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April 15th, 2003

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06:09 pm - Ride
Why do I Ride?

I have been asked before, and undoubtedly will be asked again, Why I choose to ride a Motorcycle. It is easy for the uninformed to spontaneously spew all sorts of tragic misinformation, and even some valid criticism, about the risk/reward ratio of motorcycling. So instead of trying to explain what managed risk is, proper protection and skill, and how one shouldn't base judgements of a Real Rider on squid-like activity, I thought I'd just tell people why I ride.

Why do I Ride?

I ride for the pure pleasure in it.

If you have not ridden seriously before, let me tell you it isn't anything like driving a car. Behind the wheel of a Cage (car), most drivers use a smidgen of their brain (autopilot!) and a hand on the wheel most of the time. On a motorcycle, you just can't do that. You must drive with your whole body. The risks for a rider in an accident are more severe, so we must be exceptionally careful. Our brains have to be constantly scanning and predicting what the cagers will do. Your left foot is shifting, your right is braking, your left hand is controlling the clutch, your right hand is both controlling the throttle and the crucial front brake. Your upper legs and your weight are both keeping you on the bike, and leaning properly to maintain control. Nothing is idle when you're riding.

In a cage, even the driver is a passenger. On a motorcycle, you are in direct control. You are a part of your machine. You aren't just being carried down the road, you are flying down it. On a motorcycle, you are more than a passenger, you are the machine. In being the machine, any ride, no matter how short or simple, changes from a trip to an adventure.

So if you ask me why I bothered to ride my Motorcycle to something, I'm going to answer, "Why on earth wouldn't I?"

Current Mood: energeticenergetic

(6 comments | Speak your mind)


[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2003 03:54 pm (UTC)
Well said!!!! When are we gonna hang out?? Are you riding to Laconia this year?? I'll be there all week. But we should def hang out.
[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2003 04:28 pm (UTC)
When are we gonna hang out? No clue. You know I'm pretty deaf, right? If you're cool with that we could get a cuppa sometime and chat.

Is your bike on the road yet? I went for a looong cruise today only to notice I forgot to register/inspect it this year! OOPS. I just did the rmv today.

Laconia: I can't think that far ahead, but if I do go it will probably only be for a day. Maybe squeeze in a ride on the Kank.

[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2003 05:52 pm (UTC)
Hahaha. I dunno why but that strikes me as funny. The you know I'm deaf right, thing. 'I' don't care if you don't. I can finger spell does that count? If all else fails we can sit and throw things at each other. That's always fun. Do you just sign or read lips or what? My ASL is very poor. I don't care if you can't hear or you speak Etruscan. We'll manage. As for Laconia, I'll be there from Tuesday to Sunday so if you wanna meet one day that would be cool, it's not such a long ride right?? I've had like 4 vodka tonics right now and I REALLY need to go get ready to go out.....
[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2003 09:34 pm (UTC)
Hell, I can't even fingerspell yet. :)

Some people just Don't Deal With It Well.

They get that nervous looking-for-escape-route look in their eyes, so I let 'em bail. Not to mention, seriously fucks you up when looking for a job. :)

I don't speak Etruscan!

Laconia is 2 months off, I think, right?

Yeah, if you have 4 Vodka Tonics and you DON'T go out, you're just a lush. But if you do go out, you're just prepared for a night of fun. ;)
[User Picture]
Date:April 25th, 2003 10:38 pm (UTC)
I always find myself finding ways to answer this same question when I am asked. The answer never comes easy because it's hard to equate the experience into words...

I've always been partial to the way Robert M. Pirsig describes riding...

Taken from the book,
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.
[User Picture]
Date:April 25th, 2003 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thats good stuff. I never got around to reading it, although I really should!

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