You might think that nothing could annoy a biker.
Roaring down the open road, the motor throbbing like music, the sun on his back…
Surely all is right with the world?
Until it isn’t.
Those perfect moments in the saddle are why we ride.
They fix most of our problems.
They make us smile, relax and remember what’s important.
But the motorcycle experience doesn’t always go smoothly.
There are plenty of things that annoy bikers.
Here are just some of them.
You may be surprised by what annoys a biker. Car drivers of course, are always going to feature in the list.
But there are a lot of things that can irritate motorcycle riders, from broken zippers that put your underpants on permanent display, to helmet visors that slam shut in your face, and other riders who really need to shut up.
The potential irritations are many.
What Annoys a Biker: 10 Things That Make You Crazy
1. Car drivers with no clue
There are some pretty angry car drivers out there on the road, right?
Some get behind the wheel and turn into rally driving heroes.
They want to prove they can go way faster than you can on your motorcycle.
Of course they can’t.
But when you show them why, they get even angrier.
It’s best to put a few cars between you, and their quickly blossoming road rage.
Then there are the teenagers with 5 minutes’ driving experience.
They don’t know what they’re doing, but that doesn’t worry them.
They have the endless confidence that comes from having no concept of how dangerous it is to be in charge of a 1 ton metal missile.
They’re pretty sure they’ve got this driving thing nailed.
So it’s fine if they lean over and grab a handful of potato chips from the passenger seat.
And they just have to respond to a life-or-death text about what’s happening tonight.
Between the wannabe rally drivers and the distracted texters, there’s a terrifying range of potential disasters waiting to happen.
The usual defence is they didn’t see you.
Yeah, that’s because they’re not watching the road.
They’re eating a burger or texting about how much beer to buy instead.
2. Bikers who need to shut up
Out on the road, there’s often a natural sense of fellowship with other like-minded souls who are also flying through the world on their magic metal beasts.
There are the friendly nods as you pass each other on the highway.
And long chats with complete strangers in a coffeeshop.
You all have piles of motorcycle gear lying on the floor all around you, so you clearly have something to talk about.
But not all of the bikers you meet will be your friends.
Some of them are simply scumbags, of course.
Just like a percentage of the regular population are.
But some of them will be finalists for Most Annoying Biker Personality Ever.
These are the guys who don’t know when to shut up.
Oh man, have they had some adventures!
Way more than YOU have:
- They’ve done more miles than anyone in the history of motorcycle riding.
- They’ve been over roads so rough that a military tank would have struggled (but they nailed it).
- They’ve gone so fast that NASA wants to hire them for speed trials in the next space mission.
- And they have 35 plug-in gadgets hanging out of their bikes because they’re so cutting edge.
But when they eventually, mercifully leave, you watch them wobble around a corner at 10 miles per hour with their feet down.
So much for the biker brotherhood.
You’re not about to admit being related in any way to these morons.
3. Selling your motorcycle
It’s a harsh fact of life that buying a motorcycle is 100% more fun than selling one.
And 100% less annoying, too.
The motorcycle selling experience is usually enough to send your blood pressure soaring.
You’d think that a clearly written ad, plenty of photos, and a reasonable asking price would make for a smooth sale.
Because you’ll have to deal with bored, angry dreamers who WISH they could buy your motorcycle.
Even though they can’t.
They either have no money, or their wives have forbidden it.
But that doesn’t stop them having an opinion about your bike.
They’ll generously share their wisdom in the comments section of the online motorcycle auction site:
- Oh, my brother had one of those. It had a lot of problems and was never reliable.
- You’ll never get that kind of money for that bike!
- Can you post another 3,000 photos please, mate?
- Does it run?
- Will you swap it for a 1988 Corolla that’s 90% rust?
And then, when an actual genuine buyer makes the winning bid, good luck trying to lock him into a time frame to pay and pick up the bike. Three weeks later, you’re still exchanging texts and that motorcycle is still in your garage.
And no, checking your online banking 5 times a day to see if the guy has paid yet doesn’t help the process go more smoothly.
4. The Motorcycles are Dangerous Lecture
God save me, how many times have we all heard it…
The evergreen lecture about why motorcycles are dangerous.
And always, ALWAYS from people who have never been NEAR a motorcycle.
Let alone actually ridden one.
Honestly, what do these non-experts expect to achieve with this lecture?
Are we supposed to say:
REALLY? ARE MOTORCYCLES DANGEROUS?
Oh no! I’d better sell mine right now then!
Thank you SO MUCH for telling me!
Do they not think for a second that we all know people who have had accidents?
And we’ve all had our fair share of personal experience with the dangers of motorcycles?
WE have the experience, yet somehow THEY’RE the experts.
This makes me so crazy, I’ve done a whole rant about it over here:
5. The socks that are out to get you
Socks are a pretty low priority in the pecking order of motorcycle gear, right?
You’re way more focused on making sure the more important pieces are in place and comfortable.
Like your helmet, jacket, pants and gloves.
But socks punch way above their weight when it comes to being annoying.
They’re surely part of some sinister conspiracy to irritate the bejesus out of bikers.
Because they start out seeming perfectly innocent.
You reach into your sock drawer, and pull out a pair.
You put them on, and slip your motorcycle boots over the top and zip them up.
Yep, all seems in order.
Out onto the open road you go.
But from about 10 minutes into the ride, those innocent looking socks are plotting against you.
They choose their moment to officially launch their mission of irritation.
They relax, and start to slip down your leg.
Your wriggle your feet, trying to trap them in place.
They’re not having that.
They slip down a little further.
And by the time you get off the motorcycle, they’ve bunched themselves up under the arch of your foot.
To fix the situation, you’ll need to take your motorcycle boots off in the coffee shop.
Or hop around on the side of the road, trying not to get stones, dirt or bugs in your boots or between your toes.
Yep, it’s irritating alright.
But what’s worse is you’ll forget which ones were the culprits.
You’ll throw them in the wash instead of in the garbage.
And then on the next ride, the whole scenario will start again.
6. Motorcycle gear that fails
Motorcycle gear is so important.
It has to do what it’s supposed to.
What a shame that sometimes it doesn’t!
Like the motorcycle helmet you spent a fortune on.
And then discovered, in the middle of a long motorcycle road trip, that your helmet is not fit for purpose.
I’ve had a motorcycle helmet that suddenly stopped being waterproof.
After riding all day in the rain, I pulled off the helmet to reveal dripping wet hair that made me look like I was fresh from the shower (but cranky instead of clean).
And the visor on your motorcycle helmet can fail as well.
It might start slamming shut randomly in your face, just when you really need it to stay open because you’re riding through fog.
Then there’s the zippers that unzip themselves from the wrong side.
Now your jacket is flapping open from the bottom up.
And you better hope you’re wearing your good underpants.
Because now everyone can see them through the permanently open fly in your riding jeans.
Yep, that zipper has given up the ghost at the worst possible time as well.
7. A whining motorcycle passenger
Riding motorcycles as a couple can be the most fun thing ever.
I’ve been riding on the back of the hubby’s motorcycle for 30 years.
We go out on the road every single chance we get.
As a motorcycle passenger, I’m thankful to be part of the adventure.
I love cruising through the world with my favorite person.
But many motorcycle passengers see riding pillion as a bit of a chore.
They might do it now and then out of a sense of duty.
The hubby keeps asking them, and eventually they feel bad about staying home to wash the dog on a perfect Saturday afternoon.
Truth be told, they’re not really into this whole motorcycle thing.
Unfortunately, it shows.
They whinge and whine the whole time.
And just wait until the end of the ride.
That’s when the drama reaches fever pitch.
Your 95 year old grandma with arthritis complains less than this:
- Oh, my back hurts.
- Oh, I’ve got a cramp in my leg.
- I’m getting a headache from all the wind rush and those noisy pipes.
- And isn’t that wind freezing!
All that work and wheedling to get them on the back of the motorcycle just wasn’t worth it.
That fun day out hasn’t been a bonding experience.
If anything, it’s created the perfect conditions for a lovely big argument.
8. The itch inside the motorcycle gear
Why, oh why, does your head start to itch ONLY after you’ve strapped on your motorcycle helmet and are roaring down the highway?
Or you suddenly get a totally random, agonising cramp in your finger?
And that finger is inside your glove.
It’s attached to a hand that’s kinda busy on the throttle.
And try having hair poking into your eyes when you’re weaving through traffic.
In my case, I’m already wearing glasses, so I need to take off a glove, open the helmet, push the hair away from my eyes and behind my glasses, and put the glove on again.
And of course by the time I’ve done that the wind has pushed a different piece of hair into the other eye.
So I start the whole ritual again.
There are lots of other fun experiences that come from being buttoned and zipped into several layers of gear when moving at 60 miles per hour.
You may experience the joy of having the pocket knife in your front jeans pocket digging into your thigh for an hour.
Or the arms of your glasses pressing into your head for the whole ride.
Trying to move your helmet around while on the move only makes it worse.
9. Putting on wet weather gear in the rain
Does this sound familiar?
It’s a beautiful day.
When you set out on the motorcycle, the sky was clear.
Sure, rain was forecast for SOMETIME that day.
So you threw the wet weather pants and jacket into the saddle bags just in case.
But those weather guys are always wrong anyways!
And as you pull out of the driveway, there’s not a cloud in the sky.
You should be fine…
Fast forward to the afternoon.
You glance up at the sky and notice the clouds that look like a large, spreading bruise.
Every time you look up, the sky’s turned a little darker.
Until – quite suddenly – you’re riding under a canopy of black clouds.
Someone’s turned the lights down too.
It’s gone weirdly dark and the sun has completely disappeared.
Oh well, it’ll probably pass, right?
Sure, sometimes it does.
But more often, you’re just in denial.
Because it is SUCH a pain to find somewhere to stop, unpack the wet weather gear and start pulling on another pair of pants over your current 4 layers of gear.
So you put it off.
You go a few more miles.
And the sky stops threatening rain, and simply delivers on its promise.
In bucket loads.
So now you have to find a place to stop – usually without any shelter.
You struggle with wet layers of plastic gear that resist you again and again, flapping defiantly in a strong wind.
It’s too late now anyway, right?
You’re already soaked because you waited too long and ignored all the warning signs.
10. The group motorcycle ride
Group riding can make bikers crazy with irritation.
Often, the aggravation starts well before the ride does.
First you have to try and accommodate 5 different schedules:
- Davo has a children’s birthday party he can’t miss.
- Mike has been told to mow the lawn before he’s allowed off the leash.
- And Graham has heard that it might rain.
He doesn’t want to get his shiny motorcycle dirty.
Eventually, by some miracle, you agree on a time and place to start the ride.
But then the next phase of the irritation begins.
Where will you go?
And by which route?
Another long, fascinating discussion unfolds.
Finally, you choose a destination.
And then: does everyone have enough gas for the trip?
The answer is always – ALWAYS – no.
So it’s off to the petrol station in a straggling group so Davo can top up his bike.
But you won’t be bored while you wait.
Because there’s still time to have yet another long debate about which roads to take.
Finally, FINALLY, out on the open road, everything should fall into place with the group ride, right?
If you fall behind the pack for 10 seconds, you look up and see the rest of the group, who have circled back to find you.
Or Stuart took the wrong turn-off.
I guess we’d better all go find him.
In the meantime, Shane hasn’t been out on his motorcycle for a year.
He’s wobbling all over the road like a terrified teenager who’s just got his license.
And tough guy Pete (an accountant by day) mysteriously sees himself as the Alpha Male of the group.
So he’s pulling wheelies, roaring past trucks, and cutting you off with wildly dangerous and unpredictable overtaking.
Yep, it’s a thrill a minute riding in a group.
And not dangerous either.
So That’s What Annoys a Biker
As you know, there are many irritations when you’re out on the open road.
A motorcycle ride should be hands down, no contest, the high point of your week.
Sometimes it’s just not, right?
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