Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Season of the bike.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by chicken78, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Its great to read a piece which captures motorcycling in its essence;



    http://ironandair.com/open-road/season-of-the-bike/

    There is cold, and there is cold on a motorcycle. Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold. The wind’s big hands squeeze the heat out of my body and whisk it away; caught in a cold October rain, the drops don’t even feel like water. They feel like shards of bone fallen from the skies of Hell to pock my face. I expect to arrive with my cheeks and forehead streaked with blood, but that’s just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for highway speeds.

    Despite this, it’s hard to give up my motorcycle in the fall and I rush to get it on the road again in the spring; lapses of sanity like this are common among motorcyclists. When you let a motorcycle into your life you’re changed forever. The letters “MC” are stamped on your driver’s license right next to your sex and height as if “motorcycle” was just another of your physical characteristics, or maybe a mental condition.

    But when warm weather finally does come around all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a motorcycle summer is worth any price. A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us languidly from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

    On a motorcycle I know I’m alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sunlight that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than PanaVision and higher than IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard.

    Sometimes I even hear music. It’s like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind’s roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock ‘n roll, dark orchestras, women’s voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed.

    At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it.

    seasonfinal.

    A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane. Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It’s a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It’s light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it’s a conduit of grace, it’s a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.

    I still think of myself as a motorcycle amateur, but by now I’ve had a handful of bikes over a half dozen years and slept under my share of bridges. I wouldn’t trade one second of either the good times or the misery. Learning to ride was one of the best things I’ve done.

    Cars lie to us and tell us we’re safe, powerful, and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, “Sleep, sleep.” Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that’s no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.
     

    Attached Files:

     Top
    • Like Like x 18
  2. So true. A really good read - thanks.
     
     Top
  3. Awesome read. Thanks for Sharing. (y)
     
     Top
  4. A very good read! Thanks for putting it up!
     
     Top
  5. That's a great read. I think this bit sums up why I ride, even if I do suck at it!!

    "But when warm weather finally does come around all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a motorcycle summer is worth any price. A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us languidly from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

    On a motorcycle I know I’m alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sunlight that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than PanaVision and higher than IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard."
     
     Top
  6. Love this

    BEST :p
     
     Top
  7. This sums up commuting up and down the Hume Highway if you live in the Southern Tablelands. But then every once in a while you join up with another bike and although you were freezing at 110km/h, suddenly you've forgotten that and you're gritting your teeth and accelerating...
     
     Top
  8. Great write up mate.

    When I jump on the bike, everything else just vanishes into oblivion. It's only me and the machine then. All other traffic users are a mere distraction on my journey. It does not matter where the journey takes me, as long as I can feel the wind around me and the vibration of the four stroke engine between my legs.

    I love it so much, that I'm already wondering when I'll be able to jump onto it again, when I get back home and turn that key to put the monster beneath me asleep again.

    My wife believes it's only an excuse to get away from the busy family life, but it's much more than that. It's being whole and myself. A one hour ride is as much to me as a whole week's leave from work (without the bike - of course).
     
     Top
  9. Happy you all enjoyed it :)
     
     Top
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I started off disliking the unrealistic and so unrelatable description of the rain, and the true but by now cliched description of cars as boxes, but it got better as it went and by the end I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    If anybody wants to serve motorcycling then learn to write (or speak) this sort of stuff - there's nothing here to do with rights, everything to do with the love of the ride, and it's very powerful stuff!
     
     Top
  11. The description holds true if you're riding with an open face helmet. But yeah, it has been exaggerated a tiny bit. :)
     
     Top
  12. Actually, LL, one of my reasons for usually choosing to don the full face (I also have pudding basin and open face helmets and in the right conditions I much prefer a very geared down, open feeling) is the comfort of the full helmet; it's very true: rain, dust, heat, wind, stones etc - they're bloody nightmarish in an open helmet. I wasn't thinking of that.


    (I still haven't found the right compromise that gives me the protection/comfort of that lower face cover while offering the open-air and connected-with-the-environment feeling of an open face. The holy grail.)
     
     Top
  13. not often we hear from you [MENTION=32879]chicken78[/MENTION] but when we do, :)
    very nice n thanks for sharing
     
     Top
  14. definatly the season for riding, i spent today getting the viffer going again after it sat for about two weeks (its ****ed, ultra bald tires, dead headlight, needs a major, so im not riding it at the moment until i can afford to service it)

    Anyway, got it going after pushing it up and down my street 5 times then went for a nice ride in my t shirt and shorts, as much as squidding is dangerous, it feels ****ing great, i always make sure i go for a few gearless rides around my local area per year in the summertime so that i can stay sane.
     
     Top