I invite all of my rider friends to continue a discussion on "All The Gear, All The Time" (ATGATT) here.
My position: If I'm riding the track, the mountains, the coast or the twisties anywhere in between, I wear full gear without fail. And I tend employ more gear than the majority of riders I see. You won't catch me in my jeans and cowboy boots!
However, if I'm riding 2 miles to the pressure washer or to pick up the mail, it's just helmet, t-shirt and shorts — or whatever I happen to be wearing.
I am well aware of the protective properties of leathers and have personally tested them on four separate "pavement surfing" occasions. However, each of those episodes occurred while on a real ride, not just picking up the mail at bicycle speeds.
In fact, "bicycle speed" is what I use as my metric. If I'll be riding faster than I do on my bicycle (with no protective gear whatsoever,) on the motorcycles, I'll gear-up.
In response to my position, I typically get: "What if you get hit by a car?" To that I say: Riding gear isn't made to protect from blunt force trauma. Other than our helmets (that I ALWAYS wear!) protective gear is mostly about anti-abrasion. Sure, most gear has armor in the primary "contact points," but your leathers aren't gonna help you much if you're hit by a truck.
As for dirt riding, I won't ride 5 minutes without gear. Crashing is a normal part of dirt riding and with the correct gear, it's completely a non-issue. No gear, you simply get hurt.
So that's where I stand, how about you?
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