It’s not great. I was asked to write something for our summer edition of the staff newsletter at work. It was supposed to be an article but turned into this kind of spoken-word thing. Anyway, a little easy reading for you all before NMBL and I head off on our vacation this Friday. I hope you like it.
Get away for the summer. Get outside, out of the city, and leave this hectic life behind. For a few days, for a few weeks. There’s a spot in mind. That special place where nature can be experienced. Something simpler enjoyed. Something more relaxing experienced. Hop into a wheeled glass and steel cage, oblivious to the world, and take aim at that special spot. Are we there yet?
No cage for me, man. I want a motorcycle.
“Open road” freedom the wheeled cage companies pump, but experience is muted; noise dampening and cancelling, distraction gadgets, creature comforts, independent climate control to sterilize the journey. Create a hunger for bigger straighter faster freeways. Point A to point B as quickly as possible, if you please. Get there without so much as a nod to the world. A caged animal needs to escape! Are we there yet?
Not for me, man. Not on a motorcycle.
Travelling in a car is like watching a movie. Riding a motorcycle is like starring in one. Bikers on the road less travelled seeing what is missed by the masses on wide paved expanses. Secondary highways are our jam. Not looking to see what’s around the next corner. The corner itself brings joy. What’s around that corner is the bonus. In the moment with no distractions experiencing bliss. The rider-machine gallops through the world. Never asking “Are we there yet?”
This is for me, man. I need my motorcycle.
Modern four wheeled cages are same sameness. The excitement all but bred out. A personality neutered. The motorcycle grows into itself, personality revealed with each new turn of the throttle. Wake it up! Listen to it growl as the clutch releases. Feel it rumble into acceleration. Its heart thumps with each piston stroke. It’s as alive, a life, as the rider in its saddle. Rider and bike dovetail into a union of man and metal, leaving miles behind, devouring the ones ahead. We don’t care if we’re there yet.
The ride is for me, man. I want my motorcycle.
Sometimes the road travelled doesn’t lead to the destination hoped for. But the trip, looked back on with a smile, is worth it. We ride to explore distant places. To coexist with our machines. To be in the world. To be rather than to escape. The journey is as important as the place. Hunter S. Thompson said “Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle.” We’ll be there when we get there.
I love the journey, man. I love my motorcycle.