Today I riding with my mom, it was really fun! (Yes, my arm is screwed up, but I learned to ride a motorcycle) We had to turn around twice, once because of a train (and what’s the point of sitting there when you can turn around and take another route?) and another time because of some loose packed gravel. I would’ve been fine on it, but my mom gets nervous (her bike doesn’t handle anything except pavement well) and with my sisters fall earlier this season on wet pavement….let’s just say it did not help matters.

We had lunch and my mom got irritated with the whole “aren’t you hot?” question. Yes, we wear full gear: helmet (full face), jacket, gloves, pants, boots……her regular response to the question is “Yes, but we like our skin the way it is.” I am not allowed to set foot on a bike without full gear. And I’m ok with that, I want to ride. Then this season with my sisters fall it really put it into perspective for me. (She wears full gear of course, so she was when it happened) She had a broken collar bone, no scrapes, no blood, no strains. Her helmet was a write off, all scraped up. Her jacket, pants and boots were just dirty. If she hadn’t have been wearing it….that would’ve been a whole other story.

When I walk into places with a lot of bikers the ones that view themselves as ‘true bikers’ may be wearing leather, but in this heat, not much else. They think I’m over cautious, but hey there’s a reason that for any sport there is gear that goes with it. You don’t play rugby without a mouth guard, I don’t ride without ALL my gear. I didn’t go out on the water with out my life jacket. I took swimming lessons starting when I was 4. I’ve played in a lake since I was less than a year old. I stopped swimming lessons in the highest level you could go without hitting the life guarding courses. So I know how to swim, and keep myself afloat. People say I know how to swim, if my boat sinks I’ll be fine. But what if you’re not conscious, or too injured to swim? It happened to me…..I’m not sure I would be right now without it.

Overall I guess what I’m trying to say is that with everything you do there is a risk. That doesn’t mean don’t do it, but use the gear that’s made for it to lower the risk. And if you’re prepared to live with the consequences if you don’t use those safety glasses, wear your helmet. Here’s my questions for you: Are you sure you know all those consequences? Are you really sure you realize what they would do to your life? Is there other people you will affect you if you get hurt? Your family? I can go on, trust me. But I hope you get what I’m saying. Have fun, but be smart. Don’t go around in bubble wrap, but if people wear gear for an activity there’s a reason. Please don’t ignore it.

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