Published on December 8th, 2010 | by Boris
I need to speak to you again. Albeit briefly, while I bravely control my rich nausea of you even at this remove.
There are clearly lots of things about motorcycling you’re still not understanding. No, I don’t know why, but save your keening, rat-gratitude for another time. And pay attention. This is like a quizâ€¦
Do you understand what attracted people like me to motorcycling? Do you understand it sure as shit wasn’t safety? Do you understand it had nothing to do with needing society’s acceptance, forbearance and tolerance? Do you understand that riding motorcycles is a little bit naughty, beautifully antisocial, and as dangerous as one choses to make it? Do you understand how that soooo appeals to most blokes? Do you understand that risk-taking, both calculated (and not-so-calculated) is the driving evolutionary imperative of man?
Do you understand that just ‘cos you gave up riding for several centuries to please your missus, doesn’t mean you’ve retained or can even remember the skill-set you had? Do you understand that in all likelihood, you never had a skill-set in the first place? Do you understand you’re now older, slower, and blinder, but because you have some misplaced sense of entitlement, due to your age and resemblance to a cholesterol hot-house, you’re going to crash like a bastard?
Do you understand the expression “Don’t ever write cheques your arse can’t cash”?
Do you understand that you, and you alone, are responsible for what happens to you on a motorcycle? Do you understand motorcycling, by its very nature, deems that you always ride alone? Do you understand that riding in large groups still means you’re riding alone?
Do you understand that belonging to and riding with large beige motorcycling flocks does not automatically endow you with motorcycling credibility, ability or valid opinion?
Do you understand how herd animals function?
Do you understand your $1200 helmet is no safer, in real terms, than a $100 helmet? Do you understand how helmets are tested in this country? Do you understand that all crashes are different and that in some cases helmets will exacerbate your injuries?
Do you understand that people must always and forever and until the earth falls into the sun have the right to decide for themselves what level of risk is acceptable for them? Do you understand that not grasping this simple concept by mindlessly acquiescing to every government safety initiative, task force, and hen’s night reduces you to the level of a dog?
Do you understand that people who feel they are somehow safer because they are wearing what they’ve been brainwashed to imagine is “safety gear”, tend to ride accordingly? Do you understand there is reams of scientific evidence to back this up?
Do you understand why the government will never tell you this?
Do you understand that if you were to ride around Phillip Island racetrack without a helmet, you’d be slower than if you were to wear one? Do you understand that this is so in spite of the fact that helmets do not make you ride faster or better?
Do you understand why that is so?
Do you understand how many riding lessons and courses can be bought for the price of top-dollar lids, racesuits, boots, and gloves?
Do you understand that your ability to “read” the traffic ahead and around you, will keep you alive and unscarred longer and more effectively than any fluoro vest ever will?
Do you understand that uncertainty, fearfulness and mewling like a chicken-flavoured bitch that it wasn’t your “fault” does not enhance your motorcycle-riding beautness?
Do you understand that if you ride at the speed limit in traffic, you life expectancy is short and purple with pain?
Do you understand the difference between “ambition” and “ability”?
Do you understand that no-one “needs” a bike that does more than 120km/h? Do you understand that it doesn’t matter provided there are people who want bikes that do 300? Do you understand there will always be people like that?
Do you understand what it’s like to do more than 200km/h on a motorcycle on a public road? Do you understand what the world smells like at 220km/h? Do you understand how glorious and precious life is 280km/h? Do you understand what it feels like in that gooey, dark-sweet pit deep in your guts when you swoop through bends at who-cares-what-the-speed-limit-is speeds, your tyres singing songs of stickiness, the wind roaring in your ears, and your mind focused like a laser on everything and nothing?
Did you even know you had one of those pits in your mouse-like guts?
Do you understand that you are not even remotely representative of motorcyclists? Do you understand why we are not all “brothers of the handlebars”?
Do you understand that you just don’t “get” motorcycling? Do you understand that that is why you do not belong among us, must never speak for us, and that five across the eyes is the best way for you to be dismissed?
Well? Do you?
No. You don’t. You never will.
May the Road Gods curse your empty wooden souls.