After looking out of my window today and seeing the weather why would I elect to go on a journey from London N17 to West Wycombe Bucks on 2 wheels?
I looked at my ride out of the wiindow and thought car or van… and in the time it took to say nah!!! I had decided that I was going on my bike, now I knew that that would **** the wife off (she hates bikes) on my return. She sees it as bringing the rain in with me. (I do love her but she has no idea really)
Anyway… Needless to say I came back totally soaked, this wa due to the fact that I hadn’t done the jacket to trouser connecting zip all the way round so like a thief the water crept in, and by the time I noticed it was too late. Damn I hate that wet feeling round the nuts/bum (its hard being a bloke sometimes
Let me not go on and cut to the chase. Whilst out riding I met a couple of poles, both on CB500’s and just as wet as I was. We had a laugh about the weather which amused the occupants of a Ford Galaxy. The wife (I’m assuming here) of the driver wound down her window and asked the question why would we as grown (I’ve been called worse) adults put ourselves through this torture. Yes she said torture. I laughed at her complete ignorance and replied to her question. Honey… It’s something that you will never understand because in truth neither do I.
So I put the question to you my 2 wheeled brothers and sisters. Why do we do this? what is it that makes us want to fight against not only the safety that a car brings, but the onslought of the most unpredictable weather in the western world?
adrenaline, freedom, power, the rush of acceleration, the naked chaos, the liberty, the acceleration, the lack of queuing, the unbelievable quality of braking, the leather, the fresh air, the winding country roads, the cost, the warmth of the cuppa at the end of the ride, bacon and sausage sandwiches, the community, the meets, the ride-outs, the cammaraderie that car drivers don’t have, the fact that my top of the range bike, costs about a quarter of what a really boring gutless powerless, dull family car would cost, the speed, the thrills, the hot chicks that ride bikes, my wife in leather, the hours spent fixing my own bike, the cost I save doing it, the horrified looks of the cagers as they see me doing something that looks scary but isn’t, the angry looks of the cagers as they glower at each other’s exhaust pipes whilst I commute, cornering, learning something new, the ease of mainaining my own bevhicle, the amount of stuff I’ve learnt by becoming a biker, that I would never know if I was say in a Golf or a Mercedes, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been the rides I’ve had, the rides I will have… want me to go on…?
I was thinking the same on the way home - I know it’s cold this evening, and I’d like to be warm at home, but with my Scorpion can burbling away behind me and plenty of petrol in my tank, I just wanted to go for a giant ride-out.
I was asked that by my incredulous family in Oxford when I rocked up on my bike, especially as I’d chosen this weekend to make my first long journey :w00t: The only word I could find describe it was exhilaration. I’ve made that journey hundreds of times in the car and I’ve never arrived feeling like I did on Saturday. Not even the fog going or the driving rain coming back spoilt the experience - in a perverse way it somehow added to it.
Thanks toby I had a good laugh at that, especially as I know it all to be true, even the wife raised a smile. And there really is a perverse kind of pleasure derived from reaching a destination cold and wet but free to enjoy the experience.
Every time I arrive at a destination, I have a huge grin on my face. A bike turns every journey into an adventure.
Last weeks weather was pretty cold and wet, and I still had a grin on my face. Also, my classmates who caught the tube were turning up stressed out, wet and cold, after walking in from Colindale Tube. Whereas I was getting into Hendon with plenty of time to change into my shirt and tie and have a nice cup of coffee.
Bottom line, I’d rather ride my bike in the worst of weather than drive my car with all the other stressed out cagers any day of the year!
It’s about going to unfamiliar places abroad by bike. The planning and then the off.
Meeting different types of people and riding on often better quality roads.
How would it be possible to be a car driver, arrive in Munich in the middle of the night not knowing a soul, then somehow happen upon a gathering of welcoming ageing hippy German bikers having a party, who then invite your soaked body in to dry off and enjoy free booze, free weed and drunken discussion on classic bikes.
It’s also about track days. Taking yourself and your bike to (and often beyond in my case :D) the extremes of your riding capability in the general safety of an open race track. Where the traffic moves in the same direction, and where you can go as fast as you want.
This…in 2008’s molly coddled Britain… The government must not know…Surely.
Finally, it’s about meeting like minded people that share the same passion. Who understand why you’d want to get up at stupid o’clock to ride the long way to work. Who can empathise with the torture of losing your bike to scummy thieves.
…And who understand that it can all end in an instant due to the often inattentiveness of the 4 wheeled road user.