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Thread: Gear up, take chances?

  1. #1
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Gear up, take chances?

    Interesting read on technology making football players hit harder and skydivers open chutes lower. Same applies for motorcycle helmets and leathers?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...675824502.html

    This is a case of what's known as the risk-compensation effect. Though antilock brakes should make cars safer to drive, studies have demonstrated that drivers with such systems drive faster and brake later.

    ...When people feel safer, they take more chances, so the total level of safety remains constant.

    Of course, this doesn't mean we should be complacent about risk—antilock brakes and chin straps are wonderful inventions. But it does suggest the limits of technology as a cure-all. Sometimes, the safest way to live is to be a little afraid.
    I know it's a false sense of security, because sometimes if I'm just riding to the store or bike night it's a different vibe than when I'm in full leathers ready to carve up the canyons.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Paduan's Avatar
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    You just have to remember that when you wear full leathers and a helmet, then suffer blunt trauma/deceleration injuries to your chest, your helmet will allow you to remain conscious as you die.

    Your helmet will help your head, but those leathers don't do much for you after you impact that Kenworth front bumper.
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    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp125 View Post
    Same applies for motorcycle helmets and leathers?
    There's something to it.
    Imagine that you've ridden somewhere on a day ride. During your lunch stop something happens and your helmet is stolen. As you ride home, do you ride any differently than if you still had your lid? We'll assume that you still have some sort of effective eye protection.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by AZridered View Post
    There's something to it.
    Imagine that you've ridden somewhere on a day ride. During your lunch stop something happens and your helmet is stolen. As you ride home, do you ride any differently than if you still had your lid? We'll assume that you still have some sort of effective eye protection.
    I call the cops, because clearly someone has assaulted me and taken my helmet out of my hand.
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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashabear View Post
    I call the cops, because clearly someone has assaulted me and taken my helmet out of my hand.
    That or they left it laying around unattended, in which case you call a cab or a friend to drive you to buy or borrow one, It's illegal to ride without a helmet here and on a majority of other north american roadways

    ...I'm pretty sure 'carving up the canyons' also implies illegal speeds unless there are 2 bikes, in Ontario that might earn you a street racing charge that will range from minimum 2,000$ to 10,000$ plus your license and vehicle impounded for a week. Naturally you can take the charge to court and fight it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    That or they left it laying around unattended, in which case you call a cab or a friend to drive you to buy or borrow one, It's illegal to ride without a helmet here and on a majority of other north american roadways
    Well, the question was, what would YOU do, meaning me, and I would call the cops to come get the guy whose arm I'd just broken because he tried to jack my helmet. I don't leave it unattended, and I'm mean.

    (It's illegal in Massachusetts, too.)
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    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Well, helmets are not required here, and if I ever got my helmet stolen, I would ride way more conservatively than normal to the nearest M/C shop and buy a cheap helmet to get home.

    The gist of the article was that better protection and advances in gear have allowed athletes to push the performance envelope. Just like if you were rock climbing with ropes and carabiners and helmets, you could tackle harder routes than if you were simply free climbing.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    Read Richard S Foster's famous story "A Nice Morning Drive", inspiration for Rush's Red Barchetta.It's frighteningly true, especially considering it was written in 1973.

    Yes, people who perceive that they are in a safe environment do push themselves harder. It's one of the reasons we recommend smaller, lighter bikes - they are truly safer, and allow for mistakes.
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    Senior Moderator We've stopped counting... subvetSSN606's Avatar
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    I get the psychology, but I'm personally such a conservative rider I can't imagine how I could possibly take it down a notch!


    I wonder how much of the phenomenon is one having the misguided impression of safety gear being a panacea rather than a realistic impression of it just being a mitigator?

    Tom
    In the end, regrets rarely come from things done, but from things not even tried.


  10. #10
    It's not always a concious thing. Just expanding your comfort zone a little bit can result in being "comfortable" with riding a little differently on the street. It's worth a little self-reflection now and then.

    (And Atomicalex - Now I've got to give you this link to our local BMW club!! http://www.bmwbmw.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=8693)
    Chaz

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