I am always amazed in life by how the difference between wisdom and stupidity is often defined by one single thought, which is then turned into one simple action.
I always dress like you see in the photograph above when I ride my motorcycle: Full suit, full helmet, body covered so that no one can see just how old I really am.
In truth, I dress that way because I promised my wife and adult children when I took up riding years ago that my bare skin and scalp would not be the first things to contact the pavement if the bike and I decided to wave goodbye to each other while riding on the interstate.
I have no intention of doing that but I have learned that there are other drivers out there and some of them have an eye problem that makes them not see a motorcycle. Having been hit by pieces of an exploding truck tire, several stones, hail, and what felt like a two hundred pound locust, one time while I was exceeding the speed limit by my age, has convinced me to keep the suit on when I ride.
I actually have no problem in dressing like this because my wife flatters me by saying I look cool. Since the mirror I brush my teeth in front of in the morning tells a far different story, I find that dressing safely has a benefit beyond just keeping my wrinkled skin attached to my body.
Looking cool in this suit when the outside air temperature has soared above 90 degrees, however, does not translate into feeling cool.
Yesterday, I had a six-hour drive in ninety plus degree heat when returning from a visit with my brother. My resolve for safety had evaporated after the fourth hour of riding along with every bit of fluid in my body, and I was desperately looking for any way to cool down a little.
I decided to open the face shield in my helmet and two things happened. The air hitting my face felt almost cool, and surprisingly the noise level caused by the turbulent air coming off the top of my windshield was reduced significantly.
Win, win, I thought: I just killed two birds with one stone. Cooler and less noise
The “one stone” part of that phrase kept repeating, and, of course, my mind wondered what would happen if the truck in front of me threw up a stone.
One thought: “Close the damn shield,” followed by one action: “Shield pulled back in place,” kept the large stone that hit me from striking me directly in the center of my forehead.
Smart versus stupid: Yesterday, I fortunately chose right.