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Blog Date - 15 July 2014

I often hear that religion is a bad thing and without it we would not have any wars. While it is true that mankind has spent thousands of years killing each other in the name of peaceful belief systems I don't think stopping religion would stop us killing each other.

Bikers, motorcyclists or powered two wheeler users are united by their choice of transport. Most riders agree that it is more than a piece of machinery to move their person from one place to another, they tend to be passionate about their motorcycle and all that riding the motorcycle entails. We are enthusiastic and "into" our bikes. We are one, we are united.

a large gathering of motorcyclists at rivington barn
We all get along as fellow riders don't we...?

Nonsense! You only need to join a motorcycle related facebook group to see just how many disagreements, arguments and firmly held beliefs there are among the biker community. 

It starts with a simple post, maybe, I don't know, "I rode to work this sunny morning wearing a pair of jeans." Soon there will be a collection of comments lambasting the rider for not wearing suitable leg protection and risking terrible injuries. These will be countered by another group who believe in the freedom of the rider to choose how he or she protects his or her own legs. Some will suggest in the event of an accident NHS (government funded medical care) should not be supplied as the rider has brought these injuries upon themselves by not wearing protection and they are a drain on taxpayers resources. This is countered by noting those who partake in sports should not receive medical care either. I could go on...and on...and on...and on...and on...

sharon in full cordura motorcycle safety gear, helmet and hi-viz vest
Fully protected and visible - Sharon's approach to riding.

Another favourite argument is about the "biker nod". Is it rude to not nod or wave or otherwise acknowledge another rider as you pass on the road? Is it acceptable to nod at a youth on a 50cc scooter and "L" plates? How should you feel about waving at a police rider or even a parking attendant on a rev-n-go? I've read posts from people boiling over with seething hatred because some "fellow biker" did not nod or wave as they passed on the road. It seems some folks stopped riding motorcycles altogether because they were so upset and distraught at giving but not receiving an acknowledgement. Others vehemently believe that nodding at everyone is either pointless or dangerously distracting, suggesting that if they ever catch up with a "nod believer" they're going to punch their lights out. I mean, really? 

a biker waving to the camera quite close up
To nod or wave...that is the question.

Is it true that all real men ride sports bikes with over 150 bhp? Are Harley Davidson owners the true biker brothers or just a bunch of tassel wearing posers? Just how far has the owner of that BMW GS 1200 Adventure actually travelled? If you own a Lambretta does that mean you are a scooterist or a girl? Are 125s economical fun or something you ride till you've passed your test? Leather or Cordura? Speed limits or "stuff 'em all"? Top box or bungees? Knee down or leg out? 

I dream of a rosy world where the sun shines all day long, the roads are quiet and peaceful and motorcycles are the only transport available. We no longer have religion, race, creed, colour, gender, sexual preference, disability or rich and poor. We are all the same, we are all equal, we are all as one people. And still I'll send my son off to war to fight the righteous fight. Those wasteful, dangerous, gimp-suit wearing sports bike riders will never rule the roads as long as my hands can still turn the throttle on my environmentally friendly, economical, cheap to run and laugh-a-minute 125. And if I ever come across a cruiser rider or a wannabe round the world big trailie type then there'll be hell to pay! Anyone caught on the road without a hi-viz jacket should be hung from the nearest lampost. 

I fear mankind will always find something to fight about.

Reader's Comments

Tom McQ said :-
You used my photo in such a way that implies that I am on the side of the wavers, but I was in fact, waving AND nodding.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Anonono said :-
I'm the chillest person on the road. I never get angry with other road users. Except when I give the nod and don't get it back. It happens more and more these days. Makes me seethe... Strangely, the most enthusiastic nodders are 125 riders with L-plates. I'm really not sure if it's just the London effect causing this rudeness (I find that the closer you are to London, the worse manners people tend to have). It's like I'm not offended for myself, but for my bike. It's a big bike, well-behaved, well-loved and well looked after, and usually ridden well (if I say so myself). So it does deserve a certain level of courtesy.
9/6/2016 7:23:11 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I used to fret about the biker nod Anonono. Then I noticed how many bikers I'd miss because I was focused on the junction or car in front...or what I'm having for tea. Perhaps the London effect is due to the sheer amount of traffic fown there!

Anyhow don't let the odd ignorant or distracted biker spoil the ride.
10/6/2016 4:39:59 AM UTC

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