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February 16th Edition
In This Issue:
CLICK BELOW to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!
CLICK ABOVE to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!
UCP of South Carolina hosts fourth annual Ride for a Life fundraiser
> Saturday, April 16 <
Get your motors running and your kickstands up for a good cause! United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina (UCPSC) will host its fourth annual Ride for a Life motorcycle fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the individuals served by UCPSC, all of whom have a range of life-long developmental and intellectual disabilities. The event is being led for the third year in a row by members of the Mad Hatters Riding Club of Gaston, SC.
The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina is to positively support and impact the achievement of a Life Without Limits for people with disabilities. UCPSC offers a wide range of programs and supports for these individuals and their families, including community living services, adult day programming and employment services. United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina serves adults with a variety of developmental disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, intellectual disabilities, autism, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, and traumatic brain injuries. For more information, visit www.ucpsc.org
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of February 17-23, 2016
Wednesday 56h & p-cloudy, Thursday 54h & sunny, Friday 58h & sunny, Saturday 68h & p-cloudy, Sunday 69h & p-cloudy, Monday 62h & 80% rain, Tuesday 49h & 60% rain (as per weather.com on 2/16/16)
So are you? Free? Free to choose? Free to helmet or not to helmet? All depends - on your own comfort zone as a rider ... as well as the laws in your area plus, again, your comfort with following or opposing those laws too. Boda has been educating us about the history of the CBA and their stance on helmet laws. Even some of those who oppose the laws wear helmets tho, you know. Is it possible that freedom has something to do with your comfort zone?
Today's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine is the 2016 Helmet Issue ... devoted to the issue of the multi-faceted & personally-charged helmet issue!
Since asking for your input several weeks back, we've received several handfuls of emails. Probably the most responses to any one question posed by The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine in our 6 years! It's a subject that most everyone has an opinion about.
My life-long friend who I've had the pleasure to know since we were in elementary school won't wear hats. Ever. Doesn't matter how cold it is outside either. Honestly, she'd really rather not have much more on her than shorts and a tank top and flip flops. When it's cold, getting her layered up is near to impossible and putting a hat on her cute little head is totally impossible. Why? Hat Head. It's nearly a life-or-death choice for her. She does NOT want to mess up her hair no matter what, no matter who is around. Now to be clear, she's been on the back of a bike with Footloose and did wear a helmet but to her it was honestly a matter of life or death ... as well as a law she didn't want to challenge. You see, helmet head can be the dividing line for some.
Ok, here's a little helmet fun for ya ...
Before I sign off this week, I want to urge you to take a look at our Riding BE-cause column above. Events are cranking up! Take a look and support a charitable ride near you. Thank you to all who work so caringly in our communities!
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nudged by Boda's series on the History of the CBA and their ardent work for riders' rights, we asked you to tell us what you think about helmets. For several weeks we've been receiving your varied responses. While we know there are many, many more voices who haven't spoken, here's what we've heard accompanied by random photos we've captured thru the years:
Buck says, "For me it is a non-issue. I have always worn a helmet (since 1966), and I am still here to prove their worth - about 4 helmets are not. Nuff said?"
Dan says, "I was in an accident a few years ago, spent a few days in intensive care, got scarred up a bit, had short term memory loss for a while. If I wore my helmet, a couple of scratches on my arm and leg would have been the extent of my injury. I was one of those guys that always said not me. I will never ride again without a helmet, no matter what."
Jim from Greeneville, TN says, "I agree that the proper helmet can save your noggin. Now who should make the decision to wear it. If you are not required to wear one and you get hurt, does the government make money on it? No. If you don’t wear it and are legislated to wear it, then the government makes money. I think the rider alone should be the decision maker here. I ride a TriGlide and wear the most minimal helmet I can get. When I go into KY or SC I stop and we take them off. Should we get hit and go off into the abyss, we could be hurt really bad. But that is our decision. When I was about 18 years old, the government said they would fine me if I didn’t wear a helmet and boy was I mad. Back then, we rode with flip-flops and cut-off jeans…nothing more. I really didn’t want to wear it. i’m almost 69 years old now and I have never had a need for it. I did have a friend who rode a Honda 750 when they were first on the market. He had an accident on a back street, slid in gravel. It did about $25 damage to his Honda. It killed him. His full-coverage helmet snapped his neck. Would he have been wearing his helmet without the law? Who knows. Finally, we should wear helmets but it should be the rider’s choice."
Steam from Whitmire, SC says, "First off, I don’t like being told what to do. I’m a grown man and am not in need of government to be my nanny. I’ll look at the information available and make my own decision.
And now that that’s out of the way, I wear a helmet pretty much all the time. Why? Because motorcycles are dangerous. Stop kidding yourself. They are. But then, I don’t ride the things to stay safe. I ride because I feel free in the wind. I ride because I enjoy it immensely and I willingly acknowledge that motorcycles are not the safest means of transportation. I know that I could break my leg or my arm. I might have to deal with some painful road rash.
But those things heal. They’re not fun but they will heal. Bump your noggin just the right way and it won’t heal. You might die……..or worse. Yes, Virginia, there are things worse than dying.
So, I choose to wear protection for my most critical body part – my head. Many will say that helmets provide no real protection. Not true. They do protect. Now if you manage to go head on with a semi at speed the helmet ain’t gonna keep you alive but if you go down and bounce your head on the pavement, the helmet is the difference between life and death.
I’ve been riding for more than 40 years and, yes, I’ve been down more than once. I’m familiar with that long slide and tumble. I’ve had busted ribs (7 on one side at one time), a busted leg, foot and……..well, other stuff. I’ve never had a head injury. On 13 FEB 2009 I had a dog take me down. I hit so hard on the left side of my head that my full face helmet broke on the right side. But I did not have a head injury.
I will wear a helmet. You look at the facts and make your decision."
Dr J says, "I have been riding since the 60's in NC. When I started there were no laws requiring riders to use helmets. Then as you know NC made it law for everyone on a motorcycle to use helmets.I personally like a helmet but when I am in SC at least I have a choice. I think the helmet law should be abolished and give the rider the right to do as he wants. This country and government down to states have to much control. It is just to easy for them to make laws and control our life. Just like communism!"
Tim says, "I am sort of old school on this topic. I believe in riders choice. I think the government has far greater things to do than be bothered with helmet issues. I have friends that wouldn’t pull out of their driveways without a helmet, but want the freedom to choose. I personally feel if your old enough to die for your country, your old enough to make a decision about a helmet! Now, let’s talk revenue! I happen to live within 3 miles of the SC border. When I am deciding on where to ride on a weekend, it is simple. I go south, and when I stop, that’s where I spend my money. Money that was earned in NC, but spent in SC due to helmet laws! NC law makers need to wake up!"
Starry Girl says, "Helmet's should be a choice, not a requirement. Convertible drivers don't wear helmets, and they have just as much exposure with nothing protecting their skulls. When I drive my jeep with the top off, I'm not wearing a helmet. I don't care if you're on 2 wheels, 3 wheels, or 4 wheels, the government should have no control over what I'm wearing on my head"
Dale from Tennessee says, "While I live in a state (TN) that has a mandatory helmet law, here’s my take on it:
I feel like anyone OVER the age of 25 should have the OPTION of whether or not they wish to wear a helmet. HOWEVER such information should be supplied to his/her rider’s insurance carrier each year. That way premiums would be raised for those particular non-helmet riders for their choice versus giving discounts to other riders who sign an alternative pledge to their insurance carriers that they would always wear a helmet during riding.
For anyone age 25 & UNDER, there should be NO OPTION GIVEN. These young riders should always be required to wear a helmet. Once the rider reaches the age of 26, it is assumed he/she would be mature enough to make an educated, informed decision for themselves.You might ask where I came up with my age number….I based that on what/how/up to ages covered currently under parent insurance policies for dependents. Plus let’s face it….kids nowadays just don’t mature as early as they once did. I am on the tail-end of the Baby Boomer generation & experienced this first-hand with my children & step-children."
Fatback says, "In my early days I rode in many of the CBA helmet protest events. I still lean toward the personal right (freedom) to choose whether to wear a helmet or not. We Americans definitely feel the effects of government sticking their noses in too many areas, especially us Southern ones. I myself am only 4 generations removed from my ancestors having enough of government control to go to war. It’s a whole other discussion, but study your history as the war of Northern aggression was not all about the theory taught in our government ran public schools. Anyway, back to the helmet issue, personally I wear mine (even in South Carolina) mostly due to being around racing I just believe in the safety of wearing one.
Josef from Sumter, SC says, "I am pro choice (and usually wear a helmet) however if I don't feel like it.........I don't.....and that's the way I would prefer it to stay!"
Keith says, "It should be the riders choice. If there are any restrictions it should be for under 21 riders only."
Jack shared, "The U S Supreme Court has ruled that the federal statues which are supposed to be followed by the state attorney general are vague and unconstitutional. The Court ruled that the average person could not read and interpret these statues"
Our Bub who lives in SC and rides all over both Carolinas and beyond says, "You know how I and the CPRs stand on riding gear. Do I ever ride without a helmet? yes, but only around our little road here, which I know can be as deadly as anywhere else. And yes when I was young and stationed at Tampa Bay FL early in my AF career. Reflecting on the wreck I was involved with in Sept, I know that I would have been seriously injured or dead without a helmet or the protective cycle riding gear I had on. Couple of years back when I hit the guardrail in WV having on cycle pants with armor saved my right leg from being cut or maimed as the bike and I slid along the guardrail. And even in a slow speed tip over such as I did on the Linville Gorge rd, instead of laying in the road laughing I’d have been picking gravel out of my hands and knees . You know how much I love bikes and riding and I want to be healthy and able to ride for a few more years and wearing a helmet and gear has helped make it possible so far."
Helmets…….. Yes or No…….. it’s a BIG question
I have a conflict. I’m a freedom-loving, doing-it-my-way kind of guy. I’m also an MSF/Riding Academy instructor and teach motorcycle safety. So here’s what I know: wearing a helmet saves lives, period. But I also believe that it should be my decision to wear or not to wear. Having said that, I would choose to wear my helmet. It’s just the smart thing to do.
In the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) program, we try to get riders to accept the consequences of their actions when riding and ask them if they can verbalize the risk of riding without putting on the proper gear. Are you aware of the consequences of risky riding to your health and family? Some people are just higher risk-takers than others. Some people naturally want to minimize all the risk they really get in the spirit by wearing ATGATT; which means All The Gear, All The Time!
After you become aware of risk and you accept risk you then can manage those risk. “Choosing to accept the challenges of being a responsible motorcyclist means to think about the consequences of your riding behavior in traffic”* Your helmet is a big part of that responsibility.
So for now in NC it’s the law, wear your helmet and in SC you can choose. But please choose wisely.
(* from current Rider Coach Guide by MSF)
Oh by the way, in a 2015 study of motorcycle fatalities in NC, the fact was that only 6% of the people who died in motorcycle accidents had taken the MSF training. This means that 94% of the people who died, had not taken an NC safety class. I would venture to say that that's a really large percentage that should encourage you to take a safety class this year. Below are some links to explore.
Some Helmet-related Links for you
MSF speaks to HOW HELMETS WORK
MSF resource: Helmets and Neck Injuries in Fatal Crashes
Classes with some of our Sponsors:
MSF classes at CPCC
Riders Academy Classes ... Cox's H-D in Rock Hill, SC; H-D of Charlotte in Matthews, NC; and Blue Ridge H-D in Hickory, NC
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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Fort Mill, SC 29708