Why I Ride

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Hunter S. Thompson

I ride a motorcycle because it makes me happy.

I ride because you and the machine become one. Your feelings become intertwined with the metal; each sound reverberating through your body and each smell filling your head. The relationship is built on trust: you trusting that the machine will not fail and the machine trusting that you will not steer it astray. That trust is tested when you fall or the machine misses a beat, but your faith in one another serves as the backbone of the relationship and leads it to prevail through even the worst of times. And that relationship makes me happy.

I ride because being on the road makes it impossible to hear anything but the wind and the engine. The sounds fill your ears and keep your mind from straying to anything but the pavement off the front tire, the pavement in your mirrors, and the landscape that surrounds you. You achieve a level of tense relaxation. Completely in tune to your surrounding environment, but nothing running through your head. This feeling becomes meditative and keeps at bay the pain your body experiences, which makes me happy.

I ride because it makes me feel so free and alive. Freedom from the world around you, the problems that exist, the things we’re told to do. This freedom feeds into the feeling of true life that pumps through your veins as you barrel along on two wheels, nothing to worry you, but on the edge of death in the very same moment. And being free and alive makes me happy.

Give me a road, two wheels, and the afternoon. That makes me happy. That’s why I ride.