The Bikers Plea
September 20, 2009 at 12:29 am #3443MunchParticipant
Perhaps some of you have already seen this. For those of you who haven’t…..
When you see us 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 loosing 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(s), 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. I guess one could say; our patches and pins are the decals and the bumper stickers of our involvement with society and the general public, of which we are very pleased to be a part of in our own little way.
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”. Most of us don’t want that title…and don’t deserve it.
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 or the glare of the sun…or possibly, the beads hanging from your rearview 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 **** you off, however, rage towards them will not solve the issues, but accentuate them. Nine out of ten 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… and we drive cars, trucks and vans too. So, meet us and greet us…I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you’ll be met with open arms.
Thank You for attempting to understand!September 20, 2009 at 2:26 am #22438owlieParticipant
“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.”
Last spring, I was with some friends at the park celebrating a birthday, and there was a group of bikers sharing the shelter doing the same. Four or five guys, some ladies, and a gaggle of kids hanging out and having a good time. They had this cute little boy, couldn’t have been more than three years old, who was absolutely covered in frosting. Good people, nice day.September 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm #22458CBBaronParticipant
Some good points but one I disagree with and a couple are only sometimes true.
Loud pipes are mostly about ego. Either for the sound or the supposed “performance” increase. The “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” quote is just used to validate it. A hi-vis helmet or jacket would help avoid many more accidents than any pipe but you don’t see many of those on the road.
And while many riding outfits are for safety 95% are also for looks. It is an image the rider is going for. Whether that is the tough biker with black leather and tats. Or the racers with logos all over the outfit.
However I have found it very true, especially of the cruiser crowd, that most motorcyclist are just average people with families and jobs that enjoy riding. Even the ones with the most obnoxious bike are the toughest looking outfit tend to be pretty good people when you talk to them.
CraigSeptember 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm #22461MunchParticipant
“Loud pipes are mostly about ego. Either for the sound or the supposed “performance” increase. The “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” quote is just used to validate it. A hi-vis helmet or jacket would help avoid many more accidents than any pipe but you don’t see many of those on the road.”
This is a situational problem solver. It’s one of those arguments like that of vitamins or vaccines. Does it work…. no one can tell, because the situation that it “did” rarely will ever evolve the same a second time with alternate solution as proof. Hi Vis gear certainly is a much more constant “can you see me now” type of precaution, however as most argue they do you very little good if your in a blind spot or the cager is more interested in text messages then seeing your neon yellow vest/helmet. Folks buy air horns to be heard in front of them to warn drivers ” Hey I am beside you and you are coming to close” the same is for behind you. If your watching your mirrors and see someone approaching way to quickly, you can goose the throttle that certainly gets their head back up from the phone, because they heard something loud.
Don’t be quick to judge matters that might not meet your experiences or situations that you may not find yourself in. Granted I am not defending the obnoxiously loud pipes that can still be heard 2 miles down the road. However having audible pipes have saved my butt at an intersection twice now. Once was a cell phone situation the other was rubber necking. Goose the throttle, while leaving your escape options open and then knowing your “danger zone” for reaction time in case it doesn’t work, will do you well rather then thinking…”Hey I glow in the dark…surely they see me”. Take every chance you have to be noticed…both seen, and if that doesn’t work…..heard!September 21, 2009 at 11:58 pm #22462eternal05Participant
But I’m still very skeptical of the whole “loud pipes save lives” business. Here’s why:
1) I think the argument that loud pipes aggravate other drivers and make them more prone to aggression or inconsiderate driving is VERY valid.
2) Most “loud” pipes, at least those that I’ve heard, are such that you almost entirely lose any sense of where they originate. They’re just loud, indistinguishably so at 100ft as they are right next to you. If you’d been riding in traffic with loud pipes a few cars back from you, and throughout the course of a 10 minute highway drive that bike had snaked its way next to you you, you’d never know it from the sound. It would have just become a constant source of noise and irritation that would have melted into the background at that point.
3) I’m not convinced that, since most collisions (at least according to recorded statistics) result from oncoming traffic at intersections (i.e. b#$%tches turning left into a motorcyclist), the acoustics even work out. I’m no acoustical engineer, but with the combination of sound leaving your muffler predominantly towards the rear and the fact that you’re traveling in the opposite direction, sometimes fast, it seems that it might not be so noticeable to the cars that matter.
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