It made me think…….but I answered the question!
The question was not ….. "Who wants to be a millionaire?" – it was ……. "Why did you join Think Bike?"
I probably would have thought no more about it except that the question was followed by the questioner's suggested answer – "Did you just want to spend more time around young people?" Now that, as any more mature person will tell you, is indeed fighting talk, and a comment which requires a swift and cutting response. Unfortunately I am not as gifted, nor as wise as AMZ, and was a little stuck for an immediate response, particularly as the comment was passed in good humour and jest (I think) – it did however get me thinking…….."Why did I join Think Bike almost a year ago and then become a Marshal?"
I am fortunate in that I own my own business and am able to commute on a daily basis on my motorcycle……in so doing, I miss the traffic, cut down on wasted time and enjoy my travelling! I was heading off somewhere one morning about a year ago, when I saw a bunch of Think Bike folk out doing a "bridge banner day" and I realised that for all the fun I have had motorcycling, I wanted to do something that contributed to the well-being of fellow motorcyclists and the motorcycling community as a whole. I also felt it would be good to perhaps learn to ride a little better, as I am completely self-taught and must have a host of bad habits!
To cut a long story short, I joined the forum and realised that I am not by nature (nor do I have sufficient time) to be a "forum crawler" - but I can see the attraction for those who are! I joined Think Bike as a member almost immediately and paid membership because my purpose in joining was to try and put something back into motorcycling and safety!
Not long after joining I volunteered to help man/woman/person (depending how PC you want to be) a stand at the Discovery Health Day and it was there that I was first exposed to some of the Think Bike marshals and marshalling as a part of Think Bike. Some weeks later I joined Dgener8 on a "Journey for Hope" ride into the country. At the time I said….."just along for the ride – have no intention of becoming a marshal!"
Some weeks, later after reading many posts on the forum about how some consider the Marshals to be arrogant and self-serving, I joined the Marshall ranks and realised a few things:
- Much of what happens in Think Bike is often, rightly or wrongly, "driven" by the Marshals;
- They are far from arrogant – I was made to feel welcome from day one;
- They really care about the safety of motorcyclists and the reputation of motorcycling in general;
- They give selflessly of their time and resources to try and make Think Bike a powerful contributor to motor cycle safety and awareness.
Are there some who are occasionally guilty of riding aggressively and speeding? ……..sure!
Are there some who occasionally lose sight of the fact that marshalling is part of Think Bike and not the other way around? ……..sure!
Are the marshals proud of what they have achieved both personally as well as in a group? ……..of course!
- But do they add value to the world of motorcycling and motorcyclists? …….definitely!
And that is why I joined Think Bike and became a marshal! (And yes it doesn’t hurt to be around younger people - it's always nice to keep an eye on the "kids")
--- THE COACHMAN