Here's what I found most interesting in a USA Today story by Kim Painter, "Older motorcycle riders more likely to get badly hurt" -- the parts that mentioned me.
Brian Hines, 64, a writer from Salem, Ore., rode a motorcycle as a younger man, but when he wanted to return to two-wheeled riding in 2009, he took some extra safety steps: He got a motorized scooter instead of a full-sized bike, repeated an optional safety course, bought a highly-visible white helmet and avoided riding at night or in the rain.
His precautions paid off and he never had an accident, Hines says.
...As for Hines, he did sell his scooter in 2012 – something he says greatly pleases his wife. "She was worried every time I took off." He says he likes a little risk in his life, "but there are ways to fill that need without risking life and limb." He's taken up skateboarding instead.
The rest of the story is worth reading also. Basic message: older riders need to recognize the increased risks they face because of poorer reaction times, decreased visual acuity, and such.
Reporter Kim contacted me after reading a blog post that I'd written after I'd started riding my Suzuki Burgman 650 maxi-scooter, "Older motorcycle riders, don't be scared by statistics." She thought that I made a lot of sense.
Which, of course, I did.
Davis talks about how the risks of motorcycling can be reduced markedly by going against the grain of what gets riders injured or dead.
That's why I have a white scooter, wear a white full face helmet, always wear complete protective gear, have green day-glo striping on my jacket, drive a scooter with antilock brakes, rarely drive at night or in the rain, don't speed or take turns too fast, don't ride after drinking alcohol, and -- vitally important -- retook the Team Oregon training class before I started my scootering.
I'm taking the same minimize-risks approach with skateboarding (actually, longboarding, but I can't blame Kim for using the more generic understandable term). I believe in living life crazily, on or off a four-wheeled board.
However, there is no contradiction between (1) taking risks which other people will view as "crazy," and (2) lessening those risks as much as possible. After all, getting hurt from a preventable accident often is better termed stupid than crazy.
So I've continued to wear full protective gear almost 100% of the time when I'm on my longboard. With my big scooter, I never broke that rule. But since a longboard is quite a bit less dangerous than a motorcycle or scooter, occasionally I hop on one of my boards without a helmet or gloves on.
But rarely. I know that at 64, I don't heal nearly as fast as I did at 14, or 24. Older motorcyclists need to keep that in mind also. Be crazy and have fun. While being as safe as possible.