A recent post here touched on the idea that riding time was fast disappearing, as work, for many of us, encroaches on formerly free time with smart phones a constant reminder of what we do all day. Long periods free of interruptions are harder to come by and what you do then is a choice between many competing priorities. The choice, though, isn’t always a matter of what we can squeeze into the time, it’s often more a matter of what we prefer in the first place. With unlimited time we can do a little of everything, at least in theory, but we all tend to gravitate toward though things we enjoy the most. In the world of motorcycles those choices could be broadly grouped into “wrench, ride or race” with a small segment of enthusiasts, myself as an example, where we can add “write” to the mix. So, “wrench, ride, race or write?” Hmm, … interesting choices.
We all cross the lines
Very few of us focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else, but if you look at your own choices, you probably make room for some activities far more easily than others. Do you look at the approaching weekend with thoughts of riding all day long or going to the track to hone your skills, or do you think about where you left off on that project bike, what the next steps are, what problems need to be solved or are you focused on restoring some barn find to pristine condition?
Again, even if you prefer riding to all else, normal maintenance is necessary to keep you on the road, but some of us like to do it ourselves, knowing it will be done right while others make an appointment where a technician takes care of everything. Those riders might even consider maintenance an annoying interference slowing their return to the road. Racers, at least in the amateur ranks, are likely to be involved in the wrenching, often to a very high degree, while the pros, naturally, have crews to take on that responsibility. Racing, however, is a very small fraction of the enthusiast population and writing, as in my own case, far smaller, still.
But wait, where would you classify these?
If you think about this breakdown of activities, you can come up with a few things that don’t fit into the catchy title very easily and if someone is employed in the industry it muddies the waters even more, so perhaps it’s best add a qualifier to the title of this post and ask, as a non-professional who chooses to be involved with motorcycles in some fashion, which activity do you prefer?
Personally, I spend a lot of time on this keyboard, obviously, but recently, I’ve been spending more time out in the garage. When I was younger, I rode more, though I’ve spent far more time with a wrench in my hand than many other riders ever do for one simple reason, I enjoy it. My various jobs over many decades have almost all focused on troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining all sorts of complex equipment and that spilled over into my lifelong pursuit of finding out what was behind that cover tagged with “no user serviceable parts inside.” 😀
Many of the motorcycles for sale highlighted here on The Kneeslider are often painstaking restorations that took months or years to complete, yet, with a few miles on the odometer to check that everything works, the owner sells it looking for another project. A buyer might then enjoy riding the like new machine, hoping he never has to adjust or repair any of the previous work, perhaps even because he doesn’t know how. It’s all priorities.
As our free time decreases and motorcycles compete with so many other activities, where do you prefer to spend your hours when your motorcycle is involved?