If, like me, you’re a vegan who feels the need to have the wind in your hair and the purr of a motorbike engine in your ears, then there are a few things to consider. Just because we’re vegan doesn’t mean we should go riding without appropriate safety gear. So here’s the cruelty-free biker’s guide to safe riding.
Before you purchase a bike, make sure you check that the seat and any saddle bags are made of synthetic materials and not leather. If you’re not sure, contact the bike manufacturer directly and ask.
When considering riding gear, there are cruelty-free options available now for everything you could ever need. But often, they are not advertized as being vegan, so you’ll need to pay attention!
Jackets and helmets are the easiest items to source, as almost all helmets are vegan and the majority of bike jackets these days are made from synthetic materials, such as Cordura. There are, of course, leather bike jackets available, but high-quality waterproof jackets such as Dririder are available at virtually all motorbike accessory shops.
The next item on the list is bike pants, and even with this essential safety item, there are more options than we vegan riders used to have. Again, companies such as Dririder make Cordura bike pants that not only are waterproof but also come with removable armor, just like bike jackets have. But you also have the option of more fashionable safety gear, like the Kevlar camo pants and jeans produced by Draggin Jeans—so now there’s no need to take a change of clothes with you when you head out on your bike for dinner with friends.
Vegan motorbike gloves have previously been a difficult accessory to find, but thankfully, more options are available these days than ever before. Aerostich makes two pairs of gloves that are actually labeled vegan, and I can vouch that they feel great when riding! If you take a small spill on your bike, your hands will be the most likely to suffer—so play it safe and grab a pair of nonleather gloves.
Finally, to keep your feet and ankles protected, you may want to look at some vegan riding boots. Sidi is a well-known brand that makes a number of high-quality vegan boots from Lorica (another rugged synthetic material). They even have a vegan boot made specifically for women (the Jasmine Te-Por), which is pretty impressive!
These days, there’s no need for vegetarian bikers to head out without full safety gear. Plus, it makes for great conversation when other riders ask you how you manage to stay animal-friendly on your motorbike!
Posted by Claire Fryer