What Makes a Good Riding Buddy?

184081_256454104379141_2303998_nRiding a motorcycle for pleasure is a specially rewarding experience. Here, in SoCal there are many roads that provide excitement but are not without risks. A bad crash, to a simple breakdown or flat tire can leave you stranded out in the middle of nowhere for hours. A cell phone or personal tracking device are good tools of the trade, but I have been let down by low batteries or no cell reception. Why am I bothering to address this, you ask? Because we don’t have to accept these risks alone. When you get a flat or your bike dies unexpectedly stranding you hours from help and shelter, what would you rather have; a cell without reception or your best riding buddy?
imageI’ve been quite lucky to have met a friend who has earned my complete trust. The kind of trust that is forged over thousands of miles of riding and sharing the highs and lows of riding together. Our own Andy is this man. Andy contains the core characteristics you need in a riding buddy.
Rock StorePredictability: You have to know someone to predict them. There aren’t too many other ways of achieving that. So be choosy with whom you ride with, listen to what other riders think of people you haven’t ridden with and just spend the miles with fellow riders. Maybe sooner than you think you’ll find someone who reacts the same way you do. You’ll find someone who rides and thinks the way you do.
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Trust: That somebody will earn your trust too. They will stay with you for hours in the cold while you wait for a tow truck. You’ll buy them a beer when you stop for lunch because they slowed you down for a corner you misjudged. They’ll be there when you need them.
no, nothing's wrong.
Here’s my special note about trust: I let Andy lead because he proves himself a proficient leader every time we ride together. I can tell he loves riding with every corner he takes, every decision he makes. He rides like a real man. That doesn’t mean wheelies and risks, it means he has a family waiting at home. He balances the fun and emotion of riding with the responsibility of making sure he comes home. That’s a man I’ll follow. I can’t count the times Andy has been leading me up a twisty mountain road and I go into autopilot following his lines and letting my mind go. Its a similar vibe to track riding when you get real Zen and things are violent and crazy loud, but you feel calm and are even faster. That is a special gift a great riding buddy can unknowingly give you.
I can see my house from here!
You shouldn’t SCUBA alone, or rock climb, etc. so don’t go out riding all day on your own. Pain shared is halved, but pleasure/adventure/excitement shared is multiplied. Find someone who you can trust and rely on to not only watch out for you, but to share the joy of riding with.
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