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Folicle Freedom in Florida
Having spent a month in Florida, including two weeks in The Keys, I'd like to pass on a few observations. The bike mix was fairly predictable, especially in The Keys. Probably about 90% Harleys, a few Jap cruisers, a couple of Triumphs and strangely, a Francis Barnett.

The main thing that struck me was the fact that at least 90% of the riders wore no crash helmets. I haven't bothered to find out what the laws are there but if it is a requirement to wear head protection, it certainly isn't enforced. (Helmet not required if rider over 21 years of age and has Medical Insurance Cover of more than $10,000   JS).  I am one of a minority of VSOC members who remember riding in the Sixties with the wind in my hair. (Not so, most of us still had hair in the Sixties.  JS).    The exhilarating feeling of freedom is lost on todays bikers. I certainly feel that if you wear a full face crash helmet, you might just as well be in a car. A ride down to the coast on my Lambretta SX200, helmetless, is an experience that I will never forget.

Most of my friends know my opinions about compulsory wearing of crash helmets and that is, freedom of choice. I am an adult and if given the choice I would ride my bike without head protection. I know the risks and I am prepared to take them for the sake of my perception of a complete ride. Of course the safety police will criticise me for this point of view and I understand why, but like a lot of issues that we have in this country, I would prefer to make my own choices and not have a 'nanny state' telling me what to do.

The other thing that was fairly obvious was the observation of speed limits. The freeways and highways have a limit of between 60-70 mph and very few people were exceeding it. Now comes the interesting bit, Route 1 runs from the top to the bottom of The Keys and the speed limit is between 30-55mph. It was observed without exception and mirrored the slow pace of life there. Personally, I found it liberating, slowing down and like everybody else, seemingly in no hurry. Your mind was cleared and accidents were non existent while we were there. Obviously you can't compare Route 1 to the roads that we have in this country because there is just this one main road all the way down and sometimes that was it, the Atlantic on one side and The Gulf of Mexico on the other but the journey was far more pleasant, although longer than it would have taken here. So all I'm saying, I suppose, is that a little slower pace of life wouldn't do any of us any harm and a little more freedom of choice to experience freedom wouldn't come amiss.

I'm not trying to force my opinions on anybody, it's just a point of view.

Toodle pip - Tel.