Rid­ing off-road ve­hi­cles not the safest thing, but nei­ther is the shower

Cape Breton Post - - COMMENT -

Pop quiz: name three celebri­ties who have died in ski­ing ac­ci­dents. Now try to do the same for celebri­ties who have died rid­ing an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle.

Ski­ing car­ries a sta­tis­ti­cally equal risk to off-road ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tion, while swim­ming is many times more danger­ous.

All out­door ac­tiv­i­ties carry some risk. What ad­vice should Dr. Chris Mil­burn (ATVs Too Danger­ous for Pub­lic to Sup­port, Let­ters, Jan. 19) have of­fered the fam­i­lies of the three Detroit marathon par­tic­i­pants who died in last year’s event?

There are those who be­lieve that rid­ing an off-road ve­hi­cle of­fers lit­tle phys­i­cal ben­e­fit. I re­call once a new rider at a lo­cal mo­tocross track. He pulled off the track af­ter two laps, parked the bike and col­lapsed on the ground from ex­haus­tion.

Af­ter catch­ing his breath, he told the other rid­ers he thought hockey was a much bet­ter sport be­cause he could con­tinue to smoke cigarettes and play hockey. If he wanted to race mo­tor­bikes, he would have to give up smok­ing.

I sus­pect that more chil­dren are ul­ti­mately harmed due to a seden­tary life­style and the cu­mu­la­tive neg­a­tive ef­fects of that on their health. What does Dr. Mil­burn say to par­ents of over­weight chil­dren who de­velop di­a­betes be­fore they are legally able to drive a car?

I would not try to con­vince any­one that rid­ing an ATV or mo­tor­cy­cle is the safest thing a per­son can do. But, sta­tis­ti­cally, nei­ther is tak­ing a shower.

I re­spect a per­son’s right to make his or her own de­ci­sions and to en­gage in any rea­son­able ac­tiv­ity that pro­vides ex­er­cise and the op­por­tu­nity to get away from the com­puter screen and get out­side for some ac­tiv­ity. Todd Gra­ham Syd­ney

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