Originally Posted by Rustic Charm
please don't take this as an afront. But in this post you have revealed to me what I have previously seen in your posts about 'road rules' and riding bikes. And frankly, American's seem to be some of the worst drivers for offensive driving (apart from Asia) I would suggest, claim, that in ALL situations, with the exception of a deliberate running into a MC, a motorcylist most certainly can control the risks, even those risks from other road users. These technigues are learned in advanced driving training schools. Accidents occur with both MV drivers and MC riders when their defensive driving skills are not being observed. And if you have never done an advanced driving course, I doubt you will know what i'm talking about.
So you're saying that you are able to avoid all accidents, regardless of what other drivers do?
Seems delusional to me. What if someone turns right in front of you, not having seen you, at a distance less than your best braking distance? Runs into the back of you while you're stopped at a traffic light? Defensive driving is a great thing, done well it really improves the odds, but it does not surround you with a magic shield. And on a motorcycle, your body will be directly involved in the collision
, with no structure to absorb any of the impact, no air bags, etc. The result of this is objective -- the death rate (in the U.S.) on motorcycles is 3500% (!) that of cars, yes, 35x higher.
Whether it is unacceptably dangerous or not, everyone has to decide for himself. I don't impose my own conclusion on anyone else. Some people go for it with a full understanding of what they are getting into -- good for them.
Unfortunately many people simply do not understand how risk works. "I've done it 50 times, and nothing bad ever happened; therefore it's entirely safe" is a complete fallacy, but that's how many people think.
Or "While doing x, bad things only happen to idiots [careless people; people who never attended a defensive driving course; etc.]. I'm not an idiot [etc.], therefore, nothing bad will ever happen to me."
Or, as we heard earlier in this thread, "Safety is more important than anything else; so just never take any risks with safety
and that's all you have to know."
These are all invalid logical conclusions.
Getting back to the topic -- I think there's been some very good discussion about the risks of the type of activity which got this poor girl killed. What Stumble was saying was that he doesn't see anything wrong with people deciding to take these kind of risks (the word "allowed" was a slip which doesn't detract from his point).
That is entirely relevant to the discussion, and goes to the question -- Is This a Micro or a Macro Problem? That is, is it a question of getting the details right? Like treating amateurs differently from pros and having different procedures? Better training maybe? Or is it a Macro problem -- the whole business is wrong, taking amateurs racing
around the world in such latitudes and conditions.
It's a really interesting question, and I agree with Stumble that it's not a Macro problem -- that there's nothing unacceptable about the basic idea of it. In my opinion.
He's arguing against two positions taken in the discussion: One of them is the "absolutist" approach to safety
, which is that the only thing which matters is safety, and taking any risks is already wrong. The other is the idea that companies like Robin Knox-Johnston's should not be taking the money
of gullible novices to do an activity they are fundamentally not qualified to be doing.
might disagree on these things, but I agree with Stumble here. In my opinion, the actual risks are not out of proportion to what an even slightly reasonable client of RKJ would have fully expected and signed up to. In my opinion, they were doing something pretty damned cool, a pretty incredible adventure, and to get that taking risks which are not really unreasonable considering the kind of experience you're having.
Which is not to say that there might not have been better thought through procedures, which might have saved the girl and others like her.