Motorcycle Riders Are NOT From Mercury

mercury-motorcycleTHE ONLY THING THAT RELATES THE GOD OF MERCURY TO ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS IS HIS HELMET. Well, that may be a stretch. (Not all bikers wear helmets). But it’s probably closer to a truth than any whimsy that depicts all motorcycle riders as coming from Mercury.  Sure, of all the major ancient Roman Gods, Mercury is the one noted for speed. But not ALL motorcycle riders are fast.

Some bikers never were inspired by the notion of taming a two-wheeled missile. And others who have been charmed by that wayward path may evolve into somewhat of a reformed motorcycle maniac in their elder years. (I would count myself in the latter, with an emphasis on the “somewhat” part of “reformed.”)

Men Are From Mars…

I never read the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, but I understand it was an attempt to reconcile differences between men and women by likening them as creatures from different planets, further idealized by classical Roman Gods.

Now, I’m no expert on Roman mythology. But if the differences between men and women can be characterized as from separate planets, I would say it’s fair to state that motorcyclists are not from the same planet as non-riders.

I mean how can you even describe motorcycle riding to a non-rider? Earth languages do not allow an adequate conveyance of the concept.

Regardless of the difference between motorcyclists and non-riders, my education lacks in naming a Roman God that adequately looks over riders. (On the other hand, my familiarity with Roman mythological Gods does not extend much more beyond the ones mentioned in this article).

Mercury in Mythology

Let’s consider a definition: “Mercury was a messenger, and a god of trade, profit and commerce.” Furthermore, “The word mercurial is commonly used to refer to something or someone erratic, volatile or unstable, derived from Mercury’s swift flights from place to place.” (From Wikipedia).

Irrespective of the “swift” part, and ignoring that I’ve known a small percentage of riders who could be characterized as “erratic, volatile or unstable,” (I’ve probably been called that more than once when I used to collect motorbike speeding tickets as a hobby), the definition fails to portray a majority of motorcyclists.

Hence, if riders are from a different planet than our fellow earthlings, I do not believe we have identified the correct one.

I mean what kind of other planet would spawn creatures who find solace and relaxation in an endeavor that anyone else would consider abundantly dangerous?

On the other hand, if we consider that Mercury is also “A planet god known for his intelligence,” that might be an apt depiction of the collective wisdom contributed throughout this blog by its readers.

(Consider this post as testament to the occasional eccentricities that surface on this site….)

38 thoughts on “Motorcycle Riders Are NOT From Mercury

  • I just ran across this site by accident, I was a Mercury Rider in 1971. I remember a lot of you guys, including our mascot Rex the German Shepard. If anyone was in the club from 71-73 let me know. Bo, how are you man ? How’s Richie and Gary doing?


  • Zeus.
    I am the chapter vice prez of a riding club in north Carolina called Lordz of Thunder.
    our logo is a gold lighting bolt in front of an electric blue Z.
    The z is for Zeus, father of the god, slayer if titans and lord of thunder.

  • Nice to see the Mercury name related to motorcycles again, I’m a member of Mercury Motorcycle Club in Glasgow, Scotland. Our club was formed in 1946 and meets weekly in the Milton area of Glasgow. We take part in some Charity Events and are the founders of the Yorkhill Sick Childrens hospital Easter egg run its been on the go for many years and recently we did a Charity Run for Eastpark childrens home in Glasgow.

  • hey JW
    been awhile since I got back to this site. yes I knew JC well, I was president during that period, rode with a guy named steve s—-. what have you been up to

  • been awhile since I got back to this site. yes I knew JC well, I was president during that period, rode with a guy named steve s—-. what have you been up to

  • I don’t believe motorcycle riders are from a different planet at all. Eagles soar higher than other birds because they’re just made differently than other birds. Motorcycle riders ride because they’re just different from other two legged creatures. Maybe some just ride motorcycles because you can’t take a horse across America in a few days. It never occurred to me to try and explain it to non-riders. Why would it? My first experience “on a bike”, believe it or not was in a dream. In 1974 I dreamed that I was riding a motorcycle. I was 22 years old and had never been on one. But the dream made me want one. Much to my surprise, the gears shifted on the real bike the same way they did in the dream. Go figure… I never did figure that out and I’m sure most people wouldn’t believe it any way. I don’t believe in re-incarnation, but if I did, I might think motorcycle riders are just re-incarnated eagles or hawks. But I guess the truth is that bikers just have a love of personal freedom and the joys of creation that draws them like a magnet. I recognize the fact that no matter how competent or responsible a biker may be, he can still get killed by the un-foreseen. If that happens to me some day all I can say is I never regretted the ride. So, how come nobody ever hacked on the bungi jumpers who wanted all the thrill of throwing their lives away and none of the commitment? I can’t think of anything in the world that would inspire me to bunji jump. Not even a wild and vivid dream 🙂

  • Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

  • Erratic ? Volatile ? Unstable ? Possibly …

    Swift ? Well, as the saying goes amongst bikers – The older I get, the faster I was … :~)

  • Motorcycle Riders Are NOT From Mercury?
    To some of us Riding just came into our lives naturally and will all ways part of us. There is no explaining to to any one, We ride that”s it No explanation necessary.
    Here in Ontario Canada it”s The CMC for me.

  • Does anyone know the address to the old mercury riders clubhouse.maybe i can get some pictures of my father from there.

  • Does anyone know where sal is now.anyone that remembers him i really need to talk to him.also where was the club.what road.if you know me and i will send my phone number

  • Yeah, telling non riding friends about the joy of riding a going machine between your knees is like telling a fellow in the Sahara Desert about snow sleding in Montana, simply a waste of time. Most think I’m crazy, maybe a little, since I’m close to 82. I started riding on an AJS when I was 19 and the joy has never wore off, some skin has but nothing serious

    I ride a small bike around town, a 225 Yamaha, a GSX650F Suzuki on the road and a Gas Gas trials in the hills where there are plenty of rocks. I never think of the planet Mercury while in the saddle, it is more like Cloud Nine with a little taste of Heaven.

    Josh sez: I’ve given even trying to share the experience with my non-riding friends. I’m not sure if we’re from mercury or some other planet way out there, but I trade being able to ride for anything in this world. To which I fully agree!

  • My error, it was Black Jack I remember, not sure about Joe. The President also has a snowmobile that he rode in front of the clubhouse doing about 70 mph. Thanks, JW.

  • Hey Bo, not sure if you were the President between ’74-’75. I remember the Pres. at that time just bought a ’75 Superglide. At the time I was just 17 and had a Kawasaki 750 Triple and was introduced to your club by a member named ‘JC’, I also remember Joe & Sal. Even did a run with you guys down to NJ somewhere. I liked the ’75 Superglide so much that when I turned 18 I bought one in June ’75. Kept it for 31 years. just sold it in 2006 for a 100th Anniversary RKC. Ride safe, thanks, JW.

  • this is a super way for communications to go on, dont need to sign up or in—just leave information

  • I Was the president of the mercury mc in astoria ny – while it was 30+ years ago, i dont think the club exist’s anymore, the house is bolted up and see no activity with google earth in the las 4-5 years. however search for JOE or black scotty or white scotty (a nyc fire inspector) good luck

  • I ride wirh a group of friends in NJ and I made T shirts with the Mercury Riders logo. Hey Lee were does your group ride. We should start a Mercury Rider MC chapters up.

  • I also remember seeing a group of guys riding motorcycle in Astoria called the Mercury Riders MC. I ride wirh a group of friends in NJ and I made T shirts with the Mercury Riders logo. Hey Lee were does your group ride. We should start a Mercury Rider MC chapters up.

  • I am not only a rider, but a sometime astrologer. Mercury is the planet of communication, and also of short journeys, which may have some relevance to some riders. While grand and stable Jupiter might rule cars, perhaps Mercury could be related to bikes.

    In another way of looking at it, the ruling planet for bikes might be Earth. When we ride we are exposed to it, and can see it streaming by under our feet. And while four-wheeled travelers are separate from the air, the sun and the scenery, we move in it, as part of it.

    But what’s truest of all is that non-riders simply cannot relate. It’s hard to understand that the objective isn’t the being there, it’s the getting there. And car folk often have only the merest understanding of their vehicles, while even a weekend biker has some idea of the mechanics of their charger.

  • Growing up in Queens NY in the early 60’s. I remember seeing a group of guys riding motorcycles. They had patched on their jackets that read Mercury Riders MC. You are right bikers are from “MERCURY.” I been ride with a group of guys and we call ourselves Mercury Riders. We just ride to have fun and enjoy life.

  • I recently told a non rider friend about an upcoming tour 3000 mile motor cyle tour that I have planned . All went well until she said “why would you ever do that on your motorcycle when you could do it in your car?” basically end of conversation…

  • I must say that I agree with the line in the article about earth languages being unable to describe the feeling of a ride. I’ve given even trying to share the experience with my non-riding friends. I’m not sure if we’re from mercury or some other planet way out there, but I trade being able to ride for anything in this world.

  • The sun at your back The wind in your face. Riding the highways from place to place.No place to go everywhere I’ve been my rides are my memories I can share with friends.No matter what you ride the world is waiting so open your eyes. Have a great year of riding an keep her on two wheels.

  • In response to Mark who said, [quoted from his comment,] “If the hippies and potheads of the sixties had only discovered motorcycles they would have been singing about Mercury instead of lame insipid Aquarius,” and other comments:

    I fit Mark’s description. I also manage to ride between storms here in Beautiful Boston where we just got two inches of RAIN to wash the salt off the roads. But it also came with intense winds, so it dropped a lot of tree limbs at the same time. I can avoid the tree limbs.

    Just a few hours before the next weather blows in with a few inches of snow.

    I ride year round, as long as sand, salt and ice are to the side of the road only.

    Made a heated shirt, use hippo hands, and generally don’t even notice the cold if the temperature is at freezing or above. Mid twenties gets cold for long rides.

    And I’m a risk manager / insurance guy. Blows peoples minds when I show up on a bike which gets to the point of this — I feel safer on my Goldwing than in my Altima. Better range of vision. Better maneuverability. Much more comfortable seats; [leather vs. cloth.] V6 vs. straight 4, etc. I can’t make the same arguments about comfort when I show up on my ’81 CB900f Supersport, but it still makes a statement about managing risk!

  • Motorcycle riders are definitely a different breed of people, we all share a distinctive brain pattern configuration, not necessarily identical among all of us, very difficult to explain to the non-rider, but clearly understood between us riders regardless of our riding style. This article is a very illustrative attempt to convey a description of the, lets call it: the typical “sane” motorcycle rider.

  • What you have described to me with your reference to Roman gods, is all those conversations that I have with non-riders (quite frequent discussions since I ride daily)

    Generally the non-rider says something to me like.
    “Oh you ride a motorbike in this traffic, aren’t you scared?”
    ” It seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to get from A to B”

    Of course what our interplanetary cousins do not understand is that A and B are almost irrelevant to we riders as it is the actual journey, which ironically, they in their cages, tend to dread and endure rhat we from Mercury delight in..

    I would say that the planet Mercury is overall a happy and almost euphoric place where we live in the moment, on the edge, exciting and captivating.

    If the hippies and potheads of the sixties had only discovered motorcycles they would have been singing about Mercury instead of lame insiped aquarius..

    oh and what is Kindle? and who cares..

    Mercurial Mark..

  • Hi,

    I’ve started a new blog in which I review blogs that are available for subscription via the Kindle. I’ve subscribed to yours, and am going to have to give it a bad review because it is unsuitable for the Kindle. Here at your webpage, anyone who wants to read the articles just has to click on the article title to see the whole article. For readers of the Kindle, however, the title link is not live, and so all they get is a single paragraph with an ellipsis telling them that t here’s more to the story…which they can’t read without coming direclty to you blog.

    I don’t know if you’ve got the ability to do something to your software feed so that the complete article is available for view on the Kindle, but if not…that might explain why you don’t get any subscriptions for Kindle. Which I think you probably would…if the situation were otherwise!

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