Sunday, June 27, 2010

Riding... by the Numbers

When I was doing my initial research into motorcycles and motorcycle safety, one of the things I noticed was that many things were done by percentages. For example:

1% (Or 1 Percenter): a term commonly used to refer to "outlaw bikers". Apparently the term was in the movie The Wild One which starred Marlon Brando and had to do with some incident that occurred in California with a group of bikers -- I have never seen it. Supposedly, the amount of bikers who participate in this type of activity is around 1%. On this, I am in the 99% category.

10%: This is the estimated percentage you can reduce possible accidents by if you wear a white helmet instead of a black one. This actually makes a lot of sense to me because a white helmet is much easier to see in low light situations. According to the article, the red helmet that I wear reduces accidents by a grand total of 7% -- I'll take it

24%: This is the percentage of accidents for people my age group caused by failing to yield the right-of-way or simply competing for the right-of-way; it is also the leading cause of accidents for folks in my age group. I think the reason is simple: When you get to this point in life it is harder to admit when you are wrong. I'm not saying that I won't ever do this, but being aware of it makes me a little more patient before I jump in front of a car.

40%: I had a salesman tell me this one. It is the percentage of people that trade in a bike after one year of riding. He said it is about half and half with people trading up and those simply deciding not to ride. Based on my experience so far, I can only see me trading up and not out.

50%: The percentage of motorcycle accidents linked to alcohol. I have a little problem with this number because linked to, also means that other factors were involved. But, having had a drunk total not one but two cars I was driving makes me leery of anyone in a reality altered state. Given the amount of skill and balance necessary to operate a motorcycle safely tends to keep me from having more than one when I am riding.

56%: Recently on the TV program Numbers one of the main characters started riding a motorcycle; this caused one of the mathematicians in the show to remark that 56% of guys who start riding a motorcycle get a piece of strange within the first month. My knee-jerk reaction was to say that I was part of the 44% because I've had my SilverWing for over two months without that happening. But then I thought back when I first started riding at 18 that did happen within the first month. I guess that makes me 100% on this one.

100%: This is my own statistic based on a lunch that I had with several more experienced riders during a recent riding event. This is the percentage of bikers who think that: June bugs hurt the worst, any bug with green guts is the hardest to clean off leather or the windshield and all bugs (even though they are a fantastic source of protein) taste bad.  Based on my short period of riding I have to agree with that.

Well, that's all for now -- I have bugs splats to get off my bike and brush my teeth.  Yech!


No comments:

Post a Comment