Saturday, January 10, 2009

Poor Economy = More Riders?

Last Thursday I had a ride put together through my Meetup Group to get some lunch at Callahan's Pub & Brewery in Mira Mesa. As it turned out, we had something like 17 bikes, and about 22 people show up for the ride. We had a great time.

After we got there, one of the things we talked about was that when the economy goes bad, people ride their motorcycles more often.

This was probably our largest group of riders ever assembled on our Thursday rides, and that naturally got several us commenting about it. I joked that with the way our economy is going, we'll probably be seeing more people riding on Thursdays. That is, people have time to ride when they're not working.

Interestingly, some of the people that showed up for the ride today are recently unemployed, or they're business owners who have very little business right now. It's not easy getting by these days. And that touched off a conversation that when things get tough, people want to jump on their bikes and let the wind blow their troubles away.

While I'm not necessarily sure that so many people came out to ride on a Thursday just because of the bad economy, it's perhaps a thought I should file away in the back of my mind, and see if a pattern emerges throughout this year.


  1. I have seen more bikes on the road. A lot more new riders. Is it the perception of a lower operation cost? Some of it might be. But I’m equating riding to drug addition. The only purpose of drugs is to alter your mental state. With the economy in the tank, and everyone stressed to the point of breaking, biking is only natural. Get on the bike for a few hours, the only thought going through your mind is “nothing”. Your are way to preoccupied with the vibration going through your body and the wind in your face. Possibly the world’s most perfect drug.

  2. Well...I think lower gas prices have helped out a bit. I know I wanna ride more because at $25.00 a tank it was pretty depressing. Now it's 10.00 a tank...whoa! Now I can get on it and terrorize the countryside again.

    I agree with WillyD. It's the one thing I can just get on and do. I get to feel the rush, get out of the house and see places and meet new people along the way. If you are depressed about how your life is going, then this is the kickass cure. I think alot of people are realizing it.

    Think about going to the movies? Shit, 20 bucks for the movie, another 20 on a large popcorn, soda and the big ass box of hot tamales...pffft. Most 1% club members are pretty bitter hombres who are dissatisfied with life in general for one reason or another. The motorcycle seems to be the common connection that makes them feel better about the state of the world.

    "When you got nothing to lose you suddenly have everything within reach." I think alot of people are looking for social groups that don't require membership or a small fortune to become involved in. I guess that's always been the case though huh?

  3. You may be right about the economy and 2-wheel transport. My problem is - I want to ride in good times or bad, in rain or shine, in day or night, winter or summer, sober or sober, anytime all the time. So I guess I may be a little odd, but I am sure there are others out there just like me.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)