It’s that time of year. As the temperature finally cools my thoughts turn to two things: thinking about painting around the house, and motorcycle trips.
I like motorcycles, most men do. Why? I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it. The other night on tele there was a feature about a group of women riders who meet regularly on the Sunshine Coast, where they sit through some lessons on how to be a better rider, do each other’s hair, compare make up bags on their carry racks, then go for a ride together. Good on them. If there’s one thing the world needs it’s more women riders.
The secret is obviously out.
Motorcycles offer freedom. Freedom from worries, work, nagging problems, nagging in general 🙂 and anything else you need to escape from.
You reckon the bike makers know it? Check out any bike mag and you will see full page ads showing either one of four things,
1. A bike being ridden hard, leaning at full tilt into a corner, the rider hanging on for grim death, but smiling from ear to ear, which appeals to the more testosterone driven male;
2. A bike standing alone on a lonely street or highway, appealing to the Lone Wolf types;
3. A bike with a near naked lady, of negotiable affections, draped seductively over the seat, the tank, or the handle bars. Buy this bike, the ad seems to say, and you will pull great looking girls like this, even if you have a huge pot gut, beer breath, and lots of missing teeth. This bike is a ‘chick magnet’. It’s amazing how effective those ads are for a certain type of person…
4. A panoramic shot of a bike, or two bikes, cruising a winding stretch of scenic road. Freedom and Adventure are a bank loan away… just sign here, here, there and here. These are the ads that appeal to me, the type of ads that encourage you to just check out the scenery around the next bend… and beyond.
What you don’t see much of in these mags is women who are actually ‘riding’ bikes… Why? Well, I suppose the reason is, that the majority of women don’t like motorcycles, and this really is a shame.
On a yearly basis, I attend a bike rally at Imbil in the back hills of the Sunshine Coast. The Mighty Imbil Rally is a well run affair, where people who are passionate about bikes and riding, gather en masse to talk bikes, get drunk, talk about great rides, and roads, compare injuries, as well as belittle Harley and BMW riders 🙂 All good fun, and I know many people live for these types of weekends away. At the Imbil Rally, there are a lot of couples, and the odd female rider, but the overwhelming majority of participants are men.
So today, while I was tinkering around in the shed, I gave the issue some thought, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1. They’re dangerous. It’s a fact. You ride a bike, sooner or later, you will fall off it. It will hurt. Women aren’t big on pain. Men, though, believe that while everyone else is going to have an accident, it won’t actually happen to them. It usually comes as a genuine surprise to the unlucky male rider who has a spill. In fact, even as he is being loaded into the back of an ambulance, you can hear him saying in exasperation, “I don’t believe it?!” It’s a testosterone thing.
2. Women don’t like helmet hair. Fair enough. If I’d paid a fortune for a style cut and spent ages every morning shaping my hair with a variety of sprays, lotions, pastes, and straighteners, then I’d probably be reluctant to slip a bucket over my head too.
3. While men don’t mind cocking a leg over their seat, women are a tad reluctant to do this. Particularly when there always seems to be a tribe of drooling bikies standing nearby watching your every move.
4. Bugs, dirt and flying rocks are an integral part of motorcycling. Again, the women I’ve spoken too aren’t all that keen on having stones hit them in the face. And speaking from experience, I didn’t look too pretty after a grasshopper once hit me between the eyes at 100 kph. I had a pair of black eyes for a week, and a rather large lump on my forehead, which made me look like a Klingon in a rather bad mood.
5. Women prefer horses. With a horse there is a bond, a trust, and a feeling of satisfaction that comes from controlling a rather large beast (other than your husband), who can’t talk back (like your husband), and generally does what you want it to do (yeah, yeah, yeah…).
Men tend to bond better with mechanical items, this applies not only to bikes, but to boats, cars, and planes. Hell, I’ve known blokes who actually have names for some of their workshop tools… don’t ask. And the best part about riding a motorcycle is that no-one is going to arrest you for kicking the daylights out of a stalled bike. And, unlike a horse, you can leave it unattended for weeks at a time in your shed and it won’t die. And, as an added bonus, they don’t smell… much.
These are just some of the things I managed to come up with in my musings this morning as I fiddled around with my bike, greasing the chain, checking the oils and topping up the brake fluid on the old girl. She likes it when I pay her some attention. When I ignore her, doesn’t she give me some grief! 🙂
Geez, I love bikes!