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Some random thoughts about motorcycling

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by b12mick, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Some random, well maybe not so random thoughts. I must acknowledge and apologise to Boris, Matt, Curate Klav, David Cooke, Rob Colligan and a few others for plagiarising some of their writings.

    A recent exchange, on a FB page, got me thinking. I love motorcycling. Why? I can't exactly say why.

    It may be the inherent unsafeness. Yes I know that's not a real word, but I'm not sure riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous - many people manage to ride for years without incident - I'm not one of those people.

    It could well be the adrenalin flow that is but a twist of the wrist away. I've always enjoyed that.

    It maybe the freedom I feel, or at least the illusion of freedom.

    Maybe it's the slight tinge of superiority I get when among the cattle and sheep in their metal cages.

    I do know that when our kids were younger, as a family we enjoyed a day out on the bikes. We always, half jokingly, said that it's a great way to spend the day together as a family without having to actually talk to each other too much.

    I also know that I've met some truly great and wonderful people who I have shared many miles, drinks, laughs and just a few tears with. They have taught me many things and imparted much knowledge.

    I have also met more than few beige numpties that frankly make me weep for the future of the human race in general and motorcycling in particular. At every turn they are telling me to 'ride safe'. They presume to tell me, and others, that if I wear anything less than the mythical 'All the gear' all the time then I'm unsafe and that I am destined to die or at the very least spend many excruciating hours having gravel scraped from my body. They somehow seem to think that I am incapable of making a decision regarding my own safety. Yes, believe or not, sometimes the safest option is to run the red light, pass on the double lines or travel at speed faster than that sign posted. Just like sometimes it's safer to just stop and let that B double have the roundabout, even though you legally have right of way.

    It is this last group that prompted this collection of thoughts. Mainly because for some reason they seem to imagine that motorcycling is a brotherhood/sisterhood.

    Sorry, but it just isn't. It might have been once, but I doubt it. There are certainly are pockets of 'brotherhood'. I'm mainly thinking the OMC's, maybe the MMC's and some close knit groups of friends. These groups have shared experiences, good and bad, joyous and devastating. They have a serious connection and serious respect for each other. They really would give the shirt of their back to help their brother and wouldn't think twice about doing it, they'd just do it. They would also defend their mates no matter what. Ok they may sort their mate out later but that's not for 'outsiders' to see.

    But, I have no connection whatsoever with these beige people masquerading as motorcyclists, well other than we both ride motorcycles, whoop fcuking wee. Just because I will pull over and offer assistance if they are broken down on the side of the road doesn't mean they're my 'brother'. It simply means I'm a decent human being do the right thing.
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  2. Mick - can you bold what you nicked off others and highlight what you wrote yourself please? Cheers.

    .............................. I just want to know how much actual work went into that post :whistle:
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  3. It's not so much the words I stole, more the general concepts and ideas.....

    Or conversely you I could just bold the whole thing as each of them have said much the same things over the years I've known them or read their pieces.

    Then of course if you rifled through my posts on here over the years you'd probably find that I've already pretty well said those things myself.
  4. Well......... I think it's pretty spot on mate.
  5. Gawd....hope I am not too beige :bag: but I know what you mean.
    There have many come on here that I don't know why they bother tbh.
    95% of the time I think my soul absolutely sings when I ride...I am in the moment, not thinking about anything in particular other than the road in front, enjoying the wind on my face (I so do love having my visor up most of the time-my choice), marvelling that I am part of this wonderful motorcycle machinery. I fondly pat Zeddee's tank at lights and also when just cruising along, feeling pretty chuffed with life and grateful to have some ability to ride this glorious machine.
    There are a few fellow riders whom I think I share a real connection with, but I think it is our bikes/riding that melds the friendships not creates them to be honest. I just love riding with these people and catching up, even if it isn't very often. I would meet up them all even if they were in a car! :shock:
    There are others who I have met who coincidentally also ride that I wouldn't unzip my pants to pee on, even if they were on fire...ethically or otherwise.

    Learning to ride in my dotage was just the panacea my soul needed and has helped me to gain trust, confidence and belief in my self worth after too many years of self neglect.
    Biking has helped open a complete new life for me! Beige- not sure more like a diamond- just need to change the facet to alter the colour of your view at the time.
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  6. Dunno.....

    I get the feeling that, if someone also rides a motorbike, then he/she has passed a basic aptitude test.

    The may still turn out to be better left on their own, but...<shrug> they might be worth talking to.

    As for the beige business, I think I do actually have a suede leather jacket that, if you wanted to offend me, you might call beige, but generally, folk that know me would more likely classify me as a lair..... who else do you know that wears tartan trousers?

    To be honest, I am actually, at heart, a car person, but I just can't afford, nor can I be trusted to control myself, at the wheel of the kind of car that I'd fancy. :(

    So I sublimate my need for speed into riding motorbikes... saves me a fortune, and I am better at controlling myself, too. :)
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  7. Maybe that's why, it makes you feel good and puts a smile on your dial and it cannot necessarily be put into words why it just does and other fellow riders know exactly how it feels also.
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  8. If you were around for the first couple of issues of Two Wheels Mag you would have read that in the days of the Honda add,you meet the nicest people on a Honda. Wearing leather was not encouraged, nice people didn't wear leather. I need a new beige cardi, mine is warn out
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  9. I like your "Freedom, or at least the illusion of freedom".......
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  10. I have to say I can't quite explain it either. I'm definitely at my happiest on the bike -- its very much my antidote to a whole world of beige I think. But I do like not having to explain it to the fellow rider who I occasionally find in my anaesthetic bay.
  11. I'm happy on a motorbike, bicycle, hiking, golf course, tennis court, Beach volleyball court... etc. The point is I'm in the moment, I'm not worried that my super is not enough to support me when I retire, or that it's still 5 days until my day off. My brain is in the now - the next apex, the rythem, the next view, the right club, the perfect backhand down the line, the sexy girl across the net...

    Motorcycling like cycling allows you to be in the moment on your way to or from work. It provides an excuse to go see places you haven't seen yet, or would like to see again. When in reality, the destination isn't the main attraction, the act of getting there is.

    The fact that others ride a motorcycle is not a reason I ride, I could be the only person in the world who rides a motorcycle, and I wouldn't care. I'm not in it to feel "part of a club". So I agree with you Mick.
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  12. Aye, Bjpitt, I had forgotten my early days in Sydney, going to and from work in a car..... it was just 'orrible, and, if I had kept on doing it, I'd have killed someone.

    Thankfully a petrol strike (remember them?) and a rented Suzi 200cc X5 got me back into riding. :)
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  13. b12mickb12mick , couldn't agree with you more mate.

    I don't bother trying to explain 'why' I ride to non-riders, probably because I can't.... other riders just get it.

    the same as the brotherhood thing, being ex-military, you know what I'm talking about, which I can't explain to others.

    I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone on a motorcycle, however, I wouldn't say there is a connection, but I soon work out if they fit what you call the 'beige brigade'.
    Even many of the members here, I wonder how many will continue riding well beyond the 'honeymoon years'.

    However, I also find motorcycling has it's own subcultures, which don't really mingle either. As most know here, I have a love affair with dirt riding, particularly adventure riding and often will get snubbed by 'road riders' if I pull in for a feed of pub grub. (However, I get the exact opposite, if on my XJR13) One particular time I chuckle to myself when I rode into Queenscliff (Vic) at the time of a car/bike show, started chatting with a few riders there, who where so pleased with themselves about riding 100km to the event, then looked at my sh*tbox chook chaser whilst asking how far I'd come....... quite a shock on there faces when I told them about 5000km.....

    I have friends from many different phases of my life, who mostly do not cross paths with each other, from; work mates, school mates, hometown mates, footy mates, military mates and of course motorcycling mates. Perhaps, this gives me the sense of living multiple lives????

    I applaud everyone that has a go at motorcycling for what ever reason, I just hope that they ride safe, make the right choices, whether they continue with motorcycling or not. As I believe that not everyone that rides should be riding...... you know what I mean?
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  14. To go from a 300cc to a 1000cc bike - and enjoy it - is well on the way to being anti-beige....
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  15. I can tell you I enjoyed white water kayaking for the same reasons. Wave skiing didn't quite do it for me, but was still better than playing golf.
  16. I do enjoy a good group ride - depending on the group. I'm not really into the 'parade' type riding where everyone rides line astern (or staggered) all the time for every KM of the ride. I do get that there are people who enjoy that or even need that. But I certainly don't.
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  17. Hell, a two week holiday in Melbourne is better than playing golf.
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  18. I love riding because I enjoy the sense of connection with the bike. It goes where you look, like an extension of your body. I like kayaks for similar reasons. I loved climbing for the sensation of the rock under my hands, the amazing places that you see and the perspective that it gives you on what actually matters in life.

    I think you're right on the money, brotherhood is too strong a word for it. You could maybe stretch it to a sense of "community" though.
    I reckon the beige cardigan brigade, get a bee in their collective bonnet about anything that scare's them and assume anything they find frightening and often have never done must be horrifically dangerous. No understanding of understanding the risks and doing sensible things to mitigate them to a reasonable degree and then just getting on and enjoying yourself.

    You see that french guy climbing buildings.
    No rope, no harness no safety net. Much outcry about how dangerous it is. But at his level of skill and training he's far less likely to fall off the damn building than Molly Meldrum is to fall off the pavement.

    We can't eliminate risk, it's inherent in everything we do and most people are pretty bad at getting their head around the proportionality of it. Oh I couldn't possibly swim in the sea with all those sharks. Quite happy to drive their car to the beach though and usually not very well.
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  19. On "jumps", try 50cc to 750 - that's the ownership jump for me. I rode lots of OP's in between. (bugger all money) 50 provided independence and mobility, a high priority necessity at the time. The 750 is where the LOVE started.
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  20. #20 hyperspex, Mar 10, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    When I was much younger, I was part of a subculture that centred around music and partying. And I felt like I was part of something bigger, some deep secret that the rest of society didn't understand, but my weekend brothers and sisters did. It was that feeling that united us and made us a community. We used to half-joke about spending every Sunday morning together at our 'church'.

    It's bullshit, really.

    When you think about it, the idea that you're part of some kind of profound social movement because you go to the same parties, listen to the same music or take the same drugs is just laughable, as much as being in some kind of secret brotherhood because we all chose the same form of motorised transport. It's idiotic and it's juvenile.

    And like you said, Mick, it may have been different in the past. I guess back when things are new you get a stronger sense of that frontier community of shared risks and common experiences as you blaze a trail into the unknown together. And certainly when you're new to a subculture you feel it more as well as you explore this whole new (to you) world that you've just 'discovered' (that had been there for years before you turned up).

    But after a while it fades. It might take weeks, months or even years, but eventually you traverse the life cycle from 'starry eyed newbie' to 'grizzled and cynical veteran' and in the end you see what's real. That shared bond is a mirage, the 'brotherhood' is a farce. I'd talk to you about bikes because I like bikes. I'd help you out in trouble because that's what decent people do. That's all it is. I may nod to you on the street, but I do the same for people that I recognise professionally. It doesn't make me your 'brother', and it doesn't mean I don't think you're a dickhead.

    Viewed another way, if we ever became friends, it's because we connected as people rather than because of some mystical bond of riders (or ravers or hippies or punks or bangers or whatever). We'd probably be friends outside of our shared activity, or if we'd met in any other social context.

    (Btw I have to acknowledge Boris' influence here as well. I'm not generally a huge fan of his work but his writing on this topic really resonated with me.)
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