Nowadays, being sexist is like walking around a petrol pump with a lit cigarette—super-risky and not recommended. So, why then am I touching upon such a sensitive topic?
It's because over the hundreds of thousands of km of motorcycling, I have realized that family is the only thing that matters.
Being a biker is a full-time commitment. We bikers run a huge risk every time we swing a leg over a motorcycle. We battle bad roads, traffic, fuel quality, weather, speed humps, and errant drivers.
And when we come home, we're greeted by a hot meal, a warm bed, and the love of a family. This makes the biker's life worth it, right? Thinking about why I ride, I believe that while we're escapists, we also deeply believe in the power of family. Why else do we ride together?
What is a biker spouse?
This discussion, by the way, is about a biker spouse. Who are they? A person who doesn't ride but is related to a biker either through blood or through marriage. Anyone can be a biker spouse. I ride, so my wife would be a biker spouse. Vice versa, if she rides, I'd be the BS (you get the drift). Now, several bikers' other halves do not agree with the motorcycling life and would have their partners do something more exciting like shopping or binge-watching movies with them. It's a personal choice that I respect. What creates a problem is when they make a huge issue out of their partners going on a ride — especially a day before ride day. I won't discuss them because it's just bad juju.
So, what makes the supportive ones special? I have several reasons, listed below.
Whether it's scrounging together dough for a new Triumph Tiger 600 or booking a Leh package, money's involved in everything. Lots and lots of it. As bikers, we may not have the financial sense to invest or save. And that's where a sensible partner can shine. Not only can they help you save by cutting off unnecessary expenses, but they'll keep you motivated toward your financial goal.
A pillion has the toughest job on a ride. They're crucial for maintaining balance; on and off the bike. They pass on hand signals and keep an eye on riders so that the formation is maintained. Technically-skilled ones can prove invaluable during breakdowns, while legally-connected ones can make quick work of a police matter. Having a pillion also helps deal with road-hypnosis - a dreaded condition where your brain goes numb and does not respond to stimuli. It's a result of fatigue and lack of sleep. Which is a biker's life in one line, hehe.
Out of the 365 days in a year, our relatives usually end up planning marriages on the very day you're leaving for that long-awaited North East tour. Why does the third cousin of the fourth uncle always have to jump into fatherhood on the very day Rider Mania begins? It's India, and it's a very Indian thing. So, your better half has to pick up the yeoman task of representing you at such events. Oh, what would we do without you?
Biker spouses generally get along like a house on fire. It's like how pet parents bond. They have to deal with impulsive, 40-something children who start drooling at the sound of an inline four. They tolerate random motorcycle showroom visits, and daru dances while generally keeping a calm smiling face as their spouses embarrass themselves on a ride. But how does the bonding happen? It happens when the friendship extends outside of the riding circle. On a personal front, my motorcycling circle has given me so many meaningful, warm friendships. And it all happened because my wife continued to stay in touch with people even after a ride.
We always underestimate the love and joy our biker spouses add to our lives overall. A motorcycle can teach you a lot about life. If one of the two tyres is punctured, the ride ends. It's the same with life. A supportive biker spouse is fuel for a long, happy, safe motorcycling life.
By the way, this is me and my BS, Bineeta.
Image courtesy - Umesh Kakkad Sir, Ashish and Namrata.
About the author
Hi, I am Adreesh Ghoshal. I love Manna Dey, Mutton Keema, and Motorcycles equally. Sometimes, it's hard to choose.