What is a Motorcycle Squid & How to Avoid Becoming One
A motorcycle ‘squid’ is a derogatory term you may have heard here and there about some riders, but what exactly is a squid, where did the name come from, and how do you avoid being labelled as one?
What is a Motorcycle Squid?
Firstly, what is a motorcycle squid? A squid is a biker who rides with absolutely no common sense or consideration for other road users around them. Typically, this might be someone who's excellent at opening their throttle and whizzing along in a straight line, but as soon as they reach a corner, they slow down to a snail's pace. Often, they will overestimate their skills on a motorcycle.
Alternatively, they may pull tricks on the road, doing wheelies, burnouts, skids, and stoppies; you name it, they'll be doing it, and most likely will be doing so while wearing as little protective gear as possible, although this isn't always the case.
It wasn't originally an abbreviation of anything, but as time has gone on, the term 'squid' has been abbreviated into a few different sayings, such as 'Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant, and Dangerous' or 'Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, and Imminently Dead', neither of which have positive connotations.
Where Did The Word Come From?
Believe it or not, the term came from the Californian surfing scene back in the 1970s and was a name for when you had a lack of control over your surfboard whilst riding a wave, otherwise known as ‘getting squirrely’. If you did this enough times that your skills were brought into question, you’d be known as a ‘squirrely kid’, contracting itself down to just ‘squid’ over the years.
As time marched on, it started to appear in other sports such as BMX riding before finally reaching the motorcycling community and being used for riders that lack skills and awareness and stereotypically do not wear safety gear.
How to Avoid Being a Squid
Avoiding being a squid is quite a simple thing to do; you simply need to ride within your limits, ride according to the conditions you are riding in, wear your gear, obey the laws of the road and respect those around you.
Riding in a safe manner will help you to keep the costs of your motorbike insurance down because if you crash or claim repeatedly, it's likely you'll end up paying higher insurance premiums. As a rider, you should be doing everything possible to ensure you arrive at your destination safely without any accidents or problems because it may not just be you who suffers if you ride dangerously.
Wearing the correct motorcycle gear is a great way to avoid being called a squid too. As they say, you must dress for the slide, not the ride. Therefore, even if it is boiling outside and you are sweltering in your gear, wear it. Road rash isn't fun in the slightest as anyone who's ever suffered from it will tell you!
There are many options out there these days for summer gear, from perforated jackets, boots, gloves and trousers to underlayers that help to keep you cool and keep away sweat, so there is really no excuse for not wearing your gear.
Respecting the road and your motorcycle are two incredibly important points. Your motorcycle is powered and controlled by you, but it will easily cause you some serious damage if you do not respect it and its capabilities. This works the same way with the road.
Roads can hide all sorts of dangers, such as potholes, oil spills, and slippery leaves on the floor; therefore, it’s incredibly important to always ride according to the rules of the road and the conditions.
Simply put, the best way to avoid being labelled a squid when riding is to follow the rules of the road, ride within your limits, and wear all of your protective gear.