I love meeting people who ride motorcycles, and new riders are my favorites. Hearing their stories of the newness of it all and how they got into it is always fun. There is one part of it that I hate though.
It inevitably happens right after they tell me of a close call they had. I typically follow my nodding sagely and agreeing that they were lucky/skillful to avoid it with the comment “Good thing you wear full gear though.” Too often this is followed with some version of “Yes, well except I don’t have ____ .”(fill blank in with gloves, pants, jacket, boots and way too often a combination of them)
This leaves me with trying to encourage them to get gear with out yelling, or swearing, or any sort of reaction that I normally want to have. I need to stay calm and explain succinctly that gear is really important and necessary if you want to ride a motorcycle. I don’t want to preach at them, I want them to see me as a role model and respect me, but at the same time I want to get the idea of how important gear is.
The problem is that no one in their late teens or early twenties realizes that they can be hurt or killed. It’s almost as if it is hard wired into our brains that we are indestructible at these ages. I have no idea how we survived as a species, but that really does seem to be the case.
It takes lots of people telling you that riding a motorcycle means wearing proper gear before it sinks in. Which is why I get so annoyed at media when it doesn’t portray this. (which should be another post)
So, just in case you missed the point of this and are a new rider, you need to wear the following when you ride a motorized two wheeled vehicle.
These will either save your life, or make your injuries so much less significant in the event of a crash that you’re crazy if you don’t wear them.
I’ve gone down at freeway speeds and am still here to ride and write about motorcycles and I wouldn’t be able to if it wasn’t for proper gear.