Fear, apprehension, and pre-conceived notions.
We're all creatures of habit. Once we get used to something, it can be hard to leave comfort and familiarity behind. This often occurs with motorcycling. You're perfectly happy with your favourite riding spot, but your friends want you to come and ride with them. There's talk about how fun it is, how much you'll love the change of scenery, and how there's no better way to experience it than on a motorcycle. As you ponder it, you go down a YouTube wormhole. You watch a few videos on techniques and common safety measures to hopefully avoid any damage to your favourite ride. Your friends tell you not to worry. This isn't a race, so your insurance will cover it. Still, you can't shake the images of the mangled bikes at the end of a trail of debris. You don't even want to start thinking about what could happen to you. Sure, it's unlikely, but the danger is still there. The reward seems to pale in comparison to the risk. Your friends aren't giving up. They reassure you. They compliment your riding. If they can do it, so can you. The pondering resumes. Another trip to YouTube and you eventually happen upon some racing videos. Some of the races are world-class. The riders don't crash often, but when they do it's terrible. Then you find some more grassroots and likely unsanctioned stuff. No sponsors, no safety crews, no ambulance nearby, just a bunch of maniacs going as fast as they can. Is that what it's like? There's no way I'm trying that. I just want to have a nice chill ride, enjoy a few corners, and make it home in one piece. Your friends reassure you. That's not what it's like. You've done it in a car, have you seen anything like that? It calms you a bit. You know you're a decent rider, and you're not worried about yourself, it's those other idiots coming out of nowhere. They don't seem to care about your safety, you're just in their way. You're holding them up. Don't you know the rules? Why are you so slow? That jackass behind you is seriously pissed. Never mind what happens if you piss off one of the officials. You don't want to deal with this shit. You just want to ride your motorcycle with as little risk to life, limb, and bike as possible. After a good night's sleep, you decide you'll give it a try. Why not? Thousands upon thousands of riders arrive home unscathed every year. The chances of something going horribly wrong are much higher, but it's manageable. Then it hits you...GEAR! What should I wear? Do I need a 1 piece leather suit? Will it be too much for my skill level? Will I look like a complete newb? Will other riders whisper to their friends about that guy over there in the brand new leathers and unscuffed knee pucks? You decide on a more subdued 2-piece suit, put on the rest of the gear, grab your keys, and head out for your first street ride with your friends.