So this summer, with the exception of the GirlClutch rides and the occasional run to my honey’s place, I haven’t really ridden much. No track days or racing. No just-because sunset jaunts by the beach, although I do miss those.
Maybe it’s because my race bike has been wrecked and I’ve procrastinated on fixing it. Maybe it’s because riding borrowed bikes doesn’t have the flare it used to. It’s not that I’m losing my passion or retiring from two wheels. By all means quite the opposite. However, taking a few of the year’s most beautiful and warmest months off has really made me appreciate the value of living, breathing, riding and working on my very own machine.
You can really never take owning your own motorcycle for granted. Having a bike that is under your name, with your touch and your choice of accessories is like adding a bionic extention to your body. This mass of metal with moving parts is nothing more than a rolling taxi with bars without you on it. It has no meaning, no personality, no allure whatsoever. You, the rider, are what makes the bike sexy, appealing and a fantasy may dream about when they’re unable to have what you have.
With a motorcycle, we get access to the alter ego we dreamed about as kids. We get to be Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, Shera, or just any strong independent woman we’ve ever admired. For me, without my bike, I’m just another average girl living an average life, bored out of her mind. Now I sit and gaze in contentment at my now whole and rideable bike and I feel such a sense of relief and completeness, it’s overwhelming.
I ask myself what would it take to give up this passion, this part of me that sometimes feels more like a habit than a way of living. It’s not necessarily good for me, nor is it imperative to my survival like oxygen or water. The bike is more like a lover. Lonely yet self-sufficient without it. Content yet anxious with it. I’ve often wondered what I would do if I had kids. Could I give it up for them? Would I have to? Am I prepared to leave a child without a mother for the simple fact I could not do without a possession, a machine.
I guess it depends on the same principle that children use to race, children who risk their lives for something they do not yet understand consequences of. We lose just as many children to racing as we do their parents, yet no one can make sense of the choices they make or why they don’t consider nexing a pastime that is clearly hazardous to their health.
Funny thing is although motorcycles are something you can quite for a time, if riding has become part of your DNA, if it has engrained itself your skin and the urge to touch handlebars has cemented itself into your conscious every day thoughts, there simply is no other alternative to riding.
Just like a base jumper keeps jumping long after his probability has run out. Just like an astronaut volunteers to go into space and just like a soldier re-enlists in the army, we continue to ride because it is simply who we are. It is a piece of our soul that drives us through to the end, wherever that end may be. Even if this life ends abruptly and that end comes too soon, we consider ourselves opportunists who have lived fully and completely and without regret. And that ladies, is what makes us riders.