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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thin Blood - Part 2

A couple of days ago I wrote about the non-motorcycling masses who think that motorcycles are nothing more than a death wish on wheels. As I reflected on what I had written I realized that there was another side to this coin. There were motorcyclists who think the same way.

You know who I'm talking about already. The ones who wouldn't venture down to the corner drug store without their 'Stich, Schuberth helmet, and communicator. Their rallying cry is, "Dress for the crash, not the ride!" And then congratulate themselves knowingly when it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. 

They arm themselves with CE armor, Kevlar skid patches, and all number of helmet certifications. They load there bikes with modulating headlamps and tail lights. They rewind their alternators so they can add fog lights and running lamps. God forbid they should not have gauntlets with armored knuckles!

They have their own Uncle Henry stories. They know a guy, who knows a guy, who saw a YouTube video of a rider that hit a deer and lived because he was padded like a toddler in a snow suit.

I'm not saying I'm ready to join the squids riding in t-shirts and flip flops. Or the cruiser crowd with only fringe vests and fiberglass yarmulkes. But spare me the condescending looks when I take my Bonneville out for a ride on rural roads in a jacket and jeans. I don't want to have to spend 30 minutes getting my special boots on with my special suit and my special gloves, I just want to go for a ride!

Why, Horrors!, I even go out without a helmet (legal in CT) sometimes. When I started riding in my carefree youth I didn't even think about owning a helmet. That was for racers and really fast guys. Besides, I couldn't afford one on my paper route budget. Now I can afford what I want and own several helmets but I still like the breeze in my face once in a while and hit the road au natural.

Frankly, I think all the safety freaks are a pain. It's just a fetish and a costume. Another clique with a feeling of superiority. You see them at rallies, standing to the side, making snarky comments about passing bikers who don't live up to their anal compulsions. Almost as if they wish the others would have an accident to justify their precepts.

Not everyone with a concern for safety is in this group but blinking headlights are for bicycles and day glow vests are for construction workers. Wear them if you want but leave the attitude at home.


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