Originally Posted by Charis
Is it possible we're worried too much about dressing properly and not enough on riding properly? Can ATGATT give us a false sense of security?
It could give a false sense of security. It all depends on your mindset and how you want to treat it. I certainly feel like I can take a tumble off with less injury all geared up than if I wasn't...however that's based on the concept that padding dissipates energy and a helmet keeps rocks out of your brains.
From the stupid motorcycle tricks education department:
A few days ago I was in a state park that was essentially abandoned after the holiday rush was over. (The population density was something like 1 camper per 1.5 miles of road with about 10 campers total) After an ATGATT run through to check road conditions, people threats and hazards, I decided any risk was going to be 99% self inflicted. I then rode around slowly (20mph tops) without the gear.
Several things occured to me while I was toodling along:
1. Riding without gear is just bad wrong and I do not like being unprotected.
2. I ride the same way with or without gear. My observable behavior and technique does not change.
3. My mindset is different: Without gear, I'm riding carefully to avoid getting hurt because I'm afraid of the ground. With the gear, while I'm still afraid of the ground and getting hurt, I'm riding properly to avoid going down. IOW, I can concentrate better on what I'm doing than being afraid of the ground and trying to avoid it.
4. Puttering around in nearly abandoned state park kind of situations might be marginally acceptable for minimal gear if the conditions are exactly right. Well, maybe anyway, and I'm still not sure about that. Anywhere else, it's unconditional ATGATT.
As for a downside to the gear: Nothing when it comes to the real world. It takes 2 minutes to gear up however that, just like preflighting the motorcycle every time, is just part of how riding is done. It's almost overkill for a 5 minute store run but that's just how it is. Sometimes people in the stores will give me grief about the gear in front of others as a pathetic attempt at public humiliation (I've even had a few laugh at me) but that's their problem, not mine.