Friday, April 2, 2010
Gear, But No Helmet?
I had a nice but very brief chat last Wednesday with a guy riding a Boulevard (Suzuki?). A very nice looking bike, by the way. I was walking back to my office after just having picked up my lunch from a little Japanese/Chinese eatery. He was just mounting the bike as I passed by and had not started the engine yet. As a greeting, I said something like "What a great day to be out riding!" (Sunny with temps in the 70's). He looked up at me and gave me a big grin. To look at me, dressed in business casual, he wouldn't maybe have guessed that I rode, except for what I said. (And maybe how I said it) But there was an instant little connection between us. You know what I'm talking about. Like we know something no one else does. The joy of riding on a beautiful day like today. The breeze was strong today from the south. He said he had ridden this morning from Newton, a small city about 25 miles north of here. He complained a bit about the wind, but also said he was really looking forward to the ride home with the wind at his back. I smiled and laughed back at him, knowing the feeling all too well. That was about the extent of our conversation. I had to get back to work and he was ready to ride. As I walked back to the office I heard him start the bike, pull out on to the street and pass by me. As we were talking I noticed that he had on a fairly well worn denim jacket with pads in it. I had actually admired one like it recently while thumbing through a catalog. But he wore no helmet. Just sunglasses. It just seemed a bit odd to me to wear armor on his body, but not his head. Maybe I am way off base, but to me, my head takes a high priority when I consider safety issues. On the ride home that day I saw more motorcycles than I had in probably the last 4 months. I would guess that 70% were not wearing helmets, many of those just wearing T-shirts. It was a really nice day. Kansas does not have a helmet law. It gets proposed at the state legislature occasionally, but usually quickly shot down. Choruses of "Freedom!" and "Individual Rights!" are the usual response to any proposed legislation. I guess I can appreciate the feeling of wind in your hair on a warm sunny day like today was. And maybe a rider like that knows something more than I do. I certainly do not have many years of experience. And I am not the kind of person that tells others how to lead their lives, but the logic here escapes me just a little bit. I may be in the minority and a "daredevil accountant" (as Iron'Gran'Dad sometimes refers to me), but I plan to continue wearing a "Lid" and "Gear" simultaneously and indefinitely. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed