I really hate the term “biker”. It evokes so many negative connotations in my mind that I cringe whenever someone calls me one. Perhaps it is trivial and petty, but I feel like elaborating. First let me tell you the qualities that make up a biker. These qualities need not be completely present, but you need at least a couple to qualify. In the end you’ll recognize who I am talking about.
A biker is someone who:
- owns a motorcycle and meets none or few conditions of a “motorcyclist” (see below)
- wears motorcycle apparel while driving a car
- hardly wears any protective riding gear
- underestimates the skills involved in effectively controlling a motorcycle and takes no steps to improve them (an unskilled and dangerous rider)
- drinks and rides
- has never ridden more than 200 miles in a day or has traveled longer distances towing their bike on a trailer (This one spawns from the motorcycle touring snob inside me. Ride your ride!)
- doesn’t acknowledge waves of other motorcyclists…ever!
- thinks “laying ‘er down” is an effective method of stopping one’s motorcycle
Just because you might not qualify as a “biker” that doesn’t make you a “motorcyclist”. A term I think harbors more respect and which I identify myself as. Conversely…
A motorcyclist is someone who:
- safely wields the awesome power of your motorcycles and makes a conscious effort to improve their abilities
- is saddened by the sight of a motorcycle on a trailer and can ride more than 200 miles in a day
- waves to other motorcyclists
- wears a helmet (yep, I’m going there) and makes an effort to wear AGATT
- rides for it’s own sake (not for an image, or social factors)
So there you have it. Perhaps I’m pigeonholing some respectable motorcyclists out there into the nasty portrait of bikers that I painted, but that’s what happens when you have a convoluted set of statements to categorize a person. Gotta break some eggs!
So just when you thought the minority that is made up of motorcycle owners could not be smaller, I’ve apparently split it into an even smaller amount. I’d say the ratio of bikers to motorcyclists is 4:1.
What do you think? Is this fair, or am I just being a douche?
Oh, I forgot one more…those who call me a douche are bikers.