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The OTB old testament

Closed Thread
  • 09-19-2008 | 02:54 AM
  • PiZdETS
  • An Open Letter
    At the risk of drawing ire, I hope this is taken in the spirit in which it was written:

    To All the Riders I Haven't Met:

    I just spent part of the day at the Maryland Motorcycle Show last week, and bumped into a couple of my riding buddies. We grabbed lunch and went into the seating area to yak and catch up. We talked a lot about the mild winter, and the fact that the warm days had already brought out the "squirrels" on two wheels, and compared the acts of insanity on public roads we'de already seen. As group, we're all a little older (30-50's) and most have a lot of riding years and/or miles under our belts. The rest of my afternoon was spent alone in my truck going around the beltway in the snow, doing service calls, so I had a lot of time to do some thinking. The following is the product of those conversations, and the ruminations that followed.

    I REALLY hope you will stick with motorcycling; I think that, as a group, bikers are some of the nicer folks I've had the opportunity to meet. I spent a lot of years riding alone, and in the last few years I've hooked up with a number of like-minded riders, and found the enjoyment I've gotten from riding to be multiplied. I look forward to another riding season, and the opportunity to meet many of you. That being said, some of you scare the beejesus out of me, and I probably won't ride with you more than once, if at all.

    I won't ride with you IF you:

    A......Think a good day of riding includes a couple of stops at the local watering holes, and your attitiude is "It's only BEER, man."

    B......Don't wear basic gear. I know, I know.....free choice and all that crap. But I too have a free choice, and I choose NOT to ride with people that can't or won't exercise good judgement about something so basic. If you REALLY do believe that helmets are bad for you, well, I hope you survive long enough to change your mind. If you don't have enough respect for yourself to take basic precautions, it's doubtful you'll care enough about me and my friends to avoid endangering us. I never understood how someone could spend $10-12,000 on a new 1000 cc sportbike and not have enough money for a set of basic gear (Helmet, Jacket, gloves and boots).

    C.....Don't maintain your bike........few things are more annoying than planning a ride, only to have to wait while you run around at the last minute looking for parts, or spend the better part of a beautiful afternoon sitting on the side of the road waiting for your tow, cause your bike broke down, AGAIN.

    D.....Ride over your head....many a nice ride has been marred by the tragedy of crashers, who lie about their experience level, and then make the rest of us literally pick up the pieces. Nobody wants to see you down, and nobody wants to do CPR, but we will if we have to. Nobody wants to have to call your parents or girl friend or wife and kids and tell 'em you're on a helicopter to Shock-Trauma 'cause you didn't know how to counter steer, or that braking in the middle of a turn was a bad thing. We didn't sign up for that. Be honest about your skill level, we'll be happy to give you some pointers. Some of us are even licensed, skilled racers and instructors; all you have to do is ask and we'll show you all we know.

    E.....Dis my ride....I don't care if you have the lastest, greatest 160 hp monster Japan can crank out; I ride what I ride 'cause it suits me, or mebbe 'cause it's what I can afford, what with a mortgage, two kids in college, and building for my retirement. I often wear out a bike before I get another one. If I pull away from you at every corner on my sub-100hp, high milage, 8 year old sport-touring bike WITH saddlebags, maybe horsepower isn't the most important part of the equation.

    F.....Endanger me or my friends with your show-off manuevers. You KNOW what I'm talkin' about: passing on the inside of corners (some a-hole wrecked a good buddies NEW SV1000, when he decided to stuff his clapped out fur-bike underneath in a turn and then couldn't hold the line), passing the group up the middle in a 12 o'clock wheelie IN TRAFFIC, and in general, acting like the road is a track and your ego fulfillment is the most important thing in the world.

    G.....Ask my advice about the wisdom of trading in your 2 month old 250cc Ninja and buying the latest and greatest 1400cc 200mph monster bike, and then dismissing me with a wave of the hand and a "ya, but........". If you already have your mind made up...don't ask! But don't call me up when you wreck it and ask to borrow my truck to take it to the dealer, either.

    ALL the aformentioned happened to me or friends of mine over just this last riding season; the amount of stupid stuff I could tell you I've survived over the last 32 years of riding could fill a book. It's dangerous enough out there without our own adding to the pucker factor.

    If you have more "Don't Do's" feel free to add 'em on....................


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