Is Motorcycling Dying?

Wow that’s a dramatic head-line isn’t it, but it is something  to  consider in light of a few bits and pieces of information.

New blood- It’s been reported that the number of new bikers, those that have taken the new euro test, in the last 8 months of 2009, has fallen 62% on the same time the year before.  A staggering drop of 50,000 new bikers who just aren’t there, put off by either the test itself, or the fact that due to the closure of so many UK test centres, the journey sometimes of 100+ miles to a new centre is impractical/impossible.  Further bad news comes from the numbers of those who did the test and passed, which dropped 58%.  Without new riders moving beyond 125cc there is obviously a knock on effect on bike sales and therefore servicing and parts etc.  The bike industry has been hit badly by the recession and the focus on saving/supporting the car industry through the scrappage scheme etc has been unfair and short-sighted.

So the first hit the future of biking takes is a lack of people on a bike and a huge downturn in the number of bikes bought and on the road…

New Legislation – There have been many many ludicrous ideas on biking coming out of the euro-zone bureaucrats for years now, but slowly and surely they are settling into a staunch anti-bike lobby that is gaining strength.  Our partners over at Write to Ride have been fighting and highlighting theses issues alongside other riders organisations for longer than RTWW has been around.  But the constant PR from Europe that biking is ‘a dangerous hobby’ rather than a legitimate form of transport, and something to be taken off the road and confined to a sports track, is wrong on so many levels.  The statistics euro-crats base their anti-bike bias on are deeply flawed and pander to the ever growing government interference in people’s lives under the cloak of ‘health and safety’ etc.

As the UK gives up ever more of its freedoms to Europe will biking find itself outlawed in the not too distant future as we can’t be trusted to look after ourselves?  Yet some over paid dullard sitting in a plush office, buying his fancy clothes, dinners, and porn films out of your taxes, will be telling you your ‘dangerous hobby’ is no more.  You can still kill yourself with fags and beer but there will be no more two-wheeled adventures allowed.

I’ve never understood the flack that motorcycling takes.  Yes there are accidents, but cars and pedestrians are also guilty of this, and yes there is the odd fool who gives us a bad name by doing something stupid, but how many stupid car drivers on mobile phones, applying make-up, or asleep, do you pass or desperately try to avoid everyday?

Motorcycling and its community spirit should be applauded in todays selfish society.  That simple nod from other bikers as they pass still, after two years of riding, brings a smile to my face.  The instant rapport with bikers the world over when bikes park up together at a meet or preparing for a ride out is a joy.  These aren’t the road hooligans as portrayed by Europe’s Health and Safety tsars.

These are worrying times for motorcycling, as much as it is great times in terms of the technology and range of bikes now available and the huge innovations that can give biking a vibrant future if we as a community, and a group of legitimate road users, aren’t legislated out of existence.

There is no better time than now to raise the profile of biking and make it as inclusive as possible.  Get your club known in your local community, show the real face of biking, and give your support to the riders rights organisations to empower them to fight for the future.

———————————————

(Woah that was heavy but I wanted to get it off my chest, I’ll post something fun from YouTube later to make up for it, sorry Nick : )

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s