Over the last couple of months, Thunder Press conducted a Reader’s Survey at our website, Thunderpress.net. The survey asked all of the standard consumer survey questions, like how old are you and what kind of toys do you have in your garage and what types of accessories do you plan to buy and where do you prefer to buy them from and what’s the darkest secret you hold in the deepest recesses of your psyche that you’ve never divulged to anyone else in your whole shadowy life, not even your nosy shrink. You know, standard stuff.
The data collected from that online survey serves a number of worthwhile marketing and distribution purposes, providing as it does a sort of snapshot of the Thunder Press readership—or at least that portion of it that likes to participate in online surveys (and thanks for playing, guys)—but in truth it doesn’t help me out a whole lot in tailoring editorial content to suit the wants and needs of you, the reader, and that’s because the thing was composed by smart marketing types without the input of the smart-ass editors. Thus the resulting snapshot is more of a grainy family Polaroid than the type of high-resolution colonoscopy photo the editors are partial to. So I’ve prepared a few supplemental items that explore the issues we find most illuminating in gaining insight into who you all are, how you behave as bikers, and what our beloved but evolving and mercurial culture has become in the moment. Please take a few moments to thoughtfully complete the following sentences, being as truthful as possible, and bearing in mind that there are no “right” answers (because we didn’t offer any) and that there’s no such thing as a “stupid” question—only stupid answers (and those we’ve helpfully provided).
The Thunder Press Cultural Snapshot Survey
1. I change the motor oil in my bike:
A. At the recommended service intervals to assure a long and trouble-free operational life for my beloved machine.
B. Whenever it occurs to me that I haven’t done that in awhile. Come to think of it…
C. What? Change the lucky oil? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I say.
D. Perpetually, a quart at a time as the stuff leaks out all over the damn place. I ride an AMF Shovel, you idiot.
2. I check my bike’s tire pressure:
A. Before every ride to ensure safe operation, optimal fuel economy and long tire life.
B. Whenever they look low, or even lowish, but only if I can find the damn valve stems.
C. When my scooter starts handling like a garbage barge and falls down a lot in turns.
D. Never. My tires have enough on their plate; they don’t need any more pressure.
3. I adjust my bike’s suspension:
A. Conscientiously, according to road conditions and weight of the load.
B. Constantly, because I’m a motorhead tweaker and just need to futz with something.
C. Um… You can do that?
D. By letting air out of the tire. I ride a hardtail, you idiot.
4. I wear leather when riding because:
A. It provides good protection against road rash; better the cow’s hide on the asphalt than my own, I say.
B. Those Cordura riding suits make me look like a Beemer nerd.
C. That’s why I bought the bike, but I’ll never admit it.
D. I’m a biker, you idiot. You got a problem with that?
5. I wave at other motorcyclists on the road:
A. Religiously, reinforcing our common bond and camaraderie of the open road.
B. Only if they’re riding a Harley, though I’ve been fooled a time or two by Vulcans and whatnot.
C. Only if they wave first so I don’t feel snubbed. I can’t handle the rejection.
D. Never. Get real. I’m not your “Bro,” you idiot.
6.When my low-fuel idiot light comes on, I generally:
A. Freak out and slow down, nursing my remaining fuel supply to the nearest gas station, even while knowing full well that’s there’s probably a good gallon and a half left in the tank.
B. Glance at my tripmeter to determine whether or not my idiot light’s lying before forging on worrying about whether or not my tripmeter’s lying.
C. Ignore it. It lies.
D. I don’t have an idiot light, I have a carburetor, you idiot.
7. When there’s a bike sitting motionless on a remote roadside:
A. I always stop to see if everything’s OK and render whatever assistance I can offer.
B.I pretend I don’t see it because, frankly, I’m on a tight schedule but I don’t want the guy to think I’m a callous jerk.
C. I just assume that the rider has a cell phone and has already summoned whatever help he needs, and if he doesn’t, well, who wants to hang with a loser like that? I mean, a cell phone, ferchrissakes. Who doesn’t have one of those?
D. It’s probably mine, you idiot. I’m the guy with the hardtail Shovel who doesn’t wave, remember? (Can I use your cell phone, Bro?)
It’s all right here in the diaries.