Click, vroom, and then step back for a minute or two and let its heart warm up. The warm morning sun shines down, glinting off chrome, polished aluminum and deep glossy paintwork, blinding flashes of brilliance, sparks of life or just beautiful. Your eyes drink in the view, the form that is so functional, the beauty that move you, little secret delights that attracted you to this bike from the start. Maybe it is the curve of the tank or the flow of the exhaust pipe, perhaps it is in the construction of the wheels or that oh so beautiful back end? Whatever, it is a private thing, you can tell other owners and they might understand but even then, would you want to or would they even agree with you?
The throbbing engine note, the smell of warming metal and exhaust fumes, it is not just looks that attract you to your bike, that would be so one dimensional, so shallow. The majority of the uninitiated would laugh at the fact that as you walk past your bike you feel the need to touch it, to connect, it’s not all adrenaline; it is tactile and sensual too!
And then those few waking minutes are past, the engine note is settled and now calls for the open road and the chance to stretch its legs.
Clunk, always a clunk with first gear, a satisfyingly solid noise that lets you know you are on your way. Everyone’s everyday ride is different, open roads, or city streets, but everyone’s everyday ride is special. A favorite corner, a long straight, the perfect overtaking place, lane splitting, the cute butt that you see if you get to the corner at the normal time…everybody’s ride is different. The drop down into the valley, to the pool table smooth, slightly banked corner, even cage drivers love that bit of road, but they miss out on the smell of the wild garlic as you hit the perfect line going through it. Now garlic makes you think of a fast bend and you smile a secret smile…and people think you are weird!
Then there is that set of traffic lights, always a queue but never for you, you naughty little filterer. But what makes it special is the smell of the bread in the little bakery and now bread makes you think of sad, grumpy faces, watching you as you slide past them…and so you smile a secret smile…and people think you are weird!
Then there is that little lump in the road where you can get air, or that department store window where you catch your reflection and think, “yeah” (we have all done it, nothing to be ashamed of!) Don’t forget that fellow biker you wave to every day at the same spot, another of the enlightened few who gets it.
All good things end and all too soon you pull into your parking spot, which you have because you ride a bike and can park anywhere, and for a second ponder on the trip to work. Click, you turn the bike off, your feet touch terra firma once more and you pat the seat and walk into work, taking one last backward glance.
Isn’t everyday life just grand?