People ride motorcycles for all different reasons. Some for the thrill, some for peace, others to reinvent themselves. Me, I've always been a car guy, and a very loyal car owner too. I've owned my current car for 10 years, and it runs perfectly. I have learnt to do most of the mechanical work myself, mostly with just the help of my workshop manual, and YouTube. I want it to last forever. I'm the type of guy who noticed other nice cars on the road. Motorcycles, never (until now).
I just couldn't understand the appeal of a motorcycle (call me stupid!). My parents didn't like them. We were often warned to stay away. I guess I associated them with fear, death. I didn't grow up with anybody who rode a bike. My friends were all in the car scene. What's even more disappointing, is that I would find myself 'switching off' whenever the conversation turned to motorcycle riding. Basically, I knew nothing about bikes, didn't care, wasn't interested.
I say 'disappointed' because I've recently discovered how awesome the motorcycle scene is; and learnt that its so much more than two wheels and an engine. Its a culture, and one I am learning more about each day.
The turning point for me was in 2012. I was living in Europe at the time (a long way home from OZ). I remember one afternoon I was sitting on the lounge holding my one month old daughter, when a motorcycle documentary started playing on TV. Some British guy travelled to the US to ride across California on Cruiser bike. The open road; historic towns; and wonderful scenery really touched me. I watched another one of these documentaries - Route 66. For the first time in my life, I imagined myself riding - although the thought terrified me at the time. If I could just overcome my initial fear, then I was sure that motorcycle riding was something I would find incredibly rewarding. Suddenly, the seed was sown.
I didn't act on my interest until this year - some three years later. Not because I lost interest. On the contrary, my fascination with motorbikes grew in that time. I was just already very committed - my work, my family, my studies. The timing wasn't right, until this year.
In February I was having a cup of coffee with a work mate and I somehow mentioned that I would one day wanted to ride. I talked about my experience back in 2012 and how I wanted to learn to ride, but never followed through on my intention. Then a strangest thing happened - my friend told me he regretted not learning how to ride. We kind of decided that we would go through the licensing together - to make sure the other wouldn't chicken out. He did his in April. My course is in two weeks.
The past two months have been great. Ive been reaching out to friends who ride/have ridden motorbikes to learn as much as I can. There is a lot to learn - bike size, bike style, road rules, safety, gear. Of course, I'm one of those people who really gets absorbed in a new intrest. It isn't enough to know the basics. I've learnt that motorcycle riding is a culture in itself. There is a lot I want to write about my journey into motorcycling.These days when I drive my car, its the motorcycles I notice the most. The fear of riding has been replaced with that axious feeling of wanting to ride. What excites me most is that this is only the begining of my journey.