No one buys a motorbike to pootle to the shops for bread and milk. In fact, the only time you see a biker rock up at a supermarket is when there’s a petrol station attached (and maybe they want a sausage roll). If you have a bike, you ride it. On the open road.
But just how much do you ride?
We’ve conducted some serious (made-up) research into the tell-tale signs that separate high-miler bikers from… The rest of humanity. Those two-wheeled individuals who eat up tarmac for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack-time in between. Bikers who live for the ride, not the destination.
Check out the 10 signs you’re a high-miler biker below. Some may ring true. Some may shock you. Every single one will have you nodding in approval.
So, let’s find out exactly how much of a high-miler biker you really are.
#1 Food vs. Fuel
For most people, living their lives on two legs, food is fuel. Not if you live for two wheels though.
To serious bikers, fuel is fuel. Food is just something that happens somewhere along the way. After all, a human can go for more than three weeks without food. In fact, a person can even last three to four days without water.
But, how long can a real biker go without riding?
Food is a luxury. Fuel is a necessity.
So, if you find that your weekly food shop costs you half as much as your weekend fuel bill, you’re definitely a high-miler biker.
When you’re travelling at (legally) high speeds, bug splatter is unavoidable. Especially on those beautifully curvy country roads. Hedgerows, fields, woodlands – they’re a bug paradise. But sometimes they need to cross the road. You know. To get to the other side.
It’s during this transition from the relative safety of their natural habitat, across the winding tarmac track that is the biker’s playground, that bugs undergo an amazing transformation. An instantaneous metamorphosis. From solid to liquid. As they cross that high-octane no-bugs-land.
However, just like the number of stripes on a soldier’s sleeve, or stars on a general’s epaulettes, the number of bugs on your helmet and leathers is a clear indicator of high-miler rank.
If you never leave home without helmet cleaner, you’re a high-miler rider.
#3 Number (License) Plate
You’re in a riding group. There’s quite a few of you. You only really say ‘good morning’ when you meet up, then hit the road. Of course, you’ll have a couple of stops along the way. Maybe a snack and quick leg-stretch. Perhaps a hearty meal at a pub or café. It’s hardly a chance to socialise. You’ve got your mouth full for starters. And mummy always said, never to talk with your mouth full.
So how the hell do you get to know anyone in the group?
It’s not as if you’re going to recognise their faces. They wear helmets most of the time. And it’s a bit weird now, after so many rides, to ask them what their name is again because you forgot after that first meet. There has to be a better way.
What does each biker have that is identifiable and easy to remember? Something that’s often staring you in the face for miles.
The number plate.
When people in your riding group don’t know your name, but they know your bike reg, that’s when you know you’re a high-miler.
#4 Home Away From Home
Susan knows me by name. In fact, I’ve been to her café so many times I don’t even have to order.
We were joking around last weekend, saying that maybe I should get a mention on the menu. You know, on the ‘Specials’. And before you say it, no, it’s not because I’m special. It’s because I have the same combo every time. House burger, with a fried egg and blue cheese, and sweet potato fries. It’s stunning.
Where is it?
Yeah, about 100 miles north of here.
When the cafe 100 miles away knows you as a regular, you’re a high-miler biker.
#5 Sun Seeker
There are fair-weather bikers and all-weather bikers. But, we can all agree, there’s nothing better than biking when the sun’s out. You get to enjoy ice cream. And you stay dry.
But it’s not uncommon to hit the road and try and chase the sun. It may be bucketing it down where you are, but the weather app on your phone is suggesting sunshine three counties over.
However, as you get going, the forecast changes. So, of course, you seek a second opinion. Check the other weather app. It still says sunshine. Well, sunny intervals.
If you find that you carry on riding until you break through the cloud and reach the sunshine, consider yourself a high-miler.
#6 Say What?
You’ve reached your final destination. Time for a quick bite to eat and a bit of an explore before hitting the road again.
There’s just one problem.
You popped to the local bakery for a sandwich (just a normal bread roll, nothing fancy), and the old dear behind the counter looked at you quizzically before saying, “Barm?”
Where the heck are you?
What’s a ‘barm’?
When you can’t understand the locals’ accent at your destination, or you’re not sure whether to ask for a roll, bap, barm, cob, or teacake when you stop for lunch, you’re clearly a long way from home. You’re a high-miler biker.
#7 Bike Mode vs. Car Mode
At the risk of polarising opinion, we think that cars are great too. But before you get all bent out of shape about this, take a deep breath and let us explain.
Cars are great for when it just doesn’t make sense to bike. Like when it’s pouring with rain. Or you need to take the kids to school. Or doing the shopping. You know, the boring stuff.
Bikes are for the fun stuff.
But sometimes it’s difficult to switch over from Bike Mode to Car Mode.
When you find yourself waving at bikers even when you’re in the car, there’s no denying it, you’re a high-miler biker.
#8 And Stretch
So, you’ve reached the end of your route. Time for a quick leg-stretch. Get the blood flowing again.
Why do you look like Quasimodo though? That’s not how you normally walk. All hunched over like that.
Straighten up. Stretch that lumbar region. Reach to the sky. Do that sun salutation thing from that yoga video you got for Christmas.
When it takes you 10min to return your full upright height after a ride, you’re a high-miler biker.
#9 It’s Exhausting
Isn’t it amazing how some people can identify bird species just from their calls?
Tweet tweet. Why, that’s clearly the Pied Flycatcher’s mating call.
Well, when you can tell which friend is riding past by the sound of their exhaust, you definitely fall into the high-miler category.
#10 That Commute
Let’s be honest. Traffic sucks. There’s no more frustrating sight than gridlock on your way to, or from, work. People just sitting in their cars getting all hot and bothered and going nowhere fast.
That’s why you bought a bike.
You can weave through traffic with virtual impunity now. So long suckers!
But, being a biker is not so much about simply getting from A to Z. It quickly becomes about how many of the other letters of the alphabet you can wind your way around on your ride.
So many quiet roads down which to unleash a loud exhaust. So many turns to lean into. So much to discover.
Then it hits you.
You got a bike to make your commute faster. But now the route to work is suddenly 20 miles instead of five. You’re such a high-miler.
How Much of a High-Miler Are You?
So there you have it. 10 clear signs that you’re a high-miler biker. If any of the above applies to you, you can consider yourself a genuine, bona fide high-miler.
Now, the real question is, how many did you get out of 10?
How about your biker friends?
You know. That guy. Whatsisname. BD 51 SMR. The one with the Termignoni. Did he get more than you?
Who’s the highest-miler biker you know?
Let us know.