When we advance from residency to become a practicing physician anesthesiologist, we often satisfy some long-delayed gratifications. For me in 1990, that was a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Once my Cleveland Clinic colleagues learned that I started riding a motorcycle, they pointedly asked for my healthy organs to transplant once I should inevitably crash. My quick response was, “If I crash and die, I will make sure it is at 2 a.m. so you all have to get out of bed to do the case!”

Many years of safe riding ensued with my wife accompanying me on BMW motorcycles around the world to Greece, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada and Alaska. In 2009, I planned a different kind of trip – to ride high-powered dirt bikes in Copper Canyon, Mexico, with a group of fellow high-testosterone motorcycle enthusiasts.

As a type-A personality, I chose the most powerful bike to beat the...

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