A Balancing Act

I got some feedback on my post about the post regarding SGI and the fact that SGI is calling for mandatory class 5 license before you can get a motorcycle license and that they are calling for a minimum gear requirement for new riders.

I did not know that my asking questions or stating my personal opinion was doing harm or making it come across as if I am the law and final word on a topic.

I did not know that asking for your thoughts and opinions on issues was a one sided public forum created without conversation from others.

I ended my article yesterday , like I do most days, with this:

Begin Quote: What are your thoughts on minimum gear requirements - people being people, do we need to be more clear about what constitutes minimum gear?
What should that minimum be?
I'd love your comments and feedback - tell me what you think of mandatory gear and mandatory training and lets hear what insurance is like in your province. End Quote

I wanted to start a dialogue but the dialogue I got, was sure not what I expected.
Although this blog has a comment section, an upset reader decided to send me an email, here is part of the comment I got:

Begin Quote "Sometimes you have to listen instead of making your views law and order.. you or the police do not run my life.. so if it does more harm to the greater good than good, just shut the heck up before you start something you complain about frequently in a one-sided public forum you have created without conversation from others...your comments sometimes stir up the same shit that Australia is going through.... leave well enough alone..."End Quote

It's a balancing act - trying to report on the news - to keep people informed, and be a rider at the same time, a person with opinions and viewpoints based on personal experiences.

I have never once said that I have all the answers or that I think I am right all the time. I have always been willing to have my mind changes by thoughtful comment, facts and dialogue.

I have always looked upon this job - reporting on the news of our community, as a give and take process, as a way to start dialogue and get people thinking and talking about the various issues our community faces. 

I can only imagine what kind of balancing act it must be to take in the considerations of thousands of individuals, all with different experiences, fears, perceptions and knowledge when trying to implement policies around public safety and around your money (IE Insurance costs).
If you are comfortable with the risks you take when riding without good gear, that's your choice.
I am pro choice, but I am also an advocate of paying for your choice.
My insurance is high enough thank you very much.

I have always said a person should be able to buy special insurance to cover their risk choice and have a special sticker on their plate that says they have paid for their right to choose so the cops have no reason to stop them.  

While many who ride exercise common sense and act like adults, I want to remind the writer of the above missive, that we have web sites like the People of WalMart for a reason.

We have TV shows like Canada's Worst Driver for a reason - because sadly, not everyone has "common" sense...

Here is a link to the SGI report for those who care to read it and see what is happening in Saskatchewan:

I firmly believe that having dialogue is the first step to coming to a meeting of the minds, or finding better solutions to issues...and sometimes it means finding solutions that might never have seen the light of day if we hadn't talked to each other.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions - will we agree?
Maybe yes - maybe no.

Have a great weekend and if you are lucky enough to be riding, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous8:18 AM

    As always you post an interesting topic and one people should seriously think about before posting. Unlike some groups, people you do not delete opinions, posts, or comments and allow people the freedom to express them on your forum. My comments and opinion and it is only an opinion but one made from experience:
    1. manditory min. gear:
    - this is still one I am up in the air about only because I don't like the government telling me what to do, but with that being said to many riders seem to think t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops are acceptable riding apparel for a motorcycle, lack of common sense, of course. So if they want to do that then yes i think they should pay for that right so that you and I don't have to. I also agree with what some of the states have done, you must be over 18 to makes this decission and have proof of extra insurance, not neccessarily SGI insurance but extra coverage period.
    2. Class 5 drivers lic needed:
    well here is a no brainer, if you have never driven a vehicle what makes you think you can drive a more complicated vehicle without any road experience, get real, you need driving experience, road experience, and common sense to ride a motorcycle, lacking any one of these will get you killed.

  2. As always you have opened aforum that is controversial and relevant to all riders. Personal experience and skill should dictate ones insurance costs, lack of the above should also be relevant to cost. We as riders should be the ones to help develop a fair and economical set of rates in addition to minimum standards of'gear'. Now go ride!...and be the rider others strive to be.

  3. Anonymous I am sorry but your point about the drivers license I disagree with. Living in Northern Alberta I know 3 year olds that ride a wicked motocross bike. If those kids decided never to get a class 5 - they'd not be allowed to ride on the street? Seriously....

    Castrobutt - I agree that riders should have a Say and RAGE is giving riders that say...they are attempting to be a part of the solution and doing a good job by being on the Motorcycle Review Committee and by being a united voice for Saskatchewan Riders.

  4. I read this article twice to get the full grasp. I certainly don't agree with any kind of mandatory gear we should always try to preserve the freedom of choice. People need to be responsible for their own actions. If it's plus 25 in July and I'm running to the store I wear my t shirt and shorts yes. When I go for day rides or trips out of town I gear up both for protection and I found wiping bug guts of leather is easier than wiping it off skin! Asking people to pay more for their risk factor will just put more money in the pockets of insurance companies. We all know they only take and never give. As far as having to have a drivers licence for a car to drive a motorcycle is ridiculous if you have proven yourself to be qualified that's all that should be needed. If they make that a requirement it will be just to collect more money in government fees. Personally I pay the fees and enjoy the ride that's what it's all about!!!