Imagine the facial rearrangement had this helmet not existed.

Imagine the facial rearrangement had this helmet not existed.

“I like my face as it is,” says bike rider wearing full-faced helmet

Throttle Therapy examines end-of-life issues as it relates to the sanity of wearing a motorcycle helmet.

Let me begin by saying this: I don’t ever want to die doing what I love. If I need to go, I hope to be in the middle of something that I absolutely detest, so that I can at least find some consolation in seeing its end.

Indeed, it is my most inner hope that I never die while riding. If it were suddenly to end while riding, I would feel such great sorrow in the moments leading up to my demise.

A part of my personal strategy to stay alive while riding — and I’ve brought this up before — is the very cool acronym, ATGATT or All The Gear All The Time. A component of ATGATT is to wear the right helmet.

On June 1, 2012, BC’s Motor Vehicle Act was amended to include helmet certification. Helmet’s must be certified by one of three labels: DOT (US Department of Transportation), Snell, or ECE (Economic Commission for Europe).

Novelty helmets, also known informally as “beanies,” tend not to meet the standards of these three organizations (although there are some skullcap style helmets that do have a DOT certification). Failing to meet these standards results in a $138.00 fine. If you cannot produce a certified helmet, then you will need to park your bike and catch the bus to the nearest motorcycle shop. I don’t think the police that pulled you over will offer you a ride.

My attachment to my face, as imperfect as it is, leads me to be an advocate of the full-faced helmet. If I were to go sliding, face-first down the road with anything less than a full-faced, I’d leave a chunk of skin-and-chin behind. Sure, my skin is weathered a tad and aging, but that doesn’t mean I’d be okay with leaving bits behind. And no, it would not expedite the nip-and-tuck, the one that I never plan to have anyway.

When I taught at the Vancouver Island Safety Council, we academically advocated both the three-quarter and the full-faced helmet. In practice, though, we only allowed the full-faced to grace our training areas.

I’ve heard and listened to the arguments against a full-faced helmet. And, I’ve countered them.

Too heavy? Technology today allows for the helmets to be light and manageable. Maybe the ones from 1950 were too heavy, but that’s no longer true. While my neck is not so muscular to be as thick as my head span, I can manage a full-faced just fine. I’ve even crossed the country in one, and suffered no neck pain whatsoever.

Too visually restrictive? If you put both your index fingers against your temples just before the softness resurfaces to the skull around your eyes, you will notice that you can’t actually see your first knuckle. You will be able to see your second knuckle on the very edge of your periphery. If sized properly, the helmet will move with your head (this is important; if it stays in one position when you move your head, you must get a smaller helmet).

When something is on the edge of your periphery, you will need to swivel your head, full-faced helmet or beanie.  Especially if your life is depending on it.

Too loud? Most helmets produce some sound, whether it be due to coverage or lack thereof. Regardless, if you want to protect your hearing longterm, look into getting earplugs from your local motorcycle shop. Your aging nagging partner will thank you for it, years from now.

Too goofy looking? Try the sans-chin look. That’s even goofier.

I like my life, for the most part. I also like my face just the way it is, thank you very much. And I’ll certainly do everything I can to keep police hands out of my wallet.

When I go, I want it to be because I am done with life. Not because it is done with me.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Joy Sharpe holds a picture of her late husband Ray while posing for a photograph with the Sybil Andrews painting ‘hauling’ before donating it to the Campbell River Hospice Society. (Submitted photo)
$6 painting turned into $10,000 charity windfall

A 1952 original Sybil Andrews painting donation fetches Campbell River Hospice Society a nice return

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Sara Lopez Assu says she’s relatively happy with how the Campbell River Art Gallery team managed to weather the storm that was 2020. File Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River Art Gallery director reflects on ‘maybe our hardest year ever’

‘It would be easy to look back and be disappointed … but that’s not going to get us anywhere’

Jean Crowder, former MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, is the CVPAG honourary chair. (Submitted)
Art gallery group becomes registered charity in step towards realizing Duncan dream

Becoming a registered charity enables the CVPAG to greatly expand its potential donor base

From left to right; Jessica Kelly; Allaina Moore; Ben Rosnau; and Isaiah McAleese. Members of the ECHO Players Youth Group after they performed ‘Words, Words, Words’ by David Ives, in May 2019. (submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach youth theatre group looks at more livestream performances in 2021

Members stay active during pandemic with playwriting competitions and online play readings

Nanaimo artist Shawnda Wilson’s Jacana No. 1 is among the paintings she’ll have on display in her upcoming show at the Nanaimo Musuem. (Photo courtesy Shawnda Wilson)
Painting exhibit inspired by long-toed birds and jazz coming to Nanaimo Museum

Nanaimo artist Shawnda Wilson’s show ‘When Charles Speaks’ opens next week

Most Read