Easy There, Easy Rider!

Many of us Suddenly Solos were motorcyclists growing up.  There is nothing like riding a bike on a smooth country road and enjoying the scenery rush by, so it’s not surprising that more and more of us are getting back into (or discovering for the first time) motorcycling.  In 1990, only ten percent of bike riders were over age 50.   By 2003, that number had risen to 25%!  Motorcycle sales in the United States rose a healthy 2.6% over 2011, according to a report released by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Retail activity was up in all four motorcycle “segments” — the first time that has happened since 2002 — with increases in scooter, dual-purpose, off-road and on-highway motorcycle sales.

Scooter sales rose the most, at 7.7%.

However, you should be aware that motorcyclists over the age of 60 are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger bikers, a study suggests. The report in the journal Injury Prevention found that serious chest and rib cage fractures were very common.

The authors of the study said, “The greater severity of injuries among older adults may be due to the physiological changes that occur as the body ages – bone strength decreases, fat distribution may change and there is a decrease in the elasticity of the chest wall.

“Other factors such as a delayed reaction time, altered balance and worsening vision may also make older adults more prone to crashing.”

They point out that underlying illnesses like cardiac disease, hypertension and diabetes may also increase the rise of complications.

Suggestions for staying safe include the careful selection of motorcycle size. Don’t buy more bike than you can safely handle.  In addition, wear the correct equipment at all times.  And finally, take motorcycle safety courses to brush up on your skills and reacquaint yourself with the rules of the road while on a cycle.  Remember that with any motorcycle, you are at a profound disadvantage on a road shared by cars and trucks!


1 Comment

  1. You are absolutely correct, “Don’t buy more bike than you can safely handle.” I hope a friend reads this on facebook, I posted your article. I have ridden with him on a number of occasions on his smaller bikes okay, now classics: 1980 Sturgis and 1989 Springer Harleys. He recently purchased a Road King and rode with him for a short ride. I told him to sell it because it’s too big for him. I feel safer on the smaller bikes. Thanks for your article, it’s reassuring me of my thoughts.

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