Wednesday, April 25, 2012

14 Years of Riding

Today is the 14th anniversary of me riding home on my first motorcycle. I feel kind of motorcycle-y all over just thinking about it. It's a good day. I took a few moments to just glance over some photos from rides over the years.

The feeling of riding is a fantastic, remarkable, beautiful experience worthy of poetry. I see the photos and I remember great experiences of discovery, gravity, calculation, physical and mental exertion, awe, appreciation, companionship, solitude, exhilaration, contemplation, inertia, centripetal force, belonging to nature, embracing existence. Such moments are worthy of poetry I can not write and gratitude which I give freely.

I wonder though, how one gets interested in motorcycles in the first place. All my evidence of love for the ride comes from experience of riding. But like so many kids I wanted a motorcycle well before I ever sat on one, rode one, or had a realistic chance to experience one. I noticed and pointed out motorcycles on the street like so many other kids do. I watched with wrapped attention movies where motorcycles raced through a scene. I imagined myself on a motorcycle riding through the unpaved land along the highway outside the car window on long drives before I had even driven a car. What is the attraction of the ride and of the motorcycle that lures us in? Once in, it is clear how we remain in, but what brings us in for the first real taste?

I don't know for certain but it starts pretty young in some cases, I can attest to that. And it does not go away upon achieving the ride. Since finally riding, all of those 14 years ago today, I still daydream about riding, I still think of motorcycles on occasion when I drift off to sleep, I still get excited at the prospect of a ride, and I have even been reminded that I was driving a car by others because I was driving the car like it was a motorcycle, choosing different lines and acceleration points while leaning in my seat, meshing reality with imagination on a winding rode.

I don't know what all is involved in attracting people to ride; I suppose I could think up some of the factors that affected me if I choose to. For now, I'm just smiling and thinking about a ride.

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