Life Lessons from Motorcycles: Interdependence and 7 Relationships

Interdependence: 7 Relationships Which Touch Us All

No one is an island. Not even a free-spirited, independent motorcycle rider. Our path evolves through a complex web of interdependent relationships.

This means each of us benefit when we do things do things for others. Our role is also to accept with gratitude, the gifts from others.

These seven relationships which make our riding experience possible, extend into our larger world and touch us all.


Motorcycle: All systems have to work together for the machine to operate maximum efficiency. It matters not that our gas tank is full if our tires are worn out or our battery is dead. Fuel, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems all need to be functioning well to achieve safe and effective performance.

Lesson: Our body is merely the physical component of our being so taking good care of them respects who we are.. Dysfunctions in our energy systems and spiritual body affect our physical body.

Friends and Family

Motorcycle: A motorcycle relies on it’s operator for instruction and direction. Without a rider, the bike just sits there.

Lesson: While there are wild individual differences on the quantity, humans thrive with social contact. An interdependent relationship is far more fulfilling than one where partners are independent or dependent.


Motorcycle: Introducing a passenger changes the dynamics and affects suspension, handling and how much luggage we can carry. We now have to consider someone else’s comfort and desires. While it’s a very different experience than riding solo, it can be enriching in other ways.

Lesson: People come and go in our lives, joining us for different parts of our journey. Each has something to teach us. We need to consider the influence of others without losing focus on where we’re going.


Motorcycle: Most new riders are amazed at the instant bond, camaraderie and compassion amongst riders. Sometimes we’ve been searching for years for the right tribe.

Lesson: When we find our clan, 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.


Motorcycle: Proficient riding doesn’t just happen. Qualified instructors teach us safety skills, mechanics work on our bikes – or teach us how to; apparel experts advise us what to look for in gear and how to combine function and fit. Manufacturers design the right bike and accessories for us. The list is endless.

Lesson: Our lives evolve under the tutelage of many experts: teachers, colleagues, coaches, consultants, mentors. Our task is to follow our heart and let pragmatism and intuition guide us as to who to follow.


Motorcycle: An erosion of rights which surfaces within the motorcycling world is often a harbinger of things to come for our larger society. Rider and industry associations such as the MCC (Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada), MMIC ( Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council – Canada), AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) and MIC ( Motorcycle Industry Council — US) are fierce advocates and protectors of our rights as motorcyclists – and citizens.

Lesson: Our lifestyle, the rights and freedoms that we enjoy have come about through the dedication and focus and persistence of others. Erosion of rights is insidious and it’s up to us to remain vigilant, active and support and honor those who protect our rights.


Motorcycle: We affect many lives beyond our own. A single act of kindness is remembered forever. Conversely, our course can be drastically changed by the actions of others, a momentary lapse of our own judgment, an unexpected curve, construction, detours and even weather. The wise path is to be prepared with skills, attitudes and awareness.

Lesson: We are all connected. As humans, we share a common spirit and a common source of power. If we allow ourselves to accentuate our differences – gender, age, culture or values – that separates us. Looking for what we have in common creates harmony and strengthens us all.


This post continues exploring the themes introduced in Life Lessons From Motorcycles: 12 Principals of Survival.




Author, writer, student and motorcycle aficionado Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery. No helmet or jacket required.