Sharing the road with bikers
When you see motorcycle riders moving past you quickly
Don’t take offense or think we’re trying to “show off.” Ninety-five percent of the time, we’re trying to get out of your blind spot or taking ourselves out of a potential dangerous situation that has evolved around us. Distancing ourselves from you does not mean we want to race, but that we’re giving ourselves the edge we need at the moment.
When you hear our horn
Don’t take offense or think we’re trying to aggravate you. All we’re doing is letting you know where we are in relation to you on the road, and we’re more than likely aware of your inattentiveness to us while you’re talking on a cell phone, eating, reading or involved in some other distracting aspect to your driving. It’s important to us, and you, that you know we’re there.
When you hear our loud pipes
Don’t become angry and hostile toward us. Yes, some are quite loud, but for some, there’s a purpose behind being loud. It’s about letting you know we’re close by and we’re constantly hoping that our investment in this accessory will help save our lives. Our pipes are really not about our ego, it’s a pride and personalization to our form of transportation.
When you see us in our clothes
Don’t become fearful of us or think us weird. Our leather jackets, chaps, gloves and boots are the barriers between losing massive amounts of flesh should something cause us to go down. Nothing more, nothing less. Safety gear is paramount to our riding. We wear patches on our jackets, and pins on our vests. These are symbols of pride and honor within our group, individuals giving back to those who gave. These things bond us as a brotherhood and sisterhood among bikers. Not that we’re better than anyone else, but that we have the same kind of nobility and pride in our accomplishments as you may have in the various aspects of your life.
When you see us in a restaurant
You don’t have to shield your child or feel intimidated. We have family, wives, husbands, children and loved ones too, just like you. We smile; we laugh and enjoy the moments we have. We are approachable, and would befriend you, if given the opportunity.
When you see us in a parking lot
Don’t convince yourself that we’re there to “get you.” More than likely, we just finished a long ride and are taking a break. Or, we may be meeting up with other riders for a charity run for young children, or another very worthy cause. We may just be admiring one another’s bikes, sharing our pride with other brothers and sisters, just like you do with your personal vehicle. It’s what we do. It’s a part of our lives, and we’d be more than welcome to share with you what riding a bike is all about if you’d only ask.
When you see aggressive riding bikers
Don’t put us all in the same stereotypical category as those whose behavior and actions would cause you to react in disgust and intolerance. Many of us do not agree with this style of riding either, and we know and understand that human nature tends to blend us all together as the “same group”.
When you see a group of bikers on the roadways
Give us the courtesy of sharing the road with you. Please don’t “move in” between several bikers in formation. This gets us very excited and nervous, especially when it’s done with no due regard for our safety. Provide us with your awareness of the fact that we are much more vulnerable than you. We don’t want to challenge you, for all of us are wise enough to know we’d lose that battle.
When you are turning left or entering a roadway/highway
Look, then look again, and then one more time. For we can be easily hidden and appear to be invisible by such things as a telephone pole, another vehicle, bright lights, the glare of the sun, or possibly, the beads hanging from your rear-view mirror, among numerous other items that are displayed there. If you see us flashing our lights at you or blowing our horn, we’re only trying to ensure that you will see us before tragedy changes both our lives.
When you are behind us
Please give us the room we need and don’t tailgate us. If you hit us, we’re going down . . . hard! We don’t want to play games with you, we just want to enjoy the ride and the fresh air, and experience that which many of you have never lived for. If we accelerate away from you, don’t interpret this action as though we want to drag race you. We’re only trying to take ourselves out of a bad situation if you insist on being too close.
When, and if, you experience road rage
Don’t take it out on us just because we’re smaller than you and more vulnerable. Think about what you’re doing and the end result that may become a reality. The consequences of your actions and choices could be very detrimental to our well being, our families, our children and our loved ones.
Yes, there are those that can tend to make you mad, however, rage toward them will not solve the issues, but accentuate them. Nine out of 10 bikers will do everything they can to take themselves out of that situation without causing you or them harm.
When you have an opportunity to talk to us
You’ll discover, outside any influenced or stereotypical mindset you may have, that we are just as human as you are, just with different interests and toys. Many of us would give you the shirt off our back if it would tend to brighten your day or console you in some way. We’re really no different.
Thank you for attempting to understand a local Whidbey Island biker.