Why do you ride? “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.” That’s the all too often non response given by some riders in an effort to sound profound or philosophical, but it doesn’t answer the question, does it? Maybe it’s a question best left unanswered because it’s really an emotion without any reason behind it, trying to analyze your attraction to motorcycles, the words don’t come out right and it begins to sound silly.
The answers might be phrased a lot of different ways, depending on whether you’re young or old, new rider or seasoned pro, fair weather rider or all weather biker, racer or recreational rider, sport biker or touring couple, hands on technical type or non techie rider only, but something brought you in to the sport, and if you’re a long time rider, something kept you there.
As a child, we learn to ride a bicycle and experience the freedom of a machine that amplifies our muscular efforts into speed and distance we couldn’t dream of attaining from our own two feet. When we first ride a motorcycle, the simple twist of the throttle does what our legs used to do and, if the motorcycle is more than a moped or mini bike, we’re now able to summon speed and acceleration we previously only imagined. It can be quite exhilarating, looking for that stretch of open road to see just how fast we can go, then finding the fun in some curves and looking at the horizon and thinking it may not be as far away as before.
Sometimes what brings us in is a passing urge to look cool or do what someone else is doing, maybe it’s as practical as cheap transportation, abandoned as soon as we get a little more money. How many guys ride to attract the girls or to join a club?
Do you ride because you love it no matter who else is riding, even if no one else is riding? Do you ride because your friends ride and riding alone leaves you bored and uninspired? Do you ride to relax and unwind or to experience the thrill of speed and twisty back roads?
Have your reasons changed? Is the reason you started the same as why you stayed or has your riding evolved over time?
Personally, my strong technical attraction to motorcycles holds true for many types of motor vehicles, no matter how many wheels are involved or even if they float or fly. Engines are fascinating and the many ways of transforming the potential energy contained in fuel into the heat, motion and sound we get to experience is endlessly satisfying, but motorcycles are more basic than many of those other machines, closer to the source with less to hide the mechanical bits. But beyond all of the mechanical fascination, I remember times when the weather was right, the road just so with curves one after the other and I fell into a flow where everything just became quiet. It doesn’t happen often, but those moments are precious and you know they’re out there waiting, maybe today, maybe next week, maybe not until next year and you can’t force it, you just keep riding, you’ll find them again.
So how about you? What got you started? What kept you going? Could you give it up and not miss it or will they bury you with your bike? Why do you ride?