by Liz Jansen
“We all seek like-minded spirits, whether physical or spiritual, visible or invisible. Most new riders are amazed at the instant bond and the camaraderie and compassion among riders. Sometimes we’ve been searching for years for the right tribe to join.
When we find our clan though, we discover a common bond from which we not only derive strength as individuals, but also gather that strength to increase the cohesiveness of the community as a whole.” (From Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment)
- Sense of Belonging. For as alone and individualistic as any rider is, as human beings we need human interaction. We’re social beings. Some of us need more interaction than others, but we all need some. Although even within the motorcycling community there are disparate opinions, how wonderful to belong to a community that shares our interests and understands our passion.
- Mutual Support. No one knows what another rider is going through like another rider. Whether it’s building confidence as a novice, dealing with mechanical breakdowns or something completely unrelated to motorcycling, having another rider there forms a bond that cuts across all differences.
- Strength and influence. This is one of the reasons I’m active with the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) and have been involved with American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). There are many decisions being made directly and indirectly that affect our civil rights and riding choices—decisions that affect our rights and freedom beyond motorcycling. Only through a common voice do we have the strength to be heard.
- Specific knowledge. Where better to find out about new ideas, products, issues, or tips than from someone who’s been there, especially with social networking. I received help from someone on a forum I belong to that I was unable to resolve through my dealer. You do have to use your best judgment – not all experts are alike!
- Innovation. Chances are, if you’ve got a motorcycle related problem, someone else has already thought of a solution or can help you cobble something together. This is often how new products are developed for specific uses. The same principle applies whether it’s mechanical, customizing something to fit your needs or
Social change may begin within a group of motorcyclists, but the effects soon spread to other areas of your life. This helps to explain why motorcyclists tend to contribute extraordinary amounts of time and effort to charitable causes, nurturing the less fortunate and sharing within the community.
Would you like to experience these benefits of belonging to a community? Find a group with whom you share a common interest and get started!