Saturday, January 22, 2011

Feeling the Heat.

Of late Auckland has had one of the most humid summers on record.  December was just unbelievable, I personally believer it to be one of the hottest on record.   This was confirmed the other day by a article in the evening news.

I have always been  "All The Gear All The Time",  sort of person , even when I just shoot down the road to the gas station to check tyre pressures and gas up before a ride, I make a point of suiting up.

Now you probably know where this is heading, and with good reason.  I do not believe that just because it is hot is an excuse not to wear suitable gear when on a bike.  Personally if it is too hot for you to ride a bike, and you don't feel comfortable, then take the air conditioned car.

In this day and age of excellent motorcycle gear available at reasonable prices,  I see no reason why motorcyclists insist on wearing shorts and a tee shirt,  I hate to say, but the $13000 GSXR, and the $1200 Arai helmet look lovely, but will do very little to protect you arse in the case of a small off.

I say small, because from experience I know how small  an off is required to take skin off your knees and elbows.  ( Remember that little push bike accident when you were twelve.)

You can buy gear now a days that suit almost any conditions, air vents and linings means most jacket and pants combination's will be suffice to get you through all year round.  My full leathers are very comfortable to ride in, and a made from a hide far stronger than mine.  Decent gloves go with out saying, your palms will often be the first to hit tarmac, and their is not a lot there to protect you before you get to bone.

Now to most people reading this, you are probably all ready well aware of these facts, and I do not need to preach to the converted.   But let me ask you this question, given the opportunity would you "Tell" a fellow motorcyclist off if you had the opportunity for failing to obey these simple rules.  Would you turn away and just consider it none of your business.

Recently why on holiday at the Bach, while sitting on the deck a motorcyclist with a pillion drove down  our drive way and stopped.  No one was as shocked as much I was, as we were off the beaten track, and even the driveway was hard to see.  They were in fact lost and were looking for directions, and a phone book.

What shocked me the most, was that they had come from Wellington , over the ferry, then ridden Queen Charlotte drive, complete with single lanes due to slips.  He was wearing a full set of leathers and she was wearing.....wait for it.....high heels and tights.  He was obviously an experienced rider, the bike certainly was well used.   My partner looked at me, I looked at them, and after I had helped sort them out with directions etc,  I took it upon myself to voice my disapproval.  Much to the embarrassment of all concerned.  I simply find that this is not acceptable, call me a fuddy duddy, but it is my ACC levy which will end up paying for the skin grafts.

I admit it has taken me some time to build up a closet full of gear which suits all the conditions that I come across.  Buy I am not asking everyone who rides a bike to spend thousands on gear.   And this post is not aimed at the novice, but is aimed at those who should know better.

As motortbikers we have a responsibility to help those that are new, to me that is a given, but we should not be afraid to voice our opinion about some thing like this.  I personally advoid confrontation like the plague, yet I am prepared to speak up about this topic as  I feel it is important.  I have relised that the older  I get the less I know, and you can never stop learning.

When you join the motorcycling fraternity, you become part of a big family, and as such we need you look after one another.  And as with any family there can be issues that need addressing....this is one that should not be swept under the carpet.


  1. Well put,my venture back to biking 5 yrs ago meant new gear,lid,boots,pants,jacket,gloves $979,then gear for wife who took a while to get on the back,another $700 approx,mind you a $500 lid for $54 off trade me police recovery auction,new condition(seller didn't realise it was visor type lid).Also leathers from a Hamilton importer cost $150 jacket,$75 pants,both items either samples or seconds,the seconds meant jacket had small rip in liner.

  2. Agree with the sentiment. I was ATGATT from the get go. Wouldn't ride on the street until I had the armored pants and jacket. (The lid was a given here.) So many that I ride with don't wear all the gear and it does come up in coversation. I do chastize them for not wearing all the gear and they believe they don't need it. I can't change their mind it one sitting. But on a couple of occasions I have given enough gorry details from accidents that sometimes they do bend my way down the road. Keep up the endorsements!


  3. Lori, Good on you for speaking up!

  4. When I got back into biking, about a week before our first big ride (coast to coast) I ran into a buddy that had a bunch of scabs on his arm and side. He had had a git off.. I took that as an omen and purchased proper gear for Mrs Tomb and I. It was expensive, especially since we couldn't wait for a sale. guessed it, we went down, and slid down the road 40 or 50 feet, a couple of days into our ride. The gear paid for itself right there. I'm a believer.

  5. Ken, A amazing story, glad you came out of it okay. More gald you had the correct gear on.

  6. I think that if the gentleman on the bike in full leather was a responsible rider he would have refused the lady the ride knowing she wasn't in proper gear. That said you can't force people to do the responsible thing.

    I will admit reluctantly that Troubadour and I haven't always adhered to ATGATT and were lucky back in those years. We now don't hop on a bike without 'full battle regalia' as I call it.

    We live in a college town and just shake our heads at the young guys riding sport bikes in flip flops and shorts with a full face helmets - girlfriend on the back in high heels and shorty shorts or mini skirts. Where to they expect to get the skin grafts from - their cheeks?

    We don't try and teach them the error of their ways, more of a natural selection type thing. The only one physically hurt from it will be themselves.

    Great post Roger and a good reminder to always wear your gear.

  7. Good post Roger, we believe in ATGATT here too but I must admit that we are both guilty of wearing ordinary jeans with our gear and I know that they will have no value in a get off. Must do something about that.

  8. Trobaritz and The Rider.....I am not completly blamess especially in my early years, but thanks for your comments. It is good to promote safe riding.