A Tale of Two Rider Types. Spoiler Alert: These Guys Are The First Type.
It has been said that there are two types of photos that are taken at a the racetrack.
First, there are photos of motorcycles. These are the shots that show off the snarling beasts and the machines that they ride. These are the shots of close quarters passes, elbow drags, wheelies, hell, even total noobs spinning their first lap ever on track. They are tight shots, so close that the background could have Bigfoot riding the Loch Ness Monster in a pink thong in it and you wouldn't even notice.
Then there are the photos with motorcycles in them. You know the shots. The wall at Aragon, Phillip Island with the waves crashing in the background, any corner at COTA with the tower in the background, or for those in northern California, turn 10 at Thunderhill with turn 9 snaking away up the hill. You will notice that these shots are all identified by their pretty backgrounds. The backgrounds are the focus, and you might miss Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster riding two-up on a Vespa in the foreground. The first is all about the bike, all about the rider, all about the experience of riding a motorcycle. It is what motivated many of us to throw a leg over for the first time and what keeps up embedded in a sport that demands so much physically, mentally, and financially.
The second is all about what goes on around the bike. There is minimal focus on the bike, and even less on the rider. The purpose of this photo has little to do with anything motorcycle related, and while they are neat to look at, these are not really the shots that make you want to ride a motorcycle. In this vein one can also say that there are two types of motorcyclists.
Type One: The Motorcycle Rider, (see also Motorcyclist).
This person either races, does track days, commutes daily, hits the canyons up on weekends, or in many cases all of the above. This is the person that drops everything to assist literally anyone on a motorcycle that might need their help. They care about growing the sport, and while they may have strong, differing opinions about topics outside of motorcycling, they put that shit aside and ride their fucking motorcycles with their fellow Motorcycle Riders. These are the people that make others want to go ride.
The real world is chock full of these people, Europe in particular for whatever reason, more on that later. Type Two: The Person That Rides Motorcycles.
Much like a Motorcycle Rider, this person may participate in one or more disciplines of the sport, but the difference is how they treat the others within the community. They don't stop to see if a rider on the side of the road needs help, they don't offer spare parts to help another rider get back on track after a crash, they don't wave at the turn workers after a race, and they honestly don't really care if more people get into the sport to keep it alive. They care more about politics, religion, race, gender, and other petty garbage differences than they do in their fellow human, and that bleeds through into how they treat fellow riders. These people do little to make others want to go ride.
Social media is festering with these people, choosing to shit on Motorcyclists instead of riding their own fucking motorcycles.
So, what's your point, there, Max?
Thanks for asking.
The full purpose of this article is so that I may refer to it in the write up that I am doing about my trip to the Czech Republic via Germany, Austria, and a tickling of Italy, hence me calling out Europe above.
It made more sense at the time to use this piece as an aside rather than to try and explain things in the middle of the multi-part, borderline unreadable literary fiasco that I am working on, but while I have your attention... Think a little about what kind of picture you represent within the motorcycle community.
Some of you need to start becoming Motorcyclists.