Today's news feeds are filled with things that make me shake my head...
The first article is from a member of the Sikh Community in the Hamilton Spec:
"There has been a lot of opposition expressed to Sikhs seeking exemption from wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, all seems based on hypothetical opinion rather than facts.

This is a question of accommodation and what is the marginal risk posed in allowing the Sikhs who wear turbans to ride motorcycles without a helmet. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of accommodation within reasonable limits and short of undue hardship to the society by considering the margin of risk based on its magnitude and seriousness of risk."

The article goes on to statistically prove that Sikhs wearing turbans as opposed to helmets pose a very small risk when it comes to injury.

What it does not express is how other riders who are forced to wear helmets feel about the situation. And the discussion needs to go farther - there are many Sikhs who only wear turbans on job sites and that poses a risk to employers because of the potential for increased WCB claims.

The man further goes on to express that:
"On the other hand, Sikhs are about 2.7 per cent of the total population in Ontario. About 10 per cent of males wear turbans. If we assume motorcycle use by Sikhs at par with other Canadians, turbaned Sikhs using motorcycles would be 0.013 per cent of the total population".....

And he caps it off with this tidbit:
"Riding a motorcycle with a turban does not mean riding bare-headed. There is an almost two-inch thick cushion of cloth around the skull. I have come across many helmeted motorcyclists with serious head injuries but no one with a turban. Let us not make an issue of something that is well within reasonable limits without undue hardship to society, and strengthen the Canadian culture of tolerance, acceptance and accommodation. It will make us feel more Canadian." Signed by Jaswinder Bedi, Hamilton
This is NOT a TURBAN/Religious issue in my mind - it is more about safety and costs and what I feel the gentleman has ignored that it is also about a form of discrimination - a division if you will. The non Sikh rider is FORCED by law to wear a helmet. And while I understand the religious aspect of the Turban, I as a non Sikh rider feel that my right to choose my risk comfort level is being denied.
If this is a safety and law thing - then all who ride a motorcycle, regardless of brand, affiliation, religious beliefs should either be forced to wear helmets or allowed to go without. And that goes for the job site as well.

If this is a Freedom issue - then my point is clear - riders should be allowed to choose their level of risk comfort and should have to carry extra medical insurance so as not to be a burden on the health care system and that should apply to ALL.

At the end of the day, MY RIGHTS STOP when they infringe on the rights of others.
That's the way the charter of Freedoms and Rights is written and it should be followed for everyone - if I want to ride without a helmet then I should be allowed to pay for the insurance that prevents my exercising my rights from being a burden or infringing on the rights of other tax payers. PERIOD. Why should I as a non Sikh rider be treated any differently?

My other comment about his article is in regards to the statement: I have come across many helmeted motorcyclists with serious head injuries but no one with a turban.

If his stats are accurate then what he is saying is that because so few Sikhs ride there have been no serious injuries reported - stats can be twisted into whatever you want them to be and he shows us a fine example of that in my humble opinion.

The next article that has me shaking my head is out of the US today - Hemet Apologizes to Motorcycle Club: The apologies that were given to the Vagos MC by both Hemet and Riverside Counties in California stem from a series of attacks on agents, this from Valley News:
"The news conference was called at the height of an investigation into a series of failed attacks on members of the Hemet-San Jacinto Gang Task Force. Attempts on officers' lives included booby-traps attached to squad cars, a gas line routed into an office building and a bazooka rocket -- which turned out to be a dud -- fired from a rooftop.
Neither Dana or Pacheco would confirm that the Vagos sweep was linked to the attacks, but there were allusions to the organization's hostility toward law enforcement.
Dana described the suspects as "a bunch of cockroaches running for the woods."
Nicolas Jon Smit of Hemet and Steven Hanson of Homeland -- neither of whom have ties to the Vagos -- were charged three months later with carrying out several of the attacks on the anti-gang officers."

Profiling is the scourge of the police departments everywhere - assumption is the mother of all evils in this case as in many others. 
To Assume means to make an ASS out of U and Me!

And the last head shaking article comes from Baltimore where in a man writes:
"As a former New York City bus driver who witnessed the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, I find the "patriotic" motorcycle caravans, such as the recent one through Harford County on I-95, an empty, self-serving gesture by obnoxious, publicity-seeking bikers who enjoy disrupting traffic in order to see themselves on the evening news.
If they really wanted to make their feelings about 9/11 known, they would get involved in one of the many charitable organizations benefiting the victims and families of that tragedy — and leave the roads open to legitimate travelers and people going to work."
Bob Giliberti, Ft. Mill, S.C.

Really - we are self serving? Where has this man been living? Under a rock? In the dark ages? Motorcyclists are involved in more charitable giving and volunteering than the average recreational community and yet we are self serving publicity pigs? Tell that to the Patriot Guard, the CAV or any of the Military Riding Organizations out there and see what they have to say to you!

Like every day I invite you to wade in n the discussion - even when I do not agree with your opinions I want to hear them and discuss them - through honest dialogue we can learn to work together...

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There is a TON of news in the news feeds today.

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We also have an exciting interview coming soon...if you are a subscriber to the Busted Knuckle, you are going to LOVE this one!
I have to get on with my day but I leave you with this thought from my new Favourite Helmet Sticker..."Why is is that people with closed minds always open their mouths?"

Please ride safe today - remember that everyone is out to get you, is blind and can not see you and PLEASE ride with respect - Remember we all have to share this world and if we were more respectful of others there would not be so much opposition aimed at our community.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor of The Busted Knuckle Chronicles, Canada's ONLY Weekly Newspaper for Riders.

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