With the first year of the revitalised Motorcycle Minds over, we decided to have a look back though quotes from our past to celebrate that and whatever it is that 2017 might bring.
Whether our articles and subsequent quotes matter or are even relevant, doesn’t matter, what matters is that we would like to think that in our own small way, we make a difference.
With over nearly a decade on issues, starting from our incarnation as a regional set up called Right To Ride in Northern Ireland, to the European “mainland” as Motorcycle Minds, we have a shedload of comments and quotes that we think are relevant.
Our quotes are sporadic and (we’d like to think) pertinent and range from the Three Wise Monkeys, to patting our heads and rubbing our stomachs, to square pegs and round holes to a reference to King Canute.
We look forward to 2017 and whatever this year may bring.
Motorcycle Matters At Motorcycle Minds
Perhaps as motorcyclists we are used to knowing things about motorcycles without being told, so it was a bit of “mechanical” common sense. Maybe today’s motorcyclist for whatever reason has lost this sense.
The sixth sense of motorcycling!
Formulated when watching and learning how to remove bicycle tyres with two spoons……do we do enough watching and learning today?
In other words the promotion and protection of that collective lump of metal, rubber and plastic that we could not live without – the motorcycle – in all its formats and derivatives and all that it means as part of our way of life.
Furthermore, the inclusion of “filtering” as deviant behaviour is NOT an abnormal or illegal activity. It is included in the Highway Code guidelines in the UK. Recently in countries such as Australia this so-called “deviant behaviour” has now been recognised in some states as a useful and safe means of progressing through traffic.
They all appear to be an exercise in cerebral masturbation.
We raised concerns that ETSC used Ebola as a means to promote their safety stance (in bad taste).
Of course the true nature of this “reporting” by the motorcycling press and those masquerading as such, as always are semi factual and a bit sensational seeking.
Sometimes at Right To Ride we shudder at what the future holds for motorcycling.
In our opinion, if technology is trying to mimic, replace or improve human awareness and our own senses for warning of danger – it must work all the time and not just some of the time.
Then again if we humans can be taught to read and write and expand our knowledge while we can hop on one leg – while sober – whilst patting our head and rubbing our stomachs, then we need to ask the question – is there really a need for all this technology?
As humans we lifted ourselves out of the swamp and from using flints and learning to use fire towards the ability to develop machinery to assist us and technology such as that mentioned above.
Perhaps we just need to be aware that these technological crutches do not end up taking over and swamping us.
Maybe it is time to gird our loins in preparation of what is to come for motorcycling and not leave it a minute too late!
However with over 27 million PTWs (motorcycles –scooters – mopeds) in use in Europe and their riders – the average rider – the majority of riders, want the freedom of choice to have these systems on their bikes and do not care that there is no alternative.
For these riders there appears to be no concern of these systems being fitted or the inconvenience or cost if there are electronic failures, these riders do not care, it is a part of modern acceptability and they want their bikes to have the latest technology fitted.
Meanwhile here is a picture of an Italian rider wearing no socks with his “safety” motorcycle shoes or is this simply a fashion statement?
While in Northern Ireland we seem to be at the start of our active journey against wire rope systems, individual riders are more terse and of the opinion that what will it take a rider to die before anything is done!
Perhaps it is now the time for riders to make a stand to ensure that our voice is heard in these important discussions.
In other words will this leave present day motorcycle enthusiasts behind as “yesterday’s rider”?
However in circumstances when riders have faith in their own destiny, then no matter how or why legislators and safety organisations present any proposed changes, this will lead to a clash between that “safety” group and riders mainly because of a lack of dialogue and respect of opinion, but as we have witnessed over the years, because of ignorance about what actually works and what does not.
They have all forgotten about one mode of transport and that is the motorcycle – the scooter and their riders and the ultimate responsibility lies with these people.
Riders may be sitting on a beach on a throne watching the waves from the incoming tide lap around their knees.
With the support of a government that hasn’t got a clue and effectively supports this oligopoly, drivers and riders are taken to the cleaners.
We wait in anticipation of the next faux pax to follow.
We do not need safety campaigns that try to fit a square peg into a round hole, in an attempt to placate and appeal to the unwashed masses of television viewers and social media users.
There you have it, probably confusing, possibly as dull as dish water and maybe of little interest to the majority of people.
We do not say this often, but those who are in charge of legislating, seem to be doing a good job without the added distraction of well-meaning interfering ‘Do-gooders’.
Our mantra is “it’s not what you wear, but what you know”!
We wouldn’t mind some cash from wherever in the European Union, but we would much prefer to use it to implement initiatives and good ideas that are intelligent – instructive and inclusive (and work!)
It was worse than going to the dentist!
As we have said all along our view is simply that, different countries with different situations require a different solution and that this must always be a national decision based on the needs and requirements of each country and their citizens.
There is a borderline between sanity and rational discourse and rhetorical diatribe.
Decisions will be made and riders could end up with a strong pasting of egg on their face especially from those we are trying to persuade to support us.
Of course you could rant and rave, but with the passion that is involved in motorcycling we are sure you can think up a question that could be creative funny or out of the box.
The time for hype and emotional pandering, which does not cut the mustard when the case is put to the politicians and the Commission, is past.
We as riders need to remain engaged, after all it is our life style that we are talking about and it is better to be involved with Ministers and the civil servants.
At Motorcycle Minds we like a bit of vision and future scenarios – that “catapults” us “into the 40s of the 21st century.”
The three wise monkeys of motorcycle safety, political will, research and an expert were certainly on a roll, picking up speed to have these mandatory fitted to motorcycles.
Somewhere, we found this definition of a road, “a route which all persons, rich or poor, can use to pass and re-pass as often and wherever they wish without let, hindrance or charge” I think we have now moved beyond that definition.
In other words if we claim that motorcycles are more emission friendly then the proof must be there to make the claims and this proof requires legislation
It’s about Freedom and that spirit that makes motorcycling matter!
Fantastic to run into a pile of folk and chat and catch up with what is going on, some folk that we haven’t bumped into in over ten years.
We wish our fellow riders good health and a long life.
As they say here in France – Bonne année.