Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Dark Side

Back in the days when all full time students had to do something extra-curricular (easy tiger), I was at college in Cardiff and the default option was rugby. Being a shandy-dinking southern Englander I could see this would end badly, so opted instead for philosophy with statistics: yes, really.

In essence this was the macro vs. micro, society vs. individuality, and actually came in damn handy when studying economics. You can understand it in the simply analogy that if you crash your bike you won't get to be a bit dead: you either go to meet your maker, or you don't. You might think it's your life, and I've got to go sometime, but it isn't necessarily that simple.
Years ago a buddy joined the police force, and on discovering he had a big, fast, late-model motorcycle, he got sent to break the bad news to widows, orphans and ex-parents. He quickly realised that if you hit a combine harvester at 120 per, you might just suffer a second of panic before the lights go out, but for a helluva lot of other people, from the paramedics through to the loved ones, and yes, to the copper watching hearts break, the suffering's just begun.
So my uniformed friend now has a Harley, and I (by-and-large) get by on classics. Bad stuff still happens, life's rarely fair, and one day the ferryman will get paid. But if it happens on a bike there is someone out there trying to help those left behind make sense of it.

Teresa Mills Davenport was widowed when hubby Rob died on his motorcycle, but is brave enough to want to turn her grief into something positive, by campaigning and offering support to others who find themselves in the same shoes. Naturally there's a website for the organisation she's set up to do this work, dying to ride and you might even come across it at a car show or school. Even if you or yours never need their help, if just one driver takes notice it might be you he doesn't hit.

And to finish on a brighter note, Pink Floyd have not only re-released all their stuff, they've hinted at a reunion gig. Every dark side has a bright side...

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