Blood, Sweat & 2nd Gear
by flash gordon, m.d.
Dimensions (inches): 6 x 9 (15.2 x 22.9 cm)
Whitehorse Press, 2007
224 pages, B&W sketches and illustrations
Book Review by "Burn"
First things first: Yep, that's his real name, and
it's spelled correctly.
flash gordon, m.d., also known as "Doc flash" has
been curing patients and kicking around online since before many of our readers were born, I dare say.
1980 was a long time ago -- even though it seems like
just yesterday to some -- and the Doc was there, on a
DOS-based bulletin board, dispensing advice and shooting
He's been a motorcycle rider since 1961 and has been
commuting by bike pretty much on a regular basis since
1978, and I think it's fair to say that flash gordon,
m.d. is now regarded as "our" premier physician, medical
spokesperson and all-around medical advice dispenser for
the motorcycling community. He's a true "Doctor of
I first discovered the Doc through his occasional
contributions to the Internet
BMW Riders forum about 8-9 years ago. He's also
well known for his long-running column entitled "Medical
Motorcycling", which appears monthly in Motorcycle
Consumer News, and before that for his work with the
well-regarded Citybike Magazine in northern California.
Doc flash currently resides in San Francisco, and his
outlook on life and how he's put that into practice
(both literally and figuratively) reminds me very much
"Free Clinic" days back in the '60's and '70's in The Haight,
where sharing and helping was simply the right thing to
do and the way things would always be.
I was there, and I look back upon that time with great fondness
and joy, and I often wonder what happened to so
distort our peaceful outlook from that time and has
brought us to the "me only" world we live in today.
But that's neither here nor there: Doc flash, for
one, is still carrying the torch, and I'm glad of it.
It's wonderful to have a real, live Medical Doctor who
is also an avid motorcyclist to help and guide us and
who is so willing to share.
Some may think that a thirst for medical information
is a curious thing for motorcyclists to desire.
But I'm not so sure -- maybe it's because motorcyclists live in a more edgy
environment than the average white-bread working stiff?
Or maybe it's because we subconsciously understand the
fine line on which we balance bliss and happiness with a
handful of throttle with the hovering consequences of a
split-second lapse in judgment?
I have always been surprised at how popular Doc
flash's Medical Motorcycling columns have become and the
monthly feedback and letters to the editor that respond
to his writings. His first book, "Blood, Sweat and
Gears" was published in 1995, and was a compilation of
his funny and witty columns. That book became so
popular that Whitehorse Press followed up with the
recent "2nd Gear" edition, which has just been
Blood, Sweat & 2nd Gear isn't my idea of a book to
read before dousing the light on the nightstand, but
it's packed with clear and useful information that's
very easy to read and understand -- and all of it is
related to motorcycling.
Chapters have titles like "Injuries Caused by
Accidents" and "Potential Troubles on the Road" and
there's more tips on long-distance travel, the emotional
impact of riding and fitness. Anyone contemplating
a motorcycle adventure or multi-day trip would be
well-served to study some of Doc's tips, and maybe even
carry a copy on board.
For example, do you really know how to handle the
medical situation that might arise after a fall?
Or the causes of back problems, wrist ache, eye problems
and their cures? How about carpal tunnel syndrome
and problems caused by handlebar vibration? Or
when it's ok to choke down an Ibuprofen vs. when it's
time to check in to the 24-hour clinic?
of course, the all-time favorite: a chapter on farting,
causes and cures and a digression on their
relationship to modern textile motorcycle clothing!
The best part about the book is the Doc's
conversational writing tone and his ability to make
complex medical information accessible to everyone.
This is no-nonsense, practical advice that should be
immediately useful to any motorcyclist.
The only nit I will pick is that there are many
suggestions for remedies, useful medical items and accessories
sprinkled throughout the book, but there are no links or
information on where to obtain these. It would
have been nice to either include an addendum or a "For
More Information" section.
And it also might have been nice to include some
color photos, which I sort of expected expect in a book that costs
But overall, I think "Blood, Sweat & 2nd Gear" is a
useful addition to a serious motorcyclist's library, and
I do think that many of the tips and tricks can help
riders become more comfortable and hopefully have a
longer-lasting motorcycle riding career.
"Flaming Helmet" Book
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