As a motorcycle enthusiast, you know the joys of the ride. You might be excited to attend your first rally, wondering what to expect. If you’re attending an event like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or any other major get together, the experience will be unforgettable. Concerts, races, road trips and more await. But so do certain dangers, so be prepared.
Unbridled Enthusiasm vs. Undue Caution:
First, be aware that not everyone shares your enthusiasm. Undoubtedly you’ll be meeting up with people, maybe who you know, maybe who you don’t. There’s a tendency for non-bikers to see groups of riders as “gangs” whether or not you’re in one. And many people who aren’t familiar with motorcycle culture will make assumptions. Be careful (and sensitive) to their apprehensions, especially in this day-and-age, to avoid what they might perceive as “confrontation” in which they inexplicably feel the need to “defend themselves” via the 2nd Amendment.
Consider the Culture:
That may sound overly dramatic. But think about it. You probably won’t run into such a mindset at the event, itself. After all, everyone expects bikes to be everywhere. If you’re in Sturgis (or any of the nearby towns like Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Rapid City, etc., the natives expect the motorcycle traffic. But en route to your destination, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, you might be accompanied by dozens of other bikers coming from all paths leading to the motorcycle rally. Three-hundred miles away, people shopping in stores or dining in restaurants may not be in tune with the event.
So if you arrive at a diner along with 20 other bikers… well, the uninitiated mini-van driver’s first thought could be “Biker gang! Gotta protect the kids!” If all they hear is the intimidating sound of rolling thunder and all they see is a tough-looking bunch with leather jackets, tattoos, piercings, mirrored sunglasses and bandanas, your misunderstood passion for riding may seem like quite a threat to them.
(Yeah, we know that everyone has their own style, but work with me here. Let’s face it… Too often, motorcyclists unfairly get a bad rap, so I’m addressing the stereotype.)
Here’s where a smile and a nod can go a long way. You can defuse a potentially tense situation before it happens by simply being openly friendly. Say “hi”.
You shouldn’t have to worry about what others are thinking or if they’re making ignorant assumptions. But you do need to take precautions to ensure your own safety in a world where people “shoot first and ask questions later”, to quote the cliché.
AtLifeTimeOilwe want to help your motorcycle rally experience be the best it can be. Arrive safely, and have fun! For keeping your motorcycle’s engine at tip-top performance, give us a call at (612) 819-8835 or browse AMSOIL’sonline storefor an order on the top-performing synthetic oil in Sturgis, South Dakota.