Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'm totally motarded!

I'm coo-coo for... motorcycles. If you know me, this is not news; I've been riding since i was in the second grade. Lately however, I've been feeling like my moto-excitement level has been rising. For a while I've just been in situations where it hasn't been as easy/convenient to ride as I'd like. I can't lie, it hasn't been that tough, mostly i just haven't been riding much and I'm not entirely sure why.

Anyway, I took my girlfriend for an all-day ride a couple Saturdays ago and it was great. Riding with a passenger is something I'd not done much until recently (well, i still haven't done it much) and I'm finding that i enjoy it quite a bit. As with many things in life, motorcycling is even better when shared with someone close to you. It is especially interesting because she's never done much riding before at all so it's an entirely new experience for her. I think a lot of people are less than thrilled to be on the back of an uncomfortable motorcycle all day long, looking over someones shoulder to see down the road. I think she honestly enjoys it though, which is great for both of us.

One thing that has always struck me about motorcycling is that even when you're doing it with other people, it's still in a way a very personal and solitary experience. No one can talk to you. You're alone with your thoughts. That's been one of my favorite aspects of motorcycling and I'm sure that it always will be. At times, riding with a passenger, I'd like to be able to speak briefly to point out a distant sight or to discuss the surrounding sights, smells and feelings. That's not possible, or practical anyway, but it's a compromise I'm usually willing to make for the peacefulness and isolation from intrusions.

It's also interesting how many things you notice when left to yourself like that. You become aware of changes in temperature or moisturocity of the air (yes i made that up), the subtle (or sometimes not-so-subtle) smells, the sounds and other various stimuli that pass unnoticed when one is enclosed in the damped and filtered comfort of a car. When I'm looking down the road, my motorcycle isn't even in my field of view, which creates the illusion that I'm gliding over the road under my own magical power. I feel like i experience the world so much more then, than when I'm in my car.