Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
very big dumb
Joined
·
8,894 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2...paign=Feed:+HellForLeather+(Hell+For+Leather)



An open letter to every person I meet who finds out I ride a motorcycle



Let me stop you right there, mmmm-kay? I can tell by that little intake of breath what’s coming next. Thank you in advance, but I already know that motorcycles are “dangerous.” After nearly twenty years of riding on the streets, I am aware; telling me now will not be a revelation. It is not an insight into my lifestyle that has remained hidden from me until this, the moment of epiphany when you shine the light of outsider wisdom on my foolhardy choices.

Photo: Grant Ray

There are ways I can minimize the risk — by riding defensively, riding sober, knowing my own and my machine’s capabilities, etc. — but I also know there are some risks that are simply beyond my control. But you know what? There a lots of risks that are within my control. We’ve become so pathologically risk-averse that for most people it is inconceivable to assume any additional risk no matter how much joy you might get back in return.

You want to know what’s truly dangerous? Not taking any risks. Hanging out with like-minded middle-of-the-roaders. Absorbing the same brain-ossifying **** from media factories every day. Jogging. Putting helmets, flotation devices, and auto-deploy epi-pens on your kids every time they leave the house. Passivity. Not paying attention to where your car, or your life, or you country is going.

If you don’t get that, that’s OK. I’m not trying to convert anybody, but here are a few tips to save us both a little aggravation:

You don’t need to tell me the horror story about your uncle’s buddy who wiped out his chopper while drag racing at some hooligan rally. That just makes me wish I were talking to your uncle’s buddy instead of you. He sounds pretty cool.

Do not — do NOT — tell me about the time you almost Sausage Creatured a biker because you “couldn’t see him” or he “came out of nowhere.” I have never known a bike to come out of nowhere, but I have seen plenty of cars pull a Crazy Ivan and turn into a lane occupied by a biker or make an impromptu unsignalled left turn in front of an oncoming me. If you’re expecting me to share your outrage at the temerity of bikers to be in the lane you want, you’re more deluded than a goldfish with a passport. I can’t make you see bikes. I can’t make you hang up your phone. They won’t let me mount a .50-caliber machine gun to my bike. So really, there’s not much I can do to change the outcome of your anecdote, so save it for your coreligionists who also have stick-figure families and giant softball stickers with the name “Tailyr” or “Flynn” or “Shyly” on their rear windows.

I do wear a helmet, as a matter of fact, along with other protective gear. But, the fact that you “certainly hope” I wear a helmet is so condescending it makes me want to ride a tricycle completely naked doing doughnuts in your front yard screaming Beastie Boys lyrics at midnight. Trust me, you do not want that. My buttocks are extremely pale and unsightly, especially in moonlight.

Please, do not complain about bikes parking in car parking spaces. Where are we supposed to park? If they let us park up on the curb like in Europe, we would totally do that, and precious few parking lots have motorcycle parking areas. Most cops already have a hard-on for bikes, so parking anywhere but in a designated spot is asking to be impounded.

Yes, I know, some bikes have very loud exhaust. Maybe it’s obnoxious, but at least you knew they were there, didn’t you? They say loud pipes save lives. I don’t know if that’s true, because there hasn’t been a serious comprehensive study of motorcycle safety since 1981, the poetically named Hurt Report. And yes, I know, at one point you probably saw some kid riding his 600cc sport bike at 100mph doing a wheelie down the freeway. He’s a squid, and he’ll either grow up or just take care of himself. Some bikers do crazy things. Anti-social things. Unsanctioned things. I don’t represent him and he doesn’t represent me — that’s the great part of being a biker. I could be a Lowbrow Weirdo or Antoine Predock or Lyle Lovett or just whatever I want to be.

If you’re really so all-fire concerned about my safety, don’t preach at me. Just do me this one favor: pay attention when you’re driving. Keep your greasy fingers off your touch-screen, put down your phone, use your turn signals and lay off the booze before you get on the road with me. You take care of your part and I’ll take care of mine.

But hang-gliding, man, that **** is crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
Amen, very clever and well written!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
Very well written for sure, this explains everything ive ever wanted to tell people who preach to me about motorcycles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,480 Posts
I'm thinking about printing this to keep on-hand. Hahaha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,174 Posts
If you’re really so all-fire concerned about my safety, don’t preach at me. Just do me this one favor: pay attention when you’re driving.
Alas, when I tell people something like this, they get offended. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,580 Posts
Last month, I was gearing up by my bike when my neighbor walked by with her dog. She said, "Have a nice ride."

You know what? That was the best thing I ever heard. Not, "Ride safe," not, "Shiny side up," not, "Be careful."

There was not one iota of negativity or reference to danger, and yet, she expressed that she cared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Very well written ! I like it !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I like it and quite true. I personally haven't gotten the negatives often but most people I know ride and ride with gear or wish the could ride. Nice post, thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Last month, I was gearing up by my bike when my neighbor walked by with her dog. She said, "Have a nice ride."

You know what? That was the best thing I ever heard. Not, "Ride safe," not, "Shiny side up," not, "Be careful."

There was not one iota of negativity or reference to danger, and yet, she expressed that she cared.
That's similar to what I hear frequently. We get a lot of rainy, foggy weather so what I hear a lot is, "Nice day for a ride!"

I love it! But then we are all mostly counter culture around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Perfect!! I wish I could just print this out and hand it to the next person who imposes any negativity towards riding motorcycles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,184 Posts
Perfect!! I wish I could just print this out and hand it to the next person who imposes any negativity towards riding motorcycles.
why? they won't read it anyway. the people who would read it all the way through are the ones who don't need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
My dad worked at Lockheed in the Skunkworks in the 60's. He worked with test pilots that would fly prototypes. He told me they wouldn't go near a hang glider.
Unrelated to the OP, but I bet it's cool talking to your dad. I just finished reading Skunk Works- all time favorite. My dad has done some AF test flying (1990s-recently). Obviously, he doesn't talk about too much haha.


On topic, really great letter.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top