Do You Have a Good Motorcycle Attitude?
There are many stigmas associated with motorcycles, many of which are untrue but most of which have a truthful origin. That is why you don’t regularly see motorcycle accidents. People are generally riding for fun or commute and trying to avoid danger. Still, a proper attitude is essential for safe riding that lessens the risk to the rider and others on the road. Do you have a good motorcycle attitude? Let’s find out.
Definition of Attitude
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines attitude as a mental position with regard to a fact or state. This is a great definition because it places the responsibility on the person. It is a position taken, which means it is adjustable or changeable. If you have an attitude that is producing poor results, you can engage in an attitude adjustment.
As far as a motorcycle attitude goes, poor results can be dangerous or deadly. That is why it is important to adjust your attitude before you go on a ride.
What is a Bad Motorcycle Attitude?
It isn’t difficult to define a bad motorcycle attitude, but it is easy to accidentally develop one. The first part of a bad motorcycle attitude is believing that you own the road. It is easy to enjoy the open road and hit the curves of a rural highway feeling the freedom motorcycles provide. However, you aren’t the only one on the road, and others have the right to be there too. Sharing the road means driving in a manner that increases your safety but also the safety of others. This attitude should include no malice toward other drivers even when it hinders the freedom of the ride.
Another bad motorcycle attitude is assuming that others don’t like to share the road. A driver who turns left and almost hits a motorcyclist is likely similarly terrified of the outcome. A motorcyclist with a bad attitude may suffer road rage and confront the driver. This only makes the situation worse, as both parties should simply be happy there wasn’t an accident and exercise increased caution.
Not all bad motorcycle attitudes are overwhelmingly negative. They may be apathetic or risky. These include attitudes that result in high-speed rides or tricky and unnecessary maneuvering. Motorcyclists with these bad attitudes are simply trying to have fun, but they put everybody at risk.
What is a Good Motorcycle Attitude?
A good motorcycle attitude starts well before a person gets on their motorcycle. It starts with picking out proper safety gear and riding a bike that fits your ability. Many people think riding motorcycles is a thrill, but that thrill-seeking should be kept to race tracks or other appropriate venues, not the public roadways. Motorcyclists with good attitudes respect the responsibility of riding. They know that if they mitigate risks, the chance of getting hurt while riding is greatly reduced. Motorcycles are not overtly dangerous. However, it is a fact that if the motorcycle goes down, the rider is going to have contact with the pavement.
Once a person gets on the motorcycle, attitude remains important. The motorcycle is not a toy. It is not to be approached with unhindered glee and excitement. Instead, those positive emotions (which are great to have) should be met with the seriousness of the task at hand.
While riding, a good attitude means paying attention and remaining calm. A rider should always be scanning for potential hazards, abiding traffic laws, and riding in a manner that maintains the safety of others. If things go wrong, a good attitude ensures that no altercation occurs, and bad situations do not get worse.
The Erosion of a Good Attitude
Unfortunately, good intentions often fall short of what is necessary, and a good attitude can sour when riding a bike. This may happen because of traffic or other annoying realities, but it can also happen because of pressure from other riders.
If stuck in rush hour traffic, you may want to ride between lanes of traffic or travel on the shoulder. Florida law does not allow this. It is doable because of the smaller size of the motorcycle, which is why many riders are tempted, but it is illegal and dangerous.
Additionally, riding with others puts pressure on a motorcyclist to ride like they do. This means if one rider chooses a speed of 110 mph, there is pressure for the other rider to do the same. It is almost a matter of pride, but that the rider misplaces that pride. If other riders are engaging in dangerous behavior, a motorcyclist with a good attitude will not do the same and will discourage the other riders from continuing. It may be that the rider with a good attitude chooses not to ride with those who don’t share that attitude.
Maintaining a Good Motorcycle Attitude
Motorcyclists are only human no matter how amazing their bike or their skills are, which is why they must consciously focus on maintaining a good attitude when riding. It isn’t something that happens by accident. Maintaining a good motorcycle attitude requires focus and commitment.
Traffic, other riders, and a desire for thrill are normal occurrences, but they must be handled responsibly. Maintain your composure when traffic problems occur, and you’ll be clear headed and able to manage the situations safely. Don’t engage in unsafe riding just because others around you have made poor decisions. Also, don’t ride beyond your skill level, and keep the thrills to the thrill of the open ride rather than high speeds or sharp corners.
Once you develop a good motorcycle attitude, it becomes easier to maintain over time. You get used to being a responsible rider, and it becomes second nature. A motorcyclist with a good attitude will find others with whom to ride who also have good attitudes, and rides will almost always be successful.
The Cost of a Bad Attitude
The obvious cost of a bad attitude is riding in an unsafe manner, and it can be deadly. However, there are many other costs that riders may not think of but can be motivating. If a poor motorcycle attitude is the cause of an accident, it can be monetarily costly.
Personal injury lawsuits are common after an automobile accident, as the injured party wants compensation for losses that were not his or her fault. If your attitude as a motorcyclist resulted in the cause of the accident, you’ll be responsible for the compensation of their damages while not receiving any compensation for yours. Aside from injuries, which make a poor attitude definitely not worth it, people who drive in a manner that puts others at risk can end up paying a price physically and monetarily.
A Good Motorcycle Attitude is a Fun Ride
A good motorcycle attitude sounds about as dull a trip on a school bus. In actuality, it results in a fun ride. You don’t want to be angry when riding or feel tense due to increased danger. Instead, a good attitude allows you to relax and enjoy the ride knowing that you’re going to make it home in one piece. It’s a simple proposition, but it takes effort to create the right attitude.