IT’S that time of year again, hot weather and an increasing number of motorcyclists and scooter riders riding around with just the bare minimum of protection on.
One guy I saw recently on a high-powered BMW with just his legal helmet, shorts and trainers.
I myself am what I call a mature motorcyclist and although I only use my 650cc Honda for work commuting between Worthing and Hove, it makes me cringe when I see inadequately dressed bike and scooter riders alike riding around with very little protection. They only have to drop their machines or get knocked off and once they hit the road with so little protection it is like a cheese grater on their skin – ask any paramedic or ambulance driver.
I, myself, always wear full protection having been involved in a road traffic collision just off the Grove Lodge roundabout along Warren Road in March, 2010 (small coverage by your paper).
A car pulled out of a driveway into my path as I was coming off the roundabout. I was within the speed limit, but I was unable to stop and collided with the side of the car and ended up with my helmet wedged slightly under the sill of the car.
Despite having high-visibility clothing on and high-visibility markings on the bike, the driver failed to see me even though it was late evening and I had extra lighting on the bike. Fortunately, I had all the correct clothing on, so despite having severe bruising to my legs which took the full force of the impact, I avoided serious injury and it was only my clothing that had to be replaced and not my skin.
I would sooner sweat in my full protective clothing rather than slide along the road unprotected. One other point to make here is the possibility of being hit in the chest by a bird or bee whilst riding – that in itself can be enough to cause a rider to lose control of a machine.
I have been riding bikes for more than 45 years, and have seen some very nasty bike accidents, so bikes and scooters PLEASE take note.
PS – Yes, I am still riding a bike even after the accident.