Rider Gear
Wear   a   helmet,   goggles,   motorcycle   boots,   gloves,   long-sleeve   riding   jersey,   long   pants,   chest   protector,   elbow   guards, and knee guards. Helmet   –   This   is,   hands   down,   the   most   important   piece   of   protective   gear   you   can   wear.      Your   helmet   should   fit   snug, but   not   tight,   and   be   in   good   condition.      If   your   helmet   has   seen   a   lot   of   use   or   taken   a   blow,   replace   it.     They   don’t   last forever.      It   doesn’t   have   to   be   expensive   one   either.      A   new   $80   helmet   will   still   have   passed   at   least   the   DOT   safety rating   and   will   give   you   98-99%   of   the   protection   as   a   $250   helmet.      What   you   generally   pay   for   with   the   extra   dollars   is light   weight,   removable/washable   liners,   and   other   convenience   factors;   and   maybe   that   added   1   to   2   %   of   safety protection. Goggles   –   Your   eyes   can   take   hits   from   low   branches,   rocks   and   dirt   thrown   up   from   the   idiot   rider   in   front   of   you   who decided   to   get   on   the   gas   at   the   worse   time   (for   you).      On   dry   days,   dust   will   get   into   your   eyes   and   can   be   down   right painful   at   the   end   of   the   day.      Goggles   protect   your   eyes   from   all   this.      Sunglasses   or   Safety   glasses   will   only   give   you a fraction of the protection provided by goggles.   Motorcycle   Boots   –   Generally   speaking,   the   more   expensive   the   boot,   the   more   protection   you   get   (unlike   helmets).     A few   years   ago,   I   bought   a   pair   of   really   nice   and   comfortable   inexpensive   boots   and   promptly   broke   a   bone   in   my   ankle during   a   fall.      I   thought   the   boots   bent   a   little   too   much   in   this   particular   fall,   so   I   now   wear   a   top   of   the   line   heavy   boot.     You   do   sacrifice   some   flexibility   and   feel   for   the   foot   controls   when   wearing   heavier   boots,   but   the   added   protection   is worth it in my book.  One thing you don’t have to sacrifice is comfort.  My new heavier boots are very comfortable. Gloves   –   Close   fitting   motorcycle   gloves   will   prevent   blisters   and   afford   protection   in   a   fall.      Your   hands   will   also   be protected from scrapes with branches, limbs, tree trunks, and boulders while riding. Long   Sleeve   Shirt   –   Any   long   sleeve   T-shirt   will   do,   but   a   good   motorcycle   riding   jersey   made   of   synthetic   material   is best.      The   synthetic   material   wicks   sweat   and   moisture   away   from   your   body.      Cotton   simply   holds   moisture   that   will make you uncomfortable in either hot or cold conditions. Long   Pants   –   The   pants   made   for   motorcycling   are   best.      If   you   don’t   believe   me,   ride   one   hot   day   in   blue   jeans   and then try it with motorcycle pants.  You’ll notice a huge difference in comfort. Chest   Protector   –   Yes,   these   cumbersome   looking   things   can   feel   awkward   at   first,   but   they   will   eventually   protect   you from getting a shoulder or chest injury (or at least lessen the extent of injury).  Elbow   and   Knee   Guards   –   This   is   straightforward   stuff.      Your   knees   and   elbows   almost   always   take   a   hit   during   a   fall, so protect them.  These things are relatively cheap insurance. I   hope   this   is   helpful   to   you   all   who   are   considering   riding   with   us.      Next   time   I’ll   talk   about   your   bike’s   condition   and what it should wear.
Northern Colorado Trail Riders