I got my bike license in 1965, before there were helmet laws. I lived at the lake and rode daily in my cut-offs, t-shirts and thongs. Back then thongs were flip-flops not to be confused with dental floss doubling as bathing suit bottoms.
But for the past several years I have become a supporter of using protective clothing. I never ride the highways without my equipment; helmet, leather jacket, gauntlet gloves, leather chaps, protective eyewear and a head condom (due rag). That was until the other day when the thermometer hit 40 and I was leaving a trail of sweat behind. It occurred to me in the forty-three years I have been riding I have never had a serious accident. Now that may suggest either I am past due or I ride with enough awareness that I am a low risk. Whatever the case, I shed most my gear and found new freedom again in riding the open road in only a t-shirt and a sunburn.
I know the government means well and would like us all to get rid of the BC Beanie and wear helmets that run from the top of our heads to the souls of our feet. I wear a standard issue half helmet but I am thinking of joining the Sikh religion so I can legally wear a padded due rag. I could drop the bike at any moment and have to pick gravel from what is left of my skin, but then again while riding through Saskatchewan, I could back up not looking and fall into a combine where my seeds would be separated from the shaft so to speak. I could be hit by falling debris from the space station or a bird with a rare and a yet undiscovered disease could fly through the office window striking me, making me terminally ill.
The cousin of one of my friends was riding through a mountain pass when an elk (honest, I could not make this up) lost it’s footing and slipped from a ridge above him falling onto him and his bike. Had the elk been wearing protective apparel perhaps they both could have been saved, unfortunately the elk died and the rider sustained brain injuries. There are a lot of couldof’s out there. In the mean time there are more people dieing of heat exhaustion these days than from not wearing protective gear. My research department consists of me making up eighty percent of the facts I use at the time of writing. I am sure it is probably the case as I did read from a reliable source, that last year alone more people died walking along side the road than in motorcycle accidents on it. Perhaps it is time to risk living a little.
“But that should not be my choice,” the bleeding heart, liberal left wing nuts yell, “who will pay the health care costs required to look after you if something happens?” Then they take a drag on their cigarette and speed off in the Volvo without looking either way cutting off two drivers as they do.
My youngest son recent commented on a news story about a family refusing to allow a blood transfusion for religious reasons for a dieing loved one.
“I have no problem with what they want.” He said, “It is all part of Darwin’s natural selection process. From time to time, we need to thin the heard a little and having the dumb ones refuse medical help is one way to weed out the mentally weaker members. We should not interfere.”
In Canada we tend to follow the Americans, in fact a Canadian is just an unarmed American with health care. So, when the Americans drew up their constitution and provided the right for every American to bare arms, it is too bad they didn’t include bare heads and breasts as well.