Five ways to really annoy a biker

Image of a disgruntled biker
Positively fuming
"Well get this mr stringback gloves, we ain’t going to take it no longer and we are going to (slowly and respectfully) filter the heck out of your jam-fest!"
  • | by Luke Edwardes-Evans

Motorcyclists are, mostly, pretty laid back and upbeat folk.

Few things compare to the thrill and freedom of riding a motorbike and that’s something which most bikers value above all else.

Cruising along on a motorbike releases feel-good hormones equal to anything you can get over the counter.

Not only do bikers feel lucky to be alive every time they go for a ride, they’ve learned to shrug off the less agreeable aspects of motorcycling - things like our wonderfully unpredictable weather, wanting to pee when you’ve just put all your clobber on, and freezing cold feet in bed.

But perhaps surprisingly for such an even-tempered and hardy breed, there are one or two things which really do niggle bikers.

Oh alright then, there’s actually dozens of wind-ups which grind our gears - and that’s not including everyday irritants like twanging indicators on shed doors and getting your boots stuck halfway down your overtrousers.

We spoke to some bikers to get their take on a few things which infuriate them.

Dangerous overtake!

Image of motorcyclists filtering

You’re out for a Sunday ride along your favourite A road, revelling in the power and rapier-like handling of your bike. When it’s clear and safe you overtake lines of cars in a series of clinical passes.

But there’s always one fist-shaking, horn-blasting motorist who thinks motorcycles are not only dangerous, but should somehow not take advantage of their size and agility.

Says Andy from Rye: “They haven’t seen you in their mirrors and when you overtake the reaction is ‘oh god that’s dangerous, they must be speeding!’ They don’t realise how easy it is to nip in and out of gaps.”

The chatty old-timer

Image of an old biker

Bikers are family - you love ‘em but they don’t half bang on sometimes.

Take, for instance, the old-timer reminiscing about his former life as a biker.

Listening patiently to his rose-tinted reveries is guaranteed to induce feelings of drowsiness and an inability to operate machinery of a complex nature.

Rory from Pembury agrees: “Old bikers saying ‘I used to have one of those,’ wind me up!

“I’ve got a 1960’s Matchless and you wouldn’t believe how many old blokes come over and say they used to have one.

“Then you have to stand there for hours listening to them going on about it. They are nice blokes and all that but it doesn’t half waste time.”

Not wearing safety gear

Image of a foolhardy biker

There’s an element of risk to motorcycling which bikers accept, and many take pride in minimising.

But there are also riders who don’t feel the need to wear safety clothing or consider their pillion passengers, and they can seriously enrage the other lot.

Janet from Tonbridge says: “It’s stupid to go out riding in just a T-shirt. I don’t agree with it. The other thing I don’t like is seeing very young kids on the back of a motorbike.

“They don’t have the same concentration skills and can be caught out if the bike makes a sudden turn. It’s okay if they are in their teens but a very young child shouldn’t ride pillion.”

Your motorcycling mates

Image of bikers

There’s nothing better than enjoying a spot of banter with a fellow biker.

Whatever you do, though, don’t bother offering them advice on their next bike.

Rory says: “There’s no point suggesting what bike they need next, they’ve always got some weird reason why bike X isn’t right for them and they really need bike Y, which is what they wanted anyway.

“Then they buy bike Y and stand there complaining to you that the bars are too low and it’s hurting their back and in fact, they needed bike X all along.”

The anti-filter brigade

Image of a disgruntled driver

Face it, some motorists just aren’t that into us, right?

They have to sit fuming in tailbacks all day and they don’t see why we shouldn’t too.

Well get this mr stringback gloves, we ain’t going to take it no longer and we are going to (slowly and respectfully) filter the heck out of your jam-fest!

“Most are quite good about it,” says Andy, “but the odd one deliberately blocks you. It’s an attitude thing.”

Being told what to do

Image of a cool female biker

It doesn’t matter if you smoke around on a clapped-out scooter or a custom Harley, every biker is channelling Marlon Brando in Rebel Without a Cause.

It’s you against the establishment - stick it to the man and so on.

That is, until the forecourt tannoy crackles into life with the bored instructions from the cashier: “please remove your helmet before filling”.

Welcome back to the real world punk!

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