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Psychological armour

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by spenze, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. After putting the rear wheel back on my bike I thought it prudent to go for a short trip around the neighbourhood just to make sure it wasn't going to fall off. I figured I would be no more 5 mins, and wouldn't even get up to the speed limit, so I decided to just put on the helmet and go. So I was wearing shoes, trackies and a sweatshirt and thats about it.

    It took no more than 20m before the complete and utter crippling feeling of being vulnerable hit me. I had to turn around, go home and gear up.
    Without gear on, I felt smaller, harder to see and a target for the local hoons (my neighbours).

    The only difference between the two outings though was just the gear I changed into (boots, draggins, jacket and gloves), but the effect it had on my mind was astonishing.

    Turns out the wheel didn't fall off either.
  2. Whilst I would never argue against wearing full gear, I'm not sure that being psychologically crippled, to the point of being unable to ride, by not wearing it is healthy.

    But then, I come from an era and culture of biking where a post repair test ride routinely meant scooting lidless round the block in jeans and a t-shirt, so maybe I'm a poor example :D.
  3. spenze...

    of all the times to go out without atg...
    when you're worried your back wheel might fall off :cheeky:
  4. It does point to a cause of concern, though: the feeling of invulnerability that gear can give you. It's false, of course.
  5. Studies have shown that dressing for the occasion dose help with performance.There is a reason that office workers tend to 'slack off' when there is a free dress day. One example was military pilots in a flight simulator..dressed in jeans and T shirt they did not perform as well as when they were wearing flying suits and helmets.
    I guess that the act of putting on the gear is telling the brain that you are heading out and therefore to perform the tasks required at a certain level.Plus you know that you have your gear on so you don't feel as vulnerable as you would without it..so you tend to focus more on the ride rather than the consequences of a fall.
  6. Well spoken, sir.
  7. I often ride wearing less than ATGATT and find I do ride more cautiously than when I do have all the gear on. But I certainly don't feel psychologically crippled, in fact I think it actually hightens my awareness.
  8. Couldn't have put it better myself, well said sir.
  9. Good point also
  10. I never feel safe unless I'm geared up. When riding with normal jeans and a leather jacket I keep thinking "what would happen to my knees if they hit the road right now"
  11. I do my (frequent) maintanence test runs in just my pudding basin, unless I'm testing some problem that might heighten my risk. You're losing a basic freedom of mind when you feel so vulnerable that you can't jump on a bike for five minutes without gear. (But, then, this is the age with no moral or spiritual depth beyond worship of the God of Health and Safety. And he is a jealous god.)
  12. always choose the right tools for the job and ride with confidence.
    if your head is in the wrong place and you're feeling vulnerable, then you could get spooked and possibly put your self in danger as a result.
    go home.
  13. Wow, talk about the perfect answering reply....
  14. When riding to the shops I just put my jacket helmet and gloves on, but it totally changes my riding style. I don't take gaps that I would normally have taken, I ride a lot slower, and I slow right down for green lights that will soon go yellow and wait for the next set.
  15. I'd argue the opposite when riding.

    When I just wear a helmet to go down the road to a shop (50kmh zones), I ride ultra ultra ultra carefully. Taking corners super easy, being extra cautious with any hazard, etc. But when geared, the protection means I just ride 'normally', ie. not 150 year old nanna mode.
  16. Quite possibly nothing very much. I've crashed a couple of times in plain denim jeans and, although I'd have preferred to be in leather, the results weren't as bad as you'd imagine.

    Corduroy, OTOH, is a no-no. Quite apart from being criminally unfashionable, a slide will leave you wearing a grass skirt and burned in stripes :shock: :D.
  17. I'm the same too. I liken not wearing my gear to not putting on my seatbelt in my car. It feels wrong to drive off without my belt on the same as I feel naked without my riding gear on.
  18. If you keep thinking that, then the chances are that is what is going to happen.

    I'm going to put on a flame suit for this.

    All this talk about wearing ATGATT and full face helmets added with the constant "oh pitty me, I was stupid and wasn't concentrating on what I was doing so some bloke in a cage cut me off" is really starting to grate on me. I doubt many of us have been in an accident where there wasn't something we could have done to avoid the accident.

    Guess what people, we're adults, we're capable of making our own decisions and our own choices. With every choice you make there are consequences, some good, some not so good. But, it's the individuals choice.

    If you really find it psychologically difficult to ride a bike unless you have all the gear on then so be it, but maybe, just maybe, you need to review your riding style.

    Now for a little disclaimer. If you are inexperienced then I would strongly suggest you wear all the best gear you can afford, and make sure it fits you properly. Once you've had some experience then make your own decisions.
  19. =D>=D>=D>
  20. back in the 80's when I started riding jeans and leather jacket plus two styles of gloves (summer & winter) were considered 'all the gear'...and I rode like..well..a teenager on a superbike! I prefer now to gear up as much as possible... being the primary bread winner I'm not the only person on the bike when I ride.