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Thought on our passion

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Empty One, May 15, 2013.

  1. I decided to start this thread after a post by Bravus bought a flood of memories and nostalgia to mind. With my beloved lifestyle/hobby/sport under threat from safetycrats, Today Tonight watchers and Herald Scum readers. I thought it was time to try and put into words (no matter how stilted) just what this wondrous lifestyle of ours means and what it has done for me.

    Over the years motorcycling has done and meant many things to me, it has saved my life, saved my sanity, got me laid (of course) allowed me to experience the world from an angle few other people have and has helped me find love (thanks netrider)

    To me motorcycling is about about choice to be more specific the freedom of choice. We choose what gear to wear or not as the case may be, we choose our bike type and style, we choose our tyre and fuel type, hell we even choose whether or not to obey the ludicrous traffic laws in this fine state of ours.

    Motorcycling is about freedom that feeling first thing in the morning when you swing your leg over the beast thumb the starter and feel the life flow through what was only moments before a chunk of metal, plastics and rubber. Even when commuting to work the sheer joy of snicking her into first and feeling that first pull on the bars as you get underway. The giggle like a loon feeling of a perfect corner, perfect lean, perfect entry and perfect exit, makes you feel as though you and the bike are one organism whose sole reason for existence is to ride forever.



    Despite all these wonderful things about riding I feel my rage grow everyday as hear yet more uninformed crap from the gutter press and outright lies from those in power about how evil and dangerous motorcycling is, how we need further regulation for our own good, how we; despite being adults should not be allowed to use these two wheeled death machines for anything but to commute to and from our places of work at speeds to be determined by the lowest common denominator of beige cardigan wearing Prius drivers.

    Nearly everyday we read more negative press and hear more made up figures and it makes me furious yet I feel impotent, as I am not eloquent enough to help with letters to the editor and not educated enough to be of any use in advocacy, but I can and will continue to educate people on a one to one basis as I find them, not to look out for bikes, but to look out for the rights and freedoms of the individual for as surely as our freedoms are eroded so will Joe Prius drivers be eventually as well.

    Wow this was supposed to be a positive post but I guess I got a bit carried away.

    TL;DR: Bikes are awesome, the pressure on our lifestyle is not about motorcycles but about control.
     
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  2. sigh, stop whining and get out and ride
     
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  3. Yep way too much negativity and I sometimes wonder if our constant whining on the forums is half the perception problem we think we have.
    Out riding I never get hassled by the cops, hardly ever encounter a smidsy and ride for the enjoyment of it in all conditions.
    Are we too negative on the forums? Maybe as I don't feel that negativity when out on the bike.
    Perceived as opposed to actual? who knows.....
     
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  4. The problem is though smee, a persons perception IS their reality and until their perception is changed it will remain so.
     
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  5. Im always positive when im on this forum.
    Positive I will upset someone.
     
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  6. Nah not me, What goes on here is a whingefest like most forums, one has to take stock and realise that what is said here is only a small microcosm of what goes on in reality.
    Yes the VMC etc and the lobbies play their part in keeping the bastards honest and ensuring the masses are educated but we also must put it all into perspective is it affecting me personally? Not really. Do I want to do my bit? I do but there are more important things in life.
     
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  7. What an incredibly insightful observation and contribution to the thread. Profound stuff.


    I think the OP is more of an observation than a whinge. And I read it in two parts.

    Firstly I read the absolute pleasure and joy that you get from getting out on two wheels and the benefits that has brought. And that you can't possibly know how great getting on a bike is until you do it yourself. The buzz you get from the little things, as well as the rush from taking on something challenging.

    But at the same time I read frustration at the fact that you can't really stay immune from all the other factors that can influence the pleasure you get from swinging a leg over. Even if it's just rolling your eyes at another media report of 'bikie gangs'. And for many of us, there can be a level of powerlessness at being able to affect any change.

    The FNP debate is a case in point. It's unlikely the gov't will bring them in, but it's damn frustrating to have to keep justifying (to colleagues, friends and family and anyone else who asks) why this is a beat up, why it's pointless etc.

    I guess it's what we sign up for when we start riding...and I don't think there's any harm in anyone pointing it out in what I thought was a fairly eloquent post.
     
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  8. Read again what smee said; a succinct and right-on-the-money summary of the situation, top one!!
    I don't care what other people's perceptions are, for me the reality is far more important, and always will be. On Sunday I will ride 600-odd kays and do you think I will ONCE think about possible government legislation, draconian laws or any other of the anti-motorcycle (possible) conspiracies that have become the standard fare on Netrider? Not for a second. Perception of what might happen is always worse than what does, and often what never happens.
    Stop tilting at windmills and turning over every obscure rock to see if there's something nasty lurking under it; just get on the bike and enjoy the stuff that makes our passion unique and addictive.
    When you stand before the motorcycling gods at the end and are asked how you spent your time, there'll be no marks for whinging about what might have happened, but didn't. Trophies will be handed out to the people who DID what motorcycling is ALL about; RIDE.
     
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  9. I started reading the OP and thought it was going to be positive, but it got dragged down in the end.

    I love riding my bike. I don't get to do it enough due to family circumstances, but as the kids leave home, and the cello and hockey gear does not need to be lugged around, riding will become my normal mode of transport.

    When I started, I whined about SMIDSY's, and the cops breath testing me. I whined about being booked for speeding.

    Now I enjoy every ride. If I get breath tested, great! I want the cops to breath test every bloody vehicle on the road as I am tired of hearing of motorists killed and "alcohol being a factor" If I get booked, then OK, I deserve it. If I cannot enjoy riding within the speed limit, then that is my own problem. Generally when the cops pull me over I get a short conversation about riding, the weather, where I am going, a breath test, a "nice bike" type comment, and I go on my way.

    I don't have SMIDSY's any more. Maybe I have learnt to predict them, or maybe I am just over it and it doesn't upset me as much. But I do still get SMIDSY's in the car too. If you inhabit a bit of the road, others will not see you at times. Yes, it has more consequence on the bike, and so I am more cautious. But that is my response to the threat to me. I don't hate all cars because of it.

    Get out and ride is good advice. I ride for enjoyment. I ride to live a bit more than when I drive. I ride because I love the feeling of getting near work and thinking "if I just don't turn in I can continue on forever". I understand that everyone needs a whinge from time to time, but life is too short to get hung up on the little things. Go and ride. Everything is put back into perspective.
     
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  10. From what I read here I guess none of you are gun owners. I know what Empty One means and agree to some extent. Especially when I see things like compulsory ABS in Europe...What's next? Air bags and seat belts...But yeah, get out there and ride in relative freedom...It's my kids I'm worried about...

    Kobo :cool:
     
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  11. I'm a gun owner. I agree with tight, and even tighter gun controls. If you don't own a farm, or have regular access to one to shoot vermin, you don't need one.

    Motorcycling is very, very, very different.
     
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  12. You forgot the most important choice:
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    The coice of which glove to put on first...
     
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  13. I'll try and be positive :rolleyes:.
    Riding is the only thing that keeps me sane. On a bike on an open road is the only place that the world 'stops' for me. The chatter stops, the pushing stops, the rush of time stops. I actually don't care about rules and enforcement, I'm just concentrated on keeping it upright, so in a sense it is 'freedom'.
    If I'm lucky - and I have been - my private world will not be intruded on by interlopers official or otherwise. I don't know if this luck is something that will run out but I don't think about it in those terms when I'm riding. I am in control of the ship, and my fate is in my hands, at least until I stop.
    I do wonder if we will be the last generation to know this feeling (or maybe it will be synthesised on the future), but we are all on borrowed time to some extent and I am grateful for every ride and every moment in the saddle.
    Growing old only happens when you're not riding.
     
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  14. Please, I beg you - NO THREAD ON THIS. It is far to complex for a mere internet forum.
     
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  15. I agree with a lot that's been said here. What Titus posted rings very true for me. The continued attraction of motorcycling for me is the demand it places on one to do it well. Everything else goes away on the bike. You must concentrate on the ride. It is liberating to ride anywhere, beyond a commute. It's still a thrill to explore the capabilities of a new bike and regularly test the reflexes and instinct (even on the old one) and verify that everything is still as it should be and that when called upon, I stand a chance of being able dig deep and get that little bit more when necessary. It's not about going faster, its about when conditions go pear shaped, and there isn't anything for it but to do the best you can. This can happen at any time.

    Yeah, I could bemoan the passage of the "good old days" when a decent road bike could be used as a space changer in quick time routinely, but instead, I'm satisfied with improvements in the power available, brakes, lighting and tyre technology. These things make most new bikes a delight to ride. Contrast this to the 86 model that shares the space. It is a fun ride too, but agricultural by comparison. New developments have made motorcycles safer and more comfortable than ever.

    I'm happier with developments like fuel injection and modern ECU technology, than I thought I'd ever be, and with safety features like gear selector/sidestand interlock, and clutch-in starting. These things have the ability to annoy, but do instil good habits. I have had near whoopsies due to side stand down, on occasions on bikes not fitted with them.

    Don't start me on regulation. It can only go downhill from here, though the filtering trial in Sydney is a real good sign. It means that somewhere up there in pollyland, someone has listened, and unless I miss my guess, they will not be able to ignore the data gathered. It's early days. There is a lot of bias to overcome. With a formal trial, data wins. Lets hope it is there. I am confident that riders in the area will be doing their best to ensure that the trial is a success.
     
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  16. Surely the rest of your paragraph contradicts you 'don't get me started...' beginning? Every regulation brings with it some disadvantages, and some advantages. The advent of CCTV has enabled many vile people in our society to be be identified and punished, yet it's easy to complain that it's an invasion of privacy. ABS braking on cars was abysmal when it first came out, now manufacturers don't even bother telling you it's there, because it just works. The same will be the case for this and other advances in motorcycling technology. And stuff that doesn't work will be rejected and dropped.
    And the "I'm just worried about the kids" mantra is totally at odds with the obsessively selfish tone of our age. So exercise your selfishness, don't worry about what tomorrow might bring, and enjoy your riding.....
     
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  17. Well written! As an "older rider" that resonates with me, particularly the pear shaped bit. Outside of the commute (yes, still on the job, so to speak) I relish the demands placed upon me to optimise my performance despite reflexes and eyesight not as they once were. Some days the entries and lines are not as I would want but I guess that is the nature of human performance. But clear thinking and application of technique required when the unexpected rears its head and breaths upon you the foul stench of death - that is the challenge!
    Example: I would consider myself to be conservative in normal operation. I rarely, at any speed at least, ground the pegs. Recently, while enjoying a bend on a quite country road, I was faced with the view of a front end well over the double lines and holding its line. Change of aiming point, increase in counter steering effort, keep the power on (that was hard!). A flood of fear accompanied by a snarling F bomb into my brain bucket then sit and feel that left peg and boot toe getting a real good grind. The turkey slides by me much too close and my peripheral vision notes that his eyes seem to be the size of tennis balls. Post event reaction from me was elevated pulse and blood pressure and a mixture of relief and satisfaction. Jstava, is what you mean?

    For me another of the "Joys of Biking" is the company of people from all walks of life who are, for the most part, younger than me (I have kept away from the big U - no offence meant). On social rides, and at rallies, there is a huge cross section of our society with a common passion. And, younger riders, have no fear. I keep well clear of "The older I am the better I was. I keep that for the Boomers :)

    Cheers.
     
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  18. Well, what a narrow minded view you have. I used to kill things. I went off that but I love target shooting. It harms no one and nothing dies. And what about collectors....
    You sound like one of these fools I love to ignore that tells me I only need one bike as I can only ride one at a time....

    Kobo :cool:
     
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  19. Everyone needs more than 1 bike Kobo,but where to stop is the hard bit.
     
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  20. I wish I could ride as well as I can shoot. My guns are registered as is my bike, I use them legally when I like and where I like so get nicked @middo there's a good chap.
     
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