Are you a biker at heart? Some things in life cannot be explained unless you live them. Certain sensations, which are hard to describe, can only be felt to be fully understood. Being a biker is one of those things.
Bikers the world over have all been through the frustrating process of trying to explain why they are so attached to their bike to people who don’t ride one. In most cases, it feels like trying to explain algorithmic principles to a three-year-old. It just doesn’t click.
Perhaps that is why motorcyclists bond so well and so strongly together that they call themselves a brotherhood or sisterhood! They can share the love for bikes, as well as the frustration which comes with being misunderstood. That is also why they all share a number of common traits and characteristics. Name any one of these traits to a seasoned biker and they will nod solemnly in acknowledgment and agreement.
If you’re a biker, you will probably recognise yourself in some or all of these signs. If that is indeed the case, then you’re a certified biker at heart, through and through.
You spend more money on bike apparel than anything else: Guilty as charged. You are unable to pass by a shop with biker apparel, accessories, technology and whatnot without giving in to temptation. Even if that means buying your 11th biker jacket.
You have more photos of your bike than of your children: And of you with your bike. And of your friends and their bikes. You’re not ashamed in the least. With a bike that looks THAT good, especially after a wash, it’s almost sinful not to capture it in a couple of snaps. Make that five.
You live for road trips: Whatever else happens is just an in-between. If you’re not actually on a road trip, you’re either nostalgic about one or planning for another. The reason why you love them so much lies in our next point…
Happiness is an open road and two wheels: Nothing else quite beats the freedom a biker experiences when he or she’s on the road, either alone or in company, with the wind beating against your face, your engine purring beneath you and nothing to stop you. It’s the balance a biker needs to get to his destination successfully – and you’ve got to keep going to keep the right balance.
You do the nod or the wave when a fellow biker passes you by: It’s a question which has baffled many, the arm raise at the sight of another biker. Could they really all know each other? The truth actually is much deeper than that. It’s a universal sign, a silent, mutual agreement. You acknowledge not just the driver (you probably have no idea who he or she is anyway) but also the shared love for your bike. A little bit like saying, I see you, I understand you, I think you’re pretty cool.
You look for moto-themed stuff wherever you go: If you could you’d have a motor-themed party every year for your birthday. You wish they’d produce a reality show featuring bikers. If there’s ever some sort of game involved (like that time you fancied a shot at the slots), you can bet you’ll manage to find something which tickles your inner motorcyclist muse. The tie, the baseball cap, the inflatable pool float, the towel… they all smack of your true biker identity.
You check the weather everyday to see whether you can safely take your bike out: You don’t really care for the weather. All you care about is when you can take your bike out and when you can’t (let’s all admit to having performed a small happy dance when the weather clears after long days of nothing but rain).
You recognise biker friends by their exhaust sounds: They might be 2 roads down, but you’re able to identify Sid from Alex and Samantha from the purr of their engine. As the fondest may tell you, there’s nothing like the sweet melody of pistons, the glorious exhaust sounds of the Yamaha, the scary yet amazing sounds of the Honda or the quasi-GP racer sound of the Ducati Desmosedici RR. Goosebumps.
Your favourite book is Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle Maintenance: A road trip. A bike. A philosophical journey into life. The author himself once said that fixing a broken bike is not a bad thing at all. A masterpiece.
Nothing makes you happier than your trusty bike: It was there when the world came crashing down around you and it was there to take you to extreme heights when you were at your happiest. It truly is incomparable.
Everyone has that one thing in life to which we cling because it makes us happy, perhaps they define what we believe in or perhaps because it helps us fit in with the community which makes us feel part of something. For every motorcyclist, that thing is their bike. If you can recognise yourself in the signs above, then you’re one of the family. Enjoy the ride and stay safe!
By Andrei Bighui