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Old 04-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #1
blk-betty OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 2,330
Is ATGATT overrated?

I made the statement: ATGATT is overrated.... it's for guys who are either too afraid of a boo-boo or those who feel like thay have to put on an amour suit to prove how manly they are to participate in such a dangerous activity....over in the Killboy failure Dragon thread and it elecited a few comments. Sure it was a little over the top but there are truths on both ends of the spectrum.

Immediately it was assumed that I wear a Ebay plastic brain bucket with a fake DOT sticker. Just for the record I own 2 DOT approved Harely (Made by KBC) half halemts, one DOT apporved Harley (Made by HJC) 3/4 helmet, one Shoei Quest full face helmet and one AGV AX8 dual sport full face helmet. I have a few pair of gloves and 4 or 5 riding specific jackets ranging from a light nylon windbreaker to a heavy textile 3/4 length coat complete with body armor, and one pair of 10 year Danner Arcadia boots. Still trying to score a pair of Sidi Gore-tex Canyon boots at a decent price.

I've been riding since about age 7 but only on dirt until college then no street bike for 15 years but since 1999 I've had 8 street bikes. Sadly I don't get to ride near as much as some of you but have logged over 100,000 miles in the last 10 years. Not a huge amount but I ride for fun, don't ride to work and back and have other hobbies/obligations.

Rarely do I ride ATGATT and if you guys are honest with yourselves I bet most of you don't ride ATGATT either as it implies ALL the gear ALL the time.

One of the best things about the bike is I can jump on it and be gone in a second and have fun running my mundane errands. It's hot and humid here, I'm talking over 90F with humidity above 50% in the summer and that typically means 6 moths or more. You walk outside and you will be wet with sweat in short order. If I'm running errands around town and will be in and out a few stores I'm not putting on long pants, boots, gloves, and a heavy jacket....it just isn't happening. Not only will I be uncomfortable but it will add double the time to dress in my gear, remove the gear at each stop, and gear back up again. I really might as well have taken the car...and isn't that what is suppose to be the benefit of bikes...less gas consumption, easier to park, easier to manuever in heavy congested traffic, easier on the environment so more people should be riding?

I'm an adult and have been for over 25 years. I fully understand the risks associated with riding with little protective gear and I choose to accept those risks. For ME it is those risks that make riding fun and get the adrenaline pumping. When all totally geard up I feel like I'm in a coccon and isolated from the elements which honestly takes away from my enjoyment of the riding process...at those times riding becomes more like a task an less like a pleasurable experience. I ride for fun, if it's not fun I might as well be taking the car.

I've been down 3 times from low siding, only once did I have on a helmet and twice with shorts but no gloves and tennis shoes. I got some rash on my leg and forearm. Picked gravel out each time, sure it hurt but not THAT bad and it healed up just fine. Each time I went down I was doing something stupid and the accidents were 100% avoidable, I learned from those experiences and I'm a better rider as a result.

My point was not to claim that one shouldn't wear some protective gear but to point out that when others don't dress the same they have reasons for doing so and have at some level made a conscious decision to choose their attire.

My biggest fear while riding is blunt force trauma or a spinal cord injury. ATGATT won't do much to prevent either in a accident with signicant impact...yea your corpse may look a little better lying in the casket but your still lying in a casket.

The vast majority of riders I see in my area (southeast USA) are not ATGATT and that includes guys and gals I see atop adventure/DS bikes, sport bikes, sport touring bikes, and cruisers. Maybe they are just running errands like I do at times but they are riding and they are not ATGATT.

Yet so many on this site make emphatic judgement calls about others based on what they were wearing while riding when a picture was taken it prompted my statement. Of couse it was inflammatory and was thown out to elicit debate.

What say you?

How many of you guys wear ALL the gear EVERY SINGLE TIME you ride a bike, and if you don't wear ALL the gear EVERY SINGLE TIME why not?

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blk-betty screwed with this post 04-06-2012 at 07:10 AM
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