View Full Version : From the Ducati Index.....Bikers = organ donors, #10,263

Dave R
09-29-2004, 05:03 PM
Bikers = organ donors, #10,263
Go get him, boys and girls…



Hop on a motorcycle, fill out your donor card
September 22, 2004


Opening shot

Why are there many more heart transplants performed in the summer than in the winter?

It's one of my favorite brain teasers, good to toss out at parties. It almost always stumps people. I like to give them a moment to think hard, squirm, then give up, before I spring the answer -- so obvious in retrospect:


You can't have heart transplants without donors, and motorcycles -- ridden in the summer but not in the winter -- are a great source of fresh, young, otherwise healthy organs.

Motorcycles are in the news. Another speeding maniac died in Chicago Monday, and officials say the death rate is up nationwide.

I can see why. Motorcycles have romantic appeal. Even supremely cautious guys like myself cast envious glances. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are beautiful. And like a lot of men, daydreaming as I shuffle through my numbing daily routine, the part of my brain that isn't already dead, but is desperately groping for some way to spice up what is left of my life, thinks: "I could buy a Harley.''

No sooner do I conjure up the image of Hog King Neil, racing his bike down the open road, "Born to Be Wild" blaring on my personal soundtrack, than it is replaced by the twig, or pothole, or whatever would send me flipping into the guardrail, the flash of which would be my last sight on Earth.

Besides, there are already too many dumpy middle-aged guys racing on motorcycles, dreaming they're something they're not.

Question by: anon - (Placed 9/29/2004) ID: 175532


Thanks for posting that, here's my response: "Sir", What a moronic piece of "journalism" your column on motorcycle owners was. I've owned and ridden bikes for 35 years. I've taken multiple Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider improvement courses (Beginner, and Experienced), and take my bike to Club sanctioned "Closed Course" track days. Yet you would portray me as nothing more than a source for some doctor to harvest organs from, Thanks. I'm sure you consider your column a contribution to your readership. You can imagine I see it as biased, lop-sided, vitriolic spew. If I see further commentary from you slamming "Bikers" as a whole, I'll consider it an obligation to write to each of your commercial advertising customers letting them know I wont trade with anyone who posts ads in your paper.

Response by: Will (NC) - (Placed 9/29/2004) ID: 175536


I try to use my power only for good:
Mr. Steinberg,

I just read your column equating motorcycling with organ donorship. I'm amazed that someone with the level of reasoning "ability", demonstrated in that column, can hold a job that entails more than asking "do you want fries with that?"

I've been riding a long time. I ride a BMW touring bike and a Ducati sport bike. I used to be a motorcycle safety instructor and spend a lot of time at race tracks improving my skills. I wager that you don't have the same committment to driving.

While the number of motorcycle deaths have gone up, the number of deaths normalized to the amount of miles ridden hasn't shown the increase that you purport. Neither do the statistics show the percentage of those deaths caused by brain-dead "cagers" (our term for drivers) who "don't see" the motorcyle with the bright headlight coming towards them when they turn left in front of the motorcycle, or when they run a stop sign (referring to Congressman Bill Janklow), and kill a motorcyclist.

It's also sad that you equate all motorcycle deaths with the idiots you have in Chicago who race, or do stunts, in urban environments. Unfortunately, those morons are all over the country but they are a minority.

Unfortunately you're choosing to perpetuate an unfair stereotype that does nothing but harden the public heart against those of us who travel on two wheels. With a name like Steinberg, one would hope that you'd know something about the damage that stereotypes can engender.


Response by: Buckelew - (Placed 9/29/2004) ID: 175539

09-30-2004, 08:20 AM
:mad: What a dork.
I guess in a way he's speaking to the mid-life crisis hoggers, but it seems to be like he had an incident with a motorcycle on the way to work and felt the need to vent. I bet he's one of those cagers that drifts around in lanes while talking on the phone drinking his coffee.

09-30-2004, 08:40 AM
Or his wife told him he couldn't have one.... I often find that those who are denied love to tear others down.

09-30-2004, 09:41 AM
Ha - I bet that is it Gemini! - or (as he alluded to in his smartass column) he is just too chickensh*t and too lazy to do anything exciting so to justify his dumb sacred lazy arse he criticizes everyone else who looks like they are probably having more fun than him. A bitter pathetic man who's smart mouth cannot compensate for his small...........mind :D

09-30-2004, 09:45 AM
Unfortunately there are those that are willing to seriously toy with the "edge" and occasionally pay the ultimate price. This just provides fuel for the uneducated. Play, have fun, but time and place is everything!


09-30-2004, 10:17 AM
I can understand testing the limit when you are young - I did that in cars and thank god no-one let me near a motorcycle, although those who were are fortunate if they learn quickly form their mistakes. I don't really understand the trend for maturer folk (30s and 40s) wiping out at ridiculous speeds on public roads. I also cannot understand that the statistics suggest that the new bikers in that range are the most at risk. Unfortunately statistics don't really tell you much about the reasons for this age group being at risk.

On the organ donor issue, I had someone at work mention that motorcyclists are organ donors and I think it is generally a chickensh*t criticism from people who are just trying to justify their own fears and feel superior to those who probably demonstrate greater independent thought than they do.

Still, the recent prevalence of high speed crashes in Chicago would certainly stick in the mind of people, but if two Porches had crashed inthe same week at speed, everyone would be saying the same of Porsche drivers....

09-30-2004, 11:08 AM
"I don't really understand the trend for maturer folk (30s and 40s) wiping out at ridiculous speeds on public roads. I also cannot understand that the statistics suggest that the new bikers in that range are the most at risk. Unfortunately statistics don't really tell you much about the reasons for this age group being at risk."

Andy, I would guess that a lot of riders in this age group are buying cruisers on a whim, without thinking or realizing that the physics of controlling a motorcycle differ from driving their Porsches, SUVs, etc. I'm 40+ but I bought a 749s (from Dave :happy57: ) and taken my re-entry to the world of motorcycles pretty seriously after a 20 year layoff. Even still, I can sure think of a vivid "oh sh*t" moment or two when the bike doesn't seem to be going where it ought to. I have no trouble believing there are more than a few middle age guys are out there bombing along at 80 mph with little ability to consistently execute turns much less control their V-Rods in dangerous sitatuations. After 20 years away, it has been a wonderful yet eye-opening experience for me to get back on a sportbike and riding my Duc is a great life-affirming outlet. But I will never ride in a way that unnecessarily risks an up close visit from an EMT. I will reserve what remains of my Banzai attitude to use in coaching my kid's soccer team and call it good.

09-30-2004, 11:12 AM
Ignorance is bliss I guess. Really sad though that stunt kids create the whole that is motorcycling lately.

09-30-2004, 11:50 AM
I was really steady on my bike when I first got it and showed it plenty of respect, which was a total contrast to how I handled my first car at 17 ;) I've had one or two "oh Sh*t" moments too for the same reason - generally it was early on when I would look at the outside of the corner instead of through the corner, and it was at low speed. I was absolutely determined that I was not going to have a crash and rode accordingly, but rode often and built up my confidence slowly.

I definitely think there are people getting on bikes who undertsand nothing of the dynamics of riding - like a large number of people who drive with no idea about the physics of driving (the ones who are consider driving secondary to whatever else they can occupy themselves with in the car). Cars are a lot more forgiving than bikes though! I think there are some people who ride scared too, and that is almost as bad as riding with too much confidence. There is a guy I used to know at work who rode a big Harley and was afraid of freeways! Puhleeeeaaaassssseee!

09-30-2004, 12:32 PM
Lets start with the fact that this man brings up this brain teaser at parties. Just the guest I want to have to liven the spirits of my guests at a gathering. One has to feel sorry for people who never take a chance or push their personal comfort levels. Sounds like he lives a very safe existence and never takes a chance. That is a very sad place to be. The fact remains that stupidity comes in many different forms from the not so good stunt rider, to shorts and flip flop wearing riders, to bitter " cagers " who will never understand what it feels like to ride a motorcycle. Poor things.

09-30-2004, 01:11 PM
The stunter's are realatively few and far between and a lot less likley to hurt someone else than say the soccer mom in the 6000lb SUV with the screaming kid, cell phone, etc etc...
So why is ridding a wheelie down the hwy a bad thing but an 80 year old driveng 40 and swerving all over the same hwy is somehow OK??
I think it all boils down to wheelie envey...and as for the squids in shorts and flip flops. Who cares? It's their skin, and if one of them were to lose it and run into me I rather be hit by soft flesh than hard armor;-)

09-30-2004, 03:04 PM
I think what Gillian is saying is that the general public's perception is that motorcycling is dangerous and that only daring people or morons ride bikes. When young people don't wear any gear and they crash, they get hurt. This feeds the perception that riding is dangerous. Their friends and family say "I told you so!".

I hear stories all day long where it is pretty obvious that even the slightest amount of gear (like gloves or boots) would have prevented any injury. That is why those of us who work in the industry like to see our customers wear proper gear. Our jobs depend on people continuing to ride bikes. If you get hurt, you might just sell your bike and never ride again. Plus, we are enthusiasts and we care about other riders.

09-30-2004, 08:07 PM
Once again, another example of news as entertainment - though the moron did stir a lot of you into action, didn't he?

The guy is truly uninformed and deals largely - if not entirely - with perception.

Let it go. There are a lot of people who feel this way and the recent article about the 205MPH "bust" in Minnesota only fuels the fire. By all means, discuss it among yourselves, but the perception is not likely to change. The gene pool will continue to cleanse itself of poorly trained, poorly equipped (tip o' the hat here to Cindesmo) and a few victims of the dreaded and all too common disease of arrested development.

Where is Edward R. Murrow (and objective journalism) now that we need him?

I'm still planning to ride and, by the way, I am an organ donor. (Although my heart is already spoken for...)