- I just got back from a four day road trip on the ginormous motorcycle. It was a fantastic trip with a couple of “bucket list” rides. I mentioned in my last post that I almost cancelled due to a threat of inclement weather. Sure enough, day one I got caught in a pretty severe rain and hailstorm. Let’s just say that large hail at 60 mph on a motorcycle hurts! The important part is that I survived and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d built it up to be in my head. I rode a few other sections that were high speed highway (70 and 80 mph speed limits) with plenty of large semi’s and some high winds. Serious white knuckle time in the beginning, but I wasn’t thinking about it much towards the end of the day. The point is that the unknown is scary and it’s easy to let that fear get the better of you when try to visualize what it’s going to be like. I guarantee that most of the time reality will prove to be nothing like the horrible scenarios you let run away in your imagination.
- Which leads me to my question on risk tolerance. Pushing through fear is all well and good, but you still need to do a reasonable risk assessment of the situation. A brand new motorcycle rider attempting a busy freeway on his first day is stupid. The lack of skill makes the risk factor way too high. So how do you evaluate risk? When it comes to hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, I have a reasonable amount of life experience. I’m an RN, was a member of a search and rescue team for years, comfortable with navigation, and feel pretty comfortable with knowing my physical limits. My risk tolerance for hiking in the backcountry is pretty high. Barring serious injury, I’m not terribly worried about surviving a few days if something went wrong. I’m reasonably confident I could put myself in a position to be found or self-rescue. More importantly, I feel like I’m less likely to put myself in a bad position in the first place. Most of our rescues on the SAR team were for people who had no idea they were even putting themselves at risk until it was too late.
- Which brings me back to the ginormous motorcycle. I have many years of riding experience. Unfortunately most of it was simply commuting back and forth to work. The long road trips are new to me, but I feel like I still have enough overall street experience in those scenarios to make good risk assessments. But what I really want to do is spend more time riding in the backcountry. I have no dirt experience. At what point, when riding by myself, am I being stupid? Most of my fears revolve around being stranded. A crash or other mechanical issue that disables the bike. Dropping the bike and not being able to pick it up. A navigation error and running out of fuel or getting into a scenario I’m not capable of riding. Now what? With the motorcycle it’s easy to go distances beyond a simple hike out.
- So, do I not go out by myself? Do I simply start slowly and go a little further each time? Do I spend days beforehand making a battle plan with every possible scenario for each ride? At some point that’s no longer fun. On one hand, what’s the worst that could happen? Again, assuming no serious injury, the bike breaks down and I’m stuck. A few days of hiking or until someone finds me. While it would suck, very survivable. It’s extremely rare that someone goes missing and perishes before being found. But that’s not a fair burden to put on loved ones waiting at home, thinking the worst.
- At what point are you being so cautious you’re limiting activities due to fear of the unknown? At what point are you placing yourself needlessly at risk because you failed to adequately prepare and didn’t recognize that you were in over your head? For me I think the answer will be to go slow and over-prepare initially. Of course I’ll seek out more experienced riding partners… but I don’t want to sit at home waiting for that to happen. The other option is to sign up for one of the various riding schools and learn/improve my dirt skills. I suppose I should do that regardless. How do you evaluate risk? Pro’s/con’s on a spreadsheet? Avoid it at all costs? Just do it and whatever happens, happens? I’m honestly curious how others evaluate risk?
Song of the day: Lily Allen | The Fear
Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- Due to the increase in the number of Covid cases, my state has decided to roll back to a modified Stage Two response. The new restrictions include the following:
– No gatherings of greater than 10, unless it’s for school, business, religion, or political events.
– Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants can remain open but only if the patrons are seated.
Science has been wrong this entire time – Covid particles hover about five to six feet off the ground. As long as you’re seated they’ll drift right over your head! This is a tremendous breakthrough! Forget masks, we just need everyone to move around on little low recumbent scooters and we’d stop this virus in its tracks. And we already knew that the ‘rona was smart enough to skip large gatherings as long as they were for an appropriately woke cause, rioting, or looting. Biker events and rallies are not woke and everyone is standing – also known as super spreader events.
- It started snowing today. The local ski resort web cam shows nine inches so far. It’s fair to say I’m getting a little excited. Come on global warming… don’t let this just be a cruel tease.
- After spending approximately two hours watching snow web cams, weather channels, and Warren Miller clips on YouTube, I realized I’d left an unfinished item in my Bullet Journal – start workouts for ski fitness. I think I wrote that sometime in June. Ooops. Guess it’s time to put down the pirate booty and actually start working out. Otherwise my fat ass is never going to get up or down the hill.
- As a healthcare worker I have to wear various types of masks for 13 hours at a time. It’s gotten to the point that the back of my ears are absolutely killing me. Even wearing my glasses is starting to hurt now. I’ve tried various solutions to no avail. There’s complex physics involved, but women’s hair and fashion offer more options to get the straps off the ears than us dudes have. Today I ordered some surgical caps with buttons on the side. I’m desperate. Stay tuned.
- If you need a smile to finish out your week, watch 10 year old Nandi Bushell rock out to Nirvana. A serious prodigy. The pure joy on her face is awesome. Imagine how happy we’d all be if we could approach our work and hobbies with that level of enthusiasm?
Song of the day: Nirvana – Breed (Live At The Paramount/1991)
Cool things, shower thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.
- Clickbait titles amuse me and I couldn’t resist. Anyway, I’ll reveal the hack over the next few posts. Here’s the first part. Go find a BMR calculator that includes activity level. This one seems to work well. Enter in the data and see what your number is. Now here’s the crazy part – go eat less than that number. I guarantee you’ll loose weight. Boom! Mind blown. More to come.
- I was fascinated by this article. I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Open Skies Treaty and we actually let other countries conduct surveillance flights over our military installations. I can’t decide if it’s no big deal, or our openness will come back to bite us some day.
- I haven’t been very good lately at keeping up with friendships. The older you get the harder it is. It’s certainly a perishable skill that I need to work on. Been thinking about it, so I contacted a couple of buddies I hadn’t seen in a while and made arrangements to meet for lunch and a couple of beers. It felt good. Go do the same.
- Watched “The Dawn Wall” last night. Well worth a watch but not as well done as “Free Solo”. The “rules” for big wall free climbing are unclear and the movie never explains it, so there are parts that may leave you wondering why they’re doing some of the things they do. At any rate, I may have to go dig out the climbing shoes. What could go wrong?
- I’ve never been a huge fan of Lindsey Vonn. Her persona always seemed very cold. I was more of a Julia Mancuso fan. Lindsey recently launched a YouTube channel. She’s much warmer than I thought and has a dry sense of humor you don’t normally see.
- I made a huge step in my street photographs. I actually went up to someone as asked if I could take their picture. If you’re not an extrovert this is a very weird and intimidating thing to do with a stranger. Wasn’t a great picture, but I crossed that hurdle.
- Data tampering? But, they’re scientists how could this be? In related news, U.S. Oct-March temps were the third coldest recorded. But whatever.
- Both political parties are full campaign mode trying to inflame their bases. Independent of the realties of each sides message, the left has gone full negative by devoting all its time to attacking the president. Traditionally people want to vote for something, not against something. It will be interesting to see what happens this go-round.
- The Insta360 looks extremely cool. Inspiring enough I may have to dig out the GoPro and film something.
Song of the day: Florence + The Machine “Kiss with a fist”