Complaining is easy, second nature to some while giving a compliment or quick thank you appears to be downright torturous.
Discussing all the great things that come with a two-wheeled past time makes any biker soon realize how lucky we all are to find that open road and push for the perfect ride.
Here is our list, in no particular order of things bikers the country over should give a nod and thanks to as the good stuff that’s done right.
1. Bikers that wave regardless of what they ride
The mystery of the motorcycle wave has been discussed, debated and argued probably since the first pair of pioneer bikers started passing each other on the road.
Not only does the meaning of the wave create some heated conversations, but who, when and to whom it should be made clouds discussions even more.
Some feel that only riders of similar styles of motorcycle should wave to each other, while a more extreme group prefer to wave to riders who are riding the same brand of bike.
While the different viewpoints argue and justify their opinions, there are a segment of riders who not only wave to any other biker on two wheels, regardless of the style or which corporate name is on the gas tank, some take their camaraderie as far as waving to scooter riders!
We applaud the bikers who realize riding is about the experience of being on two wheels with a powerhouse between your legs, roaring down the open road. Let the rest of the world divide themselves in special interest groups and bicker about who is better, smarter or even ‘right’. Bikers should enjoy the ride and revel in its brotherhood.
2. Military leaders enforcing motorcycle safety training
Starting with the returning veterans from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to servicemen and women who enlist today, those in charge ensure the robust training from boot camp rides out to off duty saddletime.
New regulations, which carried the same weight as those meant for the battlefield ranged from mandatory helmet laws to compulsory safety training in order to ride their bikes.
It’s laways heartwarming to read and learn of generals taking as much interest in the safety and lives of America’s brave service personnel at home as well as during dangerous tours of duty in foreign countries.
3. States that make an effort to raise motorcycle awareness and safety to other road-users
Every year the month of May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month, but depending on where a biker lives, people would be hard-pressed to know about it.
It is a little confusing how States such as Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and New Hampshire who’ve either had motorcycle riding politicians or annually schedule grand unveilings of the awareness month seem to let the motorcycle awareness campaign get swept to one side along with plastic dinnerware and deflating balloons the end of the announcement celebrations.
A round of applause as well as a heartfelt thanks certainly goes to States such as Minnesota and Georgia who not only use precious budget dollars to print bumper stickers, posters and produce commercials year after year for the safety month, but also manage to support consistent round motorcycle safety awareness programs to keep other road users alert to the two-wheeled red-headed step children.
More states are becoming concerned over the disproportionately growing number of motorcycle fatalities among the highway accident statistics. Also, local legislatures singling out the bike for ordinances and fines has become the latest state and municipal trend. So bikers have to wonder why we can’t get the same attention when it comes to safety campaigns and official support for our right to have a piece of road.
It would be great to write about more States supporting Motorcycle Awareness Month but there’s the sneaking feeling it’ll be up the everyday biker to ‘remind’ local politicians how loud their voices can really be and the importance of the ‘biker vote’.
4. Motorcycle advocacy groups
Whether it’s the grandfather of motorcycle groups such as the American Motorcycle Association or the grassroots organization of ABATE (which stands for either American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education, or American Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments depending on who you ask), advocacy groups are the unspoken heroes of riding.
From keeping an eye on governmental bodies to lobbying for legal changes, advocacy groups protect the individual rights and freedoms of the everyday biker.
Whether you agree with them or not, various ABATE chapters have strongly fought for choice in helmet laws across the country over the last few years while the AMA have lobbied to increase penalties for drivers who injure others on the road in their Justice for All campaign.
What makes these groups even more remarkable is a large number of the people doing the lifting for change or to protect the everyday rider are volunteers.
5. Cities who welcome riders with open arms
With the average age of bikers moving upward and their average income bracket growing in the same direction, it would be easy to assume that any city would welcome riders, and all the disposable income they may bring with open arms.
But this hasn’t been the case with stories that are now part of biker legend; organizers of a major cross-country ride had a last minute scramble to re-organize the route when a town strongly opposed having the parade of fund-raising bikers come through their municipality, in Illinois a town council cancelled much needed permits due to ‘police intelligence’ of potential gang activity, leaving the organizers with no event to make money, bills to pay off scheduled talent and costs.
Battles between event planners and municipalities such as those seen between the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina over the Annual Spring Biker Rally use flawed and illogical opposition.
From Sturgis, to Daytona and all the way out to Hollister, we are thankful to the different cities around the country that look forward and even cater to the roaming biker coming to visit their annual rallies and events. It’s even better when we get to report on yet another city or State looking into creating and holding their own local motorcycle rally!
Wait, this doesn’t end here! There are (at least) five more amazing things that deserve a motorcycle round of applause. CLICK HERE for the rest of the list!