FASHION OR FUNCTION?
Updated: Jun 7
Talking with Motorcycle Expert, Trevor Dech, from Too Cool Motorcycle School in Calgary and he mentioned to me that 67% of Motorcycles injuries happen below the sternum (chest down). Wow! Not surprising though is that that comment got us talking about proper safety, such as footwear. Typically, and especially on a warm riding day, I walk around with flip-flops or runners. So naturally, and incorrectly, it makes sense to get on your Motorcycle with the same walking gear. Here’s a story from David Grummett (Communications Director) from the MMIC (The Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council of Canada) he shared with me knowing I’d be talking about footwear…here’s what he emailed me: I saw your notification about the upcoming flip flop story and thought I would share an old race story. Back in the day before toe sliders, racers would wear out the little toe side of their boots from dragging on the pavement. This would cause significant structural damage to the boots. One racer I used to know crashed and, in the process, peeled off the soles of his boots. In addition to the soles of his boots he also peeled the skin and flesh from the bottom of his feet. As a result, he spent days on his back unable to walk. He said if you have a bad ankle…limp, a bad knee…limp, even a bad hip…limp. If the soles of your feet are worn away with road rash even limping won’t help, you’re on your back until they heal. That’s a nasty injury flip flop wearer probably doesn’t consider.
Consider if your bike accidentally becomes unbalanced and if you’re not quick enough to react, your foot could get logged between the road and your bike. Boots today, and there are so many options, should have an impact protector surrounding the heal of the boot which will absorb the impact of a fall.
I bet you have a story like David’s. When I think about the amount of times, typically during the warmer months, that I’ve seen "buddy" cruising on his bike sporting flip-flops or runners. He may have thought, 'I'm heading to the store for some milk, so why get geared-up?' Here's a thought, consider throwing your sneakers in your saddle bag or backpack and throw them on when you get to your destination. Consider that one stupid move by you or another vehicle could put you in a position where you may never ride again. Consider that you're setting an example for someone else, maybe a family member, that could jeopardize their decision making down the road. Consider that your feet will thank you if you're ever in a dangerous situation. Being able to walk away from an accident to ride another day is really what we're talking about here...don't you think? Just sayin'
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