By Tayla Adams
A few days ago I was at work, and a younger guy noticed my helmet on the desk. Naturally, he struck up a conversation about wanting to get a motorcycle. He asked the usual questions about learning to ride and what type of bike to start with. Everything we discussed was pretty much what I’ve grown accustomed to over the years, but then he started talking about wanting to do wheelies and brought up videos he’d seen online of motorcyclists escaping the police.
I wasn’t surprised by the conversation turn per se, but the awe in his voice when speaking about these highly risky (and illegal!) activities was more than a little jarring. He went on to mention motorcycle action movies like Biker Boys and Torque as movies that have inspired him to want to ride. I reiterated to him those films were completely unrealistic, and would not reflect his motorcycle riding experience.
I also tried to steer him clear of glorifying dangerous riding behavior, because the repercussions of being reckless on motorcycles are serious and can cost you everything you value, including your own life.
I’ve met a lot of different riders over the years, and the one’s who have not get into major accidents all have one thing in common – they all recognize their mortality and ride with the idea of minimizing their risks. Wearing good gear, getting proper instruction, riding well within your skill levels, and on an appropriately powered bike are all part of the equation. It’s cool to have a fast bike, or the hottest model on the street, but there’s a lot to be said for longevity.
Needless to say, I recommended this guy not purchase a motorcycle until he matured more. I told him honestly, that he’d be a menace to not only himself, but everyone else on the road otherwise. He thought I was joking, but I made it clear that joking was the last thing I was doing.
Stay safe in these streets