Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Superstitious Bikers

If you see a penny face-up on the ground, you should pick it up - it's lucky. Face-down, you should flip it over with your foot or a stick and leave it for the next person.

I am not a superstitious person, though I've always had a keen interest in the superstitions other people follow. Superstitions are a part of our folklore and myths, "us" being the world at large.

Furthermore, I think superstitions "work" for some people. When I was a kid in Little League, I had a lucky bat. It had some powerful mojo. I hit almost every time I went to bat, and I developed a reputation as a power-hitter (for little league). It worked great, until an umpire took my bat away, saying it didn't meet regulations. I played terribly for the rest of the season.

Did the bat itself actually improve my game? No. I believed it did, though, and it gave me the confidence I needed to play well.

Bikers are a superstitious lot. It makes sense, we play with dangerous and tempermental toys, so looking for extra good luck makes sense in an illogical sort of way. I've got a ride bell on my VX800, and I swear that - while it still ran - that thing kept the bike from breaking down. Now, in my logical brain, I know it's nonsense, but hearing that bell jingling was soothing all the same.

This morning I pulled in to park, and noticed a penny on the ground where I was about to stop the bike. It was face up. I debated whether I should leave it under the bike (thereby passing luck to the Triumph), or pick it up and bring it with me.

I picked it up.

Have you got any crazy biker superstitions?


Charlie6 said...

perhaps not a superstition per se, but I always put on the left glove first, then my right one before I ride.

Michelle said...

Not really a superstition but whenever I come up on an intersection and there is a car waiting for me to pass I often say in my head "Thank you for seeing me" once I pass safely.

I don't really think about it, that thought just pops in my head a lot in that situaion. (Wow does that even make sense??)

As far as superstitions go... there's a lot of power in positive (or negative) thinking. Those thoughts may be in the form of a superstition, a pep talk, even a prayer.

Chuck said...

At a gas station recently I found an angel charm necklace lying on the ground. I saw it and thought "Hey, good luck charm!" and hung it on my mirror. When I got home after lane-splitting through 10 miles of heavy traffic I found the chain had broken and the charm was gone.

I like to think it worked.

Lucky said...

charlie6 - Do you feel all weird on the off day that you put the gloves on in reverse order?

michelle - Our thoughts and beliefs can be our best friends, or our most savage enemies. It's best to stay positive and grateful.

chuck - That's a great story, thanks!

Mr. Motorcycle said...

I'm not supersticious, except for that "knock on wood" thing. Don't know if I really believe in it all, but started doin it as a teenager and my wife does it now too. I think we do it out of habbit now more so than belief that it will actually do anything.

I once had one of those bells on my bike. A friend gave it to me after I laid my bike down. Said I needed the good luck it would bring. It lasted about three rides before I ripped the damn thing off and chucked it into the woods. It drove me nuts. I haven't laid the bike down since.
***You can't see me right now, but I'm Knocking On Wood.*** L.O.L.

Surly said...

Used to be that the color green was considered bad luck for bikes and cars. Mostly in racing. Green is my favorite color and I painted my first street bike green. It ran fine for me but every other person who owned it after me had electrical problems.
Also, sometimes I'll have a "vision" of something on my route home while I'm at work. Maybe it will be different than the normal route but I'll always take that way home. I'm embarrassed to admit that.