Monday, March 26, 2012

Riders are like Family

Do you remember the last time you saw a friend of yours just passing by? Whether it's on foot at school or in your car at a stoplight most of us feel the urge to say hello by generally offering a kind wave or "Hey whats up?"as passing by.  This is exactly whats its like on a motorcycle with every other cyclist out there on the road. We all have something in common, the fact that we ride on two wheels rather then four.  If you've ever seen two motorists passing by each other --like the following picture--with this kind of hand signal now you know what they're saying... "What's Up!"

This small hand gesture basically means that your part of the club and anybody in the club deserves at least a hello.  This is the most basic of cyclist language, just like different dialects this is the "slang" of the road when your on a motorcycle.

Riding has its own different kind of "Slanguage" - A website of another rider's blog pretty much captures all of the hand motions that we use, Signals, but the four that set us apart from any cars on the road are the following.

1.)Hand down (usually peace symbol sent out)(See pic above) - means, "Hey, Whats Up?!"

2.)Patting on top of the head = Careful, Cop ahead.

3.) Hazards ahead- Kicking out with the feet left side for a hazard on the left and right leg kick if it's a hazard on the right.

This language has saved me more than once, including a trip to school only a few weeks ago.  I was avoiding the freeways with tend to be cluttered with a lot of bad drivers and decided I would take the Lake Merced Route.  A long straight path stared down my face and with nothing but sunshine I had to pull back on the throttle a little bit.  Another rider passed me patting his head, and I immediately slowed my pace to the speed limit and as soon as I passed the Welcome to Daly City sign I found that a motorcycle cop was just sitting there with his radar gun.  If I had even been the pace I was moving at I would have been cited for speeding at least 10 over.  He had just saved me at least 300 dollars by a quick pat on the head, and that's why our language is so special.  How many people in cars are going to tell you there's a cop waiting for you ahead?

Helping One Another

If you can't already tell, we have each other's backs, from the police and in situations of need.  I just had a post about how I helped some poor cyclist that had crashed right in front of me.  I was able to stop traffic with my truck (much safer then no car behind) and help him pick up his bike so he could regain himself.

Another good short story about how we motorcyclists help each other out is when my cousin and myself went down to the races in Monterrey at Laguna Seca for Moto Gp.  My cousin was riding a 1000cc motorcycle and I was on a 600cc.  My next post will talk about gas consumption but right now let us just believe the bigger cc motorcycle utilizes the most amount of fuel.  We left straight for the races from Belmont in San Mateo so we were driving for a good hour and a half and didn't want to stop to refuel because the races were starting soon.  We made it to the races and left but on our way to the gas station his bike ran out of gas.  I didn't know what to do I was going to have to buy a gas tank and fill it to bring to him? How was I going to carry this gas tank once I got it?  The questions were racing through my mind when a gentleman came up behind us with a trailer full of motorcycles and a water bottle full of gasoline.  He said to us "It happens every year and I like to be able to help all you guys out."  This guy seriously just gave my cousin a dollars worth of gas but that was going to allow us to get to a station to allow us to fill up.  No AAA or any kind of service needed, just a kind heart in the right place at the right time.

Moto GP Family-

I have followed Moto Gp for about 5 years now and up until this year I never thought the riders talked much to each other.  I figured they had some kind of interaction but I had no idea how much.  By creating a Twitter account I have been able to follow all of my favorite riders in Moto Gp.  At first I was against the idea of Twitter and everything it stood for but now I can see that when you follow people of your interest it can actually be very enticing.  I would notice how each rider would comment on each other like "feeling sore" after another rider had a wicked crash, or "see if you can best my time here at Jerez- a testing location for the Moto Gp riders-"  This gave me the sense that they were their own small community with friends and foes alike.  There are different teams within Moto Gp but just like football and baseball these rider's contracts end and then just like free agents they can be picked up by any other team.  They joke with each other and this tells me that besides all the sponsorship that they're just friends that ride with million dollar motorcycles, the Elite group that travels and competes together.  This makes me extremely happy to know that these guys known for being so aggressive on the motorcycle are really just laid back people that like to joke with one another.  But when it comes time for business the guys still have to compete for their sponsorship.


I like being part of something bigger and by owning a motorcycle it's almost as if you get the right to be a part of a larger group which can be an amazing feeling.

When I first bought my motorcycle I wanted to ride it everywhere, so my cousin and I decided to run through the mountains and this is where we found "Four Corners"  along with 300 other bikers.  This was my first experience riding with others and I immediatly fell in love.  I was with 300 fellow bikers and we took up just about every lane on the freeway.

That's me the silver and black bike behind the guy spreading his legs. But anyhow if you have ever been a part of something bigger such as a race or gathering you'll know what I mean to fully enjoy being with people of the same interests.

This is my Family
Johnny 5-

1 comment:

  1. See I love this post because it helps me realize all the weird had motions my exbf was doing when we were riding! haha