Popping out

It’s said that a great many accidents happen within a mile of either home, or a destination. This is something we’ve all heard before, and also something many have suffered from in the past. For me, my most recent faux pas just underlined the need for wearing decent protective kit, at all times.

Picture one blazing hot Saturday morning, and a group of lads all out for a howl before MotoGP kicked off at Assen. For hours we tore up the West, a belting ride full of excitement, fun and the odd minor scare. So far, so normal. Arriving back at home base just before the GP started, I then realised I’d forgotten to pick up enough food for lunch.

Already half undressed; I toyed with the idea of getting the one-piece suit off entirely, slinging on some jeans and a jacket and popping to the local Supermarket, just half a mile away. It’s so hot, do I even need gloves? However, I have tried to turn this safety conscious thought into everyday practice for years, so back on went the suit, the gloves, everything. I’d just have to look like a knobber standing in whatever queue.


So, pulling off the roundabout in thick traffic, following a line of cars into the supermarket at not even 20mph, gently braking with a tiny bit of lean and then, crash! The front suddenly goes; I stick my hands out and manage to push myself up off the floor so I’m standing before the bike’s even stopped sliding. It only slides less than ten yards because of the slow speed, and the fact it went down on shellgrip, as did my hands.

I was wearing a brand new pair of Spidi Carbosix gloves, which took the brunt of the fall. Only a small scuff on my boot and suit-knee shows any other evidence of an off. However, after getting over the sheer disbelief of how the hell I’d ended up on the deck for no apparent reason, my thoughts turned to a decision I’d made only minutes before – to put my gloves on. Shellgrip would have mullered my bare hands in inches, it was a good call.

It also reminds me of the attitude to wearing clothing on bikes, and how it differs depending on the person. Sure, wear whatever the hell you like; we may cringe when we see someone riding a GSX-R1000 in flip-flops and shorts, but each to their own. In my case, the reason I always kit-up even if I’m only riding yards, is that I enjoy riding motorbikes. And, I want to continue riding motorbikes whether I’ve had a crash or not. The chances of that are far higher if I can get back up and on without any injuries, moreso if I continue to dress in what I’d consider ‘appropriate’ clothing. Had I not be wearing my gloves, I’d of been out of action for weeks or perhaps more, but I walked away unscathed. Food for thought.



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  1. Last sept i did exactly the same thing….figured as i was only popping out for 5 mins i wouldnt bother with the gear, jeans and normal shoes would do but i thought sod it put me boots on it only takes a few seconds. Bloody glad i did, had only travelled half a mile and was doing 30mph up a hill when i noticed a chap in his VW waiting to turn i thought he must have seen me because he was still waiting when i was less than 10 feet away…nope bugger suddenly cut right across my path…i never even had time to swear and remember a massive BANG as i hit him almost dead centre between the headlights.
    The bike pitched foward up onto its nose and dissapeared down a side street and i was thrown over the brow of the hill landing on my back and shoulder, when i tried to get up seconds after hitting the deck i realised id injured my right leg so i hobbled back to my bike…..(just finished restoring it 22yr old FZ600) and sat down on the pavement…in short bike fooked totally, hands saved by gloves, back and shoulder saved by armoured jacket but most importantly leg saved by boots as the impact shattered the armour shin plate in my right boot……was hobbling around for a few months but atleast i didnt break anything PS yes i was wearing a helmet which received a minor bump and scrape!… so to all u non-wearers of gear its your call but dont ever think a low speed spill or crash wont hurt……skin grafts cost more than a set of leathers lol

  2. ive discovered a way of surviving those inane crashes caused by incopmpetent drivers…its called the Vader helmet mod…basically it scares the Darkside out of them so they dont attempt to hit u….see pics
    did u spot the almost link to ur mag lol?
    this one shows u it can be worn safely….honest!!

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