The motorcycle culture is a mainstream society sub-culture that covers both a social community and a mode of transportation. The stereotype biker is a rebel who doesn’t live by society’s laws and norms, but instead has chosen to dedicate his life either to the club or to be an independent lone wolf.
That’s the main difference between car culture and motorcycle culture – this perceived degree of freedom. Whereas someone who owns a railroad is portrayed as a hardworking, blue-collar guy who saves his money to build the car of his dreams part by part, the biker seems to be this happy-go-lucky dude who wakes up hungover at a campsite and moves on to the next destination for some more partying.
In reality, very few motorcyclists have the opportunity to live life by the road’s unwritten rules, but we do throw a leg over the bike every chance we get… even if it’s just a ride to work. Yes, it’s true that motorcycles offer more freedom than a car, but not in the sense that we no longer have to adhere to society’s rules. It’s more like a temporary escape, letting us calm down and enjoy ourselves before having to go back to a rather mundane everyday life with all its sometimes pointless battles.
Riding Makes Us Better At Driving Cars
If you want to get home in one piece when riding a bike, you’ll have to be constantly vigilant. Always scanning the road for any dangers, reading the surrounding traffic, positioning yourself to see and be seen… there’s a lot going on at all times.
We take these things with us when we drive cars as well. And that’s when we realize how bad some other drivers are. Situations we have spotted several seconds ago seem to go unnoticed to most other drivers – until it’s too late.
Everyday Fashion Is Often Inspired By Bikers
Bikers have to some degree influenced fashion for decades with their cool leather jackets, boots, and worn-in jeans, just think of the coolness of Brando, McQueen, and The Fonz.
Lately, the world of high fashion has become influenced by bikers as well as they’ve taken notice of the alternative fabrics and styles, bringing the biker influence onto the wider culture. The black leather jacket, often associated with cruiser and custom bike riders has been popular for years, but not there are more racing and motocross derived items available to those who don’t ride.
We Practically Have Our Own Language
Spend some time around a group of bikers, and you’re bound to hear some biker slang, and it’s not given that the average cager will understand what it all means.
You might know that an ol’ lady is a wife or longterm girlfriend, but if she’s just an acquaintance or friend riding pillion on the bike, the term back warmer or backpack is used. OMG does not mean ‘Oh My God,’ ‘apehangers’ are not found in a zoo, ‘church’ is not where you go on Sundays, ‘squids’ are not found in the ocean, and ‘weekend warriors’ are not true bikers.
Most Clubs Aren’t Gangs
A lot of outsiders think that all groups of leather-wearing motorcyclists are a gang, and most likely up to no good, this is as far from the truth as you can get. Yes, there are biker clubs that have a certain reputation, known as 1 percenters. This came about years ago after a gathering where it was said 99% of bikers behaved themselves, so the bad boys called themselves the other 1%… considering how many people ride, way less than 1% are part of these clubs.
Riding Is Healthy
Not only does riding a motorcycle burn calories, but it also gives the majority of our muscles a workout. It might seem like we’re just sitting on the seat, but in reality, we’re using our arms, legs, hips, lower back, and entire upper body in order to maintain the bike’s balance and counterbalance the weight.
Add all the tiny movements we do, and it turns out an hour of riding a bike will burn anywhere from 170 to 600 calories per hour. This will, of course, vary between riders, bikes, and speed, but no matter how you look at it it’s much more fun than going to the gym…
Bikers Do A Lot Of Charity Work
There are countless biker charities out there. Everything from getting war veterans back on their feet, raising awareness for issues and diseases, to help fight bullying and making children’s lives safer. And there’s a perfectly good reason for this.
While many people see bikers as big scary people covered in tattoos and leathers, they are actually normal people with families of their own. And just like normal people, they have been in the military, they’ve experienced illness, and they want people to feel safe. Next time you see hundreds of bikes riding in a convoy, it’s more likely that they’re on a charity ride rather than a bunch of hooligans out to cause havoc.
Female Riders Are Welcome
It used to be a time when almost everyone who rode a bike was a man, but luckily times are changing. After being stuck on the back of a bike for a while, some women decided it was time to start doing the steering themselves, and the motorcycle community is better off because of it. Today there are plenty of female riders who’ve never been riding pillion, they just followed their heart and started riding.
This means there will be more people with more diverse backgrounds at festivals and meetings. But there’s another positive side; sales of new bikes have been dropping for years, so more recruitment means more sales.