Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Safety versus .....

I'm a Harley girl through and through (though I'll be willing to bend for Honda because I'm cheap, but I dream for a Harley).

I've always wanted a Hertitage Softtail Classic, but because, while legally able to drive a motorcycle, but still poor I think Harley has gone and removed them from the inventory.  Right now I'm willing to settle for one of these.....

Road King Classic (Courtesy of Harley-Davidson.com)

However, my knees are shot, so by the time I can actually afford to buy one I'll have to get one of these....

TriGlide Ultra Classic (Courtesy of Harley-Davidson.com)
I think I would be good with that actually!

Growing up in a house where vintage and current motorcycles are my father's passion, he taught me one valuable lesson.  I never get on a bike without the proper protection.  It didn't matter how hot it was outside.....no correct clothing = no ride.  Period.  End of discussion.  I am sure part of this has to do with my mother being a mother.  She never was impressed with the times that dad would take me for a ride on the bike.  Again, a mother being a mother.

In any case, I was never allowed to leave without jeans, tennis shoes (preferably boots of some kind), a leather jacket and, most importantly, a helmet.  It's the way I was raised.

My father once told me a story of a guy that he used to work with.  He rode bikes.  Maybe part of it was a masculinity thing because, for some reason, his name was Connie.  In any case, he wasn't a reckless driver by all accounts  While the details of Connie's story are a bit fuzzy, he had an accident.  One that many motorcycle drivers can probably relate to on one level or another.  He was out for a drive and his back wheel slid out from under him on a patch of gravel.  He was going full speed.  He walked away with a broken finger.  Why?  Because he was wearing his leathers and helmet.

When I see people riding around on a hot summer day, no helmet, flip flops, shorts, tank tops (or, in the case of guys, no shirts) it irks the hell out of me and I say a little prayer to whoever might listen to keep them upright and safe.

This weekend I saw this come through on my twitter account....

NY motorcyclist dies on ride protesting helmet law after flipping over Harley's handlebars, 
hitting head on pavement http://bit.ly/lIeS2o

I understand the desire to not want to be weighed down by the gear.  I don't understand why someone would want to take the chance.

I'm not saying that because I think all people that protest a helmet law are bad drivers or reckless.  In fact, if the truth be told, I believe people that drive motorcycles are more attentive drivers in general because they know the risks associated with being on the road, in the open air, with the weather, semis, cars, and just plain stupid people who don't pay any fucking attention to anything outside of the cabin of their own vehicle, least of all a tiny motorcycle in front, behind, or beside them.

However, that being said, why take the chance because of that one time when it could be you.  When it could be your family that is affected because you didn't pay the extra $200 or $300 for a helmet that could have saved your life.

It doesn't make sense to me.  I love irony.  She and I are great friends that have yukked it up on many an occasion, but this time...this time she wasn't being funny at all.....and I am incredibly sad for this guy's family.

All because this....
Helmet Picture Courtesy of Harley-Davidson.com

....could have made the difference.

Back to the funny tomorrow....

Jewell  =)  xo

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