By Dennis Dumapias
In the past year alone, I’ve pulled off the following two-wheeled good deeds:
- Stopped to help a stalled car in the middle lane of a busy commuter freeway. The driver said the car just died, and not only was he not able to restart it, he couldn’t get it out of park to push the car to the shoulder. He didn’t realize that the electronic shift lock for automatic transmissions can be lifted via manual override, located in a removable panel right there by the gear selector.
- Stopped to help bump-start another stalled car in a busy four-way intersection.
- Informed an unwitting driver that their front passenger tire was severely deflated, during slow-moving traffic.
I remember in some instances when I would walk back to my bike after helping out, thinking to myself:
“Go, go, Power Ranger.”
Art Imitating Life
I grew up watching the Power Rangers. Teens bestowed with powers that turn them into flashy, colorful heroes to save the day. Full body suit, boots, gloves, and helmets, ready to rush to the aid and do good. Of course, I didn’t think of it then when I was younger, but walking away from a good deed done now, resplendent in my colorful motorcycle gear, I can’t help but think that the Power Rangers were effectively modeled after fully-geared motorcyclists.
Think about it.
Even comic book superhero character brought to life in movies now take design and production cues from motorcyclists. Look at the cinematic version of Captain America’s bulky gear, shoulder pads and all, paired with his hardened headgear like a ¾ motorcycle helmet. In fact, Batman’s suit in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) draws from a motorcyclist’s riding gear, as indicated by the movie’s costume designer Lindy Hemming.
Effectively, the flashy spandex of yesteryear’s superheroes has been replaced with the real-world practicality provided by padded leather gear, as proven by the riding world. And why not? It makes sense to model them after those who need total body protection without sacrificing mobility.
Life Imitating Art
So yeah, I do feel like something of a small-town superhero when I do some form of good deed in my moto gear. I even get a taste of how masked heroes feel, their true identities hidden under the helmet and all the gear, incognito in our selfless acts of valor.
So remember that whenever you gear up. You’re not just protecting yourself – you’re flying the colors of day-to-day watchers and Good Samaritans. Go on and lend a gloved helping hand. Go free someone. Or go save a coffee cup.
Try and make good ol’ Steve Rogers proud.