I recently reported that I am not getting into 'correct' motorcycle clothing with the all-too-summer temperatures. And in the country that is complained about everywhere, but where everything is tolerated, this results in appreciation, understanding, advice, disapproval, and abuse.
There are also photos on the Internet of very summer-dressed motorcyclists with asphalt eczema. With criticism, scorn, wise words and advice. From people who ride a motorcycle themselves? No idea.
I find that strange
I know that motorcycling is not without risk. I am 64, drive (legally) motor from my 18e and I think my annual average for that time is such an 20D km. So I may have driven 1.000.000 kilometers on the bike. That is not an achievement. It's just a matter of continuing to drive. I used to drive more than now. I practically lived on the bike. In all those years I have quite a few times gone. Sometimes well packaged. Sometimes nice and summery dressed. And it is indeed surprising how much epidermis you already lose if you even fall down on a stupid trick.
But if I read or hear texts about “the freedom of motorcycling” and “being one with the environment and nature on the motorcycle?” Behind a touring cockpit? With communication through your earpiece? In a perfectly protective motorcycle outfit? I can hardly imagine that above 25 degrees. And a completely up-to-date biker on a classic or a veteran? I think that looks very strange.
Everything can go wrong in life
My mother has been in the Jappenkamp. She learned there not to be afraid of what might happen. But to watch what happens 'in the moment'. Because moments on the motorcycle go a little faster than at an apple place in a Japanese camp, I try to look for something 'for the moment'.
I look ahead, 'read' the road and adapt to the circumstances. And that has not been unkind for more than forty years, with the exception of some plate damage and a sporadic break.
But the hyper-correct thinking under what apparently even classic-loving motorcyclists rules surprises me. Did those people reason when they were young? Did they only start motorcycling when the children were out of the house and had jobs? Are they born old and wise? Do they drive themselves?
Everything used to be different
Motorcyclists with a somewhat serious motorcycle history and 'a certain age' have experienced it all: Get on the motorbike with a few sturdy pots of beer. Drive your motorcycle structurally at top speed. Fluttering hairs from underneath a helmet that nowadays would not be allowed to do odd jobs as a mayonnaise bucket. Campfires at campsites. Four-cylinder rides in no-load in the middle of the night so fast that the valves started to float and the exhausts stuttered as an anti-aircraft gun with a morning mood? And the dikes? Those were perfect circuits. But with barbed wire fences instead of straw bales. At a Utrecht motorcycle club whose members were all out of a lack of money in Harley, it was a sport to get off the unrolling motorcycle and then have your first lager before the engine stopped. That sport did not make it at the Olympic Games.
I still know that kind of people / survivors
We are all still driving. We have since become a bit calmer. Sometimes recall mild memories. "Do you remember then ..." That is pleasantly nostalgic. In the meantime it has become slightly cooler. Wearing motorcycle clothing now seems less a punishment. And that coolness comes nicely on time.
My friend Geert is 83 and has put away his BMW six-cylinder engine. So while riding a motorcycle you can get quite old. He thought driving his fat BMW became too dangerous. But he has kept his R50 / 5. Now he is stumbling with some bruises and fractures in and around the house. He fell from a kitchen step. They should make protective clothing in the household mandatory!
And what if we take the two-wheeler? Preferably a bicycle, but with a helmet and kevlar gloves. But in the meantime, let's not be mad at each other. Life is too short for that.