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Live Longer by Riding a Motorcycle (sort of)

When I tell people I ride a motorcycle, they're either really excited (because they ride too), or horrified that I would take such careless risks with my life. Just how dangerous is motorcycle riding, though? Before I bought my first bike I did some research and came to the conclusion: not very.

Let's look at the data.

In 2006, there were 35 motorcycle deaths per 100 million miles of distance traveled by motorcyclist. That means that, on average, for me to die riding a motorcycle, I'd have to ride 2.8 million miles, assuming I'm an average rider. Last year I rode somewhere around 1000 miles, giving me a .035% chance of death.

That's a lot of riding, and not a lot of death.

The Farmington Canyon Story, where the moral is to slow down and wear your seatbelt

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Farmington Canyon, Utah, around 10 years ago.

One of the first semi-serious girlfriends I ever had - let's call her Alice - had a really wonderful family, and we all got along famously.

They were work-hard, play-hard, really good people. They were Catholic, and there's sort of a Catholic solidarity in Utah, especially out in the suburbs.

Utah is overwhelmingly of the Mormon religion, and most non-Mormons feel stifled by it.

Now, as I get older, I come to appreciate the Mormon religion more. They're big believers in family, self-discipline, good habits, service, hard work and lots of reflection. But some of the rules are rather stifling to non-Mormons - no drinking, no smoking, no caffeine, no R-rated movies. Also, they're incredibly warm and friendly people, but at least in Utah, there's an undercurrent of being wary about associating too closely with non-Mormons outside of trying to convert them.

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