to ride so she supports me. I have had a couple close calls that have made me think about selling my bike from time to time. I almost hit a bear last year and have had more close calls with deer than I can count. Now this is just my opinion but when its your time its your time. The mode of transportation iisnt going to matter.
 

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It's a personal choice, to be sure. Your definition of who you are, as a man, as a father, as a husband -- what that means, to you and your family is an area that you may or may not be able to answer all by yourself.

I've picked up and put down riding a bunch of times in my life. I will always come back to it.

I am not willing to put my family in jeopardy for something that does not have to be a crisis for them. My needs and wants are secondary to those of the people who are dependent on me -- so I have insurance. Quite a lot of it.

With that in place, I know that I have done as much as I can and that mama will be taken care of for some extended period of time should something happen beyond my control.

If I can live my life, and make it more enjoyable for those who I care for by fulfilling my personal needs/wants.... that just makes it better all the way around.
 

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Here is my response from a similar thread:
http://zx6r.com/zx6r/51337-calling-all-dads-need-advice-3.html




Do what feels right to you. Life is a balance, and your children will be young for only so long, enjoy and spend time with them while you can . For many the child rearing years are tight financially and to be without a bike is OK. You can return to bikes anytime that feels right to you.

If you continue to ride be sure to always have as much in your favor as possible. Always have AGATT, Bike in well maintained condition, tires in very good condition, NO alcohol, drugs, Constant Vigilance while riding, reduce night riding or riding in hazardous conditions, etc.



Things have a way of coming back to you. You'll find a new level of joy when you do a trackday with your son or daughter, and all those MSF guidelines take on a new importance.


Observations of an old guy........
 
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I agree with everyone's point of view here but also particularly empathize with yours and stopped to think about my own situation once I read your opening comment as my son is only 5 years old. Would an idea be to keep your bike and make the decision to only ride it on the track on track days? I've heard they can be expensive as I've never done one as there are no tracks near me, but if you are in the beginner groups it should be a fun way of enjoying your bike without having to spend a lot of money on modifying it? That way you can take out most of the danger presented to motorcyclists while still riding
 

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2y I totally understand how you feel as I have just picked up riding in January and my daughter was born in October. She is my heart and it scares the shit out of me to think I might not come back to her. I picked up this hobby because I need an outlet to replace playing music so I don't turn into the hulk (rage)everyday. And to save a lot of gas money commuting. I decided I want to enjoy life instead of being afraid of it. You cannot stop death all you can do is try to be the best person you can be and leave a good mark. Every time I get on my bike I pray God protects me and let's me come home to my family.
 

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None of us wants to die. Ride reasonably, wear full gear, seek out good training and study up on good form. Enjoy the life you have, don't squander it away by being over protective of yourself or others. fwiw.
 
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