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Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

Last post 05-16-2011 10:40 PM by wombat. 93 replies.
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  • 03-21-2009 09:38 PM

    • mich_t
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-21-2009
    • Sydney
    • Posts 44

    Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    Hi all,

    I'm new to scootering, just bought a Piaggio Liberty 125cc and have my Ls. I want to commute to uni with my scooter. My dilemma is that people, including doctors are trying to convince me not use it, saying that I'm taking unnecessary risks and there's a good chance I'll die, leaving my two babies without a mother. One even said that riders are called "organ-donors" at major hospitals. This has really shaken my faith that I'll be okay commuting to uni safely.

    Obviously, none of us are fortune-tellers and I know that generally, riding is much more risky than driving. I've researched on the internet and the information is somewhat mixed. One article said only a handful of scooterers have died in Australia in the last 10 years, which I thought was a positive statistic.

    I wanted to ask what your opinions are, since you are all informed and experienced scooterers. Is it really that risky and do a lot of scooterers die? Do you guys regularly have bad experiences on the road?

    Here is some info about me to assist your assessment: 30 year, will be travelling 30km each way a couple of days a week, plus local riding in Sydney. I'll be taking back roads and trying not to ride during peak hour to start with. Very conservative rider/driver, intend to take lots of riding courses. I have a helmet, armoured jacket, fluoro vest and gloves.

    I'm sure you get asked this all the time, but I would really appreciate your help.

    Thanks,

    Michelle.

     

  • 03-21-2009 09:54 PM In reply to

    • Dakoda
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-27-2007
    • Brisbane Bayside
    • Posts 6,372

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    You will always get the negative people.  But what you have to decide is "do I want to do this" if the answer is yes, then, make sure you can be the best rider you can be (training, and learning).

    I dont know what the stats are for 'Death by scooter' but I am confident in saying it would be less than "death by car"  Yes it can be dangerous, but so can driving, yes you can have a accident, but you can in a car too, yes we are more vulnerable, but we are having fun, and doing a good thing for the environment whilst being a tad more vulnerable. 

    If it is what you want, under stand that friends, family etc who do not ride will have their concerns, but at the end of the day, if you make yourself a safe rider, your chances of having a accident etc will decrease.

    2008-Venice White Aprilia Scarabeo 200 "Marty"
    48,000kms and wriiten off. RIP 2008-2012
    2012 - 2009 Red Aprilia Scarabeo 200
    Named Bomber. 8,000kms in 5months
  • 03-21-2009 10:53 PM In reply to

    • INMA
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-19-2009
    • Posts 841

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

     Why not build up your experience with lots of short trips in the local area to begin with and see how you feel once you are use to the local traffic.  Its a good chance to sort out your road craft before taking on longer trips.

    Sydney scares the crap out of me when I visit in my car because I am not use to the place.  As a local you should be better positioned to figure out whether its safe or not.

    Generally traveling on roads with lots of trucks has issues for small scooters.

    I definitely use the same roads whenever possible because I get use to the traffic and have a better understanding of the flow of things.  Avoid changing routes thinking your safer on small roads, its just a different set of risks. Be careful on strange roads, that is where the close calls seem to come from when you are learning everything from the bumps to the bends and parked cars.

    2001 Yamaha Zuma, DR Evo 68 cylinder, Leo Vince TT derestricted, Delorto 17.5 (#98 jet), standard aircleaner, RMS fan, Race CDI, Standard oiler and premix @ 75:1 Shell SX2, Doppler SR3 variator, RMS clutch, RMS R rear shock absorber and Pirelli SL26 tyres.
  • 03-21-2009 11:44 PM In reply to

    • Magoo
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-05-2008
    • WA
    • Posts 804

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    mich_t:

    Hi all,

    I'm new to scootering, just bought a Piaggio Liberty 125cc and have my Ls. I want to commute to uni with my scooter. My dilemma is that people, including doctors are trying to convince me not use it, saying that I'm taking unnecessary risks and there's a good chance I'll die, leaving my two babies without a mother. One even said that riders are called "organ-donors" at major hospitals. This has really shaken my faith that I'll be okay commuting to uni safely.

     

     

    The problem with that typical argument is, that they are saying what they think is the most obvious. And it does show to be the most obvious. Bottom line is, you can get killed or injured in any way at any time, in an obvious way or in a non obvious way. Humans take risks all the time, in obvious situations as well as the not-so-obvious.

    Reminds me of Steve Irwin, most people thought he would get eaten and killed by a croc......the seemingly obvious. BUT he wasnt. It was a stingray that took him. Safety is the key.

     

  • 03-22-2009 12:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

     I found the trainers at "Stay Upright" to be really helpful and it might help if you talk to them. Af the end of my three days there I came to the conclusion that bikes and scooters DO add more danger to the equation. But you can remove that same amount of danger, and perhaps more, with skilled, defensive riding. You'll pick up the skills from the courses you do. My parents have always been against it, but I don't think they realise just how good the modern rider training is. It makes you a better car driver too. The riders who become the organ donors are the ones who don't take those lessons to heart.

    His: Vespa GTS 250, giallo lime
    Hers: Vespa GTV 250, portofino green
  • 03-22-2009 12:31 AM In reply to

    • WAY
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-23-2007
    • Posts 399

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    Michelle, the reality is that a scooter/bike is always going to be more dangerous than a car is due to the fact that we are often unseen and Australian drivers aren't trained to share the road with 2 wheelers.  However, prudent riding will go a long way to preventing accidents.  I don't take risk when I ride, unlike when I drive!  I tend to be much more conservative.  With attitude like that, your chances of getting into an accident will be much less.  But you need to be comfortable mentally before you start riding.  If you go out there and ride while you head is thinking about death by accident the whole time, it won't help your cause!  Btw, stats on scooter death means absolutely nothing as the number of scooters in Australia in the last 10 years compared to cars isn't even a blip on the radar. 

    2009 Honda DN-01 pseudo scooter
  • 03-22-2009 08:17 AM In reply to

    • mich_t
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-21-2009
    • Sydney
    • Posts 44

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    Thanks guys. You have made some very good points. I was actually in a good head space about the risks of scooting until this doctor made such a big deal about it. He actually made me feel selfish for wanting to ride because I have children and was taking unnecessary risk! Obviously, there is an element of chance, but from what you say, the risks can be mitigated down a great deal. I guess the only element left is the unpredictability of car-drivers, which is something we can't control, only learn to read a bit better.
  • 03-22-2009 10:01 AM In reply to

    • bort
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-07-2009
    • South Perth
    • Posts 139

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    Michelle, i had to deal with this too when friends and family found out i want to get a scooter.  i did have my period of freaking out becuase of it and thinking i was making a stupid mistake; but to be honest, most people who said i was crazy were thinking i was just jumping on a bike and going on the road without any training. now they know im doing lessons it's calmed down a bit.  as you and many other have said, there's an inherent risk to most things on the road - especially riding - but if you make the most of your training and don't act foolishly you could avoid most situations.  i'd say the stats are probably higher for motorbikers than scooterists, due to generally higher powered machines and risky behaviour.  i know a few people with scooters who have ridden for years without incident; so while somewhat risky it's not necessarily an accident waiting to happen.

    just take your training on board, and stay safe. at least you'll be having a blast riding :)

    Derbi GP1 250
  • 03-22-2009 10:05 AM In reply to

    • petegailey
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-03-2008
    • Cleared off, up the Mid Nth Coast
    • Posts 7,090

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    What is it about some doctors? They seem to delight in being the purveyors of fear. You see it all the time around childbirth. Sure the risk about dying or being seriously maimed in an accident is something that every scooter rider and bike rider thinks about but we have to work through that if we are to ever get out and enjoy our scooters.

    Ive been riding for a year now and have about 20,000ks under my belt. In that time Ive had one near miss which scared the bejesus out of me and only the guardian angel got me out of. Everymonth or so I get a car cutting me off or taking "my space" on the road but these are situations which although annoying I find I can toot, yell, brake or avoid. I find the more I ride the more confident I become but I'm very aware of staying well back from the car in front and not to travel in blindspots, especially on the inside lane. The rider training and defensive driving courses are invaluable as is wearing good protective clothing always, as well as fluro vests. Feeling confident in traffic is important and that comes from doing it.

    I think that riding a two wheeler is akin to flying, there is an element of danger that comes with the joy of flying, but lets not turn it in to a fear of flying. 


    Daelim NS 125: Mighty 1st scoot from Korea that punched way above its weight. Sold
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  • 03-22-2009 10:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

     with the continuance of riding a nd the testing required to obtain an actual liscence nowadays a motor cyclist including scooter riders are more aware of thier souroundings and the traffic and how it work and how to use it, unfortunately people see accidents involving bikes and remember them as the injuries are generally present in the smallest of them even though the number of accidents are nothing compared to those involving just cars.     get out there and enjoy your scoot

    ♥Jrazik out...
    clik
  • 03-22-2009 10:27 AM In reply to

    • bradr
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-13-2009
    • Nowra NSW
    • Posts 2,036

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    Now, make sure you do not eat or that may kill ya,do not brush your teeth--ya might choke on toothpaste,,what ever ya do-do not drink water or ya might catch something deadly.

    basically you have 2 choices--live life or stay in the confines of your bed 24/7--{that way you can die a slow death from bedsores}.

    one sure fact is that from the day you were born you are slowly dying,but hopefully with a fun & productive life in between.

    yeh a lot of riders get injured or worse but if you look at the amount on the road i reckon the odds are still quite ok.

     

    Red ones always go faster but blue ones go pretty quick , but now blue ones are the way to go😄
  • 03-22-2009 10:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    petegailey:

    I think that riding a two wheeler is akin to flying, there is an element of danger that comes with the joy of flying, but lets not turn it in to a fear of flying. 

    No. I think you are wrong. Flying is a very safe thing to do. The fear of flying is an IRRATIONAL FEAR because per passenger miles travelled the chance of being injured or dying on a commercial air flight is much lower than in car. So why are there people who fear flying but get into cars every day without a second thought?? Irrational.

    Scootering on the other hand IS DANGEROUS. You should be MORE AFRAID when you get on a scooter than you are when you get into a car or a commercial air liner.

    Dakoda:

    I dont know what the stats are for 'Death by scooter' but I am confident in saying it would be less than "death by car"  Yes it can be dangerous, but so can driving, yes you can have a accident, but you can in a car too, yes we are more vulnerable, but we are having fun, and doing a good thing for the environment whilst being a tad more vulnerable. 

    Now, if you have spent much time at all on this forum you know that old Daks is not the sharpest tool in the shed but lets disect the above for posterity because it is a downright misleading and dangerous staement.

    She's confident that there are fewer scooter deaths than car deaths, presumably in Australia. You'd expect that given that there are so many more cars getting around than scooters. If you compared the respective death and injury rates per km travelled on each respective vehicle type then scooters aren't looking so good anymore. I saw some figures a while back where the rate of two wheeled road trauma was closely following the rapid growth in scooter sales. Scooterists ARE getting injured and dying out there. But hey, we're having fun and saving the environment, not that that is relevant in the slightest...

    I believe I take calculated risks having had experience with Risk Management. I still choose to ride a scooter but I ride it like I stole it and, more importantly, like everyone else on the road is trying to kill me. I also do not ride on freeways, only 80km/h arterials.

    Finally, I have been riding scooters since 1986. I've seen the rapid growth in scooter numbers on the roads of Melbourne. Every day I see really really bad scooter riders. They lack skill and they lack smarts. I almost road raged an idiot on a Sachs thing when he passed up my inside at speed whilst my left indicator was on and I was moving left... So yeah, do some riding courses, please. Frankly I am surprised there are as few incidents as there are given the attitude of a lot of the newer scooterists getting around.

  • 03-22-2009 11:32 AM In reply to

    • veggie
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 11-06-2008
    • Northern Beaches, Sydney
    • Posts 457

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    mich_t:
    My dilemma is that people, including doctors are trying to convince me not use it, saying that I'm taking unnecessary risks

    I get the same all the time..... i just say to those people "you know you want to ride a scooter too.... you know you want to - go on just get one and satisfy your frustrations!"  I think they are secretly jealous, as we are all having too much fun!

    My brother told me to "ride like you are invinsible" and that is what i do. I also drive like that too.

     

    THE DREAM IS ALIVE!!! IT'S A VESPA AND IT'S ALL MINE!!!!
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  • 03-22-2009 12:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    no one has ever died in a car accident, or crossing the street, or falling in a beginner ski lesson? a lot more motorcyclists die than scooterists... what happens the day you decide not to ride and get the train and slip off the platform into the oncoming train, it's happen quite a lot.... i thing the new toyota ads are great, the one's with the rav 4... get out and live life... there are occasions when i could have been killed on the bike/scoot but years of experience gives you the skills to avoid certain situations, then there are time tat iff i was in the car and not on the bike it would have been a certain accident, not a near miss..
  • 03-22-2009 02:26 PM In reply to

    • Dakoda
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-27-2007
    • Brisbane Bayside
    • Posts 6,372

    Re: Dilemma: To ride or not to ride?

    andrewd:
    no one has ever died in a car accident, or crossing the street, or falling in a beginner ski lesson? a lot more motorcyclists die than scooterists... what happens the day you decide not to ride and get the train and slip off the platform into the oncoming train, it's happen quite a lot.... i thing the new toyota ads are great, the one's with the rav 4... get out and live life... there are occasions when i could have been killed on the bike/scoot but years of experience gives you the skills to avoid certain situations, then there are time tat iff i was in the car and not on the bike it would have been a certain accident, not a near miss..

    Quite true.  The other night I was on the GP1, in the centre of three lanes, a car was coming out of a servo on the left between two cars (and very fast).  I saw him at the last minute, I had been sitting in the left wheel track, had enough room to get into the right, yell, and brake.  There was a car behind me, and a car in front, and on the right side.  Had I have been in a car, and not being able to move over that bit, it could have been very bad.  As it was, his bumper did just kiss my leg, very lightly!  My training had taught me, with nowhere to go, move to your safest spot, this just happened to be on the otherside of my lane.  I was also very lucky that the car on the other side of me saw him too! (He also asked me if I was okay when we got to the lights  Not the guy who nearly killed me).He was behind me for a little while, and when he did past me, gave me a glare like it was all my fault.   Now I was on my way to meet some people.  I almost turned around and came home, but I kept going, very shaken up, but that passed! 
    2008-Venice White Aprilia Scarabeo 200 "Marty"
    48,000kms and wriiten off. RIP 2008-2012
    2012 - 2009 Red Aprilia Scarabeo 200
    Named Bomber. 8,000kms in 5months
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