|1998 Honda Shadow 1100|
Pic © Robert Rogers
The following interview was conducted with the goal being to determine what might influence someone to join the “biker” community. Specifically, what lead Robert to join such a community, and what keeps him from leaving. I met Robert in the winter of 2015, when his son brought me home to meet his parents. Robert can be described in many ways. He is a devoted dad, boyfriend and John Deere employee. He's incredibly driven, always working on something, whether it be at work or at home. After a long day, you can find him asleep in his La-Z-Boy, his face illuminated by a Nascar Race playing on the television. Forget about recording a movie for another day, the PVR at Robert's is full of hours and hours of cars chasing each other around an asphalt track.
|Pic © Robert Rogers|
His passion for vehicles doesn't end there, or else we wouldn't be talking about him. He is also the proud owner of a 1998 Honda Shadow 1100, which he wasted no time in taking me outside to see. As we stood, discussing the specs, he told me that he bought his bike shortly after having obtained his motorcycle license, from a retired police officer. I was surprised to find out that after having his license for almost a decade, he hasn't changed bikes and still rides the very first one he ever bought. Although he has had it for a while, he hasn't put many kilometers on it, as it still sits at less that 78,000 kilometers. However, he doesn't plan on holding onto his Honda forever. It's a great bike and it has served exactly the purpose that he wanted it to, but he would like to trade it in for a Harley, decked out with saddlebags and a seat for his girlfriend, Sonia.
Although Robert would like to upgrade his bike, first he must find the time to ride said bike. Between working, doing maintenance around the house, cooking (which by the way, he is very good at), and family time, there's no time left for a ride. Sure, taking a ride could be incorporated into family time, but as he said, we just haven't had the weather for it this year. If you can't find time to ride your bike, why leave it lying around? Why not just get rid of it and maybe make a bit of money off it? Robert, like many others who value the time they get to spend riding, doesn't see it the same way as I do. He told me that he would never give up riding. No way. No how. But why? What's so great about it? He says, "it's the feeling of being out in the open air," which I cannot fully understand as someone who has never been on a motorcycle.
Hold on a minute. What gave Robert the idea to get his motorcycle license in the first place? I figured that he had gotten it to be able to ride with buddies from work, or maybe he had a childhood dream of owning his very own motorcycle. Spoiler alert: both of my assumptions were incorrect. Surprisingly, he was influenced by his girlfriend at the time, who got her license before he did. I found this strange, imagining that it would have been the other way around. To conclude the interview, I asked what advice he would give to someone who was thinking about joining the motorcycle community. He said that it's a great experience, and one like no other. Where riding in a car is like riding in a bubble, riding a motorcycle awakens your senses to your surroundings. A trip on a motorcycle is freeing and the ride of a lifetime.
I would like to thank Mr. Robert Rogers for taking the time out of his day to participate in this interview, it truly would not have been possible without his participation.
About Paige Matheson
Paige Matheson studied at Champlain College Lennoxville located in Quebec, Canada. Interview With A Biker - Robert Rogers was written as part of a class project for a course titled Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies in the Department of Humanities.
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