LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along
Recently I read a magazine article that raised the question of whether cyclists and bikers should “join forces” against automobile drivers.
Seeing all the Harleys rumbling around town over the weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder the same thing.
The gist of the article was this: Everyone who rides a two-wheeled vehicle is threatened by four-wheelers. Rather than bicker among ourselves, we should band together to combat the auto menace.
That’s the theory of the article, anyway.
I’m not so sure, for a couple of reasons.
First: What, exactly, are we banding together to combat? In some sort of Mad Max apocalyptic future world, biker and cyclist might need to join forces to combat the rust buckets driven by the wild-haired masses. But I have to say, in that future I’m probably going to be behind the wheel of the biggest rust bucket I can find. Four wheels trump two in motorized jousting any day.
Second: Do we really have that much in common just because we get around on half as many wheels as automobile drivers? Sure, I get the secret motorcyclist wave every now and then when I’m on my bike, but I don’t feel any special kinship with a guy on a Harley or a bullet bike or even a moped, for that matter. Bikes are self-propelled. Motor bikes aren’t. But I don’t feel especially close to unicyclists, either. They’re all clowns anyway.
Third: There’s plenty of division among the ranks of cyclists. If “we” can’t all come together, how can we expect to link up with a whole other phylum, with its own divisive subsets. In the bike world, roadies look down on the stoner mountain bikers; mountain bikers make fun of the uptight roadies; everybody looks down on the lowly commuters, even though many of them also ride recreationally on the road and/or trail.
I have to admit, there are some similarities between cyclists and bikers, though I wouldn’t go around calling a Hog lover a cyclist or a pedal-pusher a biker.
A lot of motorcycle manufacturers also made bikes. (Did you know Harley Davidson once made a bicycle? Though it was said to be especially well made, it wasn’t a big seller).
There are raging debates in both communities about mandatory helmet laws.
Bikers and cyclists have their own fetish clothing: Lycra or leather. (However, we tend to frequent drastically different bars).
And we’re harder to spot than a four-wheeled cage.
But “join forces?” That’s a bit of a stretch. I never knew we were at war.