Saturday, May 14, 2011

Who is safer when we ride, Men or Women?

The helmet in question? Feminine or is that even necessary?

I just bought a new Scorpion Helmet. It is a dark rich red, quite gothic and I thought it was "feminine". My BF says it is NOT. He says he has seen lots of guys riding in red helmets.

I said, "Well I don't see what the difference is..."

BF: I think you should wear a helmet that identifies your sex and let's everyone know that you are a woman on the road. It needs to be pink or with flowers and bunnies and Sh*t like that on it.

Me: Well I do acknowledge the power of the pink helmet and how it keeps most people at a distance. And I am recognized as a woman from a distance too. I am proud to be a woman rider.

BF: Men riders are treated as equals on the road, but woman riders are given special treatment.

Me: ????? WTF**%?

BF: You are given extra distance. More room and courtesy. Most men don't get that. We are treated as another vehicle on the road. We get tail-gated and people get more aggressive with us.

So now he has me thinking about all sorts of stuff.

Number one: Is it more to my advantage to be recognized as a female rider by wearing a pink helmet?

Number two: Am I in fact putting myself more at risk by appearing "asexual" on the road???

Yes, this is a woman.

I have had plenty of aggressive drivers come at me, despite my gerbil fart Piaggio horn. They look right at me and come at me. But would a different helmet garner MORE aggressive actions from other drivers?

Hs argument had nothing to do with my riding abilities vs a mans, but perception by others? Though other's consider his thoughts to antiquated, they are based on his observations of my ride last weekend when he followed me by car to downtown Chicago for my scooters oil change and tune up.

He said he could keep easy track of me because of how well the pink helmet showed up in traffic. He also said he was amazed at how far most vehicles stayed away from me as I went down the highway. He thought felt that drivers were way more aggressive towards him when he rode his motorcycle.

I don't think he is antiquated in his thinking. Just concerned for my well-being. If he was that antiquated he would try to insist that I not ride.

We are not talking about skill at riding here. We are talking about what you wearing actually affecting those drivers around you.

If high-viz yellow is a requirement for some people, does more feminine gear, give you a better edge while riding???

Are drivers more aggressive if they deem you male? Or basically, is a D-bag driver a D-bag driver whether you are male or female?

1 comment:

  1. Bel - I like your new helmet. I have experience with all pink gear, pink HJC helmet and a pink & black Joe Rocket textile jacket. I bought it for 2 reasons, 1) I like pink and felt a little more feminine 2) it was just as bright as the high vis yellow and I felt less it was less obnoxious. If I had to do it all over again I am not sure I would buy it again.

    It does let people know you are a female rider and in some respects a target too. I had an incident with a goof stepping out in front of me and making me grind to a halt or I would have hit him & then to my shock & horror he hit me on top of the head. I can't help but think if I was a little more androgynous looking he wouldn't have done this.

    IMHO my pink gear doesn't give me anymore respect from cagers or bikers. They don't give you any extra room & in fact because I ride a scooter & wear pink I think I get less respect. Friday night I went for a scooter ride it was a gorgeous night & 2 doofuses on motorcycles passed me, one on the right & the other on left, leaving me nowhere to go.

    Next time I get gear I think I am rethinking the pink. Enjoy the red it's a lovely color, just think of it as a deeper shade of pink!