Nov. 22 is “Go for a Ride” day.
Originally, motorcycles were primarily a form of low-cost transport, and they still are in much of the world. But as prosperity came and more people could afford cars, they became a luxury item, or a lifestyle choice.
The “motorcycle generation” was the Baby Boomer generation, and for them, motorcycles represented a kind of freedom, as exemplified by the movie Easy Rider. In 1967, the federal government clamped down on that freedom by pressuring states pass helmet laws. In 1976, its ability to pressure states was reduced, and now helmet laws vary widely by state.
- Do you think laws about things like helmets should be universal? Or are they better left to the states?
- Why do you think there are so many aging bikers, and so few younger ones, by comparison? Do you think you value your freedom less than your parents? If not, what actions symbolize that freedom for you?
14, July 1969, Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider” [Digital image]. Retrieved from <imdb.com/name/nm0000454/mediaviewer/rm3840488960>.