There is a heartening trend of motorcycle riders wearing full riding gear, even if they only want to look cool. You see the thing is, even if you do the right thing for the wrong reason the end is usually beneficial
My house in Pune, being just a kilometre from the main highway, is very conveniently located if you wanted to go for a weekend ride out. As such, I get to see hordes of bikers every weekend gathering at a café just a few minutes walking from my place. They usually congregate there before heading off to their respective destinations. Over the past year or so I have been noticing a steady rise in the number of people who turn up in full riding gear – a good lid, a fairly well fitting motorcycle jacket, gloves and even boots. Some of them even wear proper riding pants.
Now of course the same café also caters to groups of superbike riders who obviously turn up in full riding gear, sometimes even full leather riding suits. But what got my attention was that riders of much smaller bikes, the kind of bikes that they would probably ride to work on weekdays and then go out on a ride with over the weekend, also turn up in proper riding gear.
My curiosity piqued, I decided to approach a bunch one Saturday, introduced myself and started asking around. I did speak to a couple of the superbike guys as well, but their answer was predictably about how they don’t want to break their bones if they have a fall from their super-fast machines and so on. That conversation eventually degenerated into a brag session where they proceeded to tell me about the capabilities of their machines. Entirely boring and a total waste of time if you ask.
Coming back to the other more modest lot, I asked around and found out that while a whole lot of them knew exactly why they should invest in protective clothing, quite a few of them had very little idea about the functional benefits of such riding gear. Their primary desire to don purpose-built motorcycle gear was to “look cool”.
Now some of you may have a problem with that and you’re already thinking that how can a bunch of people put anything on their backs without knowing what that gear is going to do for them. I, however, have a different opinion. If a bunch of blokes are going to be wearing riding gear and riding irrespective of whether they know what the protective gear will do for them, I think that’s a huge positive turn of events. You see, if and when they fall, the gear will prevent their bones from breaking, no matter their awareness levels. At that time they will also learn to appreciate the functional benefits of wearing riding gear. That awareness will then be passed on to others who wear motorcycle riding gear to “look cool”. Until then I’m happy even if they’re wearing riding gear (i.e. doing the right thing) to look cool (i.e. for the wrong reason). Whatever the reason, they will remain protected.
On that note…happy riding and stay safe!