Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Vehicle To Solitude

Many people are attracted to motorcycles for the social aspect.  Hanging at bike night with buddies, group rides, showing off on Main Street, etc..  Even a competition driven racer will tell you one of the best things about the racetrack is the people you meet there.

My personal draw is at odds with the above.  I seek the refuge of two wheels not for whom it can take me to, but what it can take me away from.  My interests lie not in the cock-waving stoplight drag-racers with 72 foot swingarms, chrome storm trooper helmets and flashing LED light strips, or the wanna-be Daughters of Matriarchy outlaws with leather vests and patches revving open pipes and rattling windows on their Milwaukee iron.  If that's your bag, then fine, who the hell am I to judge?

My first teenage experience piloting that Yamaha DT250 was terrifying.  Suddenly the sound of motor and wind overcame the voice of the guy yelling instructions at me, and I was alone.  In those moments the only thing controlling my fate was me and the decisions I would make.  No one was shouting anything, telling me what to do or not do, how to be or think.  All the voices were silenced, drowned out by the sweet racket of a piston-slapping two stroke harmony.  I would crash a few moments later, but even that was not enough to deter me.

I have never stopped trying to get back to the feeling, the soul-cleansing aloneness I felt that day.  Beyond fun and enjoyment and entering into the realm of spiritual need, a motorcycle can be a vehicle to many things, for me it is a vehicle to solitude.  Which in this day and age is not a bad thing.  Not bad at all.

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