Some people can’t help turn their snobby little noses up at motorcyclists. It’s usually people that don’t have a life of their own and can’t bear to see anyone else having one. I’m not too worried about those people, and neither should you be, because nobody really cares what miserable old turds like that think. But sometimes sensible, right minded people are given course to shake their heads at us motorbike boys, because sometimes we forget how to behave ourselves. So if you’ve got a tendency to be a naughty boy (or girl), hopefully this will help you avoid giving motorcyclists a bad name.
I don’t know if this is scarier for the filter-er, or filter-ee, but it certainly frightens me. I’m a big fan of filtering, whether it’s on a busy motorway or a set of traffic lights in town; it’s one of the benefits of motorcycling, and long may it continue. But it can be a little bit dangerous, if you don’t have your wits about you. You never know whether the car/van/lorry drivers have seen you in their mirrors, or what they’re going to do next.
That’s why it makes me cringe when I see people filtering at top speed. If the traffic’s rolling along at 30mph and you’re flying through the gaps doing 70mph, you’re going to scare the living shit out of everyone you pass, not to mention piss them off. So if that’s you, slow down, be safe, and try not to give motorcyclists a bad name.
Being a noisy neighbour
I love motorbikes as much as the next person. In fact probably more than the next person. But I don’t like getting woken up at 5am when the tool three doors down decides to fire his stubby-piped Panigale up. To be fair, the rest of the neighbours and I, probably wouldn’t mind it so much if he fired it up and fucked straight off to work… but he doesn’t. He’ll leave the thing ticking over on the drive for a good few minutes, presumably to warm it up enough for him to scream it all the way to the rev limiter as he heads off down the road.
Whilst being woken up prematurely time and time again is annoying, what really upsets me is the fact that half the street think it’s me (which I only recently found out to be the case). They’ve seen me coming home from work on a bike and just assumed I’m the one that keeps waking them up.
If you need to leave for work at 5am that’s fine. But fitting the noisiest exhaust you can find, leaving your bike ticking over whilst you finish your morning coffee and screaming down the road on the redline, is just bad manners.
Riding furiously is one of my favourite expressions. The Isle of Man highway code talks about it and it’s something the constabulary over there disapprove of. Riding furiously, as you’d imagine, is riding quickly, aggressively, unsafely, and/or in a way that intimidates and irritates other drivers.
Most people with a motorcycle enjoy riding with a bit of ‘purpose’. I’d certainly put myself in that category. But there’s a time and a place. Because most car drivers won’t appreciate seeing you with your knee down, or pulling a 12 o clock wheelie. So when you feel the need for speed, it’s best to make it happen when there’s no one watching. Well no strangers, anyway. Because riding like a lunatic is a very good way to give motorcyclists a bad name.
Being a flipflop wanker
Anyone that has ever crashed a motorcycle knows that flip flops aren’t appropriate motorcycle attire. And most of us, whether we’ve crashed a bike or not, shake our heads in dismay if we see someone riding in them.
Of course, by riding in flip flops (or sandals, Crocs or any other poolside footwear) you’re not affecting anyone else’s life at all. And if humans had the capacity to mind their own business, it would be absolutely fine. But they don’t. So what most people envisage, when they see it happening, is the mess it’s going to make, should there be an accident; feet, ankles and lower legs don’t tend to be particularly sturdy when unprotected (I should know).
So although it’s not really got anything to do with anyone else, people will pass judgement if they see you riding a bike with flip flops on. So if you can avoid doing it, you’ll be avoiding giving motorcyclists a bad name. And in all fairness, it’s not a very sensible thing to do in the first place.