May is Motorcycle Awareness Month - "Do YOUR PART - RIDE SMART"™

I love riding. I am happiest when on my bike.
My motto in life is "A bad day of riding still beats a good day in the office."

However, there is an aspect to riding season that I dread.

When my friends and acquaintances are in a motorcycle crash.
It saddens me deeply no matter the how's and why's of the crash.
It does not matter who is at fault - if a rider is injured or killed, it bugs me.

I want to address the "riding gear, some gear and no gear" issue and I want to address the issue that some in our community create by their attitudes.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month - but what are non riders aware of?

Seriously - the riders who ride respectfully and safely seldom get any notice - no one remembers them.

The riders who are stunting and showing off - those are the people that non riders NEVER forget.
And too often many in our community get to pay a price for the "rotten apples".
Look at the motorcycle only noise bylaws and you'll catch my drift.

It is my hopes that through some dialogue that I can convince just one person to really look at their actions and the consequences and perhaps change their ways and prevent a bad situation. Perhaps just one rider will weigh the consequences of not wearing good gear and save themselves a lot of pain and heart ache... perhaps one rider will choose to be smarter about the risks they take, like taking certain behaviours to the track.

Riding can be a very safe activity, but it can become very dangerous if under taken with a lack of gear and/or the wrong attitude...

I am all for freedom of choice.  
Freedom comes with a heavy, heavy price tag called responsibility - ownership of conduct and consequence.

If you choose to ride without a helmet, then you must suffer the consequences of that choice if you are in a crash.  But your decision does not just affect you.
If you survive the crash, the road to recovery will be filled with people whose hearts are breaking, who have to shoulder the burden of care. If you don't survive, well, that's a whole other discussion.

If you choose to ride without appropriate footwear or other gear because of the heat or for whatever other reason, the injuries that you face, in the event of a crash can be horrific and involve lengthy recovery times.
But who is by your side, also paying the price for your choice?

I understand the reasons for riding with no helmet. I understand the riding without gear in high temperatures. I have done both of those things many times. I got lucky.  I don't push those limits today.
I have seen the consequences of that type of risk and decided it wasn't right for me. Or my daughter.

There is gear now a days, like Kevlar jeans, that make it so you can be a lot cooler on your bike and still be protected. Cordura and armour - these things weren't around when I started riding.

I've talked about choice, now let's talk about wrong attitude and it's consequences.

The need to show off and be "cool".

PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM COGNIZANT of the fact that we were all young once.
We have all done things in our lives that should have killed or seriously injured us and yet, for some unknown reason we are here to talk about it, even laugh at it.
Just think back to playing lawn darts!

I will warn you that some of the videos and photos I have found are graphic in nature.

If your stomach is squeamish - stop reading now.

When it comes to riding a motorcycle, especially with so many more people using the highways and byways these days (compared to when we were young and stupid), the wrong attitude - the "Oh look at me aren't I cool" attitude, can and often does have some serious, serious consequences.
It always has but now a days the consequences can be extreme depending on the traffic.

Karma - cause and effect...will get you in the end.

My goal here is to get you to think about the consequences that your choices, your decisions can have on yourself - but more importantly on your family and loved ones, the lives of others that you might endanger.

Think about the insurance  premiums we all have to pay - your decision is linked to my pocket book if nothing else.

Sadly, the people who need to see this the most, won't read it, but I am putting it out there and hoping...just one person learns to take smarter risks.

In this first video - I am only concerned with the crash caused by one of the stunters.
Showing off can and will bite you in the ass - you may get away with it for a while, but...

Notice the lack of gear worn by most of these people. Perhaps stupidity should hurt.
But what if you were riding beside the one stunter who goes down - and you are behaving - but wearing no gear...and you get caught up in his aftermath?
Now in this video, the dude is an absolute show off. Thinks he's cool, but he gets it in the end...

Every one of use looses because of guys like this and we all know one or two...they cause our insurance's to go up. They give the rest of us a bad name... In this next video you will see all sorts of crashes. Some caused by the show off mentality, some from plain stupidity and almost all of them where the rider was at fault - speed and riding OVER their ability appears to be the cause.
In this video link, a young girl shares her experience about riding on a motorcycle with only a helmet for protection: Still think it's no big deal not to wear the gear?   Here are just a few of the less gory photos of what happens to you when you are not wearing protective gear. Left is Brittany - the young girl in the video link above... Like I said, it's your choice, but your choice affects my insurance, affects my community. It affects the people who love you. You might be prepared to pay the price but is everyone else around you? That's all I ask, that you consider those questions and if the answer for you is still yes, then that is your right.

 You might be the safest rider in the world, but I think you need to worry about the rest of the drivers and riders out there. People, be they on motorcycles, in cars, semis - people in general are selfish and self involved - and in my humble opinion, none of us are immune to being self involved at least some of the time. But the ones who drive and ride like idiots all of the time, tend to be highly self involved, seldom do they think of others before they wick the throttle or do that burn out at a stop sign. Seldom do they think of anyone but themselves and their own gratification. These people take chances that endanger others and they exist in every community of drivers - no community is immune from them. I say, if they want to pay the price for their actions - great, but don't put others at risk. Take it to the track or a parking lot - not on the street. If they think they are OK to pay the price, I wonder - did they first ask their care givers or their loved ones if they wanted to pay that price? These people who take chances, that are reckless and selfish are often times spurred on by your applause, and cheering. It encourages them. So please - consider not giving them the attention they seek. Ignore their behaviour, shun it and eventually they might change. At the very least maybe they will take their stupidity elsewhere. Some stunt and take extreme chances because they think they are cool...some how better than others. But how cool are you when your wife/mom has to change your shitty diaper at 20+ years old? How cool are you when you are in a wheel chair with a head injury? Would you still say the risk was worth it? You might think so, I am not so sure how the people who love you would feel. All of the videos above have one thing in common - most people got lucky and walked away. There are many other videos that I did not post because of their extreme graphic content, where the riders did not walk away as a result of their choice. They are either dead or in rehabilitation. It's May - finally Mother Nature is cooperating, most people are out and about on their bikes, in their muscle cars...everyone has experienced a 7 month winter - they are antsy - have spring fever...We know that other drivers are unaware and taking chances - not all but a lot and so we need to treat every driver with caution and assume that they are not aware - riding defensively is your best protection out there. As many of you know, video footage can be used in court to fight tickets and in the case of a crash, can prove who did what to whom where and if you laid your bike down to avoid a more serious impact - your lawyer would have the proof needed.  The other benefit of running video is that if you have no crash, you will have some great memories captured! So, if you are interested, Sharon from VSun is making a special offer to our members and the people in my circle who want to take her up on it. 10% off of video sunglasses, goggles and helmet cams. For group orders of 5 items or more - free shipping! Email me and I will send you the promo code! ( We all have to be aware, hyper vigilant. Please weigh the chances and risks you take... Motorcycle Awareness Month - "Do YOUR PART - RIDE SMART"™ PLEASE ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you. Belt Drive Betty Editor & Rider

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