Today I was told that I am no longer a biker.
“What do you mean!?”
I was told that I’m no longer a biker, just a bike rider as I only use my bikes for commuting. That I’m not tearing up the roads with an illegal after market exhaust as I have a ‘social conscience’, I’m no longer running with the pack at weekends, intimidating other road users and scaring small villages.
Track days were now in my past, hence why I was now only a bike rider.
So you can imagine, I was pissed off with this comment.
Fine, maybe some of it was true – my life is very different now to how it was when I first started riding (and I’m also a bit older but we won’t go into that), maybe my priorities have shifted a bit, maybe my social conscience has developed a bit of maturity but does that make me any less a biker?
Wikipedia’s definition of a biker: a rider of a motorcycle, i.e. one who participates in motorcycling.
Well I fit the bill there.
Reading further, “A person whose lifestyle is centered on motorcycles, sometimes a member of an outlaw motorcycle club.”
Hmmm… well, I used to belong to an online Fazer owners club, and we used to have ride outs and stuff but it was all pretty mild (apart from when we hooked up with the Ninja riders ‘cos everyone knows all Ninja riders are mentalists!).
And because I commute every day on my bike, a large part of my lifestyle IS centered on motorbikes… I’m obsessive about the weather, how many layers will I need? Is it time for summer/winter clothing? Will the bloody thing start in the morning? Will it or won’t it break down again? Do I ride it further than I can push it? What do you mean I need to renew my tax disc!? And so the daily monologue continues…
Daily conversations about bikes are a given, with fellow enthusiasts and some not so enthusiastic.
My recent 2-stroke woes have been shared with nigh on everyone at work – from my boss ‘cos I turned up late, to my maintenance team having to remove the spark plug, to a receptionist nipping out at lunchtime to get some oil. Because of me being a ‘biker’, my whole team at work feel like one by proxy.
In my book, if I have a biking influence on most of those around me, whether a positive or negative one, I think that makes me a biker.
People who I haven’t seen since school and have re-befriended (the joys of Facebook, eh?), now ‘like’ most things to do with looking out for motorcyclists… because
I share my joy and my pain of biking, irrespective of rank, age, position, gender, orientation, race, creed, or colour. Makes no difference to me, ‘cos I think everyone should experience it at least once.
Yes, I’m a more sensible rider these days, I don’t take the risks I used to, I’m marginally more tolerant of other road users and experience has taught me it fecking hurts when you
But not a biker?
Fuck right off!
I still hate BMW drivers and will blow blue smoke in the face of cyclists when they get up my nose… socially conscious or not…