I'd always heard that babies and puppies were the best conversation starters. Well, now I know differently. It has been 11 days since we bought our motorcycle, and in that time I've had 6 strangers start conversations with me about the bike. To put this into perspective, I live in a high-rise apartment building. Basically people keep to themselves, and when you ride in an elevator you tend not to speak to those around you. I make an effort to say hello to people who get off on my floor, but that only seems to happen once or twice a month. A smile and a nod at the mailbox is about as social as it gets. Not anymore. Riding in the elevator in my gear, helmet in hand, on my way down to the garage I noticed a grey-haired lady looking at me. At first I thought she might be nervous because the boots and gear can make some people feel a bit threatened. Instead she said "What do you ride?" I laughed and told her, and she said that she and her husband have BMW tourers and we got into a bit of a chat. Same thing happened with a guy who rides a Kawasaki Ninja, and then a few more times, and once in the carpark as I warmed the bike up. Then a few minutes ago one of the senior managers where I work came up to me as I was leaving to get lunch. "Did I see you on a motorbike this morning?" "Yeah, that was me." "What kind of bike?" "Honda CBR125." (Cue huge grin as I remembered the one good bend on my ride to work.) Turns out he has an old Kawasaki 1000 tourer and has been a rider since he was a kid, and we ended the conversation with a vague promise to go for a ride up into the Dandenongs some time. To hell with puppies and babies. If you want to start up some interesting conversations, go straight for the motorcycle.