Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bikers or Riders - Misconceptions

There has been and will continue to be a "debate" as to the terms used regarding those of us who ride motorcycles.  Within that debate is a wide range of myths, misconceptions , and stereotypes .David Tatlock lives in Dartmouth and wrote an article that led to a number of very good points.
Terms used to describe people on motorcycles are simplistically: a) biker; b) motorcyclist. A biker conjures up the template image associated with Harley-Davidson, loud pipes, and the standard black T-shirt.
A motorcyclist is everyone else, from the quietly efficient BMW rider to the racy red scientific Ducati rider, to, the immature but expert riders out on I-385, T-shirts flying in the wind, and doing wheelies. They also tend to ride in packs. If they endanger or frighten cars by their speed and antics, one error they do not commit is riding in tightly bunched groups, in which reaction time is next to zero in case a rider gets into trouble. Both types are especially common in the U.S . Why? Decide for yourself.

Motorcycling, in general, like other pursuits, has been cranked up in excess of its reality. Bikers love to be seen, hence the skimpy riding gear, the tiny, useless helmets, etc. For others, a motorcycle is a canoe, a discovery machine, a device for exploring and discovering, rather than merely enhancing who you already are.

It is no surprise that once off the bike, bikers or motorcyclists turn out to be regular people. On the bike, riders tend to act frisky; it goes with the territory. Idiotic behavior adds another level for those who sense falsely that being seen out in the open translates to a lasting element of prestige. Stupidly, this is the impressionability of advertising. On many bikes, you can break the speed limit in first gear. There is a tremendous amount of technology packed between two wheels.

I say: If riding in a group, don't try to crawl up the muffler of the guy in front of you. Find your niche, be extra polite, and help campaign for "two-wheels only" parking spots in your town. David Tatlock lives in Dartmouth.


  1. Got your point! I often use the word biker and motorcycling. Maybe sometimes I interchange them. But when referring to people riding a motorcycle Biker is the term that first comes to mind. How about people who are cycling?

    1. The terms are often used interchangeably. The unfortuate aspect is the negative perception of one, washes over ito the other.

  2. It's a good distinction to make, but do you think that motorcyclists are often lumped in with bikers, forcing an unfair stereotype upon them?