I personally think they should keep the outlaw image it helps us ugly guys look like studs. Plus I have decided to quite bathing and really live the life I love. P.S. The last time another bike shared my parking spot the schmuck forgot the part about not hitting my bike.
The parking thing is an absolute catch 22 here in Chicago. I've had a meter maid in the mag mile tourist area tell me each bike had to have its own space, and meanwhile in the Lincoln Park area I had a Police tell me spcifically to save spaces by doubling up on bikes.
I wonder if I can use that bit of info at a court to contest parking tickets.
"Obnoxious" has no absolute definition. What you do may seem perfectly fine by your standards but it may pi$$ me off to no end. I think it's funny that this writer felt compelled to come to the defense of motorcyclists. A "motorcyclist" is not what I am; it is one of the things that I do. I also do a lot of other things. We will do our species a great favor if we resist convenient categorization and look a bit deeper into the individual and then hold that person accountable for his/her actions. Thanks, lady, for seemingly coming to my defense. I think you need to broaden the scope of your article though.
Actually, from a psychological point of view, it is necessary for humans to catagorize people like we do. Often (possibly almost always), it ends in stereotypes, and/or bigotry, but it is still necessary for our brains to simplify basic characteristics, otherwise, we would never accomplish anything; we need to make quick judgements to move on to other things. On a side note, this "efficiency" only gets worse with age, which is why older folks are "set in there ways" and often criticize and judge books by their covers.... it still stinks.
I do all kinds of other stuff, but I still understand people catagorizing me as a "motorcyclist." I am. The thing that gets me is that much of the blanket images motorcyclists have were unjustly given to us by others, not our own actions.
In California, we share parking everywhere. I'll almost always leave enough room for another motorcyclist to park next to me. I'll also share a metered spot with a car, if I know there is plenty of room for the person I am sharing the space with to get out when he or she needs to, but I always make sure to add a little change to the meter too.
In San Francisco, there is a bit of motorcycle-only parking here and there (downtown). And (depending on where you are in the city) you can sometimes find parking on the sidewalk that is well out of the way of pedestrians. Out here, you will not find a meter-maid (oh, sorry, I mean "Parking Enforcement Officer") telling you to take up an entire spot of your own.
People are going to find comfort in sharing their distaste for motorcyclists, which is why there is such a strong voice in what they say. But look at the bright side: with the number of people buying motorcycles rising as quickly as it is, eventually the number of people who dislike/don't understand motorcycles will no longer outweigh the number of motorcyclists as exponentially as it does today.
I live and work in the San Phernando Valley and park anywhere my bike will fit. Right now the migthy KZ is parked on a grass median strip, between two newspaper racks in front of the FAA building on Hayvenhurst (Van Nuys).
I park on sidewalks, lawns, front porches and in some cases between parked cars. Kind of like lane-splitting, something we Kaliphornian MC folks enjoy.
You're right about getting set in our ways. Those thought patterns create grooves in our noggings that are hard to divert. Kind of like berms. Or freeways.