Saturday, March 9, 2013

Risk vs Reward?

THAT is the question. 

Earlier today, we... as in a couple of my old time/long time motorcycle buddies went driving.  The purpose of the mission was to find some chaps for one of the guys.  I myself have been using leather chaps for most of my motorcycling career.  I really don't care how they may look, mine are pretty ratty from decades of use.  They've covered my off road gear in Baja, added a layer of wind cheating warmth along a wet Angeles Crest Highway coming into L.A.  They've even covered my legs throughout much of Europe.

Unlike most of my gear, the chaps get little TLC.  Occasionally I wash off the accumulated road grime and bugs, by their very definition they are after all, an overall outside protective layer of cowhide.  I've worn them over said off road gear, jeans of course, under a rain suit or over my leathers.  They fold into a little bundle that fits in a saddlebag, tank bag or under an available cargo net.  If I were to lose them at some point, they have served me incredibly and were a bargain had they been thrice the price!  I'd just get another pair.

It's Saturday morning... our plan (loosely defined) was to go 'that away' and find this guy that Mike had heard about, who was selling some surplus gear from his garage.  As often happens in these situations, we wound our way along mostly deserted PEI back roads, past snow covered fields, ice covered bays and under gray skies.  Snowmobile tracks not dirt trails crossed the highway.  Jamie (his real name) had a pair that fit Mike (also his real name) decently and he even threw in (at a discount) a black leather vest. Nevin (an obvious alias) at over 6 feet tall, wasn't successful in finding anything that fit.

Now Mike, who along with his wife, were students of mine many years ago, had then bought an SR 250 T model (anyone remember those?) Yamaha from my shop, Freedom Cycle.  Honest, I swear, since then, he's been simmering on the back burner about riding once again.  He still fondly remembers a back road ride on shop Virago's that we did one year. Like I have often said, once the MC bug has bit you, it never goes away.  It may hibernate for a long period, just waiting for the right conditions to once again breathe.

Like three boys let loose on a Saturday, we then headed into the "BIG SMOKE"... otherwise known as Charlottetown, to a leather store that carried some MC gear and before leaving, popped over to the local Yamaha shop to check out a Suzuki C90T that Nev just purchased.


There I spoke to a couple of chaps about our age, that were coming back into motorcycling.  It was great fun talking once again to gents in whom the bug was stirring.  Never tire of talking bikes.

Our fearless trio, stopped at Hunter River, where my favorite bakery/cafe is located, to sit, put some grub in our bellies and of course swap lies/stories.

During this discussion, the topic of Risk came up.

I can tell you that having been in the motorcycle training experience for so long, and most recently a financial adviser, this whole risk thing is some what misunderstood.  After all... in the financial industry, its a word that is often bandied about, mostly, in my humble opinion, to scare people. Investing in RBC stock is certainly a good thing, but officially it's classed as 'risky.'  I say, what's the chances of the Royal Bank of Canada going belly up.  Not too bloody likely, maybe the same as hell freezing over, or a nuclear exchange and in those cases... it ain't gonna make no difference anyway!

On the other hand... what's the reward? They do after all... make money, a LOT of money!

You could go over there and chat up that drop dead gorgeous woman that everyone is ogling.  What's the risk?  Well you could bomb for sure, on the other hand, what's the reward... at worst you gain some experience or at best... maybe she marries you!

MANY things we do everyday are risky.  Getting out of bed and going to work could be risky to some people.  Flying in a commercial jet is considered high risk for others, Riding a motorcycle in some people's view, is courting death.  Almost akin to suicide right!

Sure, sure... one has to always weigh the risk vs reward, every day.

"Should I get out from under the covers/strap on my Titan booster rocket/ride my bike?" 

Yet there is a certain reward associated with each of these said risks, isn't there.  Seeing the Milky Way or Mother Earth from a shuttle orbiter, would certainly class as a fine reward to some, but not all.  Riding your C90T with saddlebags loaded and only a blue sky and rising sun to guide you some where over the horizon is not for all, but for some... just as good perhaps as flying around the planet at 30,000 mph.

Point is... there ain't nothing free in life, period.  You could die tomorrow or even today from a hundred things you weren't counting on.  The only thing we know for certain is that LIFE, is finite and death (and taxes) guaranteed. 

Everything we do in life amounts to taking a risk.  Do you want to hide from that fact, or will you embrace it and start living today?


  1. Well at my work we take safety very seriously.
    In fact, I have developed a slogan that I use as a sort of mantra regarding saftey...

    Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt !

    Guess Who?