I’m planning a trip (by airplane, not motorcycle) from Burbank back to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to visit family and some old high school friends. For a change, my hometown baseball team, the Pirates, aka the “Bucs” are playing some decent baseball. It’s actually been eighteen years since they’ve had a winning record. So I figured I would perhaps check out a Buccos game while home. Preparing for my trip, I did a search for my old Pirates hat. It’s been awhile since I had seen the thing, but after some searching, I found it in a box in my shed. It did not look good.
A year or two back, my shed started to leak, and although I fixed the leak, some of the boxes in there got wet, including the box with my Pirates hat. Now, my old (not-so) lucky hat was disgusting. It looked like it had been wet for a year. Ugh. Well, I don’t give up that easy, so when my girl wasn’t looking, I snuck it into the washer. Well, the washing machine cleaned up the mold and such, but the seams ripped, and this hat that I’ve had for years and years is no more.
What’s the point, you ask? Ahh, let me tell you. The old hat reminded me of something I see far too often as a motorcycle accident lawyer. I often see cases of motorcyclists who used to ride all the time “back when they were younger.” They rode every day, and they were skilled riders. But then they got married, had a kid, and traded in the Triumph for an SUV or a minivan.
The kids go off to college, and they immediately hit the Harley dealership, and ride home on a new Road King. A great idea, and a well-deserved treat. The problem is that (and here we go, watch me tie this in…) like my old Pirates hat, riding skills get old. They get rusty (or moldy, as it were) and they fall apart. If you bury something away in the shed for years, don’t expect it to be in good shape when you pull it out a decade later.
If you’re coming back to riding after years or decades away from it, don’t be too proud or too foolish to take a motorcycle safety course. You think you might be bored, or that it might be a waste of money? Boring is being laid up for three months after being in a serious motorcycle accident because some idiot cut you off on Hollywood Boulevard and you locked up your rear wheel and collided with the side of his car. A waste of money is the tens of thousands of dollars you may be saddled after that happens.
Be smart. If you’re new to riding a motorcycle — or you haven’t been on one in years, take a motorcycle safety course. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I may be a motorcycle accident lawyer, but I’m a motorcyclist first. If you’re in a motorcycle accident, we’re happy to represent you. But we would rather you never need us. Ride safe.