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People making assumptions about you as a motorcyclist?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Greydog, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Yesterday, I was visiting an office for the purpose of doing a stocktake of furniture and fittings (the office is being decommissioned) and got to talking to a colleague I'd never actually met before.

    As I was planning on staying only a short while, I hadn't changed from textiles into jeans, plus I'd left my helmet, jacket and gloves in the conference room.

    He made a comment that made it clear he had formed an assumption that I was left wing politically (we were discussing the restructure at our company, and the ramifications for the employees). I am actually more right wing, which I told him. He then said he'd assumed I was left wing because I rode a motorcycle. :confused:

    He actually rang me to apologise for jumping to that conclusion - it wasn't necessary as I wasn't offended, although I was momentarily puzzled as to how he'd come to it. We had a laugh about it.

    Anyway, have other riders had assumptions made about them based on their riding, or what they're wearing? We've had the thread about people taking a wide berth in the shopping centre, but I'd like to hear other stories too.

    Have people experienced discrimination?
    Would you attend, say, a job interview or a court hearing on the motorcycle, bearing in mind you have to carry your gear in?
    Are there any situations where you might hesitate to be portrayed as a motorcyclist because of possible negative perception?

  2. At the doctor's office in Kings Cross one arvo, a little old lady sat next to me in the waiting room, indicated to my helmet, asked me why a 'nice' boy like me should associate myself with rapists.

    I lol'd.

    Also, as one many i assume, that is a tattoo'd biker, people's first impressions are way off the mark.
  3. Interesting one mate. I would have thought that riders would be more readily classified as right wing anyway, with all the assumed linkages to and reporting about motorcycle gangs.

    I'm working in an office environment and so far never got a comment regarding political stance based on me having my riding gear with me.

    I guess though, I wouldn't show up for a job interview in my line of work (finance) with my gear (on or with me). I assume, there's a perception as well that we're more likely to be injured while travelling, which could go against us (time off work, etc.).
  4. I've been to job interviews in my motorcycle gear and I found it a nice ice breaker in the conversation. So far people have always been positive towards it and either had ridden before or wished they did but felt it was too dangerous.

    I've also been given lenience in dress code at some places that require corporate and allowed to wear black draggins instead of slacks.
  5. Have also attended job interviews on the bike, as said, good convo starter but mostly they knew nothing about bikes so convo ended pretty quick :p

    People assume im a ******** cause of the sportsbike. (May not actually be because of the sports bike..)
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  6. I've had people assume I am some kind of anarchist. And they assume the Yamaha is a Harley. And they want to talk about it but don't really know anything.

    I find it interesting they assumed you were left leaning. Maybe they realized that motorcycles are a logical trade off between excitement, danger, economy and ecology, and hence thought you were intelligent enough to be left leaning. Then you went and dashed their hopes.
  7. Hahaha, funny you say that.

    He was obviously disappointed to hear I was right wing, and went on to say something along the lines that my obvious intelligence and empathy for the affected employees was a redeeming quality.

    I laughed, and told him to stop digging that grave he was about to throw himself into...
  8. walks into room

    "oh he's a temporary Australian"

    does this count?
  9. Had someone use that line on me. Then I said, in my very not-Australian accent "Not even a temporary one" and it shut him up nicely.
  10. Ah yes, type casting. We're all guilty of it.
    Many years ago in my event management days I did a series of conferences for a very large company with Alan Pease. Alan made his fortune by writing a series of books on body language in the 80's. His presentation was about reading customer attitude through their body language and he aslo touched type casting and how you view people through first impressions. I think he coined the phrase "you never get a second chance at a first impression". Anyway, he would do a practical example of type casting and how we are all "guilty" of it. He would select a group of people from the audience. He would then tell the audience that they were movie producers and they were casting a western movie. With 100% accuracy we got the same result every time.... the big guy with the large moustache was the bad gunslinger, the little bald guy was the bank clerk, the portly lady was the school teacher, the good looking young dude was the hero etc etc. Humans, we just can't help ourselves...we just love to jump to conclusions
  11. When anyone tells me I'm a temporary Australian, I tell them, "No, I'm a permanent Australian, and a sixth-generation Australian into the bargain..."
  12. I hardly ever walk around in my gear, so only people at work who come in early or leave late (like me) would actually see me in my gear. Which means that people already know me before they find out I ride a bike.

    Just the other week this girl had discovered the motorcycle in front of the gym was mine. Her reaction was as follows: 'Wow, you're so cool, you're my new idol! You're a physicist, have a tattoo, do cheerleading, AND you ride a bike!'
    I wasn't exactly flattered, but rather annoyed by her naivity.
  13. I hate the term 'temporary Australian'

    I had it said to me about 2 months ago. I replied with ...

    'unless you have the secret to eternal life then you are pulling yourself if you think life isn't temporary'
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  14. Yeah half the shit people say at any given point is marginally above "outright retarded"
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  15. Its interesting, and maybe its because i'm from a more rural area but i haven't had many negative comments or assumptions because i ride a motorcycle, in most cases its a good conversation starter with strangers, i've even had one bloke follow me home just to ask how i went getting a license and which bikes make a good first.

    The funniest assumption i've had was at a bar for a mates party and the bar tender thought i was joking when i asked for a coke because he thought as a motorcyclist i must "get on the piss a lot" :s
  16. I've known at least one young lady who presented at her GP with a bladder infection and was immediately referred to the clap clinic on the basis that, as a female biker, she must be a slut.
  17. Most people (even other motorcyclists that I ride with regularly) assume that because I'm a motorcyclist I must have been booked for speeding many times and be constantly close to running out of points.

    They get a hell of a shock when I tell them I've NEVER been booked for speeding and since I got my drivers license in 1983 I've only ever lost 3 points, and that was for a dodgy neg driving charge in a car.

    The other thing that people assume, because I'm a motorcyclist, is that I drink heavily. While that may have been true in my youth (before I got a motorcycle license) it's certainly a long from reality today.
  18. I borrowed my mates fatboy a few weeks ago (he asked me to get something from the shops for him) and i walked into my local bank to talk to a lady about something and with my open face helmet black jeans black shirt leather jacket they all stared at me and one lady even said "bikey scum"

    I was quite offended by this and asked her why she ASSUMES im a bikey, she snobbed me and told police about me who came up to me with the lady looking at them with a smirk i showed my Navy ID and dog tags they apologized and did that lady come running up apologizing i just walked away.
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  19. I'm a solid-looking bloke (read: a bit of a lardarse) with a shaved head and apparently I have a mean look about me, so I've been told I'm intimidating and/or just plain scary to some people. Truth is I'm a great big teddy-bear who wouldn't hurt a fly, although it's probably got me and my mates out of a few fights, which is awesome because I haven't got a clue what to do in a fight LOL

    I can't imagine adding bike gear to that makes me any more approachable.
  20. I did my security training with a bloke like you. My first impression did not last. Great bloke.