I turn 35 next week. When I was 33 years old, a friend at church tried to convince me to buy a motorcycle so that we could go riding together. “Riding where?” I asked him. “Just riding,” was his response.
After a year of discussions with my wife and an assist from the $4 per gallon gas prices (most motorcycles get over 50mpg), I bought my first motorcycle in June 2008. I bought it on eBay and I didn’t really look at where the seller lived. He lived in Northern Michigan. Right next to Canada, eh. When I discovered this, I realized that I would need to drive up there and collect my bike by myself. I had a trailer hitch installed on our van (you know, the one that we don’t have anymore?), spent $20 on some winching tie-downs from Wally World, and rented a trailer from Uhaul. I left at 0700, and arrived around 1500 (3pm). We loaded up the bike, and after some paperwork, I took off for home around 1700 (5pm). I got home at 0100 and crashed into my bed. Actually, IIRC, I unloaded the bike and drove the trailer back to the Castleton U-haul so I wouldn’t have to in the morning.
I then spent two months looking at my motorcycle, since I had promised my dad (after registering the bike) that I wouldn’t ride the bike until after I passed the safety course. After passing the safety course in September, I started riding regularly, until November when it got too snowy, icy, and cold. I still rode three or four times a month through the winter.
Now it is warm again. I don’t care if it is raining or not. I don’t care if it is windy. I don’t care if it is hailing—-actually, that one I do care about. But aside from that, I want to be on my bike anytime I have to go somewhere. This is what my friend was trying to tell me when he said, “Just riding.” I have tried to explain this to my wife. When I drive my car, I’m merely attempting to get from point A to point B. When I’m riding my motorcycle, I am enjoying the trip. I think this is one of those things that you can’t explain, but that must be experienced. I recently found the following list of quotes about biking, and thought I should share them. I got them from the Motorcycle Forum website:
- Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.
- Life may begin at 30, but it doesn’t get real interesting until about 90 mph!
- If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.
- Work to ride & ride to work.
- If you ride like there’s no tomorrow, there won’t be.
- Bikes parked out front mean good chicken-fried steak inside.
- You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.
- Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.
- There are two types of people in this world, people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could ride motorcycles.