I saw a patch the other day that read “You have to be a biker to understand why a dog loves hanging its head outside the window of a moving car” and I’m sure that if you read this blog you are one. As “winter is coming” (Do you like that? I stole that from Game of Thrones) Its likely you are starting to suffer from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) You go to the garage just to clean your bike and start it “to charge the battery”. You listen to the engine sound, and feel energetic about planning trips for warmer sunnier days well that’s if like me you live in the southern states. I suppose it could be worse I could live in Melbourne or Tassie!
Anyway back to the point, that patch started me thinking about how I often find myself trying to explain to people what I enjoy about motorcycle riding and as I get older, the question becomes more frequent. The sad fact is (and this is probably a reflection on me ) the first answer that pops into my head is “ if you have to ask, you will never understand” (which by the way I saw on another patch some years back) naturally I don’t actually say what I’m thinking but the urge is there… so the question that has been haunting me, is how best to explain the unexplainable. I have tried analogy’s like “it’s the same feeling a surfer gets when he watches the sun rise on a windswept perfect wave”.
Or a bush walker gets when he finds himself alone and one with nature, or a hang glider gets when he looks sideways and sees an eagle souring on the thermals beside him or a diver gets when a great white shark swims past (well thats if he hasn’t filled his wet suit with… well you get the picture) or a solo sailor under sail with hundreds of dolphins keeping him company on an empty ocean.
The problem with these analogies is that they are mine, I have felt them, I have done and experienced those things, so I use them as my own reference points, what if the person you are talking to has not had those experiences? I am sure you can see the dilemma!
I suppose I can talk about the feeling of having control with over 1600 ccs of power between you and the road, or the feeling of actually participating in the scenery, rather than just watching it through a windscreen, or the people you meet and the towns you visit and friends made just because you have a really nice bike and your seen as different in some way. The problem here is that you and I both know that’s it doesn’t have anything to do with the destination.
If you are like me, destination is not a purpose, but direction is, you probably take “random” trips through the country side and visit out of the way towns with names like Dungog, Gerringong, Gunnedah, or Mudgee; whilst looking for that perfect road. There is nothing like going through the mountain roads with an empty mind from the mundane day by day chores. You get that life is different from anything that your parents or the society has told you, freedom, happiness, and if you are lucky enough you meet the “biker’s God” – that inner discovery process where you re-define yourself and what you want do you with your life…. Sorry I was rambling and lost in my own day dream. Nevertheless I am sure you get my point and what is the point, I will leave you with this “if they have to ask, they won’t understand” now where did I put that old Steppenwolf album… “Get your motor running and head out on the highway looking for adventure and whatever comes our way”…