Boomer bikers still love the open road

If you’re one of the thousands of Boomer bikers in this country, you likely fall into the sub-category of Boomers called the Maximers. Those are the Boomers who are so committed to getting the most out of life, they have no problems taking risks.

More and more women are joining the ranks of Boomer bikers

When you’re on a motorcycle, you almost become one with the bike. The thrill of the ride takes complete control. You see the world through different lenses than you do when riding inside a climate-controlled car – called a “cage” by seasoned bikers. It’s an experience of freedom. There’s nothing between you and nature – you feel the wind in your face (even with a helmet on), the sun on your back and the power beneath that you’re harnessing.

Not all Baby Boomers are bikers. But approximately 25-30 percent of bikers are Boomers or older. Many are just starting – now that they’re retired and have more time and money. And many started riding in their youth and never quit or are now returning to their passion. Yes, most bikers are extremely passionate about their ride! And once you start, riding becomes an important part of your lifestyle. It fits who you are.

Most Boomer bikers say that being on a bike is when they feel the best, the youngest and the most alive. But there are a lot of other reasons Baby Boomers choose to ride motorcycles or even the three-wheelers that are becoming really popular with older riders.

Reasons Boomer bikers ride (beyond the obvious)

  • You get twice as much – or more - bang for your buck fuel-wise. Motorcycles don’t take nearly as much gas to operate as four-wheeled vehicles.
  • They don’t put out as much emissions as cars and trucks so are better for the environment – leaving less of a carbon footprint.
  • It’s easier to park a bike than a car. In fact, with motorcycles, you can often create your own parking space where none existed.
  • Bikers are allowed to ride in the HOV lanes in many states.
Leaning into a curve graceful and thrilling
  • The wave – the automatic bond between bikers of all sorts and stripes – that little motion with the hand when bikers see each other, creates a special community.
  • Riding unleashes the adventurous spirit and allows us to push the envelope, live on the edge.
  • Leaning into a curve (the opposite of what you naturally want to do) and seeing how amazingly it works is beyond thrilling. It actually feels (to some of us) and looks like a graceful dance move!
  • And then there’s the cool factor! You feel cool, you feel like others think you’re cool and you unconsciously adopt that cool swagger. You can’t help it!

Safety important, even if you are a Maximer

Boomer bikers, listen up. Of course, we don’t like the idea that we’re aging. We’re doing everything we can to hold on to our youth and taking risks is part of that.

But statistics don’t lie. Although most of the motorcycle accidents involving fatalities and injuries occur in the younger group of bikers, Boomer bikers suffer more serious injuries when we’re involved in accidents. And that’s despite the fact that we’re more careful and less reckless.

Our balance may not be quite as good as it once was. Our joints and bones may not be quite as strong as they once were. Our eyes and hearing may be diminishing a little. We just have to face that we’re a bit more fragile these days.

That’s not a reason to quit riding. We know better than that. But we could compensate for the hard truth of our vulnerabilities.

  • We could take advantage of the motorcycle safety courses that are offered throughout the country – on a regular basis to keep our skills sharp.
  • We could join motorcycle clubs that are committed to safe riding.
  • We most definitely could and should wear helmets and other protective gear when we ride. Leather is not just for the cool look; it also is the best protection if you hit the pavement.
  • We absolutely could refuse to ride if we're drinking - duh!
  • We could keep our bikes in optimum condition making sure everything works exactly as it’s supposed to work.
  • And we could keep ourselves strong and healthy as well, all the things it takes to truly live a life of gusto.

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