Motorcycling means adventure
Every time I get on my bike I am excited. Turning the key and pressing the starter gives me the shivers, even pulling on my gloves or cleaning the visor fills me with anticipation of the ride. You rarely get this feeling with a car, maybe if it is new, or maybe if you are going on a road trip, but a bike, even going to work is a pleasure. There is a meme that says “Sometimes I can’t decide whether to ride my bike to work or to phone in sick and keep on riding”, I can relate to that!
Lane splitting and filtering
I know this is a bit of a “thing” in the states, but I am lucky, all my riding has been in Europe and here it is not such a problem. In France car drivers positively encourage you to go past them, pulling right over to leave you space and in doing so they also prove that they have seen you. Sticking your right leg out after you have passed is the recognized way of saying thanks for this by the way. The French government has even started the process of legalizing lane splitting rather than just ignoring it, sometimes they are enlightened!
A self portrait!
With this peace of mind regarding the law I can thoroughly enjoy cutting through traffic and filtering up to the front of the rush hour morning queues, laughing in my crash helmet as those in their little tin boxes, their lives ticking away as they look at the back of the car in front, sitting frustrated and resigned to their fate. Cruel I know....but true!
Bikes are quick, on a normal journey they get you from A to B faster than most other forms of transport. However, they are not only quick in that sense; they are also, as you know, fast. Let us be honest with ourselves, we love riding fast. The thrill, the wind, the power, no other form of transport can even come close to matching a bike in this respect, except for the most exotic of super cars and they are not only abhorrently expensive but also in very short supply. A average sports car will be quicker through the twisties than a bike, but when you compare acceleration and top speeds then the bike will eat them and for a fraction of the price. That knowledge makes enjoying the performance available with a twist of the wrist even more satisfying somehow.
My own mortality
A hot sunny day, a dry clear road, smooth tarmac and a beautiful tight bend. Your tires are warm and sticky, your head is clear and life is great. Braking hard you drop into the corner, and with sticky rubber biting hard you play catch me with the forces of gription. As you wind on the throttle to exit the corner, for a split second you unexpectedly feel the rear tire go away from you, and then grip again, making the bike buck and weave just a little. It’s not a brown underwear moment; it is more that at that moment you know you were right there, on the edge, the split second lasted a minute in your mind, the smile lasted the rest of the ride…
It’s not flirting with death; it’s getting the most out of life…