a bulletproof vest that isn't

The owner of the lime green Kawasaki ZX 10R outside 7-11 was busy at an ATM so I stopped and gave the bike a look. The bike was an early 2000s model with an aftermarket pipe, turn signals and brake light. The right side had scuffing like it was lowsided at a low speed.

The owner was wearing an Icon vest over top a light gray work shirt that look like the kind wore by Los Angeles Sanitation workers and when he finished with the ATM he came outside.

“You every crashed the bike?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he smiles, “at Angels Crest.” He asks like this was something of an achievement.

“Then why don’t you wear something more then that fake bulletproof vest you’re wearing?” I ask.

“It’s too hot plus this shit protects my spine,” he responds while grabbing at his vest.

I started thinking about his statement and if he lowsided it’s highly unlikely that vest did anything, plus there were no abrasions on the vest to corroborate his story. I don’t know how to get through to people like this. He’s a 20 something with enough money to buy a third-hand liter bike that can reach 180 mph and all he’s wearing is a bulletproof vest looking thing and some baseball style batting gloves.

Graduated licensing could help because this kid will think himself invincible until the day he isn’t but what can I say so I say what I always say:

“Ride safe man,” as I turn and pedal off on a friend’s girl beach cruiser, my only form of transportation at the moment.