When someone says, “squids are dangerous,” what do you see in your mind’s eye? If you see enormous sea creatures crushing ships and throwing sailors about with their tentacles, then you probably don’t own a motorcycle. You see, among motorcycle enthusiasts, “squid” is a slang term for a particular kind of motorcyclist.
What kind, you ask? Well, let’s just say that the word is no compliment, and that squids are the target of derision of other motorcyclists.
What is a “Squid?”
The term “squid” comes from surfer culture and is shorthand for “squirrely kid.” Surfers used the term to refer to someone who didn’t have enough skill to control the movement of their board, causing them to zigzag all over the waves, like an agitated squirrel before crashing.
Basically, a squid is a motorcyclist who has terrible cycling skills. But the term encompasses more than that. A squid could have a terrible bike full of unnecessary and impractical modifications. They’re arrogant, brash, and have little regard for other motorists.
Worst of all, squids tend to have dangerous practices that can put other people in harm’s way. At best, some of their practices would require an attorney specializing in motorcycle accident injuries. At worst, it could end up in someone’s death.
Arrogance is the defining trait of squids, and their behavior reflects that. Some of the things they do are to impress other people, some they do out of overconfidence.
Here are some of the most dangerous things that squids do and why they’re irresponsible.
- Going too fast. Squids like to show off, and one way they can do that is trying to achieve light-speed on asphalt. Speeding is not only illegal; it puts the rider and pedestrians at risk of getting in an accident.
- Lane splitting too fast. Lane splitting, when a motorcyclist drives between lanes of cars, is risky enough at reasonable speeds. A squid risks damaging someone’s car by roaring down between lanes.
- Performing stunts with no training or in traffic. Because of their tendency to brag, squids sometimes try stunts on their motorcycles. Some squids could have experience performing, but others don’t and can cause serious harm to themselves. Worse, some of them try to do this when there’s traffic, increasing the risk of someone getting hurt.
- Improper posture. Posture is important in staying balanced while riding. Squids sometimes try to look cool on their bikes. Some try lounging about or try to maneuver with their feet, which could lead to injuries in case of an accident.
- Not wearing proper gear. Squids seem to have an aversion to common safety practices, including wearing the right gear. They sometimes ride their bikes wearing tank tops, shorts, or flip-flops. None of these prevent injuries during a collision or a skid. Worst of all, some squids don’t wear their helmets, one of the most important pieces of safety gear and a basic requirement when riding a motorcycle.
Squids give motorcycling a bad reputation. They tend to draw negative opinions that reflect badly on other cyclists, such as egotism and foolhardiness. If you know someone who exhibits these dangerous squid behavior, you should try your best to dissuade them from continuing. You may be saving someone from a lot of grief down the road.