I bought my first motorcycle in 1957 while stationed at Charleston AFB, South Carolina. That was my first of 11 machines in 52 accident-free years. But I’ve had some very close calls, one being blowing a front tire at 70 mph.

In 1980 or 1981 Barb and I rented a room for the night in Challis, Idaho. Everyone was still talking about a group, a club, riding parade-style that very day. Someone experienced a problem. It became everyone’s problem and two riders lost their lives that afternoon.

While it’s exciting to ride parade-style, many things are left to chance – a small chunk of dirt in the fuel line, a flake of carbon shorting out a spark plug, a flat tire. And that doesn’t address the human factors – a bug in the eye, a hornet in someone’s jacket, or the guy coming from the other direction.

No one has provided an answer for why the seven marines were killed in New Hampshire Friday. But I’m assuming they were riding in military formation. Someone experienced a problem and in the blink of an eye it became collective.