I was recently having a discussion with a returning rider about the risks one takes when riding. We were riding together and spent a lot of time discussing riding technique, roadcraft, legal requirements and risk factors. As I have been riding for only a year, but have done my best to depreciate my bike in that time, and he has barely ridden in the last 20 years (ah kids, what can you do?) we had some differing ideas on an appropriate risk level whilst riding. His stance was firmly that you should always be able to stop in the road you can see. I see the point to this, and it makes sense, but after riding together it became clear to me that there were many times where I couldn't have stopped in the road that was visible to me. Since doing that I have been hyper aware of this consideration when riding and have found that when I am 'riding hard' and pushing the boundaries a bit, I am regularly stepping out of his safety envelope. Thinking about it, when I am pushing the boundaries, I rely on something I call the Motorcyclist's Wager. I am betting, essentially with my life and wellbeing, that there won't be anything in my way. I am simply assuming that there won't be a patch of gravel, or oil, or a cage coming the other way in my lane. For that matter I am assuming there wont be a branch across the road, or a deer standing in my way, or some tourists who stopped their car in the road because they think there won't be anyone coming along this quiet country road whilst they take a selfie, or any other of the infinite parade of potential hazards to a motorcyclist out having the time of their life. All of that gives me pause to wonder. Intellectually I am not happy with that Wager, all for the momentary thrill I am risking everything I have in this extraordinarily lucky existence I lead. I know that it couldn't possibly be worth it should I end up permanently incapacitated or injured. And yet when I find myself out on my bike hauling it through a corner with the footpeg shrieking its protest, I can't help but look up and think 'I feel good about this corner, I can take it at this speed'. Now I want to know, what is your approach? We all know that this life choice we have made admits us to a special group, of like minded and (generally) approachable riders who are glad to be living life on two wheels. But we also accept that living life outside the cage has its risks. Do you always play it safe, are you always making sure you'll be there to ride another day? Or do you take the Motorcyclist's Wager, accepting that risk is the price we pay for knowing the joys of motorcycling?