Not my writings. But I do agree. It’s a lovely sunny day and you’re riding along on your favourite twisty bit of road, minding your own business, and just chillin’. Suddenly, and before you are able to do anything about it, a motorcycle coming the other way goes down, slides across into your path and takes you out. Oh dear. “Shit happens”, say all your ‘friends’ on social media who have been made privy to the event. “It’s no-one’s fault, or maybe it’s a little of the other guy’s fault,” they also say. “But it’s certainly not yours, bro!” I beg to differ. And I beg to differ because it is your fault. It’s the other guy’s fault too. And certainly, the cops might charge him with Negligent Driving, and if he’s insured, you should be able to get your bike fixed, and maybe get some Third Party monetary compensation down the track if you’re injured. No big deal, huh? Remember shit happens, right? It’s just the kind of thing you can comfort yourself with while your spleen is re-growing, and your bones are getting used to their new titanium inserts, isn’t it? You’d hardly even spare a thought about whether you should accept any part of the blame for this shit happening, would you? Well, you should. Because you are also responsible for what happened. I know that taking personal responsibility for yourself and what happens to you while riding a motorcycle is not a very popular concept. You only have to see the responses on social media should such an idea be injected into an accident thread to know we live in a time when the happening of shit is no-one’s responsibility. After all, how could it be? It is shit and it is happening. Always apropos of nothing, it would seem. The bike went out of control. The road surface was dodgy. That’s a dangerous corner. The front-end just tucked. The back-end just lost traction. Gee, I hate to break it to you but bikes do not go out of control by themselves, front-ends do not tuck because they suddenly feel like it, and back-ends have never once become sentient enough to lose traction of their own volition. Corners are just corners with not one single corner being any more or less dangerous than the any other one. And road surfaces vary all the time and change constantly, which if you spent any time actually riding your bike anywhere other than the same over-policed stretch of road each weekend, you would know this. But to acknowledge any of that, would be to acknowledge your personal responsibility for what happens to you on a bike, and so many people are not good with that. Just such an incident as I described occurred on the Old Pacific Highway this past weekend. In will not surprise you to know that such things occur on the Old Pacific Highway on most weekends. It is for that reason that the police frequent the Old Pacific Highway and it is for that reason the speed limit on what was once a glorious bit of road has been reduced to 60km/h. Of course, this does not stop legions of Sydney riders from going there every weekend. They crash, they get booked, they get defected, they complain about all of that and also about everyone else ruining it for them, and so on and so forth. But still they go there. Because, I presume Australia is such a small country and rather limited when it comes to places to go riding. So up the Old Pac they go. If they’re lucky, there’ll be a few hobby photographers snapping amateur shots of their immense riding skills, and posting the results up on Facebook and Instagram. Happy days. If they’re unlucky (which is what they tell themselves when shit happens), then someone else on a bike will overcook a corner and run into them, and bits of everything will explode and there will be crying, and wailing, and social media comfort and outrage. But what there will not be is any acknowledgement of responsibility by the bloke who was minding his own business and got nailed by some bloke who lost it in a corner. After all, if I choose to go riding on a road that is teeming with all kinds of fools on bikes, chased by all kinds of bastards in cops cars, then I cannot be held to blame for someone losing it on a corner and running into me can I? Actually, not only can I be held responsible for that. I must be held responsible for that. And I must accept the responsibility for what happens. I chose to ride on that road. And I chose to ride at the speed and in the manner in which I was riding, knowing full well that lots of people with varied skill sets are all riding in the same place as I am, and that incidents like the one described happen all the time on that road. Short of an asteroid or a Cessna landing on your head as you’re riding along, everything that happens on the road to you is your responsibility. You chose to ride motorcycles, didn’t you? You knew it was a dangerous thing to do, didn’t you? You chose to do it anyway, didn’t you? Good for you. It’s the best thing in the world, precisely because it is fraught with peril. Now just grow up a little bit and take responsibility for what happens to you.