Riding a motorcycle is a fabulous experience, but it doesn’t come without its dose of reality. Everyone who’s walked around wearing riding gear has lived this at least once: people being curious, asking questions, making small motorcycle-related talk. Admit it, you feel undeniably cool! We’re a fairly rare species and I don’t know about you, but I enjoy answering people’s questions about riding and giving advice to new riders. It’s also during these conversations that you realize how romanticized riding a motorcycle really is. AMERiders wants to give you a few Things You Are Not Told About Riding a Motorcycle and Their Dose of Reality
Warm and sunny really isn’t that great
Granted, it is better to ride under the sun than in the rain. As most riders wear full gear (or at least should) whether the weather is nice or not, pool-party weather actually kind of sucks. Imagine having to wear a full jacket, a hat, and gloves in 85-degree weather. Sweaty right?
You can open up all the air intakes on the helmet, remove your jacket inner layer, choose a pair of lighter mesh gloves; there’s no escaping it, you end up slow cooking in your gear. Plus, when the sun hits hard, everything gets hot, especially if you’re sitting in rush hour traffic with not even the shade of a lamp post to give you a break. The sun heats up the asphalt as well which then radiates so you end up being like in an oven with heat coming from above and heat rising from below. Who smells bacon?
It’s almost a complete workout
Do people assume that because you own a motorcycle, you enjoy going stupidly fast on the highway? Obviously, that’s because these people haven’t actually done it. Riding can be quite the workout. Wind pressure makes the bodywork hard at highway speeds, especially on a model fitted with a smaller shield. The rider is pretty much holding on while managing the throttle and maneuvering the vehicle. You also tend to be ultra-focused and the faster you go, the more attention your actions require, which is equally draining. So no, we don’t all enjoy going 100 mph. Even those of us that ride with our spouses get a workout, at least I feel I do, I want a nap at the end of a ride.
It gets complicated
Many of us have been through this conversation. when we show up somewhere “Oh! It’s a beautiful day, I bet you came on your bike!”. Except we didn’t. And then we may feel bad like we need to justify ourselves for not enjoying the few decent days of summer on two wheels. Truth is… it sometimes gets stupidly complicated. If you’re in a rush, forget it: it’s faster to jump in the car then to pack everything in a motorcycle-friendly bag, dress in a motorcycle-friendly way, gather all the gear, put it all on, and finally make your way out the door. You won’t leave for a good 5 to 10 minutes.
Especially as a lady rider, you have to transfer half of the contents of your purse into a bag which means you sometimes leave important things behind and even losing things all together. It doesn’t end there, either. Once you get to your destination, most of the time you’re stuck carrying or wearing your gear unless, unlike some of us, you have a pair of convenient saddlebags that will keep your personal items safe for you.
Oh! Right. And if the forecast calls for some rain, you’ll also want to add the rain gear to the list. And if you have an impatient spouse with you then it gets even worse.
Itches left unscratched
You know that itchy feeling that sneaks up on you and temporarily disables you until you get a good scratch? Does don’t stop happening because you’re riding. Imagine feeling the sudden urgency to scratch yourself under the foot while said foot is in a boot, resting on a foot peg. You can’t exactly drop everything you’re doing to reach down your boot or else you might end up with bigger problems than an itch. That’s when you have to master your inner Jedi and not let that itch define you.
Oh yeah, and beware of sneezes! Goes for your passenger too.
Another advantage of wearing proper gear is that most of the time, you won’t realize that you are constantly bombarded with everything while riding. Try riding without a proper pair of pants on just once and tell me how you like your free microdermabrasion. Dust lifted by the cars in front of you actually stings the skin. Pebbles and small rocks feel like needles poking. And bees? Ugh, don’t get me started on bees. Even while wearing a jacket you can feel those tiny striped rockets smash into your shoulder, so imagine on bare skin. Think paintball, minus the tactical fun.
Sure, it sounds like I’m complaining a little about the reality of riding. Truthfully, it’s those little quirks that make riding so special. These small issues are only a speck on the grander scheme of riding. You become part of a big family and, you get to feel pretty darn cool answering people’s questions.
Sometimes you have to figure out how to word it in a way that doesn’t scare off the new riders or people that want to ride. Hope this has been enlightening with a dose of reality.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.