If you’re not a motorcycle rider, groups of motorcycles riding together seemingly just for fun is puzzling. Because, why do they ride together, where are they going, and why the heck do they leave again shortly after they get there. You probably already know the answer, but not everyone do. Recently Erin Baker from Telegraph Motoring Blogs was asked what it was all about and decided to ask around.
For some of us, motorcycles are a hobby and we ride solely for recreation. Its about riding to new places, fun with the mates on the local back roads, meeting up at a rally, or a day on a racetrack. I ride around 10-12.000 km a year just for fun, and that’s low compared to some.
When, where, and why we ride in groups.
For me, the usual rides are in the countryside with 2-4 mates seeking out our favorite spots and stretches of road. It’s not unusual that we turn around and do a particular good stretch of road a couple of times (will get to the definition of a good road later).
Most of the time we just drive by sense of direction, and the rider in front decides where we’re going. If you arrive at an area where you know of a good spot, you just overtake the rider in front and lead the way. During weekends if the weather is good we can go on like that all day.
Why we ride in groups is basically very simple. It’s about sharing a good time with your friends. When you stop for a break you walk around kicking tires talking motorcycles and just relax in the company of like minds. Some might find that boring as hell, but hey; I don’t think much of badminton either. Luckily we humans are different that way.
Where do we ride to? Every area has it’s motorcycle hangouts. Usually it’s some sort of cafe or viewpoint where there’s good roads nearby. A good example from my corner of the world is the small harbor in the city Roskilde. If you go by the back roads, the ride there from Copenhagen is absolutely brilliant. So naturally the harbor becomes the chosen place to stretch your legs and have a cup of coffee before you head home the same way you came (with as many detours as time allows).
The perfect road
I better prevent raising more questions than I answer, and clarify on all this talk of good roads. By good roads we don’t mean five lane freeways that’ll get you there in a heartbeat. A good road is a small road, preferably two lanes in opposite directions, snaking through the countryside with plenty of turns and visibility to see what’s around the corner. Pot holes and gravel are not our best friends, but otherwise the condition of the road is not that important.
Why is that fun? That has to do with the nature of how you steer a motorcycle. I’m not going to go total scientific on you, but you steer a motorcycle more by shifting you weight on the bike rather than using the handlebars. That means when you go down a straight road, you just sit flat on your butt and watch the world pass by. When turning, you have to move around on the bike and thus are more physically involved in driving the motorcycle. Which is a challenge you can get better at by practicing, and the better you get the more fun it is. Ain’t it awesome, as Steve Jobs would say.
There’s of course more aspects of being a motorcycle enthusiast, but we better save that for another time. Feel free to share your point of view, I’ll make sure to pass it on to Erin.