First day trip in the 2007 season
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.

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11 Responses to “What’s up with those weirdo motorcycle riders”

  1. Lars a.k.a. "Lars-Benzin"  April 19th

    Hey Jesper!

    Really enjoyed the trip! I’m up for another when the sun shines down on us again!!

    I’ll pollish the Duc and keep it ready for those small, curved roads again! And as you say – THAT is the reason why riding a mc is fun! No long hauls on the highway, just a butt shifting from side to side on the bike!! Curves, here we come again!

    Lars

  2. Jesper  April 19th

    Yea, Lars, that was a really nice trip. I know the rest of the lads are blue with envy, because they couldn’t join us.

    There’s no beating a blue sky Saturday without hangovers and nothing but time.

  3. David  April 19th

    Great post,

    I was up in copenhagen this week on the VFR, I took the boring old motorway both ways as I was on business, however the VFR is just the job for cruising up and down at a decent speed ;-) PS f&”ing taxi drivers tried to kill me a few times in the City center.
    David

  4. Jesper  April 20th

    Yea, David, taxi and bus drivers in Copenhagen gets a salary bonus for each motorcycle they trash. It probably applies to bicycles and pedestrians as well.

    Next time you’re in Copenhagen, and have time for a quick road trip. Send me a note in advance and we’ll go for a spin.

  5. Morten  April 20th

    Very nice Duc – Lars!!! Looking forward to seeing it “Live”…

  6. Pan Chopper Man  April 22nd

    It just needs to be said…
    All you “crotchrocket” boys sure have your fun wearing those Ducati’s (or whatever) as if they were gloves hummming around the scenic backroads.
    But you’re all missing one very important aspect of being a “weirdo motorcycle rider”, sure the ride itself is nice, the scenery too, and even enjoying the comradery of good friends…
    However I’m here to tell you – one of the biggest pleasures when bikers gather together is to talk about thier bikes and all the extensive customizing they’ve done.
    I’ve taken several first place trophies for the panhead chopper I built & ride, and most of my friends ride bikes that they’ve designed and built themselves too.
    So, I say that if you’re not riding something that you actually put together piece by piece (your own design), then you’re missing out on an important additional pleasure in being a “weirdo motorcycle rider”.

  7. Jesper  April 22nd

    I’m sure you’re right, “Pan chopper man”. Plenty of my bike riding friends dream of putting together their own ride. Denmark is extremely restrictive towards what modification you’re allowed to do, so designing and building your own bike from scratch, and be allowed to ride it on the street, is more or less utopia.

    But it’s not that we don’t modify our crotch rockets. That duc you see in the picture is basically custom from the ground up.

  8. Lars a.k.a. "Lars-Benzin"  April 22nd

    I know some people dream of building their own bike from scratch – but i don’t agree with you “Pan Chopper Man”!
    Riding a “stock” bike can give you the same pleasure – in my opinion! Some people don’t even change oil and filters on their stock bikes – and I wouldn’t take on the challenge to try to explain them, that their feeling and pleasure is less joyous than yours!

    I recognize your feeling, my Duc (on the pic.) is rather modyfied too – but not rebuild from scratch! My greatest pleasure is to ride it, and ride a bike that I find special!! For me, my bike i just as unike as yours, even though it has not been build by myself!

    But I know that this is an endless discussion – because every “weirdo mortorcycle rider” sees their own bike as “their little special thing” – no matter how “stock” it is… And I would find fun and pleasure in riding any bike, because every model has it’s own characteristics and “faults”!

    As Jesper says, it’s very expensive and problematic to build your own bike in Denmark. I would love to do it – but… I find so much pleasure in “The Riding” – that i have not even thought of building my own!

    That’s just my two… Hmm.. Maybe five cent’s……… But “Pan Chopper Man” – please keep building – it’s gives the rest of us something special to look at and dream of when our paths cross once a while!

    Sorry the long comment……

  9. Pan Chopper Man  April 25th

    That’s cool Lars… Enjoy your summer and ride safe.

  10. remainsofthedesi  May 14th

    hey I like your site. Here’s a nice clip on bikers in hyderabad, India if you like:

    http://remainsofthedesi.wordpress.com/2007/05/10/ghosts-on-machines-in-hyderabad/

  11. Jesper  May 15th

    Pretty insane to do stunts like that without protection gear, or at least a helmet.

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