Yesterday, I gave you five reasons why bikes are better than cars. Clearly, there had to be another side to that particular coin, and it’s only fair to give equal time to cagers. I’m not getting all Animal Farm “four wheels good, two wheels bad” here, but it’s necessary to point out the valid reasons why all but the most diehard riders still drive cars.
Bikes Suck In The Rain, Snow and Cold
In college and immediately following graduation, I was too poor to own a car. My transportation options were limited to my motorcycle, my bicycle or walking. For most of the year, I rode the motorcycle to work regardless of the outside temperature. Light snow didn’t keep me from riding, and neither did rain or hail. Here’s a tip, in case you were wondering: hail stings like a bastard, even through leathers.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I recognize that riding in bad weather isn’t a badge of honor. Showing up to work with a soaking wet crotch (because even Aerostitch suits leak in the rain) doesn’t make you look badass, it makes you look incontinent. Riding in 30 degree temps, no matter how many layers you’re wearing, isn’t any fun even with a tall windshield and heated grips. Don’t get me wrong, a little rain won’t keep me from jumping on the bike, especially if I have somewhere I need to be. I just appreciate the fact that I have options these days.
You’ll Probably Live Longer In A Car
Ride long enough, and you will crash. I know there are riders who don’t believe this old adage, and I didn’t either until I was skimming across pavement, face down, at sixty miles per hour. No matter how skilled you are, you simply can’t control for every variable, and sooner or later the dice won’t come up in your favor. I always dress for the crash, regardless of temps outside, but even that isn’t enough to guarantee safety. Driving a car still comes with an element of risk, but that risk is a lot lower than on a bike. Cars forgive mistakes that bikes don’t.
You Won’t Be Denied Health Insurance By Driving A Car
Heads up, in case you didn’t already know this: there are health insurance providers that ban participants from riding motorcycles, racing cars, rock climbing or just about anything else that could be deemed fun. Sure, you could lie and say that you don’t ride, but then you’ll be funding any motorcycle related medical care out of your own pocket. Know what an ambulance ride and emergency room visit costs these days? Probably a lot more than you have in your bank account. Organizations like the American Motorcyclist’s Association (AMA) do what they can to fight for motorcyclists rights, which is why you should think about joining if you spend time on two wheels.
Cars Can Be An Investment, Bikes Usually Aren’t
With very few notable exceptions, bikes don’t appreciate and hold their value the way that cars do. Worse, vintage bike values seem to be even more unstable than vintage car values. Unless you find a good deal on a Brough Superior, Knucklehead Harley or a Vincent Black Shadow (and good luck with that), investing in a bike is almost always a losing proposition. Investing in classic cars is no guarantee of wealth, either, but at least you’ve got a broader market to sell to when you need the funds.
Cars = Convenience
If the weather’s nice, I can jump in the Mazda and drop the top in about ten seconds. I don’t have to think about putting on a riding suit, helmet and boots. When I get to where I’m going, I don’t have to lug around a helmet, wearing an armored riding suit that makes me look like Spaceman Spiff. Sure, I could opt for just jeans and a jacket (with dramatically reduced crash protection), but I’m still stuck carrying the helmet and jacket. Even sports cars don’t deliver the same level of satisfaction that bikes do, but they certainly do make up for it in convenience.
I’ll always be a bike guy and a car guy, since that’s just the way I was wired. I went a few years without owning a bike once, and it was a huge mistake. Bikes have their place, just as cars have theirs; owning both gets expensive, but for some of us it’s a necessary evil. At least I never inherited the need to buy a boat.