Thoughts from a (New) Biker

Sorry to say, but there wasn’t a bike adventure this week. My bride and I traveled to North Dakota to see our daughter over the holiday weekend. It would have been nice to have taken the bike, but time did not permit such fun. Instead of an adventure, I bring you my thoughts as a biker, albeit a new biker. And if you checked the blog out before Sunday evening, you found that I posted it early. Such a cheater, but they don’t have internet in North Dakota. Just kidding, or am I.

With the wind in our hair (if we had any), and our hogs beneath us, we the bikers salute our fellow bikers (unless they’re snobs) with respect as we pass each other on the road. Those that drive cars and trucks salute whomever with the middle finder. That my friend is what I think separates the biker from the driver, respect.

Yes, I know, some bikers are downright creepy looking, and some probably are. Not all are creepy, not even half, but you couldn’t tell that from the looks one gets when dressed in leather, let alone Harley leather. It’s as if you’re going to rob someone. Case in point, my bride and I went to breakfast at a place I often go for lunch. The staff thought nothing of it, but the clientele stared at us from the moment we walked in until we left. How rude indeed. I guess they were jealous.

I suppose one can’t help but to wonder what’s under the leather or what makes a biker, well, a biker. My bride and I are by no measure of the imagination true bikers as of yet, but we sure love the feeling. And really, under all that leather is a person just like the next, be it rich or poor, smart or..err, not so smart. We come from all walks of life and professions, be it the soldier, teacher, CEO, accountant, or whatever. What’s the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover? Or better yet, as Forrest Gump said, “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. You see, under all the leather, bikers are just like the next person, only we’re better due to respect.

When was the last time a biker flipped you off, or you saw a biker flip someone off? You or the person on the receiving end of the finger probably deserved it. It’s not a common thing for a biker to arbitrarily flip someone off. You see, all we have for protection is our hog, our helmet (optional here in Colorado), and the clothes on our back. Why would a biker want to do something to bring retribution against them via a reinforced vehicle of some type? Exactly, only the not so smart one that shouldn’t be on a bike at all, which is probably on a crotch rocket anyway.

So why did you or the person you saw get flipped off? It was probably the driver’s disregard for the biker (there’s that respect thing again). It could be the driver was just not paying attention to the biker, which happens all the time, believe me. The road is a two way street. It’s not the biker’s sole responsibility to watch everyone and themselves on the road, although that’s what ends up happening. Whoever said “share the road” must have been a biker, because we’re part of the flow as well. Until we can all share it, we the bikers have to ride like we own it. That by the way, is what a few grisly looking bikers have told me on separate occasions, but they weren’t creepy looking by any means.

Ever wonder if someone saw you pick your nose in traffic, or like the woman I saw the other morning, double knuckle it. Nasty, yeah I know, but you weren’t the one seeing it. Bikers see most everything on and off the road. The driver doesn’t see half of what we see. Of course there’s no way a biker can see everything, but we see your kids pointing at the bikes, and we see you wishing you were on the bike. Sorry to say, but the biker doesn’t wish for the role reversal, except maybe for the cute kids. Then we might give them back at feeding or nap time.

What you the driver doesn’t see, or take into consideration, is the living sole on the bike that we are on. Your tailgating matters to a biker because, well, we don’t have a tailgate, just a fender. And your constant texting, making you swerve like a drunken monkey, not only endangers the biker and fellow driver, but yourself. Like most texters/textsters (take your pick), you won’t care until the damage is done. And all you cell phone talkers, you know who you are; your reaction time isn’t what you think it is when the time comes. It’s bad enough you can’t signal a turn or lane change when on the phone, it’s even worse when you cut another driver or biker off because of your conversation. I know, I know, the call is important. Well unless you’re a brain surgeon talking another surgeon through a procedure (poor patient), that call needs to wait until you are off the road.

Ok, I’m off my soap box, but be fare warned all you drivers, I can step back on it at any time.

I didn’t mention it, but my bride and I love riding our bike. It’s the greatest feeling to glide down the road, through the mountains, or wherever the feeling takes us. The commute to and from work is never too fast or too slow. If you’re not a biker, you have no idea what you’re missing, but if you are a biker, you have my respect.

Until next week, cheers.

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