Monday, April 18, 2016

Tee Shirt, Shorts, and Sandals Season is Here!

I mentioned recently that last year on the first day of spring on which it was warm enough to celebrate being able to take the scooter out clad in only a tee shirt, short pants, and sandals, I posted a picture of myself wearing the light stuff with the good news on Facebook in one of the scooter forums.  Almost immediately the ATGATT (All the gear, all the time.) legion was all over me, chastising me as if I were a public sinner of some kind.

I felt like a transgender person trying to use the legally forbidden bathroom in a southern state or an adulteress in the 1600s.

Today was the first day of 2016 suitable for my preferred mode of summer riding dress and I'm celebrating it.  (It's also the 40th anniversary of the day on which I lost my virginity, but who's counting?)  

I don’t think I ever experienced what it was like to be on the “wrong side” among warring factions in the same way before that.  I’m generally an easy going, average, run of the mill Joe who doesn’t try to make waves and to be perfectly honest I didn’t realize that the ATGATTers were such proselytizers until then, hell bent on converting the rest of us to their way of paranoid thinking.  I certainly didn’t set out to offend anyone’s good sensibilities when I posted that picture and its celebratory caption, but that was because I didn’t know I was crossing a line of near religious belief rather than just into a different opinion as to what constitutes “proper” cycle riding dress.

 I do believe I’ll be posting such a picture again today on a similar if not the same Facebook scooter page, but this year I’ll be prepared to handle the flak rather than to shrink from it as I did last year when I pulled the post over the rebellious reactions to it.  I certainly have the right to my opinion and to my own degree of calculated risk when I ride, and I sure as hell don’t need strangers who dress like clams on their bikes to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be wearing when I’m just riding around town.

We could all quote statistics to back up whatever we happen to believe in, but what’s the point?  It’s nobody else’s job to try to dictate what I should do for my own good.  I still rebel in principle against mandates like wearing safety belts in cars.  When I vote, I choose someone to represent MY interests, or at least the majority’s and not to be my big brother looking after me as if I don’t have the ability to do it myself as I choose.  Likewise, I salute my brothers and sisters on two wheels, until they start telling me what I should be wearing when I’m out on the road.  That salute, unfortunately, turns into a pumped fist awfully fast, and not with a supportive downward pull of the arm, but with a firm upward thrust.

1 comment:

David Masse said...

Joe I am generally of the ATGATT persuasion, BUT... I have gone for toodle now and then in shorts, T-shirt and deck shoes. I certainly defend your right to ride exposed. But it's a terrible idea. ;)