Riding, Drinking, & “Friends?”

 

honda vtx 1800

The Key West Poker Run has come and gone, leaving thousands with memories and others with regrets. Every year, as in any bike event, there are accidents and arrests. This year was no different.

Over the weekend, Miami Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was arrested for DUI while riding his Harley. He was riding 70 plus miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. My question is why did it get to this point?

There is no doubt a DUI and/or arrest affect one’s life. And while it would be easy to pass judgment on the commissioner, I am actually going to pass judgment on everyone else. I’m not naïve nor stupid, and I do realize the commissioner has to take responsibility for his own actions, but, where were his “friends?”

*****

When I first started M.S.A.R., a lot of people I use to ride with not only stopped riding with me, but bashed me publicly. Anny and I would get stared down at bike night. If we arrived at a location, some of “our friends” pretended not to see us or just simply left. This happened for a long time and continues to happen today. A lot of those people still won’t talk to us, removed/blocked us on Facebook, while others have apologized to us, and others continue to try to do us harm? Why?

M.S.A.R. was started with the goal of impacting the motorcycle community in positive way. The biker community sticks together and has each others’ backs, except, if you publicly come out against drinking, riding, and taking your skills to the next level. There seems to be a macho, frat-like mentality when it comes to drinking and riding, where ego and testosterone overrules logic.

******

I make money off DUI’s. I make money when a biker has to file for bankruptcy because an accident they were responsible for has resulted in tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. I make money off personal injury accidents when the biker was lucky enough that the cager was given a citation even though we know better. But I am willing to lose that income if it guaranteed not another biker is injured.

When I improved my riding skills thanks to a retired motorman, I was bashed publicly on my own group page. Comments such as “I already ready know how to ride,” “I’ve been riding my whole life,” and my favorite, “you are wasting your time practicing with those little cones.” I guess motorman have been wasting their time all these years even though they are the best riders out there.

Maybe bikers felt I was judging them, but since we are all over the age of 12, really? I never said don’t drink, hell, I always have a beer and if I stay somewhere long enough, make that two beers, but watch me closely next time. I eat, and I drink more water in a day than most people over three days. We are trying to save lives and avoid accidents. Your life! So I ask again, why are bikers being allowed to drink and ride by their “friends?”

*******

About a year ago, a biker I do not know, died leaving Alabama Jack’s. He was heavily intoxicated. People stated publicly on Facebook that this person could barely walk, but staff, cagers, and bikers at Alabama Jack’s did nothing. I know stopping a stranger from jumping on his bike could lead to a fight, but for a person that does not like violence except as a last resort, that is a fight I am willing to get involved in. I’d rather get punched in the face than sit by idly and watch a tragedy take place.

I always say watch for inconsistencies, basically, another way of saying practice what you preach. Do you say I got your back, but then let me ride away after I’ve pounded bucket of beer? Then you don’t have shit!

Hypocrisy surrounds us. I’m no longer in jr. high so I understand that. But when it comes to protecting one another, saving the life of a fellow biker, you better put away your ego and hypocrisy.

Macho isn’t drinking and riding; macho is preventing someone from riding after they have had too much to drink. And to be very clear on the goal of M.S.A.R., we cannot and will not support anyone that needs help due to a fault of their own. Don’t tag us on your GOFUNDME page either; take responsibility for your own actions. Have your friends who let you ride off drunk, fund you.

M.S.A.R. has sponsored rider improvement classes for free! Yet, few wish to improve their skills for whatever pathetic reason they have. Usually they are afraid to drop their bike but not break their leg. Nothing like spending $30k on a bike, but $0.00 on actually learning how to ride it.

M.S.A.R. will not compromise what we stand for. If that means at the end of day we made a few less friends, so be it. I’d rather save the life of a stranger than lose a hundred supposed “friends.”

*******

What inevitably happens is that someone will have a friend die from a motorcycle accident, or suffer from serious injuries, or maybe have their life flash before their eyes, and that is when they realize getting “buzzed” is better left within the four walls of their home. By the way, as I write this, I got my buzz going on, the only difference, my bike isn’t moving today.

I’ve been there and done that, probably more times than you, and unlike most politicians, I will admit to smoking weed. The difference, I’m not jumping in my car or on my bike. I’m over 40, so are most of you, so why are you all still acting like I am in college?

Be safe, because I am tired of visiting people in the hospital and attending funerals!

M.C. Atty

15 thoughts on “Riding, Drinking, & “Friends?”

  • September 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you.

  • Pingback: Riding, Drinking, & “Friends" - YouMotorcycle

  • September 23, 2015 at 12:18 am
    Permalink

    Extremely well, said. Thank you for your kind words. I am always very humbled at the opportunity to participate with MSAR and you personally on motorcycle safe issues. God willing, we can continue to educate the motorcycle community in the future. Thank you, El Professor.

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm
    Permalink

    Pretty much what I do Ron. Plus I hydrate so much naturally, that one beer is probably 2-3 cups of water for me. I can easily drink a pitcher of water with a meal. The funny part, down here in Miami, people go to multiple bike nights on one night and drink at each one, riding the highway, going from one side of the town to the other. There is a reason most accidents occur on thursday night.

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:09 pm
    Permalink

    True Bill, sometimes what you ride creates division unnecessarily. All very childish. We are on this together. I have even met people that tell me they ride trikes so they can ride buzzed. Very logical…

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks Lucky. You are right.

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:07 pm
    Permalink

    thank you for reading my blog and commenting.

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:07 pm
    Permalink

    Well said Bedspread. I already worry about the weather change in october b/c that means more bikes will be out there riding here in south florida.

  • September 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm
    Permalink

    Alex, Once Again I have to admit I agree with everything you say in this post. I too have lost “friends” for the same reason and always wonder why people continue to act stupidly and not accept responsibility for their own action and be a true friend to those around them. Like you noted, I like to party as much as anyone but when I start, the bike stays parked. Way to many of my friends have passed away due to drinking, smoking and riding and I also learned a valuable lesson in my 30’s from the same bad practices of thinking I was cool riding buzzed. Didn’t work out to well for me to say least. Wake Up guys and gals. One bad decision can and will run a lifetime a fun In The wind. And if you are a “true” friend, you will step in and tell your buddy when he doesn’t realize he is buzzed and believe me he will thank you the next day. If he doesn’t, that is one less friend you can do without in your life. BedSpread

  • September 21, 2015 at 9:30 am
    Permalink

    We so agree with you M C Atty. This is the reason we no longer have large parties.
    I agree it is very hard to stop someone that has had to much to drink, to not get on their bike or in their car but you must try.

  • September 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm
    Permalink

    Please. Tell me how to enrroll in a class to better my skills
    Thank you
    Carlos G

  • September 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm
    Permalink

    I totally agree with you on this.
    My wife and I ryde Can Am Spyders and the HD groups like us as much as some like you………I could care less frankly. Most of them ride bar to bar…………We ryde restaurant to restaurant.
    I enjoy ryding……….I enjoy ryding with our friends on 2 or 3 wheels.
    Improving our skills is a necessary part of ryding.
    Semper Fi

  • September 20, 2015 at 9:37 pm
    Permalink

    I only have one drink at lunch. If lunch is an hour and you sip it over an hour your BAC will be about .01 so you are good to go. Takes an hour to get rid of one drink so a 2 hour lunch I would have 2 drinks. I think that is conservative and reasonable

Leave a Reply