Monday, August 13, 2007


I've been meaning to tend to this unfinished business for a long time, but always turned away at the last minute. It seems like an eternity ago when I started writing about riding, and at that time riding meant something completely different to me. It was an alternate universe to the daily grind, one that I was delighted to explore at length and that satisfied some intellectual curiosity.
What I enjoyed most, and the blog clearly reflects that, was to discover thoughtful pieces that others had written about riding that belied the common perception of motorcycling and motorcyclists. I felt there was an imaginary reader I was writing for, a singular audience who I was conducting a private conversation with. Moving out of an old life to a new one changed riding from an escape (that I no longer had so much need for) to a--dare I say it?--chore that had little to recommend it. I tried commuting on Beast 120 miles a day for a brief period, and abandoned that to a mind-numbing routine of getting up hellishly early and going to bed hellishly early.
Riding is not the thing that makes sense of my life anymore. But I hope it will eventually find its rightful place as relaxation, as recreation, and as a portal to an internal intellectual world that I still cherish. Just remember:

"We are motorcycle people; we walk tall and we laugh at whatever's funny. We shit on the chests of the Weird...But when we ride very fast motorcycles, we ride with immaculate sanity. We might abuse a substance here and there, but only when it's right. The final measure of any rider's skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. If you go slow and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles."

PS: If any member of that mystery audience is still out there, drop me a line.


Andrew said...

"...where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you—beyond the next turning of the canyon walls."

Come to Vermont. It won't suck.

Julie said...

I'm not sure that I'm quite the same kind of rider. I love to go fast, but I'm hoping I don't acquire any scars. I ride to work every day w/o snow and ice, but the commute is only 10 mi. Most days I wish it were longer. So many times I've been tempted to just miss that turn and keep going.I just opened my blog to all comments because a friend complained that he'd like to comment but didn't want to register with blogger. Immediately I had three comments from some a-hole complaining that my blog was uninteresting. His blog was a posting of lottery numbers. It takes all sorts, but my kind of people love the ride!