Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why Ride?

No particular destination in mind other than the road.

Riding gives me an opportunity to focus, feel the air, the temperature changes, the road and smell the flowers/exhaust fumes/trees/rivers/moss/hay/cabbage etc.

I like waving at other people riding motorcycles and the feeling that we are both sort of getting away with having some extra fun while everyone else is inside their cars.

I like the challenge of managing risk, driving defensively, being alert. I like doing motorcycle maintenance - learning about how things work, how to fix them. I like reading about riding techniques and other peoples motorcycle journeys. I like to try and improve my own riding techniques.

The feeling of riding a motorcycle has some things in common with skiing, riding a bicycle or in a boat.    I like the sense of acceleration/deceleration, leaning into curves, shifting your weight, going slow or fast - but most of all not having anything between you and the environment. Keeping focused on the road to look for traffic, people, animals, road hazards, cars ahead/beside forces you to not think about other things - very good therapy. On long trips you can start to get inside your own head but there's always something that breaks you out of that so you can't spend much time worrying or thinking about what might have happened or might happen.

There's something very appealing about being on two-wheels. It brings you back to the first time you had some independence - maybe when you were 3 or 4 and first learned to ride a bicycle. That first bicycle expanded your boundaries and that's what a motorcycle can do as well.

I could be happy and am happy just riding. I'm really glad I have a chance to try motorcycling again after a long break when I last rode in my twenties. I've managed to ride about 36K miles in the last couple of years. It hasn't gotten old.