Riding Gear: File Under J for Judgmental

Riding Gear: File Under J for Judgmental

Fuzzygalore - Rainy Road in Mass - 2007Try as I might, I can’t shake being a judgmental witch about what other people are up to on their motorcycles. Most often it is other people’s lack of riding gear that receives my scorn.

Judge not, that you be not judged.

I am unable to stop myself from making dismissive ‘pfft’ sounds in my helmet when Johnny Squidrocket zips by and waves. He breezily zooms along in his cargo shorts and I sit brewing a piquant sweat puddle down my jacketed back. Maybe I’m a hater because I’m always hot. Being hot makes people crabby.

How can I be expected to not shake my head when I see a young man wearing a leather jacket, gloves and shorts on a motorcycle? Are the gloves and jacket to keep you warm? Keep you safe? What is it and why doesn’t anything below your belly button need the same treatment? That get-up is ultimately perplexing to me.

I won’t lie. I have on many an occasion fantasized about how delightful it must feel to ride around on a summer evening in a t-shirt. I bet it feels fantastic. But, I could never bring myself to do it.

The Real Question

I’m sure many of you would agree that the real question is Why do I care? I don’t know the answer. The risks that other riders take with their personal safety are none of my business. I know this and yet, I judge them. Shame on me… or not?

Let’s hear from you!

  • Do you feel moved to “educate” other riders who ride around without gear?
  • What kind of success rate do you have?
  • Do you think it’s meddling and that people should just mind their own damned business? Keep your agenda to yourself, ‘k-thanks-bye.

5 Replies to “Riding Gear: File Under J for Judgmental”

  1. Main Entry: hyp·o·crite
    Pronunciation: \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritēs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
    Date: 13th century

    1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
    2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

    Yeah, that’s me, a hypocrite.

    Online and on my forum (www.suspectsunlimited.com) I preach ATGATT without fail. In fact, it’s one of our ride rules; in order for you participate in one of our rides, you’ll need to be ATGATT. And for these rides, I’m always ATGATT with the addition of a stand alone backprotector. when the temps are above 70°, I’m roasting on my bike.

    However, when not on a Sunday ride or trip, rarely will I be wearing gear especially around town. When my peers see like this I only get head shakes of severe disapproval for which I feel like an ass, but I’ve faced the fact that I’m a squid at heart.

    Since we met at the diner over the summer I’ve been feeling bad about my squidly ways and I’ve changed. I also owe it to my loved ones to try and not be as stupid as I normally can be.

    As far as influencing others… through the forum I believe that I/we have been sucussful in getting folks to wear proper gear. The new folks on the forum want to ‘fit in" and come along on the rides so they end up buying more gear than they thought they ever would!

    As far as judging people… unless we were all raised alone on deserted islands, I think we all inherently judge others. It’s part of our human make up as hunters and gatherers.

  2. //Since we met at the diner over the summer I’ve been feeling bad about my squidly ways and I’ve changed.//

    I really hope I didn’t make you feel bad. I think i may have ribbed you, but gently. BUT.. you got me first with a GPS crack

  3. It’s a good thing what you do.

    In the never ending quest to look cool many insist on risking their lives. Most people, whether they’ll admit it or not, don’t wear gear because of peer pressure.

    Why should it be wrong to exert some in the opposite direction?


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