Why do I ride?
When the sun is out, the sky is blue, and the air is crisp with the first hints of spring Iâ€™ve already been riding. In the summer heat and scarlet sunsets of hot August Iâ€™m still riding. When the clock is moving to less daylight and more night Iâ€™m drilling holes in the ferment of discord with my driving lights finding my soul. In the hallows and dark recess of my soul Iâ€™m still riding. Lecturing in front of my classes or sitting in my office I strain at the bounds of common reason to ride some more. With the same wild abandonment of frolicking spring break teenagers I look forward to each motorcycle rally I attend. But, as you can tell none of that is the reason I ride.
Pinched in the crack of light peeking out of some glimmering glimpse of hope is the reason I ride. Held aloft in a manacled fist of daily drudgery and wondering straining freedom is the reason I ride. Wonderful as a newborn held aloft by a proud father holding the future in his hands is the reason I ride. Somewhere in the intellectual effluvia of ivory towered academia rocking gently on the stable bedrock of infallibility is the reason I ride. Towering as a tsunami washing the pollution of failed society away from the shore leaving destruction and wondering new hope in the loss ridden is why I hope to ride.
The motorcycle is at its most basic level a component of my life. A motorcycle is a machine of varying pieces and elements. A machine made up of engineering expertise and wondering science that I can only hope to grasp the edges of and unknowingly find a slice of reason. This component or portion of my dream is able to transport me through space and time on a never-ending joy ride across lands and through them to new places. This relatively simple choice in lifestyle and enthusiastic exuberance imperils my life while at the same time sustaining me against the terror of meager existence. Finding a meaning to how I got to where I am is why I choose to ride.
Snuggling in a down filled cover, with my bride looking at more stars than I can count, in a sky of deeper gray as the stars explode in a cacophony of brilliant music, is a draw to ride. Holding my dearest companion and trusted advisor close in some faraway place does not make our home any less loved. We do not leave or travel to run away for a simple weekend sojourn. Instead we return home rested to invest our children, friends, family, and colleagues with stories of the other end of the rainbow. Dancing through Canyons worn by time and man to channel our trip into the past so long ago, or puttering across expanses of long gone oceans filled with grass and cattle we move through time as water across a rock. We find the gap and meaning of drifting with meandering influence to a final destination. That is why we ride.
Finding my soul requires contemplation and reaching the depths of introspection requires total concentration on the finite. An all consumed passion to touch the fire is not done at speed, droning exhaustion, or even while exuberantly violating every traffic code on the books. The startled sparrow flutters across our consciousness carrying the map to a deeper and sometimes darker place. A plateau where our own well spring of power erupts in a fountain of understanding in the very beauty that is front of us all of the time. It is not why I ride, but that I do ride.
A motorcycle can transport each of us and be an ethereal experience of what is most important and incredibly mundane about our lives. It is about the ride, and the constant interaction of rider and machine. It is about the binding and release of pent up control while riding. It is a device to transport and convey while teaching and learning at the same time. A motorcycle is not a window onto a featureless landscape of depressing mundane worlds, but a can opener releasing the universe for our consumption. A giant hand lifts our control over the environment, and hands us the requirement that we experience in our choice of a motorcycle to ride. Our freedom is inherent in our choice of vehicle, and is a debilitating risk to our person. If in an instant the world is vanquished and the glory of the ride is unequivocally ended abruptly with finality I hope the last glimmer of consciousness is of my family. I still ride.
In the ride I have found the ability to be a better person, and help others around me. In the ride I have always received more than I have given. In the ride I will always remember that I am a lesser being without riding a motorcycle. In many ways these are all reasons that I ride a motorcycle. In some cases these are not the reasons I ride at all. As I climb aboard my motorcycle mentally tabulating the risks, associated management methods, categorizing my path and investing it with calculated efficiencies I know why I ride. I ride because I arrive home with a smile on my face and zest for my family that is all encompassing.