Being a seasoned motorcycle rider is defintely fun. Having full command and confidently being able to control your motorcycle really elevates the level of enjoyment you get out of your motorcycle. However, being a master at the craft of motorcycling does come with its own set of challenges. For starters, given the fact that motorcycling, particularly the world of big bikes, is such a social sport, many people will look up to you as someone who can guide them in the ways of the force.
Having said that, this can defintely add up to a lot of social pressure on your end, and can sometimes give rise to some issues you may need to face. That being said, if you're a veteran rider, chances are you can relate to all the lighthearted problems listed down below. To newbie riders, do take note that these things could sometimes be going through the minds of your more experienced ates and kuyas whenever you guys go out for a ride.
To ride solo, or in a group?
Riding in a group is a lot of fun. In fact, this is the very reason why many people get into the sport of motorcycling, especially big bikes. However, experienced motorcyclists know full well that riding solo can be even more enjoyable. It's a time to reconnect with yourself, learn a thing or two without the distraction of companions, and take in the scenery, sights, and sounds in a deeper, more meaningful level. As such, it can be a rather tough decision whether to join your riding buddies for a leisurely stroll out of town on a Sunday morning, or embark on your own solo adventure, knowing full well that you're more than capable of handling it yourself.
That's why, folks, if sometimes your more experienced riding buddies don't join you on your group rides, don't give them flack for posting photos of their solo adventures on Instagram. Maybe they just needed some time to themselves to enjoy their bike, the scenery, and the freedom on their own. Riding in a group is loads of fun, especially if you surround yourself with responsible, like-minded motorcyclists. However, taking on the road on your own can be a relaxing, zen-like experience, too.
Being the sweeper
Those of you who are familiar with group riding—and the proper way of doing so—would know that there should always be a sweeper. The role of the sweeper is simple, really. He or she should sweep the group, meaning that they should take account of all the members of the group at all times. There are many ways sweepers can go about their job, however, the best way to do it is to hang around at the back of the group, and occassionaly make your way to the front, checking that all the riders are doing all right, then heading back to the tail of the pack. It helps, too, if the sweeper has communications with the group leader via an intercom system.
Understandably, being the sweeper comes with its own set of challenges, depending heavily on the company you keep. New and inexperienced riders get excited very easily, and can sometimes go out of formation, overtaking each other, or worse, the leader. When this happens, it's the duty of the sweeper to ensure that the riders stay in formation and ride in a safe and responsible manner. As such, it's understandable that the role of sweeper is often designated to a more skilled and experienced motorcyclist.
People always ask for your opinion
Now, this can be both a good and a bad thing. It really depends on your point of view and the open-mindedness of the people you're talking to. You see, motorcycling is as much a skill as it is an artform. This means that there really isn't one be-all-end-all when it comes to riding. How do you take a corner? What position do you take in a given scenario? Etc, etc, all these questions and more get thrown around left and right. The truth is, different motorcyclists ride their bikes in different ways. That doesn't make them any less of a motorcyclist—especially if they're doing so safely and responsibly.
As experienced motorcyclists, we can all too often be put in a spot wherein we have to say something, and that something we say can and will be held against us by people who will inevitably disagree. That's all fine and dandy, given the modern age we live in. That's why its best to experience things for yourself while taking advice from your more experienced buddies to heart, as well.
Perhaps one of the best skills a true veteran rider posses is the willingness to learn. You may have been riding for decades, and yet if you're stubborn and closed-minded, chances are you've been riding the wrong way for all your life. As is the case with all things in life, we never stop learning as long as we're alive. Contrary to all the negativity currently going around in the riding community, there are a lot of great and talented minds in the motorcycle industry—folks who are trying to deliver meaningful content to riders of all walks of life. At the end of the day, hopping aboard a motorcycle—no matter what bike you choose—is a decision we make every single day out of love and passion for the sport. It truly is fun, engaging, and undoubtedly good for our mental health.