I ride motorcycles to live. I am neither afraid nor endeared to the rest of the world. I am me and when I ride my motorcycle I get to be a little bit more me. Sometimes I am rude and crude and I get smacked around for it. Sometimes I am elegant and gentlemanly and I am rewarded for it. In the end when I am riding the motorcycle I am me. I don’t ask permission from anybody else to do this. I don’t ask forgiveness for turning a precious resource like dinosaurs into my form of fun. This is an activity about me. It is selfish, it is personal, and when I do it I know that I am better before, during and after the ride.
Riding a motorcycle and why I do it is personal. It is a part of who I am and who I have been for nearly 40 years of my life. I feel closer to that thing that connects me to reality and in some ways I feel removed from the place other people think is reality. I travel short distances, long distances, and intermediate distances. The noise of the road is drowned out by the screaming banshee of the worlds evil being torn from my skin in a blistering heat of righteousness. I listen to music with a new sense of wonder, I connect to the moment of a narrative I have created, and I see a future clearer for having given up the confines of a dead vehicle.
As the world rushes toward self driving cars I feel the physical sense of locomotion through my feet, hands and posterior. I shift, move, adapt, overcome, consider, calculate, role, move, and adjust to the moment. The road unfolds with majesty and grace, the trail of dirt and hard scramble unveils the future, the terror of darkness holds my soul enthralled in cones of light reaching towards my humanity. I see the world as a thread and woven fabric of physical, social, and emotional artifices.
I have suffered for this “sport” and “lifestyle” called such by those who can see the sweet but not taste it. I have broken bones, shed layers of skin, been bruised, torn tendons and ligaments and crushed my flesh when others have reached into my reality to remind I am only mortal. If I am mortal and fear the facts of that statement I am bound to live and not die slowly on a trip not of my own choosing via a mode of transportation I do not control to a destination I can not define. What is death to living that way?
I ride to feel the world pass by and see myself rushing into it. I want to see more and like a glutton I can never get enough of the vastness of a planet I will only see a small part of. I want to experience, feel, touch, and taste the wonders of the world I was born into. There is an aliveness to the motorcyclist who holds the totality of the experience in a moment, day, or life and can know the awesomeness of that experience. In the space between heart beats the senses tense ready to spring upon the next moment. Much as the moments of the world pass by my life on a motorcycle.
It is merely a motorcycle, a conveyance between two places, a silly gimmick, a machine of no consequence, and an objectification of masculinity to many. It is the place I share some of the warmest, fondest, and most romantic moments with my wife. It is the device that brought together each of my children to see another side of the world and experience the joy of being. It gave me the skills to reach into my tepid and despicable day-to-day grind and find a little joy as I shed the excess and enjoy the rest.
It is just a vehicle. A two wheeled vehicle. It is just a motorcycle and I am a motorcyclist.