Good day from your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker! We are rapidly approaching my favorite time of year – autumn. This time of year, the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and the leaves will soon be shining in their full splendor. With the heat we have had this summer, it will be pleasant to ride in a sweatshirt, chaps and my leather jacket. One benefit of riding while bundled up is that it is much easier to conceal your pistol. The caveat being that it is also much more difficult and time consuming to get access to said pistol. But I am getting ahead of myself. Because your bearded biker loves you, he would like to share a true story with his faithful blog readers.
Dress for the Slide – Not the Ride
About three weeks ago, I got tangled up with another bike and went down. It was by no means a bad accident. I was leading a group of three bikes and slowed down quickly to turn into a business parking lot. I was doing everything a biker is supposed to do – including riding staggered. The bike staggered behind me came up between me and the parking lot, and I did not see him. I literally turned into his bike when pulling into the parking lot.
It was an accident – pure and simple. And I shared a big chunk of the blame as I should have been watching my mirrors more closely or simply went past the business and turned around. Accidents do happen. The other bike did not go down and sustained very minor damage. My bike did go down and suffered approximately $9,300 damage – all of which was cosmetic (stupid CVOs). You know what they say, “You have either gone down – or you will go down eventually.” There has never been a truer statement – unless of course your motorcycle is only used as a garage ornament.
The bike is a machine. It can be replaced. In fact, it already has been. I bought a 2020 FLHTKSE CVO Limited. She is a real beauty.
Besides bruising my pride, my injuries were very minor. I broke my right pinkie finger (which is still sore) and had road rash on my right elbow shoulder and back. But by far, the most painful injury for me was my right hip. It had a very nice contusion from landing on my pistol. The pistol and holster both got a small amount of road rash too, but totally cosmetic.
Having concealed carried for the past eight years or so, I almost always ride with a handgun strapped to my belt. It is second nature for me to do so. Hell, sometimes I carry a pistol on my side when I am in the house, because I forget it’s on my side. This is something a biker must consider when he is riding on his scooter. Many of my friends always take their pistol off their body and put it in a saddlebag or the top box. Doing so, makes it less accessible, but might save you a lot of pain if you go down – especially at a speed higher than that which you would use to turn into a parking lot. I am a bit undecided on this. As mentioned in my opening paragraph, it is getting to be the time of year when I can bundle up over my pistol. This would certainly help reduce the shock of having your pistol slam into your side in the unlikely event of going down. But, around here, you wear a heavy biker jacket less that a ¼ of the year. For now, I will probably continue to carry my pistol like I always have – in my belt holster.
Thoughts on Safety Gear
Dress for the slide, not the ride. This is very true. On the day we had our accident, I was in a tank top, blue jeans and of course, my helmet. Even at the slow speed I was traveling, I had some serious road rash. If I had been wearing my vented riding jackets, I might have walked away without a scratch. If I had been wearing my riding gloves, I might not have dislocated and broken my finger. Maybe. If I had been moving along at highway speed, my road rash would have been exponentially worse. Those vented riding jackets – especially if they include riding armor – would have helped a whole lot! You should really consider your safety gear and dress for the slide.