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Reality check for young males with a death-wish?

By Dacquiri - 7 April 2013 43

As I was waiting for the lights to change at Belconnen Way & Coulter Drive this afternoon, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a dark-haired male cyclist wheeling through the intersection. What particularly caught my attention was that he wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. A quick double-take confirmed something even more startling: the cyclist was my 25 yr old son — who seems to make a practice of riding his motorcycle wearing jeans and street shoes, despite owning Draggin’ jeans and motorcycle boots.

The obvious question is: ‘Do you have a death-wish, or are you just immature and stupid?’ This doesn’t seem to be terribly effective, however; nor are photographs of other riders’/cyclists’ injuries, which are not perceived as remotely related to him. His usual excuse for the cavalier attitude is some version of ‘couldn’t be bothered’ (eg, ‘Takes too much time).

I understand that possession of a certain amount of male bravery and courage has served humanity well when we lived in caves and young males needed to take risks in order to slay wooly mammoths and fight off attacking tribes. However, given that we are now talking about completely unnecessary risks which can and do result in horrific and life-changing injuries or death, can someone please suggest a way to impress upon young males that complete disregard for their own safety is really not cool?

What’s Your opinion?


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43 Responses to
Reality check for young males with a death-wish?
loosebrown 2:55 pm 07 Apr 13

Masquara said :

When did you stop the taxi service for your drunken kid that you wrote about last year? You were very unkeen to get him to take responsibility for getting himself home after drinking, so is it any surprise that he is irresponsible and stupid in his mid 20s, and that you are having to angst about him at a stage when a parent should be sitting back and watching their mature adult offspring do well? Are you – alas – reaping what you sowed?

Aren’t you a nasty piece of work.

Genie 1:06 pm 07 Apr 13

I tend to “people watch” while I’m on the bus heading into the city… It amazes me the amount of cyclists that ride down Northbourne ave with a helmet on… However said helmet isn’t buckled up.

Morons in my opinion.

Masquara 12:54 pm 07 Apr 13

When did you stop the taxi service for your drunken kid that you wrote about last year? You were very unkeen to get him to take responsibility for getting himself home after drinking, so is it any surprise that he is irresponsible and stupid in his mid 20s, and that you are having to angst about him at a stage when a parent should be sitting back and watching their mature adult offspring do well? Are you – alas – reaping what you sowed?

Minz 12:20 pm 07 Apr 13

When living in an northern hemisphere city with a big cycling population, I got used to seeing unhelmeted riders but was still surprised to see a unhelmeted woman riding on a busy street during a snowstorm – and whilst dinkying her young daughter (no child seat or helmet either!), Apparently poor decision-making not just restricted to young men… or perhaps she actually did have a good reason for doing so.

I tried riding without a helmet there when hiring bikes, but it just felt wrong… wouldn’t do it myself under normal circumstances.

artuoui 12:10 pm 07 Apr 13

arescarti42 said :

“Can someone please suggest a way to impress upon young males that complete disregard for their own safety is really not cool?”

But if I remember right, it was cool! I wouldn’t think of doing half of the dumb stuff I did in my twenties, but I remember it all seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ultimately, you’d worry just as much about the ones that never did anything risky or stupid.

PrinceOfAles 12:09 pm 07 Apr 13

poetix said :

A middle-aged woman who lives near us, mother to several children, rides her bike without a helmet.

I saw her the other day on Northbourne Avenue.

Stupidity is not gender specific, or even confined to a particular age.

Your son is an adult. It’s his choice.

Your last sentence sums it up quite nicely. Let the man make his own decisions.

bundah 11:51 am 07 Apr 13

Ah the freedom of riding a motorbike wearing shorts,t-shirt and thongs must feel so liberating until one has an altercation with the bitumen.Unfortunately risk-taking seems to be hard-wired into one’s psyche and your son is no exception and undoubtedly has a mind of his own.One can only hope that he eventually comes to his senses and doesn’t learn the hard way!

Roundhead89 11:50 am 07 Apr 13

I grew up riding a bike without a helmet. During the 1970s and ’80s helmets were non-existent. Then along came Stackhats and a huge campaign claiming that bike riding was dangerous and you had to wear a helmet. The politicians responded with laws compelling the wearing of helmets. So we had a sledgehammer response to a non-existent problem. How many people have given up bike riding because of the stupid helmet law? Probably many, victims of our PC and cotton wool society.

andym 11:44 am 07 Apr 13

Please ensure he has completed and is carrying his organ donor card.

poetix 11:26 am 07 Apr 13

A middle-aged woman who lives near us, mother to several children, rides her bike without a helmet. I saw her the other day on Northbourne Avenue.

Stupidity is not gender specific, or even confined to a particular age.

Your son is an adult. It’s his choice.

screaming banshee 11:21 am 07 Apr 13

I’ve been to many get togethers where parents let their kids ride around without helmets, I’ve seen many parents that don’t wear helmets riding down a path with their kids who are and almost every family we see on the paths ride straight across road crossings rather than get off and walk.

How does anyone expect our kids to grow up doing the right thing when we give them so many bad examples as they grow up.

Get his mates to shave his hair off and a helmet will seem pretty attractive, especially as the weather cools down

arescarti42 11:11 am 07 Apr 13

“Can someone please suggest a way to impress upon young males that complete disregard for their own safety is really not cool?”

You should’ve run him over with your car a little when you had the chance at the traffic lights. That’d teach him.

blub said :

Anyone who rides a motorcycle has a death wish. If you crash wearing the right gear won’t save your life. The right gear will only assist for slow speed crashes saving you from ripping your skin off.

Yawn. Motorcycling is like any other dangerous activity in life, it’s all about avoiding and mitigating risk.

Take walking across the street for example. If you don’t look for cars when you cross the street, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get seriously injured or die every time you try to do it. But no one is saying you should never cross the street, because you can take actions such as looking for cars, which reduce the risk of you dying dramatically.

If you ride drunk, speed, don’t wear protective gear, and don’t pay attention, then yes, you have a death wish. If you wear the right gear, ride carefully, and anticipate the shitty driving of others around you, you’ll be just fine.

jessieduck 10:10 am 07 Apr 13

Hang on, I’m confused. Are we talking a motorcycle or a bicycle? Your story says both but which one was at the intersection?

If it’s a bicycle then he’s stupid. If it’s motorcycle then he is a lot worse and I’d call crime stoppers and dob him in to get the message through.

Surely at 25 he’s got half a clue by now?

gungsuperstar 9:53 am 07 Apr 13

Whilst it’s not what you want to hear, the answer lies somewhere in the theory of natural selection…

Failing that – make a police a report.

blub 9:45 am 07 Apr 13

Anyone who rides a motorcycle has a death wish. If you crash wearing the right gear won’t save your life. The right gear will only assist for slow speed crashes saving you from ripping your skin off.

For the record I used to ride, so must have a death wish. Riding with the right gear on is hard, Canberra has the worst climate for riding, too hot in summer so riding in shorts and a tshirt is more comfortable, but the whole time you hope you don’t crash! That’s why I stopped riding here.

As for cycling with no helmet. I’m not one to get angry, but every time I see that I feel like yelling at the person. I stacked it slow speed a couple years ago, and strongly believe I’d be dead if it wasn’t for the helmet, now split which I keep as a reminder.

I don’t think some people will learn unless they actually injure themselves. Even then, some will persist with the behaviour.

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