Firstly – I’m so glad to hear that you are ‘on the mend’; that the ‘shadow of death’ merely ‘swept past you’ but never stopped. And as all occurrences in life go, fortune and misfortune often come hand-in-hand together (it’s terrible that this happened in the first place – but a blessing that you’ll be fully healed and in one piece again). It’s that old “every coin has two sides” thing, and each life venture is a learning experience.
I read your words about quitting riding, as you feel that with children it’s ‘not worth the risk’.
Life is fraught with risk, Stu, no matter which way you turn. Me – I’ve been hurled out of a convertible (in the early eighties) in a highway T-bone collision event, to arc a hundred meters through the air before crashing back down onto the pavement; been chucked off the back of a buddies Triumph (tire blow-out) on Hwy 99 (in the seventies) at 70 mph to rag-doll down the road and onto the median for a hundred meters; been catapaulted over the handle-bars of a Yamaha IT 400 at 60 mph for smashing into a concrete block lurking in the tall grass in the middle of a field while WFO; swept about 600 meters down a huge alpine ‘face’ (in the early eighties) in a massive avalanche, getting thrust over a two hundred foot cliff and smashed over rocks and such (actually I’ve been fortunate enough to live through a number of avalanches, as an ex-professional extreme/big-mountain skier) … and I still big-line ski, paraglide and try to wear down the outer-most edges of my tires as fast as the center-line (I hate chicken-strips). And I haven’t tried the new multi-compound ‘skins’ out yet …
I guess adrenalin, endorphins and dopamine are addictive, after all. And so far, no lasting damage (the human body and it’s capacity to mend truly is amazing) and hardly any gray hair.
The point of this, though, is that the way I look at it – when your time is up, it’s up. If it isn’t, it doesn’t matter what the world throws your way – you’ll survive it all. Fate is fate. In 1991 I sold my punched-out ’86 Gixxer 1100 because I was doing stupid-crazy things on it, figuring I’d live all the longer for it. But then I really started missing riding and sunk into a bit of a funk, so in 1992 I waltzed in and bought the 1992 Bimota Dieci off RMS that Goodfellow had imported, which bike I rode like the wind for six years, or so. (Had some wicked two-bike rides on that bike along with a buddy named Ryan Kozar on his Fireblade – are you still around, Ryan?)
If you truly have it in your heart to quit riding and your intuition tells you so – then so be it. We all hate to see a brother walk away from a sport and a passion! But before you make a hard and fast decision, don’t forget that around here, I bet your chances of being ‘taken out’ by an angry and over-zealous/poorly trained cop, or a stray gang-fight bullet are probably greater than would be that of ‘death-by-motorcycle’, or at least about equal.
And I’d bet that one or two seasons down the road of healing and wellness, on some warm and sunny spring morning when the boids are chirping, flowers blooming and all is well in your world, some little neuron deep in your amygdyla will impulse, setting off a chain reaction whereby you’ll be coerced into going and pressing your nose up against the window-pane of a motorcycle shoppe to peer in, only to soon after actually walk in and deeply inhale that scent of new bikes, freedom, adventure, dreams and promises …
Incidentally, I phoned Debbie (the driver of the minivan) to read her your words on your recent posting, and she broke down and began to sob. I’m certain that your words will help her, in turn, to heal as well, and move forward from all of this. She said a lot of prayers for you.
I wish you all the best and hope that whatever roads your future guides you on, that you heal up completely and that you live to become old and gray and able to recount these experiences in tales to your grandchildren …