The old-fashioned motorbike feeling? That still prevails among flat track racers, classic drivers and sidecar captains. Outside those groups, it is often a matter of 'lifestyle only' and fierce competition. Add to that the technical ignorance and complicated engineering of some modern motorcyclists and their motorcycles that are sold today as 'the ideal platform for your smartphone'. So be it.
Sidecar driving with restrictions
In that trio of old-school motorcycle enthusiasts, the sidecar drivers are by far the most social figures. Because many of the already considerable kilometers they make, they drive on all kinds of rides for a range of, well: call it good causes. With that we want to say that a lot of rides are organized 'in the season' where a fairly large group of sidecar enthusiasts sometimes spend a day or part of the day with someone with a 'disability' on board. Now of course we all have our limitations, for example I can't whistle on my fingers. Yet.
However, for sidecar passengers it does not matter whether they are blind, visually impaired, deaf, physically or mentally handicapped. They all enjoy their cup of coffee equally and everyone enjoys such a ride in his or her own way. But many sidecar drivers over the years have become almost half-nurses or escorts for their passengers who can vary in all ages, genders and disabilities.
A kind of brotherhood
The solidarity within the group of sidecar drivers who have often covered such a large part of their annual mileage for years is also because there are many who have known each other for years and years about these kinds of phenomena. The bond with their passengers can also be long-lasting. At one such meeting I was talking to an endearing toddler of about thirty. In the middle of a sentence, she ran and came back, pulling like a brave tugboat on the arm of a rugged bearded man in an old leather biker jacket full of pins and things. She beamed it towards me with the happy announcement: “Look, this one is mine!”.
Fear as a guide is limiting
Also funny: apparently primary schools are also making wishes. For example, a skinny - nowadays 'skinny' - about ten-year-old ended up in my tank who had won his ride with an essay or something. In handing in the young, his mother radiated the agony that parents today seem to have for just about anything that could happen to their child. She grabbed my sleeve with great fear. "I'd rather not have him ride with you, I think motorcycling is too dangerous!" I looked at my cup of coffee and said, “You're too late for that. He's already sitting. And I wasn't planning to die today anyway ”. After the ride, the mother clutched her son to the chest as if he had escaped the cannibals. The little boy shouted over his shoulder: "When will you come and pick me up again ?!"
Where are the Turkish motorcyclists?
After that, the combination in the schoolyard soon became a kind of climbing object for enterprising boys. It struck me that the kids of Turkish descent were much more enterprising and interested than their typical Dutch classmates who remained somewhat timid at the rear.
But maybe those kids had those overprotective mothers too. I suddenly think about that: I know quite a few Turkish fellow countrymen. All small entrepreneurs. I don't think any of them drive a motorcycle. Don't eat pork, I get that. But why don't they ride a motorcycle? That requires research. Maybe they just don't have time.
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