Riding motorcycles is awesome. You’ll hear a lot of differing opinions about them, but you never know if riding is for you until you get out there and try it for yourself. Yes, it’s dangerous, but not too much so as long as you don’t ride like an idiot. Most of the danger comes from other drivers on the road, and if you’re paying attention to them then you’re able to minimize that.
Also, wear your gear. Seriously. My gear has saved me from injury multiple times. I’ve gotten hurt worse from hiking and slipping on a carpeted set of stairs than I have from motorcycle accidents. Because I had gear on, and the gear got scuffed up instead of me leaving skin on the pavement.
But this post isn’t here for me to lecture you about the importance of riding safe and wearing gear. If you want to know more about that, there are plenty of websites out there that can outline how to do those things. I’m here to tell you why owning a motorcycle is the coolest thing in the world. So let’s get started.
This one is hard to explain unless you’ve felt it for yourself. Driving a car is convenient, I’ll admit that. For storage and for passengers and for protection from other cars. But you’re inside a giant box, and you have to stay in line with other giant boxes. If you’re on a narrow road and you need to turn around, get ready for that awkward 3-point (or more) turn.
On a motorcycle, you’re not confined by those things. There’s a greater range of motion, a greater freedom to glide gracefully from place to place. You’re agile. You’re more in touch with the vehicle. When I drive a car, there’s always a distinction between myself and the car. It’s clear to me that I’m driving the car. On my motorcycle, I feel a fusion of man and machine. The motorcycle knows what I want from it, and it cooperates with me.
It demands your focus
This is more true of a motorcycle than a car, by a long shot. When you’re riding, you have to pay complete attention to what you’re doing. If you’re not focused on your body positioning going into a turn, controlling your throttle and being prepared to brake or pull in the clutch, you run the risk of making a mistake and crashing.
I’m not saying it’s difficult to learn, or to do. All I’m saying is it demands your full attention. Unless you’re riding in a straight line at the speed limit on a wide open freeway during full daylight, it requires an almost zen-like state of concentration. This is a wonderful thing, because it doesn’t leave any room for distractions. There’s no time to worry about your job or your marriage. You’re fully engaged. It’s like meditation. It forces you to be mindful.
You aren’t as affected by traffic
In my car, I’d be bummed if I got off work at 5pm because everyone else is getting off of work and the roads will be all clogged and I have to sit in that traffic with everybody else. It’s not the amount of time it takes to get home that bothers me the most, but the feeling of being trapped. I have no choice. I have to be sitting there with all those other cars.
On a motorcycle, in many parts of the world, this isn’t an issue. I am completely unaffected by traffic. If the cars around me aren’t moving fast enough, I go between them. Again, this is something that requires focus and attention. It’s not something to be taken lightly. But man, is it liberating!
This one is the best. In the parking lot at work, there is a section for motorcycles right by the entrance. I never have to park up three flights of stairs or wait for a spot to free up. There is ample parking for all two-wheeled methods of transport.
At home, I don’t have to park my motorcycle on the street like I do with my car. I can slip up the side of the driveway, past the other parked cars, and fit my motorcycle neatly into the side of the garage.
At the gym I go to, if the parking lot is full (or even if it isn’t), I’m allowed to park on the sidewalk right by the front door. How awesome is that?
Last but not least, here it is. The reason that I wanted a motorcycle ever since I was old enough to drive. I wanted to go faster. I am an adrenaline junkie. Like I said earlier, it’s something that you can’t take lightly. You have to be fully engaged with what you’re doing. It doesn’t leave room for any distractions or worries. All that exists is you, your bike, and the road. No stress. No frustrations. Just the moment.
To sum up
Owning a motorcycle is freeing. You have control, agility, and freedom that you can’t get on four wheels. You can go more places, park more places, and there’s less holding you back. Yes, there are dangers, but they’re not unmanageable. How many riders do I know that have crashed? Most, if not all of them. How many got back up? Well, all but one. And that’s not a bad record, considering how many I know. In my opinion, the benefits of riding far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It’s an experience I recommend at least trying. If you don’t fall in love with it, don’t keep doing it.
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