Thursday, September 27, 2007

Live Like You Were Dying

[Riders gather at the Harley-Davidson store before following each other to the funeral service for Double D.]

If you are driving around in the Las Vegas area and notice an influx of motorcycle riders, it is because the Las Vegas BikeFest kicked off today. This annual event is full of parties, contests for most radical bike, bikini competitions, and with that comes 60,000 bikers! This means there will be a lot of choppers, cruisers, Bobbers, and V-twin bikes on the road.

You may be thinking motorcycles and fatal accidents are synonymous and sometimes that is true--especially after the story I am about to tell you. Last Friday as I was driving home from work on Tropicana Avenue (one of the main arteries in and out of the Las Vegas strip) approaching the on ramp to the I-95 South. I noticed that the traffic continuing on Tropicana was unusually congested, as was on the I-95 North.
Must be a car accident, I thought. It's Friday and, as usual, everyone seems to be in a freakish hurry to get home. Drivers are especially crazy on Friday afternoons and I would've been involved in one of those accidents had I not avoided two public transportation buses that nearly ran me off the road.

This article provides some insight to the accident that caused traffic to back up for miles and miles on the freeway:

Motorcycle crash closes busy Las Vegas
(Las Vegas Sun - September 21, 2007)

A motorcycle crash has closed a major Las Vegas highway and is causing serious backups on the east side of the city.

Highway 95 northbound is shutdown at the Boulder Highway exit. Traffic is
being diverted at the Flamingo exit, just south of the scene of the crash.

Southbound traffic is moving slowing.

Early reports say the accident involved a motorcyclist and several
vehicles. KLAS-TV reports the accident was fatal.
My husband knew that motorcyclist nicknamed "Double D". He was a Rider's Edge instructor (motorcycle safety foundation course) at Harley-Davidson and the College of Southern Nevada whose life was cut short when a motorist allegedly swerved to avoid a piece of metal or ladder on the freeway and caused a chain reaction which involved Double D and resulted in a nine-car pileup.

It was just a bad situation for all involved; I don't know if the wreck could've been avoided after asking myself what I would have done if it were me? Would Double D had a chance of survival if he had been in a vehicle instead of a bike? Maybe. (But the what ifs are irrelevant here. (So may your soul rest in peace, Double D. He was friendly to everyone and generous and so tonight, the news channel will cover the story of how he lived.)

I was initially scared off my rockers to ride a motorcycle again after hearing that. (Not good timing with the Las Vegas BikerFest approaching and my husband and I were planning on joining in on the fun if he could get off work early.) But then I thought, Double D died doing exactly what he wanted to do--riding his bike.

If my life were cut short speeding on a boat at over 100 m.p.h. or riding on the back of a motorcycle with my husband, then so be it. It will be my time to go and I would rather be doing what I wanted to do.

Sure I could avoid the risky activities and decrease my chances of something bad happening but, honestly, anything can happen at anytime. I could get hit by a bus! Or a drunk driver at 7:30 a.m. while driving to work. Or hit by a car crossing the street from campus!

So there is no sense in living in fear of dying. I'd rather, like the words from Tim McGraw's song," Live Like You Were Dying". Because we all will inevitably die; it's just a matter of when. But how many truly live?

This weekend, I urge you to live your life to the fullest (by your own definition) and be mindful of the riders on the road. You should be able to hear the rumble of their bikes but just in case, please check your blind spot in case someone is riding next to you.

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