A couple of things have bothered me recently. One was a tingling in my left arm and vertigo, especially after some rigorous bicycle riding and the other about distracted drivers in Chicago.
The first item involved a neurologist at Rush Hospital where we went over a number of items. I knew that I had a stenosis (narrowing) in my neck, but she indicated that it was pretty severe and was becoming more acute by wearing a heavy helmet, i.e. for motorcycling, not for bicycling. My problems while riding my bike were most likely caused by the way my neck was positioned riding in a crouched manner with my neck bent looking at the path ahead — always a good idea on a heavily travelled path. The killer was when she advised that I should be prepared to be paralyzed from the neck down should I have even a mild accident.
For the past few years I have been bothered by distracted drivers. A key factor in most accidents is the “I didn’t see the motorcycle” excuse. It used to be taxi drivers looking for a fare that cut off everyone, but now it seems that virtually every driver is looking down or talking. It’s hard to avoid traffic when you live right in the middle of downtown Chicago. Although I felt safe on most traffic free roads, even the expressways with high speed (and I do mean high speed) traffic was a concern. Just this factor alone was causing me to think twice about my relatively new experiences over the past few years.
The medical and emotional concerns combined to make the decision to quit riding motorcycles. I still belong to the Chaiway Riders and attend breakfasts and may be the sag wagon on a trip or two, but no more riding. It still leaves a pit in my stomach to see everyone ride off to hills and scenic roads.