Outside the straight jacket of safety fetishism

Why You Need A Motorcycle

By Andrew Court, FE Lifestyle Editor

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Go buy a motorcycle.  

While this is the correct decision, once you’ve lost your two-wheeled virginity you’ll have some explaining to do. Civilized society, particularly in the United States, hates motorcycles. 

You’re Aunt Pat will tell you that after 30 years as a nurse she’s seen too many accidents to count. That chick you met on Hinge thinks motorcycles are bad for the planet. Mom will aggressively ask if you’ve considered estate planning. The police will pull you over if you even think about lane splitting.

They’re not all together wrong. 

Motorbiking is a dangerous, slightly mad form of transportation that attracts a fair share of reprobates. To counter, however, there are two main lines of reasoning why you should become a biker. 

The first is for the haters.

Motorcycles are an efficient and cost effective way to get about town. Parking in urban centers is a breeze, shaving minutes off your commute. In the Biden economy their energy efficient motors will help the family save for Timmy’s college fund. Don’t have extra space at your condo building, no problem, a motorcycle can fit on the stoop. 

“I know Aunt Pat, they can be dangerous, but I’ll be such a responsible rider and I’ll always wear my helmet.” 

This line of reasoning works. Recently I helped my neighbor convince his pregnant wife that he needs a bike. I felt a bit like a criminal defense attorney coaching his client for the stand, counter arguments ready for firm cross examination. To my slight amazement, we won the case. Maybe Ghislaine Maxwell should have retained me as a consultant.

The second is the fun part: Why you want a motorcycle.

First, riding one is probably the single greatest thrill you can toss into your daily life. Imagine arriving at the office after a bobsled ride or a bungee jump and you start to get the idea. The growling and rasping exhaust note alone is more exciting than a Kayleigh McEnany press conference. It’s also relatively cheap; my $13K Triumph will destroy your $130K Porsche off the line.

Sorry for resorting to cliche, but there’s an incredible sense of freedom. No one yapping in your ear, no safety beeps, just the wind and the fucking open road. Go where you want, around gates, over curbs, down the highway between lanes. 

Yes it’s dangerous but that’s the point, this risk is what makes it fun. Safety has become the new religion, with disciples sacrificing almost everything on its altar. They pray to the holy trinity of Fauci, Homeland Security, and the Federal Reserve to minimize perceived danger. Motorcycling is a way of opting out, letting the world know you’re outside the straight jacket of safety fetishism. 

Male Motorcycle rider posing with a Rudge racing bike, No. 45, city street setting, ca. 1935, State Library of New South Wales, ON 388/Box 044/Item 249 https://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110620631

Once liberated you’ll make friends with fellow travelers. For a solo activity, motorcyclists are a social bunch. Your weekends will be filled with rides, bbqs, and beers. The wife’ll wish you’d taken up golf. 

I’m not a hunter, but I feel like that group gets it. Do you really spend all day in a deer stand because it’s easier and more efficient than buying hamburger patties at Publix? Nah, you do it because there’s a sense of freedom, adventure, and community. Because you enjoy a challenge other than a new  Tik Tok dance trend.

At some point in the near future the motorcycle as we know it will no longer be available. Ecco warriors will force them to be electric, tech wizards will make them uncrashable, and socialized health insurers will wag their finger at your naughty desires. Zoomers might fly in the Metaverse, but they have little passion for the open road.

Now is the moment so don’t wait too long. There’s always a reason not to ride, but once you get your bike none of that will matter any more.

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