Photo Credit: Andrew Kudrin via Flikr (modifications made)
In our interactions with the non-biking community, we often come across the question, “Why do you ride?” And we’re supposed to come up with a passion filled answer that would work as an encapsulated dose of our passion for all things motorcycle and give them the starry eyes. Yet every rider has come across that smug-filled expression of disapproval, where they looked at us as thrill-seeking irrational maniacs and assumed that they knew better.
So we decided to turn the tables and find out just how rational and sensible were the reasons for the non-biking community to not ride a motorcycle.
And here’s what we found:
7. Bikes aren’t practical/No room for luggage
To this we say, the whole idea of traveling is to pack light as you can, and with saddle bags and tank bags in place, you can carry enough personal luggage to last anywhere for months. If you had to carry an entourage of luggage filled with essential items you couldn’t last a day without, then might we suggest moving to the place you’re traveling to. Of course, there are instances in which you might need to travel with your family and friends and pack a lot of luggage, and a car, as boring as it may be, can and should be used for those occasions, we never accused cars of being purposeless and meaningless metal boxes; they’re just plain boring and they tend to make people lazy, that’s all. But for all the other times Motorcycles make so much more sense than cars, be it from the environmental point of view in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases, or from the point of view of traffic congestion, which is mostly caused by so many of those affluent suburbanites driving to and back from work, lonely and luxuriously in their beloved gas guzzling SUVs, at the expense of the environment, which belongs to all of us, and we’re talking of species other than homo-sapiens too. Now tell us, what is more practical.
6. My family doesn’t approve of a Motorcycle
How could they? They’re probably affected by the same popular media depiction of niche rider groups as evil and reckless maniacs. Besides, they love you and would hate to see any harm befall upon your head. You however, should know better than that, specially if you have been a rider in the past. You should know that despite what the popular media and the statistics might suggest, with proper ride gear and an attentive and a relaxed riding style, you’re just as safe on a bike as in a car. We don’t deny that while on the road, specially on two wheels, every mistake, that of your own or of others, have at the very minimum, serious consequences, but with a few precautions and additional safety measures, you can reduce the risk levels to minimum. You still might have to do a lot of convincing before your family let’s you have your dream bike, but the feeling that you get experiencing the world on two wheels is priceless. It’s like meeting yourself for the first time. Watching the constantly changing world around you turn into a dream theatre with you as it’s sole witness.
We’re sure once they observe how profoundly positively; riding a motorcycle affects your personality, they wouldn’t want to take that away from you. After all, they love you :)
5. Owning a motorcycle is just additional expenses, I would rather buy a bigger car:
Most people today who ride motorcycles also own cars. Which means that if you had not bought your motorcycle, you have the option of owning a bigger cage. Even though the motorcycle is additional cost at the time of purchase, it is just cheaper to operate. Its cheaper to run, cheaper to park and cheaper to maintain. Which means that if you ride your motorcycle regularly, you will outweigh the initial investment of purchasing your bike.
What cagers don’t understand is that a car is for getting from one place to another, whereas a motorcycle is about riding. A motorcycle never was about utility, but about passion. About riding just for the sake of riding. About being in a perpetual state of departure and arrival, about being able to cut through the facade of the world, and find our very own hearts. Hence to measure the financial worth of a motorcycle is foolish.
4. Streets are too polluted to ride a bike:
Streets are indeed messier for riders for they have to deal face-on, not only with the dust and dirt flying off of the street, but also ingest a lot of the heat and smoke fumes coming out of other vehicles which can be problematic at times, but with the right kind of helmet and riding gear, you can keep most of the dirt and the filth from the street at bay, also the air that we breath inside the car, is not exactly pollution filtered and oxygenated, but merely temperature cooled in most instances, although the air conditioned and perfumed cabin and rolled up windows definitely help create an illusion of sanctity and safety. If more and more people started riding bikes on a daily basis, wouldn’t that help reduce the pollution levels in our cities?
3. I know someone who crashed his motorcycle and was seriously injured:
There is a famous and disturbing biker quote: “Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.”
Motorcycling comes with its risks and so does everything else in life. Incase of an accident, you indeed are at a greater risk than you would be in a car. When we were kids, we fell from our bicycles but did we stop cycling. No, we learnt from the fall and became better cyclists. Biking is no different. Though it is true that on a motorcycle, you may not get a second chance, but a lot of this risk can be mitigated with the right gear. If you are riding in t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, then you are just asking for trouble.
2. I don’t want to carry my gear everywhere I go:
There is just something very attractive about a person who gets off the motorcycle and walks into a bar carrying a helmet. Having said that, carrying your gear is a problem that riders face everyday but they choose to ride anyway. While this is a problem, it also has solutions. If you find carrying your gear painful, get saddlebags for your motorcycle and store your gear in it. Alternatively, you can also get a backpack and carry your stuff in that.
and this brings us to the silliest excuse to not ride a motorcycle
1. I used to be a rider, then I got married and now I even have kids:
This is the statement that will make anyone feel that Bikers don’t have families. We are people too and have social responsibilities like everyone else.
It’s true that getting hitched changes a lot about your life, however, this is the kind of change we find unfathomable. Why does a new relationship has to come about at the expense of an old one? A relationship that you share with your beloved motorcycle. The underlying excuses behind this reason vary anywhere between road safety concerns and comfort issues but that's all they are, excuses and nothing else.
Real Riders don’t give up their love for riding simply because they’re getting in a new relationship, but instead use every new relationship to share their love for freedom on two wheels. So instead of giving up riding, we suggest you introduce your lady to the taste of this freedom too.
If you gave up riding because you got married, you were never a rider in the first place.
We are tired of hearing these excuses, but we are sure there are a lot more. What’ the silliest excuse for not riding that you’ve heard? Let us know in the comments below
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