Originally Posted by alii1959
They couldn't have been going over 5 mph.
Point is, that speed doesn't determine the extent of the injury. I have fallen off of bicycles, even going really slowly, and it got kinda ugly a few times.
A perfect example of the physics not being understood. I've broken a wrist falling while track-standing a mountain bike. Speed, prior to the fall, isn't as much a factor as is velocity of the soon-to-be-injured body part at the point of impact. Deceleration trauma doesn't require much in the way of speed, per se. It is mass in motion and the energy dissipated as it comes to rest that results in injury.
How much speed is required to break bone against concrete, or to strip skin from flesh against a rough surface? Surprisingly, not much at all. We are but soft meatbags. With this realization comes recognition for the benefit of an exo-skeleton when exposing our meatbags to hostile environs.
Originally Posted by alii1959
Sadly, there is a culture in this country that states that "its my life I'll do what I want" without regard ... Of course it is your choice....but, my question is why THAT choice?
Humans can be a pretty screwed up bunch, between marketing and social inundation painting machismo as being paramount over common sense, added to the natural human desire to be a part of one's tribe. These combine to impair the ability to make clear, rational decisions while preserving what we have been led to believe is most important. Ego. We see images in media that form an image which we want to have for ourselves and we don't want the burden of thought, physics, and reality to get between us and realizing that vision.
It takes a strong, almost anti-social thought process to overcome this social programming and choose differently. Oddly, this very sentiment is often the one some riders believe they are parroting by dressing the part of the anti-social pirate-costume adorned biker thug image. (other than those real bikers who are the models for the same gear, only they have accumulated their gear over decades, and they actually ride the wheels off their scoots.) I'm speaking of those who "buy the look," at the dealer, financed along with their bike purchase. They go from everyday, carbon-copy corporate minion, to "biker," overnight. Some routinely cycle between the two images as a mild form of multiple identity disorder.
The answer to "why THAT choice" may be a deep rooted desire to break away from the mold life has cast a person into, to be unique. Only there is seldom a passionate commitment to the lifestyle. Rather, they want instant gratification. They are merely actors, only they are playing their part off-stage in the real world where it will hurt when a tragedy is played out for the audience they have dressed to impress. They have no commitment to become good at the part (proficient riders), they just want to be identified as if they are, in order to fulfill their desire for recognition. So, when push comes to shove they fall down and are unprepared for it. "Where's my stunt double!"
In real life you have to invest yourself in the part you are playing. Regardless of gear choice, if a rider isn't constantly striving to improve their skills (by first admitting that dressing the part does not impart the skill set) they increase their chances of life demonstrating the foolishness of such a belief.
I've always believed that skill will play a much bigger part in reducing injury, and, have realized through trial and error that wearing gear will allow one to improve skills while reducing their exposure to injury during the process.
For me, riding well is the important thing, not so much how I look while doing it. There is always room to improve my skills. Wearing gear allows me to get back to riding quicker should I make a mistake while working toward this goal.
There is no reason you can't have both constant skill improvement and look good while doing it. Many do. In my experience it will behoove a rider to prioritize their choices with a bias toward survival in a dangerous environment over being recognized as most fashionable by one's peers.
Reality can bite quite a bit harder than a fashion faux pas.