to properly protect yourself is easy. While this is a much firmer argument in regard to seat belt use, it is significantly more com- plex relative to helmets.
Why? Motorcycle riding is an“experience” in itself. It should be experienced by all peo- ple at some time to understand this point. It can’t be explained. Much like a dog riding inside a car insists on sticking its head out the window so the wind can flop its ears and dry their eyes, helmet use verses non-use is closely tied to “the experience.” Let’s face it, motorcycle riders are risk-takers. Riders are 37 times more at risk of dying than if trav- eling by car. Individuals are responsible to
manage their own risk. People make choices as to the level of risk they will assume. Mo- torcycling is one of those choices. Helmet use is another.
Here’s the catch: many riders argue the
helmet diminishes the “experience.” a degree, this is true. It certainly kills
ent difference-maker than that. For many, an increased level of
is much deeper risk-taking carries energy. Motorcycle
riding naturally stimulating feel.
provides some of that Riders feel more open,
more exposed, more in control, their environment and more free!
closer to To many,
this exhilaration makes the risk of riding well worth it. Helmets, on the other hand, steal the openness, dampen the exposure, suppress control, shut out the environ- ment and diminish that feeling of free- dom. I liken it to one’s childhood, when all you wanted to do was run outside and play in the snow and your mom made you wait until she got your hat and mittens on. After that, your rush to get outside was propor- tionally tempered.
Clearly helmets save lives. By nature, the will to put one on, each and every time, so as to protect oneself is not forthcoming any- time soon. M
Fall 2008 | MOVE