FORT SMITH (KFSM)--Many motorcyclists will say they ride simply because it’s fun, but with every ride comes some risk.
Rocky Demire has been riding motorcycles for 21 years and said he always wears a helmet, but the one time he didn’t, he said he learned his lesson.
“I hit my head on the pavement and split my head open, you know, and like I said I was two, I mean literally, two miles from the house,” Demire said. “I thought, you know what, why put all my gear on to ride, you know, two minutes and take it all off, so I thought I’d just wear my sunglasses, and I paid the price.”
Luckily, Demire walked away from the crash, but he said his injuries could have been much worse, and now he takes every precaution.
“Always wear a helmet,” Demire said. “Helmets always number one, and jackets, you know jackets are number two and gloves.”
Demire’s fiancé, Christina Barnett rides with him. She also wears full gear and tries to encourage others to do the same
“When I’m with other riders, and I see them riding in flip flops I do educate them on the danger of that and not wearing a helmet and so forth and jackets,” Barnett said. “It is very dangerous out here, so I want everybody to be safe, enjoy the ride.”
She said it’s because of her job that she puts safety first.
“I’m a nurse, and I’ve seen what happens when they have wrecks, so I just want to be safe,” Barnett said. “I want to walk away if I am in a wreck.”
But, Demire said what you wear can necessarily keep you from having an accident.
“The biggest thing is just self-awareness,” Demire said. “You have to make sure that you know what’s going on around you. You know, you always want to be looking down the road, when you’re coming up to intersections checking cross traffic.”
He said motorist need to be aware as well.
“Know that we’re out there, and know that it’s very unforgiving for us to be in an accident,” Demire said.
Demire said many motorcyclists say it’s too hot during the summer to wear all of the gear, but he said there are summer jackets and gloves that keep you cool and still protect you.