News The Great Leveler | Motorcycle Destinations

The Great Leveler | Motorcycle Destinations

Your Motorcycle StopThe Rock Store, Cornell, California

This may sound strange, but I regularly hang out with people I hardly know. I couldn’t tell you their names, what they do for a living, or about their personal lives. Our paths frequently cross on Sundays at the Rock Store—a famous gathering spot for Southern Californian motorcyclists—and the reason I know so little about them is that our topics of conversation focus nearly exclusively on motorcycles.

Humans are inherently social creatures who seek out interaction with each other. This trait might explain why the mere act of riding a motorcycle establishes a common bond of shared interest. Just pulling up to a place where other bikers are parked serves as an icebreaker, and that is how my many anonymous Rock Store friendships began. Without any plans to meet, we tend to congregate at about the same time each weekend. Once our encounters were purely serendipitous, chalked up to chance; but routine has increased the likelihood of our seeing each other again. When we do, there are greetings, talk of the day’s ride thus far, and the ride ahead. We discuss machines, and plans to sell or buy. There are musings about the future and recollections about the past. Always the talk is connected to motorcycles.

An interesting aspect to this weekend camaraderie is that motorcycles—by virtue of exposing their riders to the elements—have inspired dress codes of functionality that, for the most part, remove traditional clues to an individual’s social status. With the ritualistic donning of a motorcyclist’s apparel, we all become equals. As we shed the clothes associated with our daily lives, whether it be a suit or a company uniform, white collar or blue collar, we remove the pretense of symbols that can sometimes drive—or prevent—an introduction. We are all just motorcyclists.

In a society so enamored of status and wealth, where their pursuit is an acceptable obsession, there exists a freedom in the anonymity of riding a motorcycle. Free from prescribed agendas or suspicions of motives, you can hear more clearly exactly what is being said. There’s a simple pleasure in conversation for the sake of conversation. Motorcyclists are good at this. Unlike an automobile or a home, the disparity between the cost of a high-end motorcycle and a low-end bike is comparatively narrow.

A motivated individual, especially when driven by the kind of deep desire prevalent in so many enthusiasts, can pretty much obtain the machine of his dreams. It is this accessibility that blurs the lines of social place and puts us all on even ground. This by no means suggests that our motorcycling clan is immune to attitude or judgments. Far from it. But in general, our commonly shared interest in two-wheeled machines invites an esprit de corps, where keeping up with the Joneses has little bearing.

The next time you’re at your favorite motorcycle stop, whether it be a roadside pullout, a coffee shop, or café, consider the band of brothers and sisters who have slipped from their workweek identities into the wonderful anonymity of a leather jacket and boots. Trust me, among you are CEOs, service workers, lawyers, dentists, mechanics, artists and dreamers. While up on two wheels, however, they are most content to be motorcyclists.


Helmet Use by U.S. Motorcyclists Trends Higher in Past Decade

Could the availability of better helmet options be part of the reason? According to the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...

Editor’s Letter: A Very Merry Christmas When I Became An ‘Authentic Motorcyclist’

At the end, my parents handed me a small package. I opened it up, and it was a little booklet. It had pictures of a motorcycle.

2021 AMA Supercross and Motocross Pro Numbers: List and Analysis

Supercross starts up in January, and it’s time to match the latest crop of riders to the numbers on their motorcycles. The biggest news...

Cardo Packtalk Black and Prototype Headset Review: Racing Intercom

Cardo has been well known for its high-quality helmet-to-helmet communication systems for over a decade. Cardo uses Bluetooth technology in both is Packtalk and...

2021 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition First Look (8 Fast Facts)

The triumvirate of 2020 AMA 450MX National Champion Zach Osborne, 2018 AMA Supercross Champion Jason Anderson, and Dean Wilson will all be racing motorcycle...

Shoei RF-1400 First Look: New Motorcycle Helmet

The folks at Shoei made the best of our pandemic situation with their unique launch of the new Shoei RF-1400. They shipped us the...