Gear or No Gear?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by tehshocker, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. tehshocker

    tehshocker New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,038
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SlC YUTAH
    May be a repost, but then again it may be sticky worthy. You decide.

    Found this on a messageboard, thought it was a good read....all bikers should read it ;0

    Riding Without Gear - A Personal Choice
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Riding without boots and crashing might cost you some road rash or foot mash or even in an extreme case might lead to amputation. You might never walk without a limp. You might battle a weight and fitness problem for the rest of your life. You might never walk with pain. But it probably wouldn't kill you.

    Riding without gloves and crashing might cost you some road rash or a Munched hand or the severe, excrutiating pain of mangling a body part rich with nerve endings. Or you could lose a finger or two. It could cost you the ability to play ball with your son, to properly feel the gentle curve of a womans breast, or to hold a beer. But it probably wouldn't kill you.

    Riding without at least an armored jacket and leather trousers or full leathers or an Aerostich or even just a leather jacket and jeans and crashing might cost you serious road rash. You might grind off a nipple. You might embed gravel in your elbow. You might get beef jerky all over your back. You might grind off your kneecap or have a scar resembling Australia on you calf like a friend of mine does. You would be scarred for life and not be able to walk on a beach shirtless without feeling self conscious. You might end up like Kevin Spacey's character in "Pay It Forward" and have to deal with the same awkward moment every time you remove your clothes with a new lover. But it probably won't kill you.

    Riding without a back protector and crashing in all but rare crashes would be inconsequential. However, there are so many variables out there- curbs, fenders, poles, guardrails, debris in the road- any one of these could be the golden BB that nicks your spinal cord in just the wrong way and leaves you in a wheelchair for life. Or, maybe you just have constant sciatic pain in one leg. Or you can't move your legs. Or you have to wear diapers for when you @#%$ yourself, and/or a colostomy bag you have to pull out of your pants leg and squeeze your waste out into the toilet at a bar like a guy I know. Or you can't move from the chest down. Or from the neck down. Are you good at working joysticks with your mouth? Or maybe you might need a respirator? Or 24 hour care? Certainly, there are impacts that are completely forseeable that would permanently injure you even with the best back protector in the world. But there are crashes and subsequent impacts that even mediocre back protectors can make that little bit of difference in- the ones you get up and walk away from, sore all over, but *walking*. Do you want the last time you walked to be when you walked out of 7-11 with a pack of smokes and then got on your bike? Those precious few steps out the door and over to the bike to be the five steps you remember the rest of your life because the next time you were off the bike you were lying strapped to a backboard staring at the headliner of an ambulance, tears running down your face because you couldn't feel the little piggies and you were almost ready to vomit at the stench of your @#%$ because you lost control of your bowels? Riding without a back protector and crashing might not make a difference, or it might make all the difference in the world. It might not kill you, but it might make you wish it had.

    And, finally, helmets. Riding without a helmet and crashing might be of no consequence. You might never even touch terra firma with your head. Or you might give yourself an asphalt facelift. You might get a concussion that results in only a bad headache the next day. You might get a serious concussion that lands you in the hospital for endless CAT scans and MRIs, and for the rest of your days be plagued by migraines. You might fracture your orbital and lose your vision. You might fracture your skull and end up fully functional but with a horrible Frankenstein like scar and a metal plate that bothers you on cold days and sets of metal detectors in airports. You might have a closed head injury from which you don't awaken from for hours or days or weeks or months- all the while your mother, father, sister, brother, children, workmates, and/or riding buddies come a visit you, filling an utterly depressing hospital room into a gauche jungle of flowers and bright card saying "get well soon!" that you never see or smell. Sure, you might awaken completely normal besides the hole drilled in your head to reduce pressure. Or you might awaken a little fuzzy, unsure who these people are. Or you might awaken and have to re-learn everything it took you all your life to learn, eventually returning to normal or even better like Harrison Ford in "Regarding Henry". Or you might awaken a man-child, drooling and laughing as you try to stack blocks, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt signed by your mother, father, sister, brother, children, workmates, and/or riding buddies- which you will never read. Or you might have an open head injury, from which the "you" you know will most likely never return. The rest of your life -be it a day, a week, a month, a year- will consist of feeding tubes, the endless beep and whoosh of the heart monitor and respirator, and the drip-drip or IV fluids, catheters in your rod, and feeding tubes. Of course, you won't mind all of this, you'll be in a dream land no one knows about. Your body will waste away and atrophy. Eventually, the shell that used to be you would give out, and your loved ones would have to make the most grueling decision of their life. Or, you might die on the road, fluffy gray brain matter mixing with blood and cerebro-spinal fluid. Perhaps you last ride would be twenty miles an hour down the street by your house combined with an impatient young driver and an ignored stop sign. Or perhaps it would be a ride on the freeway and a pothole denting your rim and popping the front tire off the bead sending you into the guardrail. Or you might go out in a blaze of glory qith a 100 mph wheelie ending the wrong way. Whichever way, would make maybe a 10 second news story depending on where you live, maybe a paragraph buried on page 32B of the paper. Riding without a helmet could be of no matter- or it could mean the difference between going on as you are now, or having life taken awy from you as if God flipped a switch.


    I can live without toes or a mangled foot- but I choose to try and prevent that. I can live with a hand that looks like a burn victim's and maybe relearn to write with my left hand- but I choose to try and prevent that. I can live with a scar in the shape of Australia on my calf- but I try and prevent that. I can live with road rash on my torso and arms- but I try to prevent that. I could live in a wheelchair, agonizing through every day, but I chose to try and prevent that.

    I can't live as a man-child. I've already played with blocks. I only drool when I sleep.

    We all make choices. Gear can't always save you. All the best leather, denim, Cordura, Kevlar, fiberglass, and plastic is useless when fate throws the Immovable Object or the Irresistible Force in your path. But I choose to stack the deck in my favor. If it all ends up for naught and the stacked deck and the cards up my sleeve end up losing to Fate's royal flush, so be it. But I'll try.

    -Author unknown-
     
  2. grue

    grue New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Messages:
    100,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In the dark.
    Which brings us to our next topic: anyone done down wearing Draggin Jeans before?
     
  3. LilRedEF

    LilRedEF New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    good post. I wear everything possible but with jeans most of the time. Nice avatar BTW tehshocker. I'm a Rossi helmet collector. :) I think people don't wear gear cuz they wanna look "cool". But I think a rider in full gear looks way more experienced and cool, a lot cooler after they slide down the pavement also.....
     
  4. aCab

    aCab New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicaaago
    I too used to ride in all gear but in jeans. All it took was one lowside at 55 to let me know that I'll be wearing leathers/dragging jeans from now on. 4 months later, my left knee will has not completely healed. :ugh2:
     
  5. CARETAKER

    CARETAKER KANEDAAAA!!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hell A.
    ATGATT! After I did a highslide, landed on my left shoulder and left knee (that had armor), I'm so glad that I went out that day with everything on..
     
  6. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,641
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    I always gear up, even though I "only" ride a scooter. Hey, it does 80 mph, and even at 30, does it really matter what you come off of? Helmet, gloves, armored jacket all the time. When I'm wearing shorts, I have riding pants that fit over them, and otherwise I wear jeans, just regular ones, but I plan on getting some Steel Jeans sooner or later.

    There's this one tool I work with who bought a jacket to match his new Gixxer liter bike, but never wears it, I always see him rolling into work wearing shorts and a t-shirt with his gloves and helmet. He also uses his rear brake almost exclusively, and wears out his shoes when he rides a lot because he's a foot-dragger. Oh, and he also still doesn't even have his endorsement because he failed the riding test at the DMV, and hasn't taken the class yet.
     
  7. CARETAKER

    CARETAKER KANEDAAAA!!! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hell A.
    I don't get the mentality of riding a bike with shorts and a tshirt.. Like tehshocker said, stack the cards in your favor! And no endorsements either? Wow.

    Scooters aren't slouches any more either, what, with the 650 and 400 Burgmans, they're competent things. The problem I find is that some people thinks scooters are 'safer', and so choose to wear less, when the ground doesn't care if you're flying towards it at 30mph from a bike or a scooter.
     
  8. bubbaZR2

    bubbaZR2 i poop too much, then i get tired... OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    49,043
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I dont think riding in shorts and tees even looks cool. Makes you look like an inexperienced ass wipe douche bag. I'll always wear protective gear. Might be a pain in the ass sometimes, but the one time you need it, you'll be happy you have it.
     
  9. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2001
    Messages:
    5,641
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR

    Heck, even my 200cc scoot moves pretty good. I rode to work with a friend of mine (he was on his Honda FVR), and out on a empty stretch of I-5 on the way home, I was able to hit just over 80 according to both of our speedometers. And, yeah, Piaggio claims a top speed of 100 for their BV500. Basically just a bike with an automatic, really. Heck, it even comes with a $7k+ price tag! I paid just over $5k for my BV200. I know, should have just bought a real bike, but I wasn't sure if I would even enjoy riding, and didn't want to deal with cars and a clutch at the same time. Now if I can just get this thing sold....



    He says he doesn't wear his jacket during the summer because it's "too hot". Guess his jacket has sucky ventilation, because I'm fine as long as I'm moving with my Joe Rocket Ballistic Series jacket.
     
  10. BrewCrew

    BrewCrew Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,365
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    i never leave home with out my lid, but i need to get in a habit of wear my jacket more tho. :(
     
  11. Insert Tokens

    Insert Tokens Making Cancer My Bitch OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Tasmania
    I wear Draggin's, proper boots, jacket with armour (need a better back protector, built in one is crud), gloves, and helmet.. no matter what the weather or where i'm going.

    Too many friends are fucked up from ripping up to the shops without gearing up properly.

    My aunt died on a bike, dad has metal in his spine and leg, and a friend I grew up with is dead.

    Not worth the risk.
     
  12. Snafu

    Snafu more than meets the eye

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,366
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I usually ride with a full suit, gloves, boots. Sometimes when I go to the store, I'll wear the Draggin jeans.
     
  13. Morgan06

    Morgan06 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    4,190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ELM, MA
    Honestly, I wear jeans, boots and helmet as a bare minimum. I'm trying to break my bad habit of not wearing a jacket and gloves all the time, but once you've got a system sometimes it's difficult to adjust. I obviously don't do anything stupid (carving corners, stunts, race, etc.) while I'm not in full gear.

    I think what is hindering the change is my leather jacket in particular. I bought it used: it's old and ugly, doesn't fit perfect, but it was cheap and I really only wear it when it's cold enough.

    How much less protective are the textile vs leather, or does anyone have a link to a review or crash study? It's going to be that time of year soon so I'll be shopping for a new jacket, maybe that will change my pre ride checklist.
     
  14. Vermincelli

    Vermincelli Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Messages:
    57,873
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    GET OFF MY LAWN!
    Depends. Some days I ride with leather or mesh jacket, jeans, boots and gloves. Then on other days I can go completely opposite and ride in short sleeved shirt, shorts and tennis shoes.
    25 years on the street with 20 different street bikes and never once had an accident or dropped a bike. May happen, then again I may be like most responsible and alert riders and may never happen. Either way, I am far less likely to drop the bike because I don't drive like a wannabe Matt Mladan and I drive like I am invisible to everyone else on the road.

    What people wear is a non issue to me. If someone wants to wear full racing suits to get groceries, have at it. If someone wants to wear a speedo and flipflops to go cross country, have at it. What is an issue is HOW they ride. Ride like a squid, then it's an issue.
    The person wearing full leathers who rams into a car while doing a wheelie or doing 20 over the limit is far more idiotic than the guy riding a harley in t-shirt and shorts but constantly follows the rules and respects all traffic. 1st person is a squid, 2nd one isn't
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  15. zxghostrider

    zxghostrider Sometimes you gotta hop on two wheels

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In your mind
    I always at least wear my helmet. If it's hot out (which is almost always the case in Fla), I where jeans and t-shirt. However, when it is not too hot, I will always elect to wear all my gear. My only concern is that I take a few more risks when my gear is on (false sense of security). I actually ride more careful when I just have my helmet. Wearing your gear > No gear
     

Share This Page