Thursday, September 17, 2009

If You Don't Like Talking To People, Don't Ride.

This morning as I stomped my way from the parking garage to my office, some dude riding his bicycle said "Man, you look like the Terminator in all that gear!" as he went past.

So, I replied like anyone would, "Fock yo, ahsshole."

No, not really. Here in real life I just smiled and kept walking. Now, don't tell anyone or I'll lose all my righteous biker cred, but I kind of like talking to strangers. At least, until they prove annoying. Sometimes they'll tell me a good story, other times, I get a good story out of having talked to them. Like the time a very drunk guy staggered diagonally towards me as I was putting my gloves on and talked about his old Suzuki Ninja and how he remembered the turn signals.

I like getting dumb questions from people I work with. Yes, I get hot in the summer. Yes, I get wet in the rain. Yes, some people drive like idiots. That's too bad about your uncle that rode straight into a tree, I guess he'll know not to do that again, eh?

I like talking to other bikers at stoplights and at gas stations. I'm always mildly surprised when another biker doesn't want to talk. I mean, dude, the day can't be THAT bad, you're on a motorcycle!

Now, I have heard some cynical biker-types complaining about waving and saying "hi" at stoplights as ridiculous attention getting: "Hi, hey, hey, we're both on motorcycles, isn't that great? Hey. Hey!"

I say, yeah, it's pretty great. Why aren't YOU more excited about it?

I don't mean to say that everyone needs to be outgoing and friendly. Believe it or not, I'm pretty reserved (except when it comes to motorcycles. You just try and shut me up about motorcycles...). I don't think you have to be nice to annoying or rude people, though I personally try to be cordial and polite until it's no longer possible.

But on a motorcycle, a person kind of stands out. Other people are going to notice you. Other people are going to attempt communication. People will yell from the sidewalks. People will roll down their windows to chat about gas mileage and top speed. People are going to tell you about friends of friends who've been mangled. Other bikers are going to ask where you've been today and where you're headed and what you think about this crazy weather.

So if that bugs you, you might want to reconsider your transportation choice.