People take up motorcycling for various, personal reasons. Some take it up for sport, others for relaxing rides, while some use them for basic transportation. Whatever type of biker you are, know the importance of proper biker etiquette while on the road. Once you hop on the bike, it's crucial that you become aware of your surroundings at all time, and treat fellow travelers with the respect they deserve. However, believe it or not there are some riders who are jerks. That's right, jerks. It might not be polite to say that, but it is true, and these irresponsible riders not only risk their own life, but all those one the road with them due to their ignorant behavior. These riders have a name, and that is Squids.
What Exactly is a Motorcycle Squid?
If the term "squid" sounds silly, that's because it represents someone who is silly, stupid or probably both. Motorcycle squid refers to any individual who acts an idiot and/or dresses inappropriately for motorcycling. For instance, say you're driving down the street, and see someone in swim trunks, with no shoes, doing a wheelie on their bike. That would be a squid. In fact, you can see quite a few "squids" performing for the camera on Youtube .
As you can see from this and other squid videos, these riders ignore their own health and well-being as well as that of other bikers and drivers. These squibs willingly refuse to wear protective gear, and often ride without a helmet. Many also seem to find the act of wearing shorts with no shirt somehow, "cool". There's no sense to the actions of these irresponsible riders. One can only surmise that they've been fantasizing about riding a motorcycle for years, doing daring tricks for people to go "ooo and ahhh" over. That's why if you're in the market for a motorcycle of any make or model, it's a good idea to know what squids are, so you don't become one yourself.
Where Did the Term "Squid" Come From?
When it comes to the origin of the term, "Squid", no one really knows. However, there are some pretty good educated guesses. The most logical guess is that the tern carried over from the surfer community, which described how new surfers wiggled or "squirreled" around in the water. These beginning surfers resembled squids as they learned to handle both the board and the waves. Supposedly, this term then became used by motorcyclists as they described new riders learning to control their bikes on race track . Finally, an interesting side note is that responsible bikers have actually come up with an acronym that perfectly sums up what squids are: Stupid, Quick, Underdressed, Imminently, and Dead.
How I Ride a Motorcycle is My Business--Or Is It?
There are those who have the mindset that how they ride their motorcycle is their business and no one else's. If this is the squid's rationalization for being a fool on a bike, it's a very poor and selfish one. Once you board your bike and hit the road, how you ride affects everyone else on that road. Any silliness you do can end up causing people severe injury or death.
That's not all. Bikers will have a strong dislike for you. After all, you're giving responsible bikers a bad name. When drivers or pedestrians encounter a squid, they may automatically consider all bikers to be mindless idiots. Squids seem to act as if they are invincible, which is not the case. While on the road, anything can happen. For example, you may be driving on a vacant road, thinking all is good, when suddenly a stray dog darts across your path, causing you to crash, or a driver who has had too much to drink suddenly aims at you. The point being, when you're on your bike, you're never in fully control of it or any situation that may arise.
How Do You Know if You or Someone Else is a Squid?
While acting a jerk on a bike is a sure sign you're a squid, there might be other things to consider. Let's say you're very new to the world of biking, and your brother just gave you his bike. Nothing is explained to you, and you've no idea about protective clothing or proper riding skills. This could lead you to becoming a squid, out of ignorance. That's why it's imperative that all new riders take learn as much as possible before riding. Below are some obvious clues to help you identify a squid:
- Rides without protective gear
- Can be any age
- Goes too fast
- Performs motorcycle "tricks" on trafficked streets
- Showing off
- Showing disregard for other vehicles
How Not to Be a Squid
Squids are a bit on the tone deaf side when it comes to their own behavior. While they see themselves as cool, the rest of the biking community views them as idiots. No one knows why squids can't see themselves for what they truly are. Suffice it to say that squids are a danger to themselves and others, so it pays to know how not to become one. To avoid squid-like behavior, learn to handle your bike responsibly. Take a motorcycle course and for goodness sakes, get a motorcycle license. When on the road, treat other bikers and drivers with respect.
Next, research motorcycle protective gear. There is a handy biker acronym that is important to know: ATGATT of All The Gear, All The Time. This applies even for short runs. After all, one never knows what can happen, so protection is vital. Protective motorcycle gear includes:
- Riding jacket
- Riding pants
- Riding suits
- Body armor
- Joint guards
In conclusion, it's a good bet that squids won't go away anytime soon. For whatever reason, these characters see themselves as invincible and incapable of crashing. Sadly, it's that very attitude which presents them a danger to themselves and others. A motorcycle is a beautiful machine, but it's just that, a machine. It can't think, it can't watch the road for you, and it can't make split-second decisions. Those all belong to the rider. If the rider refuses to pay attention to the basic rules of the road for motorcycles, and continues to act a fool, it's only a matter of time when they meet up with injury or death.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith