Everyone has a multitude of reasons why they ride, and I’m sure for most of us they are all similar. Until I tried it for myself I never really understood why people that ride are so passionate about it. Bikers are a special breed, giving their motorcycle names, unparalleled attention and admiration. But how can one possibly love a cold piece of steel and give it so much affection? All this became quite apparent as I started to surround myself with motorcycle. First and foremost you obviously have to be attracted to the sport and machine. Once you start to bond with one, then the possibilities become endless.
There’s something amazing in the freedom you feel when riding. It’s not just the wind you feel, or the openness of the surroundings. There’s this connection you start to feel between you and the machine. You learn it’s ins and outs, it’s quirks and habits. And likewise you adjust your perceptions and abilities, you grow and learn to forge this connection. In a sense you build a bond with this machine so that you can trust it when you push it. I sometimes sit back and laugh at this notion. After all, how is it possible to create such a bond with a machine?
When something brings a deep and genuine smile to your face, then you know it’s real. Riding has brought a new dimension into my life, it’s opened a doorway within me that has let me find out who I am and what I’m made of. Nothing about riding has come naturally to me though. Every step has been frightening and awkward, I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone since the very first time I sat on a motorcycle. And with each passing day as I push myself to go harder and faster, I push myself more and more through the threshold of comfort. It’s an evolving state, one that requires trust in myself as well as in my machine.
When something changes you mentally on such a level, you become bonded with it.
I’m sure many of you feel this. Those that ride a motorcycle for the pure passion and sport of riding, know and feel this. However, even with all my mounting love for riding over the last 2 years, I still struggle. In fact I would say the journey is becoming harder. As I peruse more skill sets and push myself harder, I find that mentally I cannot keep up and a fear is starting to build within. I started riding just before I turned 31 and now 2 years later I am starting to feel like I’ve hit a wall. Perhaps it’s the factor of 30 years of self preservation conditioning that is affecting me so. In either case, the frustration is disheartening.
So 2 years later as I struggle with becoming a better rider, I come back to realize the core key of why I ride. It’s the amazing learning experience and self discovery that lured me into this sport and the wonderful happiness that stems from it. When I ride it’s for myself. No one or thing matters, just that particular moment in time. When in total concentration and mindfulness, it is like meditation. Riding lets you forget your troubles, lift you spirits and take you away to a place of solitude. I think this is why many riders are able to bond with their machines.
However, just because you are in solitude on your motorcycle doesn’t mean that you loose social interaction. Quite the opposite! As a very socially introverted person, riding has encouraged me to step out into the world and put myself in exciting new places and situations. I’ve met more people in the last 2 years than I have in the last 15 beforehand. People that are of like mind and spirit, people that encourage and connect. It’s truly been a beautiful journey when I look back on it. So many fond memories, experiences and opportunities have presented themselves. And to think, I could have encountered all this sooner if I had discovered riding years before hand.
And so I will continue to ride to my next destination, to my next journey, to the next beautiful moment in time.
I ride to find myself, to experience freedom and to make new friends. I ride to feel the goosebumps on my soul and to reach my limitless potential! ~Red
A young man once said “You live more for five minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life”–Marco Simoncelli