Are Oklahoma Bikers Becoming The New Karens?
Long story short, my nephew has adopted a new hobby that I can relate to this summer. He's decided that motorcycles are awesome. Which, if you didn't know, they are. At the beginning of the warm season, he and I spent a day overhauling his little neighborhood hooligan chinese pit bike and he's been glued to the seat ever since. I'm so proud of him since he hasn't lost interest in it like most kids do most things. In fact, the last time I was up there, I noticed his fascination with motorcycles don't end at the garage, but follow him to bed via YouTube.
As I was looking around the worlds most popular video platform for things to watch in our downtime, I saw that he's super into watching videos that are titled "Bikers VS _______" and it's usually all about motorcyclists having close calls with vehicles. It's good for him to see that, because, he should know the dangers of riding if that's the path he's going to walk... but as we watched video after video, I couldn't help but think, are bikers the new Karens? Have they become the thing they wish to destroy? How has the tough, hard riding, independent minded biker become the first to cry fowl in the moment of normalcy?
Example: Some dude on a crotch rocket is casually lane-splitting through traffic at a speed higher than traffic is flowing. Naturally, as they do, a vehicle ahead doesn't spot the biker and proceeds to pull out into the road. The biker revs the motor, lays on the horn, and proceeds to engage the less-attentive driver about the catastrophe that didn't happen. There's a lot of common phrases among these videos used by the two-wheel warriors like "You could have killed me" or "You have to watch out" and that's all true... It's literally a genre of motorcycle video where riders almost pay the price for doing dumb then claim to be the victim in the situation. Honestly, the amount of videos that contain the phrase "I've got that on video you idiot, I'm calling the police" from the mouths of bikers is depressing.
It boggles my mind. It's like these motorcyclists have given up the freedom and adrenaline rush of danger on the open road in exchange for elective victimization and having something to post to social media for a little anonymous sympathy. Literally just becoming Karens on two wheels. Now don't get my words twisted, I'm not saying all bikers are becoming Karens... but if you're getting upset reading this right now, you might be headed that way.
Perhaps the new generation of offended wiener motorcyclists just haven't ever heard the best advice every veteran rider has to share, so lets lay it down simple. When it comes to your safety upon the steel horse you ride, you are responsible for it not the drivers around you. People will fail to see you traveling the roads, people will pull out in front of you, people will cut you off in traffic. If you get upset every time a vehicle almost creams you, you'll be left with zero time to enjoy your ride. Part of being a responsible rider is accepting that yes, unfortunately, you will have to give up your right of way most of the time... but as you accept this, the ride becomes the ride again instead of this self-sanctioned war of wheels.
Does this mean you can't smash the side-mirror of a careless driver once in a while or that you shouldn't toss broken spark plugs on occassion? No. By all means, it's the code of the road if a particular driver has earned it. I'm just saying if you're out there blowing past traffic and riding epic boss-level wheelies down Cache Road, you don't get to lecture anyone else on their driving when it comes to your safety. Your safety on two wheels is your own responsibility and nobody else's. If you can't accept that, motorcycles just aren't for you. Ride with more skill, less ego, and keep the rubber side down.