It takes all sorts of people to make up a world and the world of motorcycling is no different. Everybody is different but there are broad character types that we all fit into somewhere and unlike our leathers the older we get the more of these categories we seem to fit into.
The sports bike rider
This group is possibly the biggest group on the road, and probably the most diverse. They range from the rider who just likes the style of a sports bike to ride on the road at the weekend, to the out and out track day addict whose bike never sees public tarmac. Meeting the average sports bike rider is quite a normal experience, however, meeting the track day addict could be considered a bit like meeting a train spotter..and unless you are a fellow addict you can guess how boring that might be!
Think of an excitable little puppy and you are on the right track. Bouncing up and down, happy just to be out on the road they can be so refreshing to be around…and so annoying . They will know everything about the latest bikes, and won’t hesitate to tell you about them, and because they are still learning they’re either going to ride like your grandmother because they are scared or with brain out throttle wide open over confidence. Do them a favor and try to talk to them, just to make sure we have a new generation to follow us!
The patch club member
A breed apart, they have their own rules and their own values. If you think they are just psycho nut jobs then you are seriously underestimating them. In this group you can make the greatest friends and the worst of enemies…think of the very best and the very worst of the ‘normal’ people around you and then multiply it by ten and you are getting close.
The touring rider
This rider thinks anything less than two days away is just like a quick trip down to the store. They love their bikes and are often quite philosophical when talking about them and their trips but whatever you do, do not, I repeat do not, start talking about camping stoves, tents or sleeping bags to them… you will be there all night and come away feeling inadequate and ignorant.
Live fast and die young or at least have a skin graft or two. It is not the fact that the ride with total disregard for their own safety that bothers me, in fact that in a sports bike rider can be admired. No it is the fact they ride with total disregard for my safety. I have spent years learning how to stay alive and I don’t want to be wiped out by some dickhead trying to impress me. Some of them grow up to be fast safe sports bike riders, the track day bug giving them an even better adrenaline fix than the anesthetic in ER and some never grow up at all, and that is just sad.
I used to have a bike
The moment you park your bike you see them coming, they wander in your direction, trying to look casual and failing totally. They come in three flavors, the young guy who had a bike, fell off once, got scared and sold it. The middle aged guy who had a bike, got married, had kids and finally sold it and now regrets it every day. Finally the old boy, who wishes that he was still fit enough to ride, he dreams about it every time he sees a bike and would buy another tomorrow if they could find a cure for chronic arthritis. Sometimes there is a good reason, sometimes their story tugs at your heart strings but one thing is always clear…..
They HAD a bike, you still have one