Two days ago*, there were a couple of meets that happened locally. There was a once a month motorcycle meet called MotoSocial, and a local BRZ meet. So, me being the nice guy I am, I lent a bike buddy of mine my SV, and I took the Bavarian buzz-saw out for a night on the town.
First thing we did was head over to another buddy’s house to pick him up. Once our motley trio had converged (the SVX-R, the buzz saw, and a early 2000s R6) we meandered down to MotoSocial and took a walkabout.
There were cruisers, cafe racers, classic Ducatis and state of the art super sports. H2’s, decked out R1200 GSs, and bikes whose existence I didn’t even KNOW of. Everything and everything was present. It was lively, there was good food, and everyone was having a good time.
You know what the last car meet did not have? Any of that.
Last car meet I went to, there was no laughing. No intermingling of groups. If you showed up with your R33 group, you stuck with your R33 group. All of the rich dudes who showed up in Porsches? You all grabbed a coffee and talked about wife swapping. Any show even REMOTELY muscle car related, it’s either some old guy hilariously trying to relive his youth alongside his buddies who all have five identical GTO knock offs, or a bunch of Mustangs hunting for crowds. (What do you mean Frank is hiding in a tree?) Or even worse, all of the ‘professional’ photographers that were just a lot of sub-25 year olds whose parents got them a DSLR for Christmas and now have a “business” that is *last name* photography.
And every single one of these group pretty much refused to talk to each other. The
kids photographers were just standing there waiting for shots of the 45th AC Cobra replica once the crowd moved. The AMG guys were laughing at anyone that was making less than 400WHP. The off-road guys were all trying to show off their crazy articulation that they use for running over curbs.
And it’s not just big car and coffee style meets that had this. The smaller car meet we attended that night was even worse – 20 cars, maybe, and they were split between four groups. One of which was vaping out of some dude’s minivan.
And no chatter. No lively-ness. No coffee. (Well, maybe a little coffee). It was absurd.
The last bike meet I went to had NOTHING of the sort. Maybe it’s because we can cram six bikes in the space you need for ONE car. But the whole thing felt much more tight knit. As you can see in the picture above, there was no ‘section’ – you parked where you had space. Ducatis parked with old Kawasakis. Big Bavarian adventure touring bikes within licking distance of the greatest super sport from Italy.
This was parked next to me when I decided it was crowded enough to leave my helmet next to my bike. I didn’t even know what the hell it was! A Harley motor in a sport bike frame (and no, it wasn’t a Buell).
And just how approachable people were there. Every bike had a story and everyone was willing to share. I had three different people buy ME a coffee while we chatted, and I bought a few rounds as well. Even the meanest, grumpiest member of the local gang was caught drooling over an MV Agusta dragster (and I don’t blame him!) and he was chatted up by the young lady who owned it. The Ducatistis were enamored by a vintage Honda that was leaking oil a few spots away from their priceless dry-clutch monsters. Some of the Harley guys were busy trying to help one of the sport bike guys with some electrical issues that left him with no lights, and when they failed, they escorted the guy home, using their headlights to help guide him.
I have never seen that kind of camaraderie in car people. Maybe it’s because we all know the risks of two wheels and it brings us together. Maybe it’s because we all like leather and think ourselves better then cagers. I don’t really know, to be honest with you. But riders just seem to be a much more inviting group of people to talk to and get into.
I am well aware that each group has their own set of assholes, and maybe I just ran into the worst of one group and the best of another.
But after talking with more of my car buddies, it seems to be the general thing around here. The track days and hill climb meets? Nothing like that. Everyone is friendly and helpful. But the regular car meets, cars and coffee and so on? Social wasteland.
And because of that, I think I will be giving up on cars as a hobby. Not that I’m leaving Oppositelock, god no. But the whole idea of going to meets, to ‘cruises’ (sure, lets go hang out with others for ten minutes, and then isolate ourselves in metal cages for three hours, only to meet for ten minutes again and then go home), well, it seems kind of dumb when its laid out like that, no?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and track down motorcycle #8.
*Note: I started writing this piece way back on June the 3rd.
Maybe it’s a Canadian motorcycling thing?
I know the one bike night thing they have every Wed. in my city (Worcester, MA) is 90% Harleys and they just stick to themselves and act, well, like stereotypical Harley dudes I guess.
Been to a one-off benefit for someone that was an impromptu bike show and that was cool but mostly a loose group of friends already.
Dunno. I need to go check out more bike meet-ups though.
I’ve enjoyed the Northeast Moto Society meets in Milford, NH. They don’t care what you ride, new or old, and everyone’s interested in everyone else’s stuff.