Opinionated. That's me. I love having opinions, and I love sharing them. I'm not always the guy that insists that you actually agree, but I often insist you at least hear me out.
There are a lot of people like me in the riding community… even the nicest of guys, the most kind of gals, the sweetest and most generous of us have our opinions, and we're all entitled to them.
Not that we're all right, at least in my opinion, but we have a right to be wrong, too! I mean, sure, maybe you're sitting there thinking, "Hey, Lizard, that there isn't me, I don't spout my opinions all over the place and argue with everyone, so don' you go lumping me in there"... but you HAVE an opinion, right?
Whether you ride a cruiser and think sport bikes are stupid, or ride a Ural and think anything without a sidecar is a waste of time... even if you keep those thoughts mostly to yourself, you still HAVE them.
Maybe you only share those thoughts with a few like-minded fellas on the fourth Thursday of every month in a particular garage with a cup of mint tea and gin. Maybe you only talk about them in your sleep. They're in there, though.
As far as I'm concerned, that's part of the entertainment of riding and hanging out with those who ride. Next time you're at a bike show, a show 'n' shine, or anything where there's a lot of different riders around, LISTEN to what's going on around you... I guarantee you'll find some interesting stuff going on; at least it's interesting to my way of thinking.
Cruiser guys and touring guys debating the merits of different kinds of bags, or seats... sport bike guys debating... exhaust… or lower back pain pills... or tires. There's a lot to hear... and there's a lot to learn.
And that's the best part... is for every person with an opinion, there's going to be an experience that formed the opinion, and that's where things get interesting.
When someone spouts something at you that you think is absolute B.S.... try asking them why they think that way, what helped them form that opinion. Oh sure, lots of times it's as simple as "my buddy had one and after he dropped it for the eleventeenth time it wouldn't run anymore so they're crap"... but sometimes - something very interesting happened to cause those feelings.
Those are the ones I enjoy... I might not change my mind, I might not agree with that person at the end of the story any more than I did at the beginning… but I'll have heard the story.
Somehow, those few minutes (or more) that I spend listening to the really interesting testimonials... those minutes make all the opinionated, brand bashing, chest beating arguments worth while.
Those same moments are the same ones that also make all of you so interesting and fun to hang around with. It's just snowed like crazy here in Cowtown and I won't be having the bike out this Easter weekend (or at least, not as much as I hoped), but we're getting them ready, it's nearly that time of year to head out there and start meeting all you crazy folks with all your crazy ideas.
Bike nights, show 'n' shines, and of course the Ride for Dad (that's June 16 in Calgary this year, eh? Just so's ya know?), I know I'm going to hear some wacky... and interesting… stuff.
I can't wait!
Vive la difference!
R. Jeff LeGrand
Calgary Motorcycle Ride for Dad
Reporter, Busted Knuckle Chronicles