We accept certain things when throwing a leg over our motorcycle. Just as we pull out on the road, we’ve signed a contract agreeing with the terms and conditions of our surroundings. We know that this sport of ours can be dangerous. Through our best efforts to enjoy the ride, there is always that chance – as slight as it may be – that something will happen. There are just too many cars, critters and construction (or lack thereof) to not have a close call or two. Or three. But we knew that before we started, didn’t we? What do you mean, you didn’t read the fine print?
Traffic varies depending on your geographical location. Let’s surmise that vehicle population is just average everywhere we go. Average would indicate a constant flow of pesky cars and trucks moving along at a steady pace, drivers checking mirrors and a lunch bag in the back seat. Hands at 10 and 2, the radio quietly playing elevator music through the speakers and cell phones left appropriately in the glove box. I think I just passed the sign that said “Welcome to Perfect World, population 0.” We bikers know that the defensive drivers course was meant for us. It states at the bottom of our Road Trip Contract to “Ride like nobody sees you. Press hard, there are 4 copies.
The weather, on the other hand, is somewhat predictable. At least from a short-range forecast we can see what’s going on in and around us. We prepare for those conditions either by taking the proper gear, or we stay home. Can you really prepare for something by not doing anything? I guess staying indoors is preparation. But the weather can change just as fast as that fast-moving Chevy cut you off, but we knew that was going to happen. It said so on page 3, paragraph 2 of the contract: “Under no certain terms will it be assumed you have the road to yourself. Furthermore, You WILL NOT have control of the weather nor the actions of those who drive vehicles with more than three wheels.”
Another obstacle we encounter are those four-legged friends that just don’t know any better. Or do they? Most are just trying to live out their lives in peace foraging among the fence-lines and babbling brooks. It’s all good until they see the greener grass on the other side of the road, then all bets are off. They will run, leap or fly across the road within inches of you, when quite frankly they’ve had all day to make their move. Why now and why me? Didn’t you see the deer crossing sign? I was prepared for you to cross there…
I know what you’re thinking; I signed up for this and that’s why I ride and I accept the risk, because the good outweighs the bad. And it does. Fortunately for us, it hasn’t come down to signing on the bottom line just to get your bike out of the garage. We already know the hazards of riding and we go about our day somehow finding the enjoyment in it despite it all. We didn’t need to read the fine print to know that.