Grizzz brought up a very important topic in one of his recent Blog posts - New Blood - http://www.cmcnational.ca/index.php?/blog/10/entry-29-new-blood/ - pertaining to the issue of waning membership in the CMC.
I would like to submit a few thoughts of my own on his insightful piece.
I am sure it is the general perception (in and out of the CMC), that I ride a “Crotch Rocket”. Maybe I am just slightly oversensitive, as I tend to lean towards the politically correct left, by refuting the aforementioned notion in saying that I ride a "Sport Touring" bike. My ride does not force me into a position that looks as if I am humping it in order to make it go faster. Granted, the lines of my bike at first glance, (ok, and maybe the second), may convince one otherwise, but my handlebars are positioned upright; thereby saving me the indignity of looking as if I am taking a high velocity crap.
Tongue-in-cheekiness aside, (my true Crotch Rocket friends know I jest), one of our stated Club mandates, vociferously argues that ALL makes and models of bikes are welcome; and I will continually and ardently defend that CMC position. But we are all a product of our environment and the associated influences in said environs will lend itself to how we make choices in life. Whether we like to admit it or not, individual style preference does (and should) matter to us on some level.
So back to the underlying question raised by Grizzz. How do we attract new and younger riders? Well, for myself, prior to joining CMC, I had never owned a motorcycle. I was not particularly “young” when I first got my bike after joining CMC, and that was 6 years ago. I am now 52. But what attracted me was not the prevalent types of bikes (Cruisers) that were in attendance, but the people that rode them. They shared their passion not only for riding, but the community that it fostered. They did not care that I never owned a bike or what type I would eventually get; but were willing to welcome me into their family anyway.
So then, are we willing to get (and yes even feel) awkward by stepping outside of our comfort zones in attempting to demonstrate inclusiveness to those types who we think may not fit with the CMC? Yes, even the reckless, inconsiderate individuals who give a bad name to all riders? In my estimation, they are the ones who most need “mature” experienced riders to set an example; first by totally freaking them out by actually talking with them, rather than down to them; and then offering the hand of friendship through invitation to come and see what we are all about. All of this in the hope that they may learn from our combined experience and in turn, give something positive back to the motorcycling community.
Not all will respond, but never forget, all of us at one time were inexperienced and had lower maturity levels. We all have latent preconceived notions that are overdue for a Spring cleaning. That truth alone dictates that we need to strive for a continual blood transfusion to eradicate "old blood" thought processes.