Dress for the Slide – Nefarious James
If you think riding a motorcycle wearing flip-flops and shorts is a great idea, you’ve obviously not kissed the pavement yet
Well everybody, here we are in November. Elections are finally over and we are moving toward Thanksgiving. This month I’m going to touch base on something that drives home last month’s article. Last month, I wrote about trying to be more aware while you’re on the road and how nobody’s going to look after you but you. As fate would have it, I was hit by a car that sideswiped me late on a Friday night and decided to take off and leave me on the road. Even being diligent sometimes is not enough. So, with that in mind, I am going to cover the aftermath of such an incident when it takes place. More than likely, after an accident, you’re going to be left with some form of trauma to your body, whether it’s road rash, broken bones, or something worse than that. So let’s cover how to help prevent or minimize that damage.
We always hear the motorcycle saying, “Dress for the slide not for the ride.” There is some truth to that statement. Sometimes that’s very difficult to do with high temperatures and balmy weather. So I will cover some of the things I think help out the most. Some people will tell you to always wear a helmet, but that is a whole other topic. I’ve noticed with most accidents, it ends up being the joints, meaning the knees, elbows, and your hands that take the brunt of the fall. If you think riding a motorcycle wearing flip-flops and shorts is a great idea, you’ve obviously not kissed the pavement yet. I say “yet” because they always say it’s not if you will crash, but when you will crash.
I’ve been riding for 45 years and it still happened to me. I ride about as paranoid as you can get and still, stuff happens. I feel there is a need for us to dress appropriately while on our motorcycles. Let’s start from the bottom up. Boots are great protection and sandals are not. On my crash, my boots were destroyed. That could’ve been my feet. Imagine if I was wearing flip-flops or sneakers. That certainly would have ruined my chances of running in a marathon. Long pants are a great idea as well. Granted, it may not stop all of the damage, but it sure will decrease it compared to bare skin on asphalt. If you’re so inclined, knee protection is something to consider as well. Whether built into the pants or as a separate addition to your gear. Elbow and torso protection is also a good idea.
I mention all of these areas because they became contact points when I went down. Each of those areas can be extremely painful and take a long time to heal. Last, but not least, if you don’t wanna try any of the things above, at least use gloves to protect your hands and fingers. With your hands intact it will at least be easier to change all those bandages as well as wipe your ass and brush your teeth. Believe me, some of the simplest tasks become a chore. Sometimes a painful chore.
Keeping a small First Aid Kit on your bike, or at least a few bandannas, can also come in helpful if you go down. Don’t just assume help is going to show up and save the day. You could be off of the road or in the middle of nowhere with help far out of reach, if accessible at all. Therefore, you’re going to need to learn how to do your own triage until you can either get help or help arrives. There are many first aid classes available online or at local facilities that are at your disposal. Knowing some lifesaving techniques may do just that. It could be your life, your passenger or another rider.
I know we all think that it will never happen to us, but let me tell you, it’s definitely a possibility with the people we share the road with. Become aware of what new products are available to help you heal during your aftercare. I know I ran into some really good stuff that helped me heal faster with a lot less scarring, a lot less pain, and a lot less time to heal. Take your aftercare seriously.
Remember, chicks may dig scars, but they don’t dig infection. As always, stay diligent and ride tactically while out on our roads. Watch how much you drink or how much you party, and make sure that you’re still aware of your surroundings. I would hate to hear of another incident that could’ve been avoided by the use of common sense. I’m hoping a lot of you take heed to what I’m saying as it may just seem like a speech to most of you, but this is our reality. As bikers, we take care of ourselves. We ride our ride and live our own lives the way we see fit. It doesn’t hurt to try to make those rides as enjoyable as possible under every condition.
I wish you all the best. And remember, this is the month of thanks. Be thankful for what you have and whatever health you have. You get one life, enjoy the hell out of it. But do it wisely so you can live it longer. Ride safe and I’ll see you out there.