I’ve heard the Motorcycle Danger Lecture a million times.
So have you.
It always starts the same way.
Oooh, motorcycles are so scary!
They’re death machines!
You’d never catch me getting on a bike!
Well, then, don’t! I want to say.
Spend the afternoon curled up nice and safe with your teddy bear.
Maybe watch a little children’s TV.
And in the meantime, get out of my way, because I’m going riding.
People with no experience of bikes simply don’t understand their appeal.
All they can see is red-lights-flashing-sirens-screaming motorcycle danger.
And so begins another lecture.
Now, it wouldn’t be quite so annoying if the lecture was simply boring.
But it’s totally pointless, too.
As if you’re going to stop riding because your wise old Uncle Arthur won’t stop his nagging!
And there’s one more big problem here.
That person boring you to death about motorcycle danger acts like he’s sharing breaking news that you’re too stupid to know about.
He’s the bike expert, after all!
That makes me completely CRAZY.
The lectures have got to stop.
Here are three ways to help make that happen.
How to Silence the Motor Bikes are Dangerous Lecture
Response no. 1
Guess what? Life itself is dangerous
Riding a motorbike does involve some risks, that’s true.
We’ve spotted that.
No-one’s denying it.
But lots of things are dangerous.
And I wonder if wise old Uncle Arthur or the other instant bike “experts” out there indulge in any of these high risk behaviours themselves:
- Eating meat – linked with everything from heart disease to cancer
- Falling in love – can lead to major emotional pain and seriously wacko behaviour
- Driving a car – accident stats are pretty high here too, after all
- Drinking or smoking – responsible for death and destruction on an epic scale.
Life itself is dangerous.
If we all focused on the horror of what might happen, we’d sit rocking in a corner, too terrified to do anything.
And while we’re nice and safe cowering in the corner, there might be an earthquake.
Or someone might break into your house and shoot you.
It’s not possible to live in a cotton wool cocoon.
And who would want to?
Response no. 2
There are ways to be safer on the road
Point out to sweet Uncle Arthur that you’ve chosen the safer approach to riding a motorbike.
You do that every time you get on a bike, by:
- Wearing protective riding gear
Your carefully chosen jacket, jeans, boots, helmet and gloves make up a suit of armour for the road.
Each piece is designed to protect you from harm.
That’s not the same as riding in a bikini with bare feet and no helmet.
- You travel with a safety-focused rider
You wouldn’t get into a car with an unlicensed or drunk driver.
And if you ride pillion, you wouldn’t get on a bike without being sure that the rider is experienced and safety aware.
That’s not the same as wobbling down the road with a 17 year old who’s just got his first bike.
- The bike is roadworthy and responsive
Many riders fuss endlessly over the tiniest details of their bikes.
They know what makes them tick.
They’re alert to any new noise or the slightest change in behaviour.
If that bike’s out on the road, you can bet it’s in tip top shape and ready for anything.
How many people can say that about their cars?
Response no. 3
Riding a motorcycle is about the journey, not the destination
Car drivers really don’t get this fundamental motorcycle truth.
Unless you own an Aston Martin, driving a car is first and foremost a practical thing.
You drive a car to get to work.
To buy groceries.
To drop the kids off.
But riding a motorbike is an experience in itself.
If you want to pick up some milk and bread while you’re out, fine, go ahead.
But the destination always takes second place to the riding experience.
Riding a motorbike is about feeling vibrantly alive.
It’s about hearing the throb of the motor, and being a moving part of the world around you.
Getting from Point A to Point B is not all there is.
So there you have it.
Three practical (and mostly polite) ways to silence the Motorcycle Danger Lecture.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you never had to hear it again?
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