Everyone has an adventure gene. It may buried under a few layers, or dormant for the time being, but everyone has something. Most riders acknowledge that riding a motorcycle isn’t for everyone, yet we all know people who have given it a try when their heart isn’t in it.
Riding can be risky and anyone getting into the sport needs to accept that. There’s too much at stake for someone who doesn’t want to be in the saddle to be riding. Inevitably, they don’t enjoy it and will jeopardize their own safety and that of others when they do ride.
Having said that, there’s always a possibility that a person will learn to ride for one of the reasons below and find they LOVE it. Those people experience a radical transformation.
I’ve heard all of these reasons from students and others, about why someone should learn to ride. If they’re why you have enrolled and they go against your inner guide, think carefully before proceeding.
10 reasons to say, “Not yet.” to learning to ride a motorcycle
- As a passenger, you’ll know what to do if anything happens to the rider during your trip. There are so many reasons this is ridiculous but I’ve heard it time and again.
- Someone else (parent/spouse/child/friend) wants you to ride. If you don’t want to ride, don’t. You’re putting yourself, and others, in jeopardy.
- You look cool/hot on a big bike. That’s very nice (and true in many cases) but there’s more to it than that. Riding a bike that’s beyond your skill level is inviting disaster.
- All your friends/family are doing it. Let them. Do what interests you. This is however one of the ways that a number of women have unexpectedly found a new sport they can enjoy with their whole family.
- It will impress your friends and co-workers. What impresses people is someone who’s confident and self-assured, doing what they know is right for them.
- You have a brand new motorcycle sitting in the garage waiting for you. This is related to previous points. You may have received a motorcycle as a gift or as the result of an impulse buy and now you feel you have to follow through. Better to take the hit and send the bike back than to take a hit on the pavement.
- Your partner lost his/her license and now wants you to ride him/her around. I actually heard this from a couple recently.
- So you can say “Been there. Done that!” Motorcycling is something to be taken seriously. There’s too much at stake not to. Sure it’s lots of fun, but it also requires skill, discipline and focus – and practice to develop your skills. If you’re not prepared to do that, then take the course, pass the test and stay off the road. I’ve seen students who just want to prove to themselves that they can do it. Taking the course is commendable in this situation.
And two more reasons why riding may not be for you….yet.
- Cost. The major considerations are the purchase price of your bike, maintenance, insurance and good quality gear.
- Time and other resources. You don’t have time to ride or a place to keep your bike. Proficient riding requires regular practice to keep your skill sharp. Motorcycles require good care for longevity and performance, which always relates back to safety. Over and above enjoying the ride, it boils down to safety.
Getting into riding, or any adventure activity before you’re ready can diminish the experience for you. Better to wait until you can genuinely embrace it. THEN you will experience the freedom, exhilaration and confidence that comes from being true to yourself.
Reprinted from January 13, 2012