Bikers or just good friends who have yet to meet?
In the last few months of taking on the persona of BABs (Born Again Biker -sort of) I am constantly reminded of the strength of fraternity among bikers. It starts with the choice of a nod of the head, a friendly wave or a full flash of lights acknowledging other riders on the road. This was an aspect of riding I enjoyed in my youth although, even at that time, we thought the practice was dying-out. My recent experience suggests otherwise with acknowledgement from both oncoming riders and those overtaking me. Stop at a biker’s stop such as Box Hill in Surrey, and the willingness to strike up conversation is both refreshing and honest in that you can strike up a conversation with virtually any other rider parked up with other connection than the fact that they are on 2 wheels. These conversations are not usually about bravado but details of the bike, today’s riding experiences or plans for the ride home. It’s fairly superficial stuff but compared with almost any other walk of life it is a significant jump forwards in terms of ad hoc conversation.
What may be more challenging about the fraternity concept maybe in the event of roadside breakdown. Would other riders still stop for you? I’m not sure and am not intending to put this to test, hopefully although, it must be recognised that in the 21st Century that a breakdown need not represent the inconvenience of earlier times with the availability of mobile phones and 24 hour services. Gone are the days of going out for a Sunday ride and having the ignominy of pushing a broken bike several miles to find a closed service station. ; A quick phone call to specialist recovery company and you and your bike can be whisked to a place of comfort.
Contrary to the often heard negative arguments about road conditions, I believe that there’s never been a better time to ride a bike.