Full transparency, my plan was not to have another blog about safety, but after some great conversation with experts on the matter, on my Podcast (www.phoenixincanada.podbean.com) , I thought there's more to be said, so here goes!
PS Here's who I chatted with...check out their sites when you can:
Liane Langlois - Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society: www.ab-amss.org
Adam Calver – Head On First Aid & Safety: www.headonfirstaid.ca
Tricia Reese – Edmonton Motorcycle Roadracing Association: www.emra.ca
My intention for writing this blog is not to ‘rag’ on anyone about their choice of safety wear, but to have you consider your choices before heading out…keeping safety in mind.
First, it's the law! There is a mandatory helmet law in Canada with exception given to someone wearing a turban (IE Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia & Manitoba). The helmet must conform to provincial safety standards and remain in good order. It can have speakers and a microphone installed for the purposes of radio communication or the use of a mobile phone. That aside, Adam from Head On First Aid & Safety doesn’t mince his words saying that a helmet-beanie does not protect the jaw-line. Consider a full-faced device.
Tricia Reese from the EMRA swears by her protective riding gear which includes her jacket, gloves & pants. As a competitive Motorcycle Racer, competing at high speeds increases her risk of a crash. She says that in one of her crashes she was able to walk away thanks to her gear. Yes, by the way, she continues to ride thanks in part to the protective gear she was riding…her words
Don't kid yourself, Flip Flops do not ensure any safety once the bike is in motion…Liane Langlois from the AMSS will easily agree. Consider riding-boots as your ONLY option.
In my experience, the most common arguments/excuses brought forward by Motorcyclists fall into three categories: The Sexy Factor, The Staying Cool Factor, The Cost Factor. Let’s see if we can’t address all three:
#1. The Sexy Factor
"A tight-fitting t-shirt on a muscular or form-fitting frame grabs your attention."
Consider the look of a road-rash on your arm if you were to lose control of your bike on a gravel road…not so sexy
#2. The Cool Factor
"Riding on a hot day is extremely uncomfortable when geared-up."|
Consider the countless options for gear that including venting systems & light-weight material
#3. The Cost Factor
"I bought the bike because it was cheaper than owning a car."
Consider the safety-gear as a necessary part of your Motorcycle purchase…before you buy it! Just as you would consider a set of winter tires for your car.
Side note: The gear options (Helmets, Jackets, Boots, Gloves) available to both Men & Women has come a long way in design, colors, fit & style. Naively, when I purchased my first bike, I exhausted all my funds on the purchase without considering the safety gear as a ‘must-purchase’…I was lucky. Credit to those Motorcyclists who’ve budgeted for the added necessities and who’ve also purchased gear for a passenger.
I’m not suggesting that an accident on a Motorcycle is inevitable. As a #Motorcycle advocate, it is our responsibility to other riders to promote safety by your example! At a recent Motorcycle Show in Calgary, I recall doing a story on an inflatable jacket. Upon impact the sensors in the gear activate, providing an inflatable barrier between you and the impact point. Just a thought.
All that I ask of you this off-season is to consider your gear choices when riding & investigate price-points of these items. The Canadian off-season is about 6 months. Consider putting money aside for the on-season and investing in your safety.
To get you started, here's one place to check out:
Parts Canada – www.partscanada.com
I welcome your comments & suggestions for future topics. Please also check out my Social Media Pages…would love to hear about your experiences and your plans for your next ride.
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