This article was originally printed in the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club monthly newsletter.

Out and About - Victim of Circumstance? or Victim as a Consequence!, by Steven Rossi

The local TV news went something like this: "Last night, at approximately 10:38 PM, John Doe was killed in a single vehicle accident. It appears he lost control of his motorcycle, when it left the road. No other vehicles were involved." The report got me do you really lose control of a motorcycle?

Certainly, there could have been extenuating circumstances-"John Doe" may have been trying to avoid an obstacle or perhaps an animal on the road. He could have been cut-off by a four wheeler or suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure-maybe a blow-out. The road surface could, in fact, have really been to blame - say, a new construction zone...that had been inadequately marked? Or fresh oil might have accidentally been dropped...if not antifreeze, from somebody's blown radiator hose, laying in wait? Maybe he just nodded off-it happens-and when your number's up, it's up. In the words of Webster, truly...and most horrifically..."John Doe" may have indeed been an unfortunate victim of circumstance.

On the other hand, at that time of night, perhaps he just left the local gin mill after a long day at the salt mine. Judging by the number of machines that are routinely lined up in front of so many hometown Good Time Charley's every evening, it could have been the cause-since the guys are usually not in there drinking Shirley Temples. Maybe he was simply riding too fast for the conditions (like the dark), or his tire blew-because it was bald. Or that catastrophic mechanical failure was the result of the bad bearing that should have been replaced...10,000 miles ago. Even that ill-fated oil could have come from his own machine's weeping seal-that finally let go. Was "John Doe", in fact, really a victim as a consequence?

Long story short-riding a motorcycle brings both risk and responsibility. "John Doe" could very well have lost control of his motorcycle...or in fact, he may have unwittingly given it away. We'll never know, though either or-the end result was the same. He was a victim-if not in the literal sense, certainly in the figurative. Don't you be. Riding responsibly is your best defense. And while you may not be able to avoid circumstance, please (please) don't become a consequence.

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