Our life is a total sum of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are today. While this is a broad topic, I’ll narrow it down to motorcycling. Most of you reading this must have ridden a motorcycle sometime in your life. Each and every one of us knows the risks associated with riding on two wheels. Things can get real bad real soon and this doesn’t have to be on a six-lane highway, a simple U-turn around the block can be a potential spot for a disaster.
There are few things in life as humbling as not being able to take care of yourself, I’ve seen this first hand in some fellow riders who are now unable to ride. Not being able to do things as simple as reaching out for the TV remote will highlight how lucky we are to get around and do all the little things that we take for granted.
I hope by now you’ve figured out where I’m heading with this, motorcycle safety gear. How often have you heard some of your rider friends ride in a t-shirt and say, “I’m not going far. I’ll be fine? Well, you hope they will be fine but you also know they won’t even if they go off the motorcycle at 20 kmph for no fault of theirs. For us in the Middle East, the temperature is always an excuse not to gear up. Dress for the slide, not for the ride. Or maybe you’ve heard the one about how it’s too hot to wear all that gear? Sweating is more fun than bleeding.
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. If you care about someone that rides, let him or her know. None of us ride because it’s safe; we do it because it’s what we enjoy. Of you want to keep enjoying this passion, remind yourself that we are human and very mortal. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.
Let’s all take a pledge to support safety and at times we might not be comfortable telling our rider buddies that they need to gear up. Some might take it the wrong way, but in the end, it’s not about what they think, it’s about what you know.