The feeling of freedom that comes from riding a motorcycle or ATV and being out in the elements is why we ride. However, it also comes with the risk of being injured by those same elements. Luckily good riding gear will offer comfortable protection from those elements without compromising the benefits you get from riding—the sights, the feelings, the smells, and the sounds.
A phrase used by some veteran riders is ATGATT, which is an acronym that stands for “All The Gear, All The Time.” If you are only going on a short ride, even just to the store, you should use your protective gear.
You will need appropriate jackets, boots, pants and gloves. Additionally, because no one can ride without thinking and seeing clearly, it is critical to protect your head and eyes.
Bugs, dirt and rain at a picnic are bothersome. Contact with your eyes at 70 mph with any of these projectiles are very dangerous. To safeguard your eyes while riding, specialized auto-tinting photochromic safety glasses are your best bet to protect you from flying debris as well as from bright light.
Regardless of the specific method you choose, your glasses and/or helmet face shield need to be shatterproof. Even if you don’t require corrective glasses, auto-tinting safety glasses with bifocal magnifiers are helpful reading maps and negate the requirement of tinted helmet face shields.
As important an organ as a brain is, you would have thought it could have been designed a little sturdier. Just a good bump can mess it up. Before you go helmet shopping, check out ratings and reviews of the available brands and models, and come up with the list of certifications you require. A good rule of thumb for deciding on a helmet is to spend what you think your head is worth.
Helmet styles range from full-face, which cover your head completely including your face, to open-face (or three-quarter) helmets that cover the top and sides of your head, to shorty helmets that cover the top of your head only. When choosing a style, more is better.
The biggest consideration in choosing a helmet it to find one that is comfortable. Everyone has a unique head shape and just like buying shoes, it’s recommended that you try on a bunch of different helmets to find the best one for you.
Exposure to loud sounds can permanently damage your hearing. An aerodynamically designed, full-coverage helmet with an integrated face shield can dramatically reduce sound levels. Additionally, foam ear plugs can add attenuation and help prevent permanent hearing loss.
Let’s go ride
Now we’re all geared up, and we can concentrate on the reason we ride – fun. See you out there!