I've noticed an encouraging trend. So far this year, I've seen relatively few squiddies riding around in flapping T-shirts. All the sportbike riders I've seen so far have been geared up in riding jackets.
Only a few years ago, riding gear was considered somewhat "uncool" by the masses. Literally. Most of the options out there were leather jackets and once summer rolled around, riders just couldn't get comfortable. With the advent of textiles and mesh jackets, I think the attitude is starting to change.
It's even become a bit of a fashion statement. As I mentioned in my post about selling bikes, many people are now buying jackets specifically to match their bikes and their wild paint schemes. A friend of mine bought an orange tribal-flame CBR600RR about the same time I got my new bike. The seller threw in an orange-and-black jacket that matches the bike perfectly.
It's a good thing. Road rash is a real pain and my jacket has saved my arms and back plenty of times. Even if people are wearing the jacket just to "look cool", at least they're wearing it.
Now if riders would only give up riding in loafers or tennis shoes. Some at least have the sense to put on a good pair of Timberland work boots. Work boots offer a minimum of protection, but aren't really going to protect you from snapping an ankle like a good pair of race-boots would.
Riding apparel companies need to start being more sensitive to the look of their riding boots and offer something that doesn't have styling ripped off from an old MegaMan game.
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