Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I had some disturbing news this week. I was checking my e-mail on Monday and caught a quick line in one of the messages that Larry Grodsky had been in a motorcycle accident in Texas and been killed. I did not know him personally, but I enjoyed his articles in Rider magazine each month and he was a well known rider coach. I imagined that I would take one of his courses in the future and he seemed like he would be a cool guy to hang it with. He was a Pittsburgher - so we probably had two passions in common.

I wanted to corroborate this news but could find nothing on Google besides a death notice for a Lawrence Grodsky, 55 of Squirrel Hill on April 8th. Hmm, that seems to fit but I wanted to know more about what happened. This was Mr. Safety, what possibly could have happened?

I finally found some posts on the BMW Georgia board and they seemed to be in the same position as me. Saddened, shocked, and curious.

I finally had a chance to follow up on this some more today and found the Rider magazine write up on Larry.

I would imagine that there will be more info coming out on the exact circumstances. I have discovered that most riders have a slightly morbid curiosity of how accidents happen and the results. I think it is a combination of innate curiosity, a desire to learn from other's mistakes, and to try train ourselves by going over how we would react in a certain situation. There are inherent increased risks in choosing to ride a motorcycle, but we all try to minimize these. We also rationalize them to a degree since you could die doing a million other "safe" things. The joy and pleasure that riding brings seems to outweigh the potential risks.

When someone who is considered to be one of the bests is killed doing what he does best, it is pause for thought. Several thoughts hit your brain at once: "At least he died doing what he loved." "Wow, if it can happen to Larry, it surely can happen to me." "That sucks." "He will be missed." "What a shame." All this went through my head and more, but I still rode to Columbus from Cleveland on Monday and Tuesday this week. I may have kept a closer eye out for deer, but what can you do if one decides to leap at that exact horrible moment.

Bottom line? This saddening little nugget of information will remain a placeholder in the back of my brain. I will be a little sad this week and in the future when I think of it. I will continue to ride and be the safest rider I can be. Like poker, there is always the challenge of bettering yourself and learning something new. There is risk and reward, choice and consequence. They both also bring me a lot of excitement and pleasure when done well.

Enjoy your play and Ride Safe.


D said...

Be safe when riding...Everyday this week on the news has been motorcycle rider killed in an accident. No joke, even a professor at my school was killed this week. I suspect it more common here than back home in the D because of the helmet law and the generally terrible drivers of florida. I do not doubt in the least that it is the car that is at fault in most of the accidents down here. Reason I am not getting a bike until back in detroit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steeler Josh,

I just heard the news that Larry Grodsky died ... and while searching the net to find out more I found your blog, its cool! I knew him, he taught me how to ride safely and did so having fun and making the fun part infectous... he was also my claim to fame, cause he had my comments that I never thought that I could learn soo much in so little time spending 2 days with him on his website. His articles in Rider magazine where my favourite read. He is also a hero for me not just because he has probably saved my life or at least limbs because I have avoided accidents from his teachings, but he did that for countless other people ... Larry had purpose, he did good and he died doing what he loved best,... here's a toast to a good man missed.

Christoph Leibrecht