What's a Newbie? PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Thursday, 31 July 2008
What’s a ‘NEWBIE?’

I heard this term for the first time about two years ago.

‘It’s a label to be sure, describing a novice, someone who is new to a certain field, and in our case a person who has recently become interested in BMW motorcycles older than twenty-five years.’ That’s my definition. I have never heard this term used in either a derogatory sense, nor in a predatory way meaning, ‘Oh, Boy, Fresh Meat!’ This term must be widespread in our culture, because when younger people approach me, they sometimes introduce themselves something like, “Hi, I’m John Smith, I’m a ‘Newbie.’ ”

     John Smith and all the other ‘Newbies’ seem to have the courage to share their vulnerability. How could I possibly not like them?

     I hope we ‘OLDTIMERS’ are grateful for the interest shown by younger generations. Some of us wonder silently who will acquire and care for our collections after we fade off into the ‘Great Swap Meet in the Sky.’ Some of us pray that others, younger than we, will come along and take our places, not anytime soon, of course, but when the time comes.

     We’ve been around long enough to know that knowledge and experience  come only with the passing of time. Children learn to swim by going into the water; riders learn by getting on a bike; mechanics learn when they pick up a wrench and get their hands greasy; sheet metal techs learn when they begin to straighten and repair their first dented fenders; welders begin to learn when they first pick up a torch. The list goes on.

     For me, when I was young, there almost always seemed to be someone around who would offer a bit of cautious advice when it looked like I was about to do something really stupid. I didn’t have to listen to this advice, and sometimes I disregarded it. I paid for my inattention. Oh, how my mentors must have grieved. I was a  stubborn ‘Newbie’.

     I sometimes deluded myself into believing that investment was more important than collecting interest. I also learned that there were people who would take advantage of my vulnerability.

     Note: On page 4 of the September 2003 issue of Oldtimer Markt, the author, Heinz Stahl mentions ‘Youngtimern’ (Youngtimers)

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