Gear Up! Wheels Down! (Part 2)

By William T Hoehn



OKAY OKAY… I am guilty of not wearing my skid resistant jacket during a Taiwan summer, unless I am going on a longer run or up the mountains. BUT this is a case of do as I say, etc.

1. You do not need to leather up as it is both expensive and too hot to do so. But, plenty of pockets for phones, glasses and sunscreen…hint hint! Note: It is not waterproof so you need a windbreaker or rain jacket in bad weather or up in the mountains. 

2. Modern fabrics incorporate Kevlar armor threads and other abrasion resistant fabrics with the comfort and breathability of mesh. These garments can protect you from road rash which is not usually life threatening, but hurts like crazy. And later, the itching…OUUUUUCH! 

3. I promise you will not look like the HULK (unless you want to), so please buy the five protective inserts that cover your joints and spine in the event of a spill. It is cheap insurance. 

4. If you are not inclined to wear a jacket, at least invest in elbow guards which strap on and protect that major joint. There is a reason why motorcycle driving schools require students to wear them. They are a cheap alternative to full gear. Not stylish, but neither is a full plaster cast.



1. These normal looking jeans have the incredible Kevlar woven into the fabric like the jackets. They are like a heavy weight pair of normal jeans, but they can withstand rotary sander, like abrasion contact with the road. Durability is measured in the number of seconds it can stay intact without exposing skin to the pain of the concrete.

2. As with the jacket, buy the armor inserts for the hips and knees. You will still bruise on hips or knees but the blow will be cushioned. 

3. As with the jacket, If you are not inclined to wear armored jeans, at least invest in knee guards which strap on and protect that major joint. These are also required by motorcycle driving schools. Also a cheap alternative to full gear. Even LESS stylish with a bigger plaster cast and traction.

The bottom line is that the local riding culture does not provide a good role model for safety. National Health Insurance makes treatment affordable but it still involves pain and suffering. I suggest adopting the attitude that a geared-up rider looks more like a professional experienced rider and less like a nerd or idiot. It is all in perception and how much you want to go with science instead of stupid.