By Talya Adams
Over the holiday break, I had a chance to go hang out with my old friend, Burak. A few years ago, I interviewed him for a blog. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve interviewed him twice. The interviews were quite contrasting as the first one he spoke about his passion for riding, and how he got into it like most riders. However, the last published sit down I had with Burak, he spoke about his most traumatic motorcycle accident.
Like I mentioned, it’s been a few years since both interviews and I wanted to catch up with Burak and see how he was doing. He’s moved north, and his life has changed quite a bit since I’d seen him last. He now drives a Prius! It’s okay, he still has two motorcycles, but still, a Prius. Of course, I teased him, I had to!
To catch you up to speed, Burak broke his femur, messed up his hip, and suffered some memory loss because of his accident. It took him a long time to recover, and it was mentally and physically taxing. Over dinner one night, we got into a conversation about how he’s fared since the dust has finally settled. I can’t say I was prepared for his honest assessment, but I did find it enlightening.
He told me that he still battles with anger, because he can’t believe someone ran him over in such a careless fashion. While his body has healed he has PTSD from the trauma and sometimes gets very upset when driving in traffic. He says the cars cutting him off, or not paying attention, gets under his skin because he knows how quickly their absentmindedness can ruin someone’s life.
What surprised me most was when Burak told me how other people responded to his accident. He said some people suggested he’d learned his lesson when he got into his accident because he now owns a car. As if it was his fault he was hit by a careless driver. I can’t say I understand this line of thinking either. There are many lessons people take from accidents, but to regard it as a punishment for being on a motorcycle is insulting.
He also said the flip side of the coin was people asking why he hadn’t learned his lesson since he still rides motorcycles. They believe he should never ride a bike again and since he has a car he doesn’t need to. This too infuriates him, and I completely understand. I don’t know why people think sharing these insensitive sentiments with an accident survivor is acceptable.
To this day, I haven’t figured out how to explain being a rider to non-riders. It’s simply inside you, a need to ride. A need to feel the calm, the freedom, the joy that comes from being on your bike. Bikers are a special breed. We take risks every time we get in the seat, but in those moments, we also live like no one stuck in a car ever will.
Stay safe in these streets!