If motorcyclists want to advance their cause – politically and socially – they should be encouraging kids to take up cycling.
I’m all for getting young kids hooked on bicycles. It leads to more exciting drugs like motorcycles!
And the more young people who take up motorcycling, the bigger will be our influence.
I remember riding along and making motorcycles noises as I pedalled … didn’t you? Or did you stick a playing card in the spokes?
I had a Dragster bicycle with a three-speed T-bar shifter on the frame between my legs. I used to dream I was Captain America from Easy Rider or practise my wheelies just like the kids at the start of On Any Sunday.
And as soon as I was old enough, I started riding bikes with motors in them and haven’t stopped since.
In my day, the majority of children rode bicycles to school where the bike racks were packed with hundreds of sparkling chrome and painted machines?
Now have a look at the streets around schools and try to find one bicycle. Some schools don’t even have bike racks anymore!
Parents now drive their kids to school, creating massive traffic jams in school peak hours.
If more children rode to school, just think how much better commuting would be, especially the morning commute which clashes with school times.
Consider how much easier traffic flows during school holidays.
Cycling today is largely a leisure pursuit performed by mature-aged-men-in-lycra or MAMIL.
They are an easy target for mirth in that garb, but that would be underestimating their power. They are highly organised, cashed-up and well represented by professional state and national lobby groups.
Politicians respect, fear and use them. Most pollies think cyclists appeal to some sort of “green“ vote even though, in my experience, a good proportion of cyclists don’t ride to work but drive in their oil-burning diesel SUVs and only use the road as their own personal velodrome.
Still, they are a political force to be reckoned with. Just look at how they have quashed the hopes of Victorian motorcycle and scooter groups to access bike lanes when they introduced lane filtering laws!
So, instead of being cranky with cyclists or laughing at them, we should share the road with them, respect them and learn from them.
Meanwhile, we should all do our best to encourage our kids to ride bikes to school.
We need to stop being Super Nannies with our kids.