We all know that the Mayans foreshadow our impending doom on December 21th. That is a truth we can’t escape, so buying Christmas presents is for fool and you’d be absolutely mad to even spend a moment thinking how you’d like to ring in 2013. But say for a moment they are wrong. It sounds crazy but just for a moment try to imagine waking up on December 22nd with the sense of endless possibilities and an entire world ripe for the pickin’.
If you were granted a few more decades to roam this little planet of ours, how would you spend it? Okay, those of you with a scooter or motorcycle ownership cramped somewhere in your wallet this post is not meant for you, because then obviously you get it. If you do have your ‘less than four-wheel’ license, and you aren’t a resident of a third-world country, then you understand the need to sacrifice things like traveling in comfort and increased safety just for the thrill of the open road.
So for those of you who were likely forwarded a link to this article by your friend who has a motorcycle or your daughter/son who is trying to justify getting their license this article is for, it’s for you, newb.
Now back to the Mayans and their depressing prediction of our outcome. If the world doesn’t end on December 21st, 2012 how would you want to spend the rest of your life? Would you continue getting to work or school in your lousy car, and make plans with your friends to sip overpriced coffee that will likely lead to you burning your tongue, or feelings guilty for the extra calories gained by not ordering skim milk? Nope. You’d get a motorcycle! Not a bike, a motorcycle, because pedaling is for people who compete in the Tour De France and date Sheryl Crow.
Think about it; motorcycles/scooters aren’t about fitting in or being cool, they are the opposite of everything that is wrong in this world. They are about turning conventionalism on its head by doing something that is not only better for the environment and your wallet – but is also simply more enjoyable. You burn more calories on a motorcycle, you reduce congestion on city streets, you reduce CO2 emissions and you increase the enjoyment you get out of each drop of life.
Motorcycles are fun and they make Mother Nature proud, but on top of that they are also safer today than ever before. Many have an Anti-lock Braking Systems, better lights for increased visibility, improved craftsmanship so that they won’t leave you stranded on the highway, stronger brakes to avoid collisions, better acceleration to get you out of trouble and there are also better offerings from gear manufacturers and training schools to make your time spent on your bike as safe as possible. Still not convinced? Well when cagers, that is to say; people who drive cars, are commuting in their lousy cars and meeting up with friends at expensive coffee shops we are doing the same drive but enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the world around us. And instead of social gatherings being restricted to coffee shops (well, we meet there too) we join up with fellow enthusiasts and go to bike shows and rally, or just hit the road in search of the smoothest strip of pavement.
Practicality isn’t always sexy. Take shants for example. We’ve all owned a pair. They are those pants that usually come in a muted tone like khaki, olive green or navy and zip off into short just above the knee. Two different types of bottoms for the price of one make sense, but they are ugly pants and awkward shorts. That’s the best part about motorcycles and scooters, they are both practical and they look sexy. You don’t have to buy the most expensive two-wheeler in order to get curb appeal either. For scooters you’ve got an abundance of options even when looking at entre-level 50cc mounts. Not many motorcycles in our first-world society are offered with less than 250cc mills, but even within the smallest motorcycle offerings you have a huge variety of options. You can pick between Dual Sport motorcycles, standard classic-looking motorcycles, sport bikes and more.
For $10,000 you can’t afford a new car, but you can pick between a very wide variety of scooters and motorcycles. If 10K is a little above your pay grade maybe something more like $4,000 is within reach. Surf your favorite online car classifieds and you’ll soon realize you can’t get much that doesn’t need serious work with that amount of money, but on the bike side of things you’ll be able to pick between adventure touring motorcycles, retro-racers, exotic European scooters and performance motorcycles, and so much more.
But motorcycle and scooter owners aren’t above the law; we have to go the posted limit, stop when that thing turns red, and get going again when it decides to turn green. But we have more fun doing it. We work the 9 to 5 just so that we can have 48 hours a week to ourselves just like you. But we have more fun getting us to and from our jobs. “You’ll never see a motorcycle parked outside of a psychiatrist’s office.” Was some cheesy line a college once said, but there is some truth behind that. Yes, seasons change here in Canada and in much of the United States as well. Cars can be used 365 days a year, but they are also boring for the same duration. When we can’t ride we get our fix anyway we can, until we can finally hit the open road once again.
The irony behind this is that within a month you won’t have the option to get your license and visit your local dealership for a scooter or motorcycle – because by then the Mayans will have made the decision for you. But, if the sun does happen to rise on the 22nd morning of the last month of 2012 will you ignore that gift you’ve been given, or will you dust off that childish spirit you buried years ago? You decide – newb.