MN Motorcyclists Proving My Point

Look at this list of motorcycle crash descriptions from the past week:

  • About 4 p.m. Sunday, a motorcyclist ran off the road and hit a tree on Minnesota 113 near Wallace Road in Becker County. The condition of the driver was not released Sunday night.

  • Also Sunday, a Mankato man was injured at 12:19 p.m. when his 2014 Victory motorcycle hit a deer on Minnesota 16 west of Peterson in Fillmore County. Police say Mark Fromm, 59, was flown to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

  • On Saturday, a 55-year-old Oakdale woman who was a passenger on a 2006 Harley-Davidson was killed about 3:25 p.m. on U.S. 61 in Goodhue County when the motorcycle ran off the road and hit a sign. The State Patrol identified the woman as Janean Thielman, 55, of Oakdale. The driver, Joseph Frisch, 55, of Madelia, Minn., was seriously injured.

  • The driver of a 2006 Harley-Davidson and his passenger died about 3 p.m. Saturday when their motorcycle crossed over the center line on eastbound Minnesota 95 in Chisago County and struck another vehicle, triggering a three-car crash. Collin Orth, 35, of Milaca, and his passenger, Sara Orth, 34, of Milaca, died in the crash.

  • An Appleton, Wis., man and a female passenger on his 2014 Harley-Davidson were injured when the motorcycle struck a deer at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on southbound U.S. 53 in International Falls. Mark Natzke, 53, and his passenger, Tammy Natzke, 53, were transported to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

  • A fourth motorcyclist was killed earlier in the week after his 2013 Victory hit a deer about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on Minnesota 223 in Clearwater. The man was identified by the State Patrol as 61-year-old Richard Engen of Clearbrook.

While three of these crashes were hoofed rat related and were most likely not the fault of the riders, the rest were purely the fault of the motorcyclists, including the one non-single vehicle crash. It is so rare to find a motorcycle crash that isn’t 90-100% the fault of the motorcyclists involved that the whole “Start Seeing Motorcyclists” campaign is ludicrous. As I discovered in Colorado last week (Our Own Worst Enemies), the best reason to wartch for motorcycles is to keep from getting killed by idiots on motorcycles.

Yesterday was that kind of day in Red Wing. The Hogs were out in full force and wobbling between lanes as if they had no idea those lane marker lines meant anything important. In some ways, I’m not seriously mocking the riders. I don’t have any faith that I could ride a 900 pound hippobike competently. Which is why I ride a 275 pound dirt bike and a 375 pound standard. However, it always seems that the least competent rider among a group of 12 is the guy (or girl) on the biggest bike, demonstrating the least skills and ability, and whining about how dangerous traffic is.

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