Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

September 24, 2007

Motorcycle Men

If you recall, I have a few deal breakers when it comes to a guy I'll date. A few are unbreakable, but many act more as red flags cautioning me to "be careful, don't get too invested, this guy probably isn't the one."

One of the red flags I take very seriously is motorcycle ownership.

Many of you may disagree, but if there is a motorcycle in the guy's life, you can pretty much bet I won't be. I have many reasons for this prejudice, some of which I am willing to admit are based purely on emotion and maybe a little unfair bias. But even if you were able to talk me out of those, you will never be able to erase the simple fact that if you ride a motorcycle on a semi-regular basis, you WILL get in an accident and likely be injured or killed. Period.

I can hear some of you now, "But my boyfriend is really cautious on the bike. And he wears all the protective gear when he rides."

I don't care. I assume that anyone I date would not be one of those a-holes motorcyclists who cuts people off, swerves in and out of lanes and pops wheelies around town. But no matter how cautious you are, there is nothing you can do about everyone else on the road. And the fact is, most of us don't see you motorcyclists until it's way too late.

Or maybe you’re thinking, “Clearly this girl has never experienced the thrill, the freedom of riding a motorcycle on the open road.”

Wrong again. I have experienced it and I totally agree. It feels amazing. The wind in your hair, the scenery whizzing by without any glass and steel getting in the way between you and it. I get the appeal. But it’s still not worth it.

I know what I can and can't handle, and the early death and /or maiming of someone I love (or might love in the future) is definitely something I can't handle (or I at least want to try to avoid having to handle it).

I am not alone in this.

My friend Gouda has been dating Baby Face for the last two or three months and things has been going almost too well. He's sweet, considerate, fun, open, attractive, interesting and a good listener. She's been somewhat slow in getting overly excited about him, I suspect because, like the rest of us, she's probably waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well, something did drop - a motorcycle.

When she broke the news to me, I could tell she was reluctant to share it.

She began by telling me how poorly she slept the night before because Baby Face's Blackberry kept beeping all night (of course he slept like a baby through it, while she woke up with every beep). Then his phone rang very early with a call that his "bike came in" and he rushed out the door. Gouda continued on with whatever she was saying after that but I was stuck on the earlier sentence. I interrupted her,
"Wait, what? What bike?"

Baby Face is an avid runner so I was thinking it was a triathlon bike or something.

"Oh," Gouda replied. "His motorcycle came in this morning. He's been waiting for it to get delivered and he had to pick it up right away. He was really excited."

She paused, waiting for my reply. At this point in our friendship, I don't think the subject of motorcycle revulsion had come up so she probably wasn't sure how I was going to respond to this news.

I said, "Oh my God. I'm so sorry." She might as well have told me that she found out he moving away to Sweden or something.

She perked up realizing we were on the same page. "I know! I can't believe it! I hate motorcycles. And this one is a total crotch rocket too!"

It was getting worse. A retro bike for occasional back country road cruising might be something I could accept if I really liked the guy. But a crotch rocket? Hell no! Plus, it just didn't seem to fit the sweet natured guy I had met the week earlier.

"What is wrong with him?" I asked. "Why the hell would he want such a thing?!"

Gouda was equally perplexed. She made sure to communicate to him just how unimpressed she was with the idea. A few days earlier when Baby Face was waiting eagerly for his new purchase, they were driving around town and pulled up next to a couple on a bike, the female seated behind her beau, her arms wrapped tightly around his waist as they sped off through the intersection.

Gouda pointed to the couple, "You see that?"

"Yeah," Baby Face replied.

"That will never be us."

At least she wasn't mincing words.

She then told me how he showed up at her place later that day with his new ride, excited as a little boy. To make matters worse, he was decked from head to toe in the street pads and leather get-up I thought were reserved only for guys with mullets.

All I could muster up was a redundant, "Oh, [Gouda], I'm so sorry."


There's not much else to say really.

But Baby Face does seem like a pretty quality guy. So Gouda, God bless her, is trying to see the silver lining in the situation.

"Well, if things do work out with us, I guess it's better that he gets this out of his system now. I'm sorry, but I come from a long line of Jewish mothers and there's just no way I can marry a guy who's going to ride around on one of those."

I think that sounds like a fair compromise. When he's settled down and married, he'll have something to yearn for from his "single days" and they'll have something to bicker about for many years to come, right?



Michele said...

Before I got married, I had a big crush on this cute guy at work. Only I didn't know him very well so everything I did know came from others. Several people told me he'd been in a terrible motorcycle accident several years before that broke every bone in his body. It was a miracle that he lived. When I did get to know him better, he told me he was in pain every minute of the day from that accident and had to take pain killers constantly. But he still rode a motorcycle. Enough said. I'm with you. I don't like motorcycles.

Mendoza Line said...

Ahem, I seem to recall you being quite enamored with this biker dude:

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Touché my friend. Let me refine my dealbreaker. If he will let me lead him around on a leash while he rides the motorcycle, then I'll consider it ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh god, I'm totally with you. Got the ER call this weekend that my husband had fallen on his (road) bike. He's fine, but bruised and skinned, and he was going only 20mph on a country road. I cannot imagine knowing he's going 50, 60, 70mph on the highway.

I like my men in vehicles bigger than a Mini, smaller than a Cadillac. And alive.

Samantha said...

I hate motorcycles too. Recently one of my family members was killed while riding his motorcycle. I don't know what I would do if someone I loved decided they wanted to start riding one...

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been riding for over 40 years. My husband, the love of my life, fell over from a heart attack walking home from work in 1981. You never know when your last day will be. I bought new hvac for the house, took the kids to Disney World, and bought a motorcycle with his small insurance policy and keep his memory solidly tucked in my heart forever. Since then, it has been motorcycle men and the love of the highway on two wheels. No drinking and riding. No men who are posers. But real motorcycle men are honest, straight forward, fiercely passionate about life, and respectful. Lots of variety in the fun they seek, too. Sorry you gals are so cautious, but that leaves more Motorcycle hunks for ME!!!

Jester said...

Pity, You have experienced the thrill but have chosen the more timid path. Thank you for "comming out" and declaring it outright. Many women will harbor the feelings you do under the veneer of compliance, not really enjoying their partner's pashion.

OBTW, Your timid path puts you off my list as well! Try insurance salesmen. they tend to be stable and safe...... until they get bit by the Mc bug.. Yawwwwwwwn

james W said...

to each their own prejudices. If more people rode they'd be more aware of motorcycles and their environment in general and there would be far fewer accidents.

However, your prejudice is disgusting. You're lumping all moto riders into a box just like some folks stereotype races or sexes. Get off your high horse and recognize that not everyone is the same.

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

James and fellow riders - No need to be so sensitive. Since when is it "prejudice" to choose who I will and won't date? It's entirely up to me isn't it? I wouldn't expect a motorcycle lover to want to date me either and I don't resent them for it. Same goes for a born again christian, someone who's into s&m, or who doesn't want children. The point is, we are all entitled to choose what we want for ourselves and this is often dictated by our hobbies, passions, religions, etc. It's a personal preference. So let's agree not to date each other, eh?

The BG said...

You're going to grow into an old woman with many cats who stares at her neighbors out the slats of her window blinds. You want a relationship that only benefits you, so you refuse to find compromise on the things that must require the most compromise between two people who hope to build a life together.

And it's this secular thinking that's going to do it for you.

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

I've been following your "dialogue" about my post on your motorcycle forum (
and have been holding back making generalizations about YOU based upon what I've read there. But let's just say that you aren't making much of a case for yourselves (not to mention spelling warfare wrong). Go back to your bikes and I'll go back to my secular cat-worshipping and trying not to hit you guys on the road when you zoom past. Agreed?

Mendoza Line said...

This is great! The more hits the Dating Trooper's site gets, the more money she earns! Thanks Motorcycle Pashnit people!

james W said...

oh, so she's stirring up conflict just to make a buck? even better.

and you say its not prejudicial, but i bet if i said that i'd never date a catholic girl you'd call me a bigot.

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

"Stirring up conflict" huh? I wrote that entry almost 3 months ago so I sure am patient. You should read it again because I think you missed the point.

"I know what I can and can't handle, and the early death and /or maiming of someone I love (or might love in the future) is definitely something I can't handle (or I at least want to try to avoid having to handle it)."

Wow, I sound really mean-spirited there, worrying about someone I love getting hurt.

I suspect your problem is that I'm "secular" (oooh, big word). Well, good thing you're religious because you'll need God on your side riding that bike on the open road.

You can refuse to date anyone you want, including Catholics. You're only a bigot if you hate them for it. But if you want to raise a family according to your beliefs and not someone else's, then you have every right not to date/marry a person of that faith. Just like I have every right to not choose a husband who rides a motorcycle. I don't hate anyone for doing it or want them to stop. I just don't want to have it in my own life.

As for making a buck?! I'll donate my $3 income this month to a head injury fund for motorcycle victims.