Monday, March 4, 2024

Safety First

December 19, 2022 by  
Filed under Extra

A terrible accident awakens a motorcycle enthusiast’s passion for protective gear.

BY PAMELA WHITE

On September 17, we had Nevada’s first-ever charity motorcycle ride for Sickle Cell Disease — an event that changed my life forever after my husband suffered a terrible accident.

The morning weather was beautiful when we began the day with a meetup and registration at Leather Headquarters, a store with all the motorcycle gear you need. Riders started coming in at 8:15 on three-wheelers, sport bikes, bikes of all different sizes and shapes. The sound of the motorcycles coming up one after the other was exhilarating — we had Omega men, representatives from several local motorcycle groups, and individual riders. There was music, snacks and coffee provided by Leather Headquarters.

And it was going amazingly. By 9 a.m., we were packed up and starting out to our first stop at the Mountain Springs Saloon on Highway 193. The parade of motorcycles on the highway was breathtaking! We traveled from Charleston into Red Rock — what a beautiful sight!

When we reached the Mountain Springs Saloon, we went into the bar for drinks, food, raffle drawings, and our poker game. It was a marvelous time. We hung out for about an hour and everyone went their own way. It was shortly after my children and I left that beautiful, successful event that we got a phone call informing us that my husband had a terrible fall off his motorcycle. He suffered a broken shoulder, seven broken ribs, wrist, fingers, and a toe, along with a bruised lung and kidney. He suffered a heart attack at the hospital, but was given CPR and revived.

He is still fighting to live, and I’m seeing God’s grace, mercy and glory in all of it. Did I see this at the onset? No I didn’t — but I thank God for where I am now.

When I look back — and when the insurance company stated they would pay for the replacement of motorcycle clothing — I realize my husband was not properly dressed. I have learned you must have the following five items: gloves, pants, jacket, helmet and proper boots. Unlike cars, which require no special equipment to be safe and comfortable inside, motorcycles offer no crash protection for the rider — providing virtually no protection against the elements or road hazards.

That’s why safety equipment and clothing are needed every time you ride. Safety equipment isn’t a fashion choice; it’s there to keep you healthy, comfortable, visible — and when the worst happens, provide you as much crash and injury protection as possible.

My husband had a very good helmet and eyegear, so no damage was done to his brain, head or face. But he suffered injuries everywhere that he wasn’t wearing proper motorcycle gear. Throughout this ordeal, I’ve learned how important dressing properly is — heck, I’ve been on the motorcycle with him plenty of times and now realize how much of a risk I took not being properly dressed. So since this experience, I am a Sickle Cell advocate and a motorcycle gear advocate as well. I reached out to Biker Down Foundation, a foundation that was formed to assist individuals and families of motorcycle riders during such a time. I reached out primarily for emotional support, and they were there!

Please: just as we were cautioned to wear our seatbelt and it eventually became illegal to ride without it, there should be a law that motorcycle riders must wear protective clothing. Motorcycles are exciting to those who love to ride, but I beg you, please drive safely and wear protective gear!

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