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As a longtime rider and gun enthusiast, I have an issue with this line: "Also, you should store weapons (especially guns, which can go off, or knives, which can stab you) or anything that could stab you - including pens or needles - at home or in a secured side bag." In the interest of natter reduction, I'm addressing it here.
Modern guns (by which I mean anything built since, say, 1850) do not "just go off" when they're impacted. A better reason for not carrying while riding is that, due to Finagle's Law, when you do lay your bike down, you *will* land on that heavy chunk of steel no matter whether you're carrying on your hip, small of back, or in a shoulder rig.
I want to do another round of refactoring of this, but I want to get other people's opinion.
To be honest, if someone is interested in riding a motorcycle, by all means, they should encouraged. However at the same time, I think they should test it out first in a controlled environment (I did a safety course to test the waters, then I did an MSF course once I committed to the idea). I didn't like the original cut because it sounded like "you're going to crash in a horrible way!" Technically I've crashed, but they were all at low speeds and my motorcycle suffered more damage than me. I also think this is actually where I think most issues occur and why the California DMV does their practical test at low speed.
In any case, a person should be informed about what it takes to ride a motorcycle safely. Sure, it won't reduce the chance of a crash to 0%, but the more people know about the factors they can control, the closer you get to it. In a similar vein with cars. If you drive defensively and smartly, then it's very likely when you do have a collision, it wasn't your fault, but the dumbass who ran a red light.
In the end though, motorcycling is one of the more enjoyable things I've done. You can't recreate it with anything else. But you do have to take necessary precautions and take them seriously.
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