If you’re starting to look at your two wheels of steel as something taking up needed space in the garage instead of the ticket to mental freedom it should be, then Clutch and Chrome may have the perfect answer to get you back on course and riding with the metaphorical pack.
Re-igniting a passion that once occupied your every free moments of thoughts is as easy as forcing a habit, relearning a reflex and feeling like that rebellious (but socially accepted) biker you once were.
So here is the challenge if you’re willing to accept it. There are ten things to be done in ten months, all of which are guaranteed to find that lost biker in you. They don’t have to be completed in any particular order, but should be done consecutively. While some may seem trivial at first or even something you wouldn’t normally do, we are asking for some of that biker-trust that can only come from brotherly love, or sisterly as the case may be.
1. Have a motorcycle movie night
Call us kind but we’ll start the first challenge off with a simple one that doesn’t require going any further than the DVD player. But why a motorcycle movie night?
Several reasons, most important of which is opening the clutch slowly for this race through the infectious gears as we ease down the road to becoming a full-blown biker again. Also, it gives riders the opportunity to show that special person in their life why the open road is better than anything found on the ‘honey-do’ list.
What are some good motorcycle movies to throw on the DVD? The classics are a great place to start; The Wild One, Easy Rider, Hells Angels on Wheels and Electric Glide in Blue are all great examples of movies that put motorcycles on the silver screens and let Hollywood show its take on the riding lifestyle throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Even if you’ve seen one of the movies in the past, time may have passed or may have even started riding since first seeing it.
Looking for something newer? The surprise hit from 2007, ‘Wild Hogs’ starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy should be a perfect choice. Just don’t look too closely for the riding realism.
Now that it’s wrapped up its hugely successful run, Sons of Anarchy should be on the top of any two-wheeled list of some streamed binge watching. You’ll need to cruise through seven seasons of course but the series created by Kurt Sutter about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, California is a who’s who of recognizable faces and incredible talent.
2. Subscribe to a motorcycle blog
There are hundreds of riders who have put pen to paper, or in this case the electronic word into cyberspace. Writing about everything from the latest modification to their motorcycle to a weekend ride, biker blogs can take any homebound rider out onto the open road with the click of a mouse.
It won’t be long before you find yourself ripping the cover off the motorcycle and taking in some wind.
3. Log and share your saddle time
This tip mixes old school with the new.
First, keeping a log. This activity can add more miles onto the motorcycle odometer in a few ways. Firstly, it helps remember every glorious mile put down. Second it can bring home just how few miles have been ridden over the last month.
Interestingly enough, the focus of keeping a log magically encourages any biker to make an effort to not only find time to ride, but new places to ride too. Not sure how that works, but it seems to.
Speaking of smartphones, share your motorcycle adventures. Instagram makes sharing as easy as taking a picture and pressing a few buttons. Facebook and other social media applications allow users to check in, again with a picture and an automatic, ‘I am here’ kind of service.
We guarantee when the followers of your posts start to add up and those infectious likes of the different pictures thrown up start rolling in, that joy of riding will become a familiar feeling again.
4. Join a charity
Bikers are known for their big hearts as much as they are wearing leathers. Besides, joining a charity gives any rider the perfect excuse to break out the bike and put down a few miles for a worthy cause.
And how could anyone in a rider’s life deny them the time to help someone in need?
Charity rides are so many wins in so many ways. Aside from helping a great cause, they may take riders on routes never ridden before, introduce a slew of bikers never met and allow some access to places you couldn’t normally go.
5. Find a new riding group
Maybe the reason you’re not getting out as often doesn’t have anything to do with real-life interferences but the riding buddies and their honey-do lists.
Taking a ride with a new set of riders can not only introduce new places to ride and different places to visit, but the bikers stories will sound completely fresh.
Whether an owners group based on what you ride, a locally formed group or a local chapter of a larger well motorcycle club, choose the one that will suit not only the amount of time you have to contribute, but also one that suits your wallet. Some clubs have a monthly or annual dues.
6. Take a motorcycle safety course
A motorcycle safety course is another perfect excuse to sneak in some serious saddle time. It would be difficult for that special someone to say no to the opportunity of improving riding skills, learn how to survive the deadly modern roads and save on insurance premiums.
Yes, you can use our argument and you are welcome.
Motorcycle safety courses come in many flavors with the accepted authority on the matter, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reorganizing the number and content of their recommended courses as recently as March 2010.
7. Test ride a different motorcycle
One of the main attractions to attending a major motorcycle event or rally are the number of manufacturers who bring a fairly large line-up of their latest models for riders to take for a spin.
Hopping in the saddle of not only a new motorcycle, but a different style than the one you’re used to riding can reinvigorate any rider in the deepest rut.
And the best part of the ever-popular demo ride is its absolutely free!
If you don’t have a motorcycle rally nearby, visit a showroom and be adventurous by picking a brand that is out of your comfort zone or immediate interest. If you ride a sportsibke, visit a dealership that sells cruisers and vice versa. Some manufacturers such as BMW Mottorad feature a range of motorcycle types on their showroom.
This tip isn’t to encourage riders to buy a new motorcycle, rather have the showroom feel bring back the fun memories of the ride they have at home.
8. Attend a rally
It is always surprising at how many bikers haven’t made their way to a major motorcycle event. For those wanting to push the motorcycle envelope, setting your sights on one of the major rallies that bring together the larger groups of bikers will open the eyes to a whole slither of the motorcycle world that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
The feeling of filling the local roads with your fellow riders, every corner of a town catered for bikers and of course the endless conversation about motorcycles is tough to find at any place other than a rally.
The experience starts hundreds of miles before arriving at the rally itself as the number of riders come together on the roads leading into the event. What may start off as a few strangers riding together will quickly grow to a dominating number of bikers as the road nears the event.
At the rally itself, there is so much to do away from the main event such as poker runs, charity rides and of course the organized group ride through unknown back roads.
9. Ride further
So what is your limit? Two hours? Three?
The whole point of taking on the task of ten things in ten months is to push your riding to the next level and that would include a little more consistent saddle time. Look on a map and find somewhere that requires a longer ride than is usually taken. Ask some fellow riders if they know of a hidden restaurant or bar that is worth the extra hours it takes to get there.
10. Saving the best for last, why not look up an old riding buddy.
Modern life is hectic and it’s easy to have the best of friends drift away. Maybe your riding buddy was the reason you bought a motorcycle in first place. The riding buddy may have even find himself in the same rut, wishing they could spend more time on the open road and less time doing, well, everything else.
Essentially, it’s a win-win with you and your riding buddy becoming each other’s personal cheerleaders.
We hope these help. Frankly, there is no reason to take a full ten months to make your way through the to-do list. As matter of fact the sooner the list is completed the more time left in the summer to enjoy your reborn passion!