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Family Fears

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by scooter12, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. I am having a very hard time balancing the needs/fears of my family against my own need to ride. My wife and parents in-law are paranoid about me being killed.
    My wife was slowly accepting me being on the road after mainly riding dirt but over the weekend a local rider was killed on the same roads I ride and now I she is stressing all over again. It has taken me nearly a year to talk my wife into coming with me on the bike, I wanted to show her how much it means to me and I hoped that she might have a different point of view after going with me. I would love to be able to go touring with her in the future and maybe even take my kids one day.
    Now after what happened on the weekend she tells me that if I die she will never get over it and she has no idea how she would get the kids through it. :( How am I meant to deal with a statement like that?. My wife and my kids are my life but I know if sold my bike I know I would regret it. Riding lets me be me, wether it is a day ride with the mates or quick ride by myself.
    I hate that my passion causes my family heartache but I don't think I would be the same person if I didn't ride anymore. I really don't know what to do.

    Has anyone gone through anything similar.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Show her the cancer and heart attack statistics for men in the most prolific age rider group.
    Nuff said.
  3. I think you know what to do, you just need to be big enough to make that decision. Plenty of other people on here have done the same.
  4. Man up for your kids mate, you can still get a good trail bike and have a blat on the weekend.

    You can still get back into road riding when the kids are out of the house, but is enjoying yourself in the meantime worth risking leaving your kids without a dad?
  5. A lot of people die in car accidents too. Is she going to take that away from you too?
    I understand that she is worried about you and that is fair enough, but it's sad how far some people get sucked into the hype.
  6. i'd be the 1st to suggest to give it up since you have "family obligations" and it's just not about you anymore. however, **** me! you could be hit crossing the road or driving a car or the list is endless...

    all i gotta say is, family responsibilities come first.

    take out life in$urance to appease some concern?
  7. life insurance and get her on the back of the bike.

    talk her through the list of as above was stated, stats from cancers etc verses bike accidents versus car accidents - verses people crossing the street.

    good luck.
  8. There's a few options you could do to help her -

    Invest in some rider training to show her you're serious about being safe
    ATGATT helps too
    if you're really keen to keep riding look at doing track days - take her to a couple
    make sure you hold life insurance / total & permanent disability insurance (check to see riding is covered by the policy) - holding it inside your super may make it more affordable for you

    with the insurance make sure you are properly covered -
    cover all debts
    replace possible lost income to retirement age
    include some for education of the kids
    include some for medical expenses and replacement of motor vehicles

    I did all this before even getting my bike - it covered my family for a worse case scenario financially.

    just some thoughts that may help :)
  9. Good luck to you my man. It took me close to 3 years of constant bickering to finally get my wife to accept me to get a bike. Even now every now and then she still tells me to stop riding but no where near as staunchly against as she was in the lead up to me getting it.
  10. This is where the propaganda campaign is having an effect.

    Lets have a look at the realities. About 145,000 people die in Australia every year. About 250 of them die in motorcycle crashes. There are about 625,000 motorcycles registered in Australia. So the odds are 2,500 to 1 in a given year (as opposed to about 15,000 to 1 for other vehicle types).

    About 30,000 of the total deaths are what we might call 'pre-mature deaths' ie. significantly under the average life expectancy. So the chances of being taken out young on a bike compared to something else are less than 1%. And that's only if you DO die early.

    There are so many more significant things to worry about than riding, things that are FAR more likely to get you. The real question has to be not what kind of death you will have, but what kind of life.
  11. ...and then read the beating the odds link in my sig and become a statistical outlier rider.
  12. I got the same thing recently, after attending a funeral for a mate who died on his bike. I am lucky I guess, the wife does not like it, but she tolerates it. Funny enough, it was not just the wife and her family, it was also a lot of my mates giving me a hard time.

    But, not wanting to put you off, you need to make the decision of whats worth more to you, your riding or your wife and kids. At the end of the day, cancer and car death statistics are not the same as motorbikes, you are still partaking in a high risk activity.

    I convinced my wife and friends that although I am in the highest risk age category that I ride safe, always wear the gear and have been on 2 wheels for a fair amount of time now. You have to ride smart, assume that you cannot be seen and don't take stupid risks. Riders all do dumb shit from time to time, just got reduce that. I am always telling my wife things like how I used to get angry when cut off, now I just back off shake my head and continue on my way. Stuff like that really reinforces the safety message.

    As zaphod also said, training helps too. I do refresher courses quite a bit. Have not done any track days yet but plan too.

    And don't use the life insurance line. Your wife is not with you for money. Life insurance payouts are no substitute human companionship. This does not mean you should not have life insurance though.
  13. I'm bemused by some of the comments about 'family commitments' and 'risk leaving your kids without a dad'.

    I didn't start riding road bikes until after I was married and had kids. Now my wife rides and so does our eldest son. The youngest son regularly pillions with me and will no doubt ride himself. It can be a fun family activity, with the added bonus of not being able to hear them say "Are we there yet?".

    Have you actually taken your wife for a ride yet? Or does she absolutely refuse to?

    If YOU want to ride a road bike, then ride a road bike. The only question you really have to ask yourself is, "Will my wife leave me if I ride a bike?".

    Oh, as for the in-laws, who cares, you're not married to them.
  14. My Dad died when I was a kid after he had an off, it's not a bunch of fun for the kids, and honestly something I wouldn't consider doing if I had kids of my own. Life insurance doesn't really compensate.
  15. I have no doubt that these decisions are harder with kids.

    You can't, even if you wanted to, live a risk-free life.
    EVERYBODY balances risk and pleasure in their personal decisions (did she just eat a chocolate eclair? Doesn't she KNOW it increases risk of cardiovascular disease??)
    Yes the risk is higher than car, but probably not as high as she imagines (see above stats).
    And you can manage this risk: max body armour, high viz everything, insurance, skills courses, abs brakes, whatever. And perhaps less demonstrable to wife, but most importantly, riding attitude.
  16. er, .... mine say's it's perfectly OK for me to ride as long as I've got life insurance... :-s
  17. That's fine, that's your choice based on your experiences.

    My eldest sister died in a car accident (she was driving) when I was 12. Trust me, that wasn't a whole lot of fun either. My mum died from cancer when I was 17, my dad died from renal failure after years of heart problems when I was 30. That wasn't much fun either. I've had mates killed in car and bike accidents but, guess what, I still smoke, ride bikes, drive cars and have been known to have a rum or 3. It hasn't stopped me from living my life the way I want to.

    As callous as it may sound, yes it's sad and devastating when a loved one dies, regardless of the circumstances, and you never actually get over it. But shit happens and you only get one chance at life, you may as well enjoy it has much as you can.
  18. A study in the UK about 20 years ago showed that the sudden death of a parent was a lot less traumatic for kids (or, at least, had fewer negative, long term effects) than a drawn out and messy divorce.

    I married a rider, so I can't really offer much practical advice. Regardless of that, were my wife to die (perish the thought), I'd have to contemplate giving up riding until JuniorB leaves home. Losing one parent would be bad enough. I wouldn't unnecessarily increase the risk of her losing both.

    Most relationships require compromise. Most relationships have an area or two where one or other partner is, basically, selfish. In a healthy relationship, these should be reasonably evenly balanced between both partners. Yes, it's probably selfish for you to ride. However, it's also selfish of your wife to want you to give up something that means so much to you. One of you is going to be the losing party.

    Maybe suggest she takes up skydiving, then you'll be even :grin:?
  19. That would be sad and tough growing up...and I can relate to that in a way.

    However I still see the scenario of the OP based on fear and control.
    I would never let myself get into a position where there wasn't room for compromise, and that's to do with ANY hobby/passion/past time.
  20. OR

    "sure, honey, i'll gladly give up the bike when you start swallowing as well as taking it in the pooper! LOL

    Oh, to be tied down...