Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why are motorcyclists treated like second class citizens

Motorcyclist scum
Temporary Australian
Biker scum

Yep I've pretty much heard them all from members of the public. So why are we generally treated with loathing and disdain from the general community?

The biking community has partly brought this upon ourselves where I have seen bike riders smash mirrors off cars, hurl abuse and generally ride like they are a law unto themselves. Then there are the 1%ers. It only takes a shoot out or two for the media to portray all bikers are bad just by association and its pretty easy for anyone that knows nothing about bikes or riders to put two and two together.

Despite all of these things there are many good riders within our community that are helpful and courteous.  There are charity rides right around the country from the Christmas toy runs, Black Dog Ride(mental health), pink ribbon ride(breast cancer), The Snowy ride(Children's cancer) and many more.

Instead or being harassed and treated like second class citizens we really should have the community backing bike riders and even giving bike riders preferential treatment and actually cater to us. Why?

Picture this; a family pack their car for a day out, mum/dad and the 2 kids and the family dog pile into the car. They drive a couple of hours along the scenic back route and come to a beautiful lake with mountains flanking the other side. They unload their picnic rug and basket and proceed to have a picnic lunch by the lake at a table with the best view of the lake, taking everything they require out of the boot of their car. Finished up for the day they deposit their rubbish and then pack up and head for home.

So what is wrong with this picture you might ask? Well everything I say. This family has basically taken over the best possible spot in this beautiful lake side park whilst 4 people spent absolutely nothing before leaving and going home.

Now picture four motorcyclists turning up on their bikes, with virtually no room to carry anything a group of bikers will stop at a local cafe/pub to purchase food and drink and fuel they require whilst having their picnic lunch by the lake.

The above example happens far to often, I know I have witnessed it many times and also been part of it on both sides, a few times with my wife's family where they did exactly what I described above. They do it all the time.

I know when I'm out on the bike and with friends we buy everything everywhere we go, fuel, food, drinks, accommodation, beer, steaks. How would small deserted country pubs around Australia stay open it it wasn't for us motorcyclists.

Maybe it's time the general community took a good look at themselves and catered to bikers and not treat us as second class citizens, we love to ride and we spend money. Come on guys it's not hard. Look after us and we will return, word of mouth spreads both good and bad.


  1. Well said. I don't think some folks realize that to ride a motorcycle you need a certain amount of disposable income and we are, just as you said, ready and willing to fork it over in small business as we tootle around.

    We also cause less damage to road surfaces than heavier vehicles and take up less parking.

  2. Hi Steve,
    If you get that all the while in Aussie, I feel really bad for you. Whilst we occasionally get the odd anti-biker piece in the media, the public in NZ seem pretty well-disposed to riders. It normally doesn't take long when I'm parked up for members of the public to stop for a chat. I'm sure you experienced that on the occasions you've been in NZ. Maybe it's because I'm an old fart that the public feel safe with me ;-) . Seriously, I don't feel particularly disadvantaged as a rider in NZ apart from the odd road safety official wishing we were gone. There may also be an advantage in that a lot of the country's movers and shakers also ride!

    1. HI Geoff
      It's not all the time, more occasionally than anything else. The media here love to flog the dead horse biker image.
      I just wish there was more services dedicated to bike riders. There's a severe lack of anything for bike riders in this country.

  3. I think Geoff's pretty right about most kiwi's and their attitude to riders. But we definitely have our 1 percenter riders here who do us no good at all - more than happy for them to be removed from our ranks...

    About 100 or so of us swamped Turangi last weekend. Pretty sure the pub, cafe and accommodation suppliers noticed us. The Turangi servo was a checkpoint 3 times so they might have sold some fuel too...

    BTW: the cops are wanting to lower our speed limits after an appalling weekend of accidents (cars)...

  4. Hi Steve, I guess times have changed a bit. Yes, the media still likes the "bad biker" but in general you'll find "Bikers welcome" signs everywhere (exactly for the reason you mention: a paying customer!), here in the Black Forest we even have special motorcycle accommodation often with a bike shelter and a repair shop, where guided tours or special biker menus are offered. In fact I just returned from Austria and was surprised that it was pretty much the same. So it's not all bad, eh. Alas, there are the occasional loud pipes or the idiot knee dragger riding 100 kph in a 30 zone. With their action the few are able to destroy the good reputation of the many.

    1. Europe is so far ahead of Australia in everyway. We persecute people for doing 3kmh over the speed limit for god sakes, thats how backward our country actually is.

  5. Australia is anti motorcycle. Politicians have stated they should be taxed off the roads. Police openly target motorcyclists and treat riders as criminals. The public have been brain washed and Australian is a land of political apathy where we say she'll be right and watch the footy rather than march in the streets and burn cars like the French do any time their privacy or freedom are threatened.

    Some other countries have it worse. South Korea bans bikes from highways. China is worse, banned from all highways and banned from gas stations - by law bikers have to park out on road and ferry fuel from bowser to tank by jerry cans as bikers cannot enter the gas stations. Yet this country has worst traffic congestion on earth from cars and cannot figure what to do about it.

    I have a theory that some of this comes from jealousy. People see riders as being rebels with freedom and these are things other individuals wish they had but lack the strength of mind to pursue. Some of these people then work in government and have miserable lives and legislate purely out of spite against freedoms people have.

    On a positive note there are still places where this is not the case and I would encourage any person, particularly in Australia, to explore other parts of the world, the feeling of liberation in these countries is intoxicating.