Saturday, May 31, 2014

It didn't matter whether I was teaching SCUBA diving, or deep sea diving, or rock climbing, or winter mountaineering: at some point my students started calling me....

Mother T.

Now, I ask you, what kind of macho image is that?

Okay, so I'm "fussy" about safety.  But, you know, at eighteen below and ten-thousand feet, or three-hundred feet down on standard air, you really need to be fussy -  or you get hurt, or even worse too.  But, like I told my students, I'm still here and in one piece.

Okay, so I was bent once, but I did have a spastic student, eighty-feet down, who flailed and flailed and even got his spearhead stuck in my hood (now that was a funny scene), so I think I can say "extenuating circumstances".

But enough about me.... how do you like my suit?  Just kidding....

Here's the question: Why do so many scooterists ride with so little protection?

Like, helmets that will protect you - provided you only bounce along on your head.  And, little, if any leg protection, topped off with sneakers, or even Flip Flops. And finally, thin gloves.  I don't understand.

Think about this.....

At 30 mph (and who - even 50cc's doesn't travel at 30) you're doing 44 feet a second.  If you hit the pavement and skid for 3 little seconds, you've scraped along 132 feet of hard unyielding ground.

At 40 it's 177 feet.

Most of us haven't a clue about distances, so here's a help.  132 feet is a bit more than the distance between telephone polls; 177 feet is just a shade less than 1 1/2 times the distance between the two poles.

Next time you're out take a look at that space.... it's a looooong way.... especially long if you're contributing skin along the way.

Okay.  Done.  My question is: Why not be as protected as you can?

I Await your response.

Oh, a bit back someone posted a chart on head injuries, and someone else questioned the validity of the chart.... The report is entitled "The Hurt Report".  It is fantastic reading.  The original chart is on page 277, 278.  But, don't jump straight there.  Read the report.  It can't hurt, might help. (No pun intended.)

Download it.  It is good reading.  While you are at it, grab and download these two....

Traffic Fatalities
by State Governors Highway Safety Association

Lower-Extremity Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes US DOT

Let me know what you think.  Until then, Hi Yo Piaggio, Away!


  1. I get a lot of comments while riding during the Summer about all of the gear but, strangely, no one comments about it at all in the Winter. So far, I'm loving the one-piece Roadcrafter Light.

    1. And I the Joe Rocket Survivor. What's neat is that at the start of my ride to Florida, I had jeans, long sleeved shirt and a vest on - along with the zip in liner, and from Virginia on, I had short pants and a tee-shirt on, and the liner was in the luggage. It was so cool to stop, shrug out of my suit and be in shorts and shirt ready for the beach. Not to mention the fact that I was totally protected the entire time.

  2. I've never understood why some scooter riders wear no protection except for a helmet. The ground is going to hurt whether you are on a bike or a scooter.

    Me? I'd much rather sweat a little than go through the pain of having gravel cleaned out of road rash if something went sideways.

    1. That's what I keep telling folks..... the ground doesn't know (or care) that you're riding a 50cc scooter. It's going to chew you up just the same. Ah, well.

  3. I commend you on the restraint shown in selecting the road rash image. There are some gory ones out there, and I for one, appreciate a tamer one here. :) That being said, you are definitely preaching to the choir on this one. I think most people that read/post here are ATGATTer's. We believe sweat can be wiped off but road rash can't.

    Helmet laws dictate that everyone where them in GA. But I am amazed at the shorts and flip flops. Lately I have been agogle at the lack of glove wearing!

  4. Yeah, gore's not my thing. Simple sometimes is better. When you see real hurt you tend to discount it (the only other option being to admit it might happen to you, and you know that's not a real option), so the effect is lost.
    I can guarantee that I am NOT preaching to the choir.... you should see how some of the folks I ride with dress. That's the point and the shame of it. The dealers do not push protection because they don't want the stigma of doom and gloom, death and destruction attached to their merchandise. That's the bad news. The good news? Ha!

  5. Mike:

    You can only take off so much. I'm like you, in hot weather I am down to shorts and a micro fibre type T-shirt under my riding gear. Just slip out of your riding boots and clothes and VOILA, you are already in shorts, ready for the beach.

    Just noticed your yellow messenger bag,. must be your water supply

    Many bikers here only wear a helmet with regular clothes, and running shoes. It's their skin but we have to supplement their medical coverage (Gov't insurance)

    Riding the Wet Coast