It may take months (or years) for them to give their approval, but the wait will be worth it.
“Ayaw ni misis.” “My partner will kill me.” “When the kids graduate from college.. Maybe…” “When I turn 50 daw.” “Eh, delikado kasi…” How many of you have heard these excuses from friends when you asked them when they would finally hop on a bike and ride with you? The disdain from their spouse/partner is understandable. According to the World Health Organization, 53% of all road traffic fatalities are vulnerable road users, including motorcycle riders. Add to that the numerous videos and stories posted on social media about accidents where people have lost their limbs and lives while on two wheels.
But then again, what doesn’t have risks? One might say just staying at home, sitting on the couch doing nothing or watching YouTube and wasting your life is even more dangerous than taking risks and doing what makes you happy. In fact, according to human biologist and bio-hacker Gary Brecka, “Aging is the aggressive pursuit of comfort. If you don’t load a bone, it will not strengthen. If you don’t actually tear a muscle, it won’t grow… So by actually challenging the body, we strengthen the body.” When you learn to ride a motorcycle, you challenge yourself, activate new skills and muscles you never thought you’d regularly use (hello, hip flexors), overcome fear to some extent and train your brain to be more aware and in the moment. (Besides, you also get a lot of vitamin D.)
And if this argument doesn’t help you convince your better half of the benefits of getting your first bike, take some cues and tips from fellow riders who were once in your shoes.
- Brush up on those presentation skills. Pretend your partner is a difficult client. Use those stakeholder management skills you honed at work to your advantage. It took lawyer and Vespa and Royal Enfield rider Vin Dancel an Excel spreadsheet to convince his wife to let him buy his first scooter. “I did the numbers,” he said. “I computed the gas and time I would save if I rode a scooter to and from work, then presented this to her. I also mentioned that less time to and from work meant less stress, and more family time.” Initially iffy about Vin upgrading to a big bike, his wife (the very talented musician Kris Gorra-Dancel) agreed on one condition: that he prioritized the repairs needed for their house. So, he did… and then got his Royal Enfield.
- Bring up the topic of motorcycles slowly. Casually mention common friends who ride regularly in conversations. Or, start showing your other half photos or videos of nice bikes and/or your friends and their partners riding together. “I realized he really wanted a motorcycle when he started to show me riding videos,” entrepreneur and mom Luisa Beltran-Pua recounts, describing her hubby’s motorcycle journey. “He used to dive but he stopped a while back. He loves basketball but doesn’t get to do it regularly. Also, it was a very stressful time for us, so I knew he was looking for a new hobby to help him de-stress. My only condition for him that time was to enroll in a riding school.” Now, Mike’s the proud owner of a Yamaha XSR700 and often rides during weekends for fun.
- Enroll in a motorcycle course together (or enroll your partner in a riding course). There’s nothing more fun than engaging in or learning a new activity together. To get his wife Ariane to ride with him, Gian Pascual enrolled her in the Ducati Riding Experience training course. She thought she would hate it, but ended up enjoying every minute of the session. And she was hooked. “He enjoys riding. When he would go out with buddies, I’d worry and get pissed at home,” Ariane says. “So, I chose to enjoy riding, too. If you can’t beat them, join them! Now, I even ride without him.”
- Assure your partner or family that you take safety very seriously. This means investing in proper motorcycle gear, taking lessons or refreshers to continue leveling up your skills and never, EVER, ever drinking (alcohol) and riding.
Or, you can always just do it. Get that dream motorcycle. Then, get ready to spend a fortune on flowers, jewelry, perfume and write that moving speech begging for forgiveness. “Masmadali humingi ng patawad kesa magpaalam.” Or so many people say. But we believe in being open and honest with your spouse/partner. Build that trust, show them you’re serious about riding (and safety), and hopefully, it won’t take too long for you to get that first bike. See you on the road soon!