I know I was young once.

Of that I am quite sure. And I know when I was young I took chances some smarter than others but...

I have become highly critical of those who wear things like sandals and flip flops when they ride.  When I pull up beside some dude who has his gal on the back  of his motorcycle - and she is wearing a bikini or shorts and a halter/tank top, sandals/flip flops and a full faced helmet I want to SCREAM - I WANT TO RAGE - I want to ask him "Do you not value the life of that pretty young thing behind you?" I have been asking you for feedback on buying new I ask about foot wear...the following story has a lot to do with why I am the way I am when it comes to my feelings about good gear.

Back in the day when I was young, I was living in a little community called Mara Lake BC. My old man was a guy with the nick name of Rotten Ronnie - aptly named for the noxious gases that exploded from him after a feed of moose or deer meat...Ron is the man who taught me to ride a motorcycle.

Road rash....a story of gory and disturbing proportions that I want to share with you for it is this incident that set me on the path to being an opinionated lady on this topic in many, many ways.

One weekend, Ron and I had gone to Kelowna, we had had a great time and got up nice and early on the Sunday morning to head home, Ron had things around the yard he wanted to get done before work on Monday morning. There were lots of motorcycles out - it was a glorious day to ride.

As we passed through Vernon, traffic began to get thicker, there was construction up ahead about 10 kilometers or so. This young buck (remember I was a lofty 24 then) pulled up beside us on his Suzuki sport bike. He had this very buxom young lady riding pillion. She was wearing a full faced helmet, a bikini and sandals. He was wearing jeans, tee, boots and a full face.

I sat on my bitch pad shaking my head thinking to myself this guy really doesn't value what he has sitting behind him...

Well, we leave the set of lights, the dude on the sport bike far faster than us on the our FXRS...he's gone like a Ron and I come around a corner - just before the construction zone that is between Vernon and Armstrong - we see the blood runs cold and I am almost sick to my stomach.

There is buddy's sport bike, embedded in the trunk of a car...buddy is screaming, standing but wobbly, bleeding and road rashed...his once pretty little girlfriend is now dead.
Her once buxom form is nothing more than bones now as she has no chest left, just a rib cage from doing a face plant at about 100 KMPH and skidding down the shoulder of the road into the ditch. Her one foot is gone - literally worn off from the high exit rate - she had skidded down the pavement for a good 100 feet or so before tumbling into the ditch.
Rib bones and raw meat are all that were left of her. That and her un scarred, untouched face. I guess that was a consolation, at least her family could have an open casket funeral.

That crash is forever etched in my mind. The howling of the rider - that of a wolf in enormous pain...the visual of this pretty, pretty girl at the set of lights only minutes before transposed over the corpse lying in the ditch that I saw will never leave my mind's eye.

Now perhaps you understand all of the questions from last week about good gear - maybe it will explain a bit to you about why I get a tad opinionated on the subject of gear and helmets today the question is footwear - what brand, what style and why you chose the particular style you did.

Foot wear is a very important and vital part of the gear equation in my mind...Please share with me your thoughts on choosing good footwear...

In the news today:
Harley-Davidson reports it's American dealer network is shrinking

In Saskatoon SK the council has asked their lawyer to look into drafting an all encompassing vehicle noise bylaw.

In Alberta, a couple of politicians are going to start pushing for helmets on quads and snow machines to become mandatory claiming there have been too many deaths after reading a recent report from the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research.

In BC - the dude riding his bike at break neck speed through the lower mainland won't be doing anything quite that reckless again for a while.

In Quebec, Mom Boucher was stabbed in prison altercation

In Europe - Dual Sport Bikes could become legislated right our of existence because the EU will not allow an ABS OFF switch on them rendering this style of machine useless for off road purposes.

If you are among the fortunate and are riding today - PLEASE, ride like everyone is out to get you and is blind and can not see you and remember you are FORTUNATE cause here in the great white north - the white is descending... I am jealous of all who are still riding.

Belt Drive Betty
Rider & Editor

The Busted Knuckle Chronicles

Post a Comment

  1. Bernie C6:19 AM

    The saying"you only get what you pay for" is applicable here. I always wear a boot when riding. No matter how careful you are, that exhaust is pretty hot after a ride. Sandals flopping loose reduce your stability when stopping and even standing still. I have two pair of HD boots that I alternate, one pair is three years old, it already has outlasted two previous pair.

  2. This is exactly the kind of thing that freaks me out, too. I went thru a similar experience, but the girl, in shorts, halter, and sandals, ended up being ok, landing on grass for just scrapes and bruises, but I helped keep her boyfriend from bleeding to death from a protruding leg bone while the ambulance was on it's way. They weren't going more than ten kph when they hit that low chain fence, either, luckily.
    And people wonder why I ride safe. It's all different when you've actually seen and had your hands on the results of riding like a squid.

  3. Betty - I am with you about the importance of a rider's gear - I don't have to see it to believe. I'm never without an armored jacket plus pants, full face helmet and high riding boots. I've had lots of riders ask, paritcularly in the U.S., "Aren't you hot?" My answer is yup - but I've got my skin just in case!
    Presently, most of the time, I'm wearing a Rocket Jacket (alternate is Teknic for cold weather) which my son thought was outragously expensive until he (a volunteer firefighter) came home from attending his first motorcycle accident. All he said, "That jacket - wear it, it works!"
    I can't believe the number of flip flopped, short wearing, no helmeted, big gulp drinking riders I've seen in the past couple of years.
    Honestly, your best piece of equipment is under your helmet, use it. THINK ABOUT IT!
    VStarLady - Ontario