Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why do we ride? It's the freedom stupid!

Why do I ride?  Everyone who rides has their own reasons, and while many are different, probably more overlap.  The biggest reason that I see is freedom. 

So how are we on two wheels more "free" than those who choose four?  After all, we don't live in some parallel dimension US of A where motorcyclists have a more liberating bill of rights and I would probably be more hesitant to take my Harley off road than I would be my Cobalt, and I woundn't take that any further off road than my driveway or maybe a lawn parking lot.  While our bikes get much better fuel economy, limited tank size means that on any larger motorcycle, driving range is roughly equivalent to a compact car, maybe less (of course our fill up with premium is under fifteen dollars while a Corolla will cost over forty to fill), so I cannot just go further any my four wheeled counterparts.

My initial reason for riding was a combination of fuel economy and a desire to simplify my life.  Riding is simpler, the bike something that I can work on, and riding bicycles has always been a source of enjoyment for me.  But after I began riding, I found that being on the bike rather than in the car was very freeing.  It's hard to explain, but take the enjoyment of a convertable and multiply it by a thousand and you'll have an idea.

I love driving.  I enjoy the unity of man and machine that can be had in an automobile, particularly one with a standard shift transmission (tiptronics and paddles do not count).  A motorcycle combines that with an open air experience that simply cannot be had in a car, no matter how open the roof might be.  You steer the car into a turn, but on a bike, you and the bike lean into the turn.  If you saw Ironman, you might recall when Tony Stark walks into the lecture with Colonel Rhoads and the pilots and says, "What about a pilot without the plane?"  That is what riding is like as compared to driving.

So here I am on my 107th day of riding.  I've logged 121 hours and 2,250 miles on Comet, and though I am still very much a novice, it feels as though I have been doing this all my life. 

Rock hard & ride free!

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