Well, this seemingly decade’s-long election cycle is winding down to its climactic conclusion. If we’re lucky, on November 9th, we’ll know who the 45th President of the United States of America will be for the next four years. The really good news is that we will have a couple of Presidential-campaign-free years ahead of us. However, that doesn’t mean that the gears of government will stop grinding. Lots of other issues will be voted on during the election days of this year and those in the future. So, why not make the process of voting fun. Ride your motorcycle to the polls.
It’s your motorcycle. You ride it, right? So, why not ride it to vote? While you’re at it, ride your motorcycle to work, to the doctor’s office, to the gym, to the movies, to, well, anywhere you want to go. Yeah, I know. There’s that little thing called winter in some parts of the country. Still, ride as much as you can.
Riders love stickers. Just look at their toolboxes, their bikes – even their helmets. Here’s a little known fact: The “I Voted” stickers they hand out at the polls instantly make you more visible in traffic when placed on the outside of your motorcycle jacket. And Troy notes they’re also good at covering dings on your helmet the next time you go through tech inspection at a trackday!
When you ask motorcyclists why they ride, the most common response contains something referencing freedom. That’s cool. I get it, and deep down I know that’s part of what initially attracted me to motorcycling, too. Unfortunately, our country – the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave – ranks among the lowest in voter turnout in industrial nations throughout the world.
You may not like all of the candidates, but you do like your freedom, right? Go vote. And ride your motorcycle there.
And if we’ve learned anything from this election cycle, it’s that America’s favorite pastime is complaining about one candidate or the other. So, go vote. Even if your candidate doesn’t win, you’ve earned your right to voice your opinion.
If all else fails: Voting booths are a great place for meeting smart women (or humans of your preferred gender). Bring a spare helmet.
Just like we want our children to appreciate motorcycles, we also need to help them appreciate the freedoms we have in our country that many others on the planet do not. As with riding, the best way to influence our children is to lead by example. If they’re big enough, take them on your bike to vote. They’ll enjoy making the entries on your ballot (or machine), and the only group of humans who like stickers more than motorcyclists are kids. They’ll love the “I Voted” sticker they get.
Ever wanted to be part of the 1%? Well, by being a motorcyclist, you’re already a minority out on the American roads. Sadly, the same can be said about the percentage of eligible Americans who vote, at least during mid-term elections when only about 40% of Americans vote; the number rises to about 60% in presidential elections. While I can’t guarantee that combining voting with riding will make you a single-digit percentage of the American public, you will set yourself apart from the a lot of American citizens.
Poor cagers with no place to park at their local polling place, they have to walk a block to cast their vote. A motorcycle’s small size means it can slip between parallel-parked cars or fit in spaces that are too small for four-wheeled vehicles.
No one else votes with motorcyclists in mind. That’s why we need to make sure that we support those politicians who support us. Don’t believe it’s important? Just look at the California Lane Splitting Law that just passed, thanks to support of select politicians. The AMA has also created its Vote Like a Motorcyclist page, listing important motorcycle-related issues and candidate listings on a state-by-state basis.
As riders, we already know that motorcyclists are moms and dads, teachers, doctors, coaches, postal workers, politicians (yep), cops, firefighters, soldiers, pilots, carpenters, plumbers, lawyers, brothers and sisters, writers, and neighbors. John and Joan Q. Public, distracted by the complications of living their everyday lives in this modern world, may have never considered that motorcyclists are anything more than they’ve seen in movies or on the news. The nice man or woman standing in line, wearing riding gear while waiting to vote may open their eyes that motorcyclists are more than gang members or testosterone-crazed adolescent boys.
There is no better way to getter bad taste of election season out of your mouth than a motorcycle ride. Go ahead, try riding home without smiling as you leave the election hoopla behind. You’ve played your part as an American citizen, and that’s something to be proud of.
Ride to Vote.
Vote To Ride.