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Motorcycle safety gear may cost a pretty penny, but it's worth it

What is the allure of motorcycling? According to some, it represents the last measure of adventure for those in our urbanized society. Straddle a motorcycle and you can be taken back to the days when travel was done on horseback. The big difference is that you now ride with the speed of a fine touring vehicle that can take the curves of a twisty Connecticut road.

What freedom. Who wants to restrict that sense by being wrapped up in what amounts to full-body bubble wrap? Covering yourself in leather from top to bottom and strapping on a space-age helmet; how confining.

But there are members of the motorcycling community who suggest that the wearing of the gear is as necessary a part of the art of cycling as is getting proper riding training. They suggest it pays to develop a healthy sense of respect for the art because if you get into an accident you are not likely to make a very pretty picture on the canvas.

An example of the kind of perspective to avoid is displayed in one recent newspaper story we saw. It tells of a 17-year-old boy who happened to get caught motorcycling in the rain. He lost control of his cycle and managed to lay it down.

He went skidding a long way but had on all the right gear, including the required helmet, so the only injuries he suffered were some scrapes and bruises. But the doctor who treated him recalls that, based on the gouges and scrapes that the helmet suffered, the young man had been very lucky. Still, when presented later with the remains of his helmet, he reportedly said, "Oh, man! I just bought that a week ago! What a waste of $150!"

That's perhaps not the reaction one would expect from someone who just survived a serious motorcycle accident because of that $150 piece of gear.

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