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by Dan Hartman

It blows my mind. I’ve been riding a motorcycle for ten years now and I still can’t believe it. Every time I go out for a ride I see other riders without helmets. Headgear is so important when you ride whether it’s the law or not. People don’t want government control and that’s fine. I just don’t understand, the most important part of your body is your head and it’s not protected. Why?

When I began riding I took the Minnesota Motorcycle safety course. They had us watch a video on a USC study on safety and the importance of wearing a helmet. The police in LA would notify the USC researchers of all motorcycle accidents in the area. They studied the accidents of riders with and without helmets. The death rate of riders in accidents with a helmet vs. no helmet was unbelievable. Of the all the motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities almost all were unhelmeted riders. It wasn’t 100% but it was close. To ride without a helmet is to take a big chance. During the video they threw a melon against a curb on the street. It hit and broke apart. That melon is similar to your head. A helmet protects you in a crash.

I love to ride my motorcycle. I know the freedom of the wind in my hair but the odds are against me if something happens. You can still have the feeling of freedom with a helmet on, because freedom is a mind set. It’s not determined by what you wear on your head. The most frustrating are that riders who hook their helmet on the bike and don’t wear. It won’t help you if it’s not on your head. If it’s about image then you’ve missed the point. To this day I’ve never seen a professional racer compete without a helmet on.

So this is my plea for you to understand what you are doing. Ride with protection. We know the dangers of having sex without protection. Riding is no different. Helmets can save your life. Think before you ride. If you can’t afford a helmet you can’t afford a motorcycle either. One should got hand in hand with the other. If you have a bike and no money to buy a helmet drop me a line at my e-mail address (wdhart@aol.com) and we’ll figure out a way to help you. Stop and think about the consequences of your actions. I want you to enjoy yourself as you ride your motorcycle but I also want you to be safe. We take risks all our life but we also protect ourselves. Don’t get killed out there.

Part of being free means being safe. Riding my motorcycle always gives me a great feeling even with a helmet on my head. I feel safe and free. Don’t be just another melon head out there.

Ride safe and be free.

M.M.M.

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