Thursday, May 17, 2007

Now we can be just as stupid as cagers!

Warning! I am going to be politically incorrect in this post. If you read on you agree to the condition that you may be offended. It's been a real tough last few days and now I come across this helmet.

I have to tell you that every few days I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the things in my life. Not in the sense that I can't handle them. In fact, it's just the opposite. I'm always in attack and conquer mode. It leads me to a point where a lot of my time is filled with activities that take a lot out of me. At those times things I could cut out of my schedule cross my mind. This blog is one of them. Time and again, though, I am drawn back. Blogging is my pop-off valve, I guess.

Contrary to what my involvement in teaching might lead you to believe, I am not a "people" person. I like my own company, thanks, and I neither need nor want someone else's complications. I come home to Katie. She fills the part of me that's missing and makes me complete. When I say complete I mean I don't much need anyone else. My middle son drives me crazy because he likes his life to be a social freeway. He and I are polar opposites. I have empathy and enjoy personal interchanges with others. It's just that I don't feel a "need" for socializing. This blog has become a strange creature, though.

Grandma reminds me that she used to get on me because I didn't socialize much. My reply to her was that "only animals were meant to be in herds". In life I keep to myself and seldom let others get a glimpse under the Warrior surface. Weirdly enough, though, blogging pulls things out of me that I don't share otherwise. It's become sort of an alter ego. I can't stay away. I've become addicted to whatever adventure I find in this format. I'm on a journey of self discovery that I've never undertaken before. I have to keep coming back to find out where this road goes.

Today the road goes toward Condemnation Corner.

The picture above is of a Dianese Air Stream Bluetooth Helmet. Yes, you read this right. This helmet has a microphone, earphones, and a rechargable battery built in. A rider can talk to a passenger, receive MP3 signals with a device manager, listen to the voice outputs of a GPS type device, or talk on a cell phone!!

Yes, now you, too, can be just like a cager. Only dumber. Forget the fact that riding is a lot more dangerous than driving in the first place. Forget the fact that riding is a lot more complicated in the amount of attention it demands. Cycle World calls it a "Brave New World". Right. If you are as incredulous as I am, click here to go the website.

Here's my succint opinion on the matter:

In my opinion, for a company that prides themselves on a history of providing safety gear to riders, this is totally irresponsible. Sure, people will say, if a rider wants to talk on the cell phone while on the bike they'd find a way. At least they'd have to work a lot harder to be that stupid. By making it much easier to do Dainese has compromised their integrity. The only thing that can be behind this is money. Sooner or later some manufacturer was going to stoop this low. Why not be one of the first and reap the financial rewards?

This is totally wrong and I am outraged both as an instructor and a veteran rider. In an ideal world riders would band together in protest. Dainese sales would take a nose dive. You and I know that isn't going to happen.

Once again, a quote from a Starbucks cup sums it up. I can't remember it exactly so this may butcher it up a little. But it goes something like this:

"Morality is the picture of what we would like the world to be but the reality is that economics determine the actuality."

Like I say, it is most likely butchered but the truth rings out however a person writes it.

We now have a new motto: "Boycott Dainese. Friends don't let friends ride distracted!!"

Miles and smiling, ( or maybe grimacing )



Anonymous said...


I couldn't agree with you more.

I just spent the last five months wintering in Texas, where every other cager is a young woman with a mobile stuck to her ear and three kids in the back of the SUV. They are totally oblivious to traffic situations outside of their little world. I had many run ins, but managed to keep safe. The thought of having distractions for motorcyclists like those provided by the good folks at Dainese, is unfathomable.

I, like many others, ride for the sheer joy of it and not to be bothered by cell phones, intercoms, GPS, CD players, radios and the like. I hope that your plea to boycott them is heard loudly throughout the riding community.

Safe Riding

Lucky said...

I thought the same thing when I heard about the various attachments to make cell-phones and motorcycles "compatible."

I hate my cell phone as it is, and I'm supremely glad people rarely call me. The last thing I'd want is to make myself available for calls while riding.

ps said...

Come on, Dan, don't hold back! What do you really think about these things? :-)

Still, I don't think this will take off. I rarely see bikes with stereo systems, and I've never actually heard one. I don't think motorcyclists want to be distracted the way bored drivers do.


Steve Williams said...

I definitely seem to be able to pick out drivers with cellphones now in a way I didn't before I began riding.

It wouldn't be so frightening perhaps if they didn't look so comletely engaged in conversation or on the other hand so completely dead looking. Either way it doesn't seem to bode well for being sharp and paying attention to the road.

The logical extension would be if it distracts from attention it would not be a good thing for riders. Cellphones, radio, and music would all fall in that category. They are distracting for me.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Krysta in Milwaukee said...

I agree, and then again I don't...

To have a conversation while riding (as people in cars seem to do), order a pizza for your next stop, things like that, NO. People can always leave a message if they call while you're riding.

To communicate w/ the passenger, listen to the gps or maybe music, yes.

To call 911 on a drunk / dangerous / aggressive driver, HELL YES!

While riding to Ohio for New Year's, we called in a possible DUI / OMVI. Or rather, I did, 'cause I was in the sidecar & could take off my helmet for a few minutes to talk with the nice dispatcher lady. Didn't feel at all comfortable without it, but it was the best solution we had. If we'd had bluetooth, I could have stayed safer. But it was worth it.

(When she was telling me to flash the hazards when the patrol car got near us, I said this motorcycle doesn't have flashers. "You're on a motorcycle??!?!" Yes, ma'am, with a sidecar. We should be easy to spot.)

irondad said...

I used to listen to music but more and more I enjoy being alone with my own thoughts. For many, riding is a time of escape.

see above!

I would hope the same as you. My experience is showing that a lot of people on motorcycles aren't actually "true" riders. The good news is that most of these won't wear a full face helmet. Dainese is making this set available on a 3/4 but not a 1/2 shell.

I see the same thing often. When these folks are on the phone they are not really in that car.

I agree that there are legitimate uses for a cell phone. I even made a call while riding that I blogged about. It was to turn in a driver similar to the one you did. The dispatcher was also surprised to hear I was on a bike!

It was the cell phone use of the helmet that I was mostly writing about in this post. Like I mentioned above, I used to listen to a radio / cd player.

Sojourner rides said...

And let the church say, "Amen." I totally agree. There is already enough distraction on the road; why anyone would want these contraptions is beyond me.

Combatscoot said...

That's O.K. I lump Dainese in the same category as BMW. Nice gear with neat technology and innovations, for WAY more $$ than I could make in my lifetime, plus you have to pay extra just for hip and back padding. Stupid. They use similar third-world garment producers like everyone else does, but charge more for the name.
I don't really want to be connected with others, or converse with them, while I am riding.

Michelle said...

The other day I saw an ad in Rider magazine for this helmet and couldn't believe my eyes. In my opinion it poses more of a danger to riders than a benefit.

In emergency situations I'd pull over and stop to make the call.

Btw - Just found your blog and am really enjoying it. Thanks!

irondad said...

Welcome to my humble abode!