by Stephanie
(London, ON, Canada)

I just need to talk for a sec about something. Namely, my obsession with motorcycles and why my parents insist on telling me I can't have one. I'm almost 40 years old. Been living on my own on and off for five years now, and have had an almost single-minded obsession on wanting to own and operate my own motorcycle. My Mom is absolutely convinced that if I get one, I'll be killed the day afterward from riding it. She keeps reminding me how dangerous they are and that so and so's best friend's cousin's daughter (etc) got killed on one at such and such a time some years ago. She can't understand why I just can't drive a car like "normal" people. Oh, you'll love this one: Dad, when I told him what my plans were, said point blank; "No, end of discussion.", or "You'll get a bike when I'm dead and buried!". And my absolute favorite saying of his; ahem: "Women don't ride motorcycles". Now, although I've never been at the handlebars of a bike (save my 5 speed pedal bike when I was a kid), I still have riding one in my veins, and would love to eventually do long distance traveling on one. But I keep coming up on this roadblock of my parents trying to almost (at least it feels like it to me) run my life for me! What is a girl to do!?

Fast forward to last week. I'm watching TV with my dad (mom was having her hair cut) when a commercial for the CanAm BPR Spyer came on the tube. I was surprised to hear dad say something along the lines of "Now if you were to ride one of THOSE instead of a motorcycle, I'd get behind that". I got to talking to mom about the incident, and she tended to agree with him. Problem is, have any of you seen how EXPENSIVE those things are!? I mean, no disrespect to Bombadier (pardon spelling). They're awesome machines, but I can't afford THAT much! I can currently get an unused, 2009 Honda Shadow Aero at my local dealership for just under 6 grand. At the same time, if it means keeping the peace in the family and going to a three wheeler, then maybe it'd be worth saving up for one. Any advice, ladies? Should I compromise my obsession just to keep my parents happy? Feels like I've been doing that my whole life. I know they mean well and love me, but I'm not a kid anymore (though I do tend to act like one sometimes). I'd love to hear from you all about this matter.

Thanks and Ride Free!!!

Comments for Compromises

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Jun 26, 2011
Too Bitchy
by: Stephanie

First of all, if I wanted snarky, bithcy comments, I'll talk to my now ex-best friend! She called me a coward for not standing up to my parents and told me never to speak to her again. Second, don't you think I've TRIED to talk to my parents adult to adult? It always ends in a "Do as your told." scenario. They don't want to hear any of my facts, they want to "protect" me from getting hurt and "killing myself", or "running with the criminal element". I did grow up, thank you very much. They just don't want to hear it. Unlike some of us, I didn't get the privilege of being on my own since that age. Hell, until 5 years ago, I haven't been able to hold down a job long enough to even afford an apartment, let alone a bike. I asked for advice, not to be yelled at! At least the other ladies who responded were a little more GENTLE with their advice. Subtlety is obviously not your strong suit, is it.

Anyway, I've decided to give it a couple more years to begin with. I have line of credit debt to pay off first before I can even make a down payment. So, problem solved by default. Thanks, ladies, for your help. I may have to go under their noses to follow my passion (I hate that idea). But, it'll be a wait-and-see attitude for now.

Oh, footnote to Ms. Snarky: Don't bother writing back. I don't want to hear it.


Jun 21, 2011
Act Your Age
by: Dawn

Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh here, but I am 45 years old and I've been on my own since I was 18. My parents are allowed to have input but not rule my life. HOWEVER, I've also been acting like a grown up and taking care of myself since then too. Sorry, too bitchy, I'll dial it back. :)

1. If you still depend on your parents at 40 for some financial support. They do get a say.

2. If you have proven to be irresponsible and less that adult in your dealings with them in the past, they do have reason to doubt your logic.

3. If you have had medical/mental problems in the past, even treated, they do have reason to doubt your sanity.

If you are serious about this, you need to grow up and deal with your parents adult to adult. Have a calm rational discussion with them about it. Also, take the course and see if you even like riding, and at least get some ammunition and true safety statistics.

Personally I wouldn't trade my 2 wheels for 3, I don't think they are any safer than a real motorcycle, but if you find you like riding that much it may be worth it to you. Only you can decide if the compromise you make is worth the peace.

Save your money, take the course, then have a serious discussion with your parents.

Good Luck.

Jun 20, 2011
To ride, or Not to ride.
by: Ev

I can relate to your situation. Parents will always be just that - Our parents. I am nearly 40 myself and a parent to 4 kids, but love to ride whenever I get the chance. My M-in-law hates the fact I ride and says I should be at home for the kids (they're all in school). And says she never had time for herself when she was bringing up 4 kids. Yes, well they didn't have sliced bread on Noah's Ark either. You only get one chance on this earth, so I say....Go for it! But with no disrespect for your folks, they need to cut the apron strings... and let you become more independent. And when they see how much happier you have become I don't think they will regret the fact you now ride.

Jun 20, 2011
My Parents
by: Stephanie

Actually, I don't really live with my parents right now. I've had my own apartment for about four years now. I have, in the past, tried to convince them of the motorcycle courses offered here in Ontario and the benefits of them. But it more or less fell on deaf ears. I only depend on them sometimes for 2 reasons: (a) I work a minimum wage job and don't get very many hours at the moment (I'm working on the nerve to ask my boss for more) and, (b) I collect disability pay from a previous job that sent me to the hospital and now has me under psychiatric care from time to time (nothing serious, just a minor problem that needn't be mentioned here). I have matured better in the last few years than I ever had when I was in my 20s, but I'm still their "baby" and need taking care of, it feels like. I'm planning on saving up for either 2 or three wheels either way. I'm just trying to understand why my folks still need to treat me like I'm 3 and a half. Yes, I am my own person. But I don't want to disappoint them at the same time.

Jun 20, 2011
by: Judy

I would suggest take a class first and see how you like it and respond to it. You can take a 2 wheel class and also a 3 wheel class as you do need a separate endorsement. Then you can make a decision. You can get a used motorcycle with a side car or a trike. Some of the used Urals will sell for under 6k. The various trikes are more expensive.

If you decide that you like motorcycle riding then you are an adult and should make you own decisions. Some people have gotten injured riding bicycles and you can get injured driving.

There are some books about riding motorcycles written by women for women. I don't know what type of relationship that you have with your parents but I always have shared with my kids that you have to follow your path and what makes you happy.

This is an exciting time for you so take that class and then move forward with YOUR decision.

Happy and safe riding!

Jun 20, 2011
by: jojo

Our parents will always treat us as their children because we are. It is/will be harder if you are living at home.

One thing you might want to do is educate your parents about motorcycling. When I took the Safety course the instructor told us the chance of an accident drops significantly if a person takes the class verses someone who does not take the safety course.

I to was shocked at how expensive the Can-am's are. But I am sure they are fun to ride!

My parents were excited when my husband I got our bikes. My In-laws don't know and my husband would like to keep it that way. They'll find out some day I'm sure.

Good luck and don't let your parents squash your dreams.

Jun 20, 2011
Do you still live w/your parents?
by: Sandra

If you do, I'm not going to beat you up...but it does explain why you are having such a difficult time responding to their concerns as an adult in your own right instead of their child, whom they are responsible for raising, teaching and protecting.

As long as you let/allow or even force (?) them to remain in the role of Parent to you as Child, the family dynamic will remain as it is.

I personally would not be happy w/a 3 wheeler versus my motorcycle. My father is not exactly happy that his (almost 50 year old) "baby" owns and rides a motorcycle. He keeps these thoughts, along with most of his other thoughts about my life mistakes (or not!), to himself.

My husband, however, is uncomfortable w/my riding. Even though we went out and got bikes together, and both wanted bikes, when it came to me actually taking off on my own bike, he had second thought for my safety and wished we had never actually bought the bikes.

I, too, struggle with whether to ride or not. I want to; I LOVE it; I have the bike. And I love him and want to honor and respect him and go out of my way to consider his thoughts and feelings and opinions. It's how I choose to live out my relationship with my husband. I don't ride much right now. I'm considering selling my bike; but even this decision is a struggle for us, as he does not want me to give up my own "dream".

Life; it's what happens while we contemplate what to do next...

Jun 20, 2011
Can-Am Just as Dangerous as a 2-Wheeler
by: Angie

Personally, I don't think that riding a Can-Am is any safer or more dangerous than riding a motorcycle. The danger has nothing to do with whether you can balance on 2 wheels or not. It has to do with viability and being thrown off the vehicle when someone pulls out in front of you. However, on the other hand, I'd also say if Dad and Mom feel better enough about a Can-Am to maybe kick in a few thousand towards the effort, you should hit 'em up for it...

Beyond that, you're 40 years old and don't need their permission. You'll just have to let your actions speak louder than words by becoming an educated (i.e., take the BRC), careful rider who never stops learning better ways to be safer while on the roads and who wears all the appropriate safety gear ALL THE TIME. In the end, we tend to regret the things we didn't do more than the things we did do during our lives. You aren't getting any younger and 10 years from now, how remorseful will you feel for not making your dream happen....?

Jun 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

First unless your parents need you at home for their care get out on your own for good then you can get a motorcycle if you want one. If you are still dependent on your parents at the age of 40 and they don't want you to have a bike you won't get one. It's time to grow up become your own person and do what is right for you.

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