I’ve definitely had days where I get in the car instead. If the mood’s not right, it’s not right to be on two wheels, and your feelings are evidence in that direction. There was a string of moto/bicyclist killings about a month ago that had me skirting the bike for a while. I, personally, didn’t feel comfortable on a motorcycle after reading about one more cyclist killed by a wayward driver, day after day. After all, we ride for transportation, for excitement, for fun, but not to die.
Like briderdt, courage in my book is perseverance in the face of fear, not the absence of fear. That said, you have to remember that pushing forth to your goal in the face of your fear should only be done when the goal is one you care deeply about. I would say that riding so as not to be overcome with fear is potentially misguided if riding a motorcycle is not an important part of who you are.
The fact: riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, but not because lots of motorcyclists die every year. As briderdt said, that’s largely a function of idiots behind the bars of bikes they can’t handle. It’s dangerous because in the event of an accident, your life is entirely out of your hands. If you’re in a safe car and you’re as vigilant as we motorcyclists have to be, your chances of dying by freak accident are very small. You might get in plenty of accidents, but the cage will protect you. Hell, I was rear-ended at a stop light by a retard going 50mph, and I stepped out of my car without a scratch.
I, personally, would also agree with the sentiment that now (I’m about your age) is the time to do your motorcycling. I don’t pass judgment on those who raise families while carrying on their riding careers, but I personally couldn’t bear the thought of taking any more risks than I had to while a new mother and young kids were waiting at home. Again, I know plenty of responsible individuals who have done so, but I’m not inclined to press my luck, and I think it’s reasonable of you to feel that way if you do.
That said, I ride a motorcycle. A lot. So despite all the semi-gloomy things I’ve said, it’s really all in the spirit not kidding myself. As cheesy as it sounds, you need to figure out what you really want, figure out how much that’s worth to you, and act accordingly. All of us here chose to keep riding in the face of any uncomfortable feelings. But that was our choice. Make your own.
Finally, as SantaCruz pointed out, experience, practice, and development of skills will likely allay many of your fears.