7/18/06

"A Brain That's Functioning So Poorly..."

Of course I wear my helmet when I ride my motorcycle. Of course.

There's no law in Indiana requiring licensed riders to wear head protection, but I'm with Jerry Seinfeld on this one: "The only thing dumber than the helmet is the helmet law -- the point of which is to protect a brain that's functioning so poorly... it's not even trying to stop the cracking of the head that it's in."

We're eggs on sticks here, people. And if you're hurtling across the concrete at anything faster than a brisk jog, you're never more than a few milliseconds away from slipping, flipping or otherwise scrambling your omelet, so to speak. Then, not only will you not be riding again anytime soon, you might not even be speaking in complete sentences.

Look at it this way -- if you have a college degree, you've probably spent upwards of $25,000 filling up your brain there alone. A decent helmet, one that can make sure all that fancy knowledge stays in its container, costs about $250.

Factor in all the people who care about you, and how badly you'd be robbing them by risking your life for some cheap thrills, and seriously -- what kind of a Roethlisberger do you have to be not to take the precaution?

About a month ago, when the Steelers quarterback flipped over the handlebars of his Hayabusa and into the windshield of that car (that's what always happens, by the way -- an inattentive driver coming the other way turns left in front of a motorcyclist, who then has nowhere to go) my cousin, who is a diehard Pittsburgh fan and generally an intelligent human being, defended Big Ben's decision to ride unprotected by pointing out, "Hey, there's no helmet law in Pennsylvania."

Cue Jerry Seinfeld.

This cousin went on to explain that nobody really wears a helmet anyway, because everybody knows it totally ruins the experience. "Riding with a helmet on ... you might as well just drive a car with the sunroof open" he said. Perhaps, I guess, but if the "real riding experience" consists of being deafened, blinded, pelted with insects at a mile a minute and possibly brain damaged, I'll pass.

My version of motorcycling, tame as it may be, suits me just fine.

*****

In fact, I'm about to order myself a special suit, available through a company called Aerostich, designed to protect the rest of me in the event of a crash. I've wanted one for a long time -- almost ten years, now -- but today I am going to take the plunge and order it, because my very excellent mother gave me the money for my birthday.

Alright, Mom!

The only question now is, which color? I've narrowed the choices to these four, but you can see others on the Aerostich site:

3 comments:

penelope said...

I like them all. I would think about what would best match the bikes through the years.

Thomas said...

Grey suit, blue trim. or Grey suit, red trim.

Colin said...

Sorry, Tom - I went with Grey suit, fluorescent yellow trim (3rd one from the left). That way, in response to Penny's suggestion, it will go equally well - meaning not at all - with any concievable motorcycle I could ride. Plus I'll be easier to see.

FedEx says it left St. Paul this morning... I may get it tomorrow!