Saturday, June 23, 2018

Interview With A Former Biker - Dave Zako By Nicholas Zako

Figure 1. Vale Royal Classic Car Show, by SG2012, 2013.
My interview was with a former biker who has owned motorcycles in the past and still enthuses about them today. My goal in interviewing this biker was to discover why someone would start riding a motorcycle, and why someone who loves motorcycling would ever stop. I also wanted to know how living in Quebec affected the biker’s decision to stop riding. The biker says the reason he started riding motorcycles in the first place is because it simply looked really fun. Motorcycling was a hobby of his friends in which he was jealous of. So, he decided to become a biker, first buying a CB400 SuperSport and later trading in his Honda Civic for a Nighthawk 750. To him, biking leans more towards recreation than it does a method of transportation. He would head out biking with a couple of his friends and have fun. He explains that nothing beats the feeling of driving through wooded areas, taking curves, feeling the wind and the power of your bike. This seemingly perfect hobby raises the question as to why anyone would ever stop motorcycling.

Figure 2. A 1992 Honda Nighthawk 750 motorcycle., by Dayvroy, 2013.
One thing that might deter someone from biking is its lack of safety. The biker has been in a couple close calls before. One time, while taking a turn during spring on a road covered with gravel from winter, the biker had slid and was lucky enough to regain control. Occasionally, cars wouldn’t notice the biker, change lanes and cut him off. Safety isn’t the only issue in Quebec. The cost of being a biker in Quebec today is ridiculous. Paying far too high amounts for obtaining and holding a license along with its insurance. Especially when it comes to “High-Risk Motorcycles”. Our former biker says that if the cost of insurance and of a license was significantly reduced to a price that is fair he would absolutely start riding again. In fact, he thinks about riding again a lot. Stopping him, is the hefty price of taking a course again and then again for insurance and a license. He described the pricing today as “ridiculous” and as something he thinks is preventing many from becoming bikers today.

Together, this makes me wonder if Quebec hates bikers. First, using so much gravel on the road throughout winter creates danger for bikers during spring time. Second, the ridiculously unfair cost associated with being a motorcyclist is deterring people from becoming motorcyclists, what used to be considered an affordable option. Quebec also has a law prohibiting those with their motorcycle learner’s license to ride without an accompanying driver. This law isn’t necessarily bad. Whether it is or not, seems to be controversial. For example, our biker believes this law is great. He says that “being forced to ride with someone who has experience is a great idea” as from this, you can gain experience from the accompanying rider and also be kept from making dangerous mistakes. From the interview with our former biker, we are able to gain insight on what biking is like in Quebec. Specifically, how Quebec might have an impact on a citizen’s decision to take on motorcycling. We also learn from this, what fuels someone to ride a motorcycle and what the overall experience is like.


A special thank you to Dave Zako for sharing his story with me. I learned alot and enjoyed spending time with him very much.

About Nicholas Zako

Nicholas Zako studied at Champlain College Lennoxville located in Quebec, Canada. Interview With A Former Biker - Dave Zako was written as part of a class activity for a course titled Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies in the Department of Humanities.

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