Love Is A Motorcycle

People fall in love with motorcycles. For many, it is a lifelong love affair. For others, who have never felt that connection with a two-wheeled machine, it can be inexplicable. Please, allow me.

The feeling of riding on a two-wheeler begins, for most of us, with a bicycle. We feel the wind on our face and in our hair. We learn to love that sensation of moving through our surroundings in a new, faster way. We come to accept, and cope with, the ever present element of danger from loose gravel, suddenly appearing potholes, and, of course, cars. We discover the freedom of traveling distances our legs alone will not take us. We feel the glowing satisfaction of a skill learned and applied. All these early experiences, multiplied to a new level, are elements of riding a motorcycle.

That feeling of freedom is partly explained by the sensory connection with your surroundings. In a car you are isolated, encapsulated, cut off from your environment by the protective layer of the car’s outer shell. On a motorcycle you are part of the world you travel; it almost feels as if you can reach out and touch the trees, the sky, the mountains or grasslands.

For some, maintaining our vehicle provides great satisfaction. Motorcycles contain all the systems of a basic automobile: an engine, a drive train, wiring, a cooling system, and so forth. Wrenching on a motorcycle is, in many cases, easier than on a modern car. It can be less intimidating for a novice mechanic.

One of the most common and compelling reasons to love motorcycles, however, is that they are, to use a completely sexist phrase, chick magnets. A man on a motorcycle – or, let’s be honest, here, a woman on a motorcycle – holds a visceral, an elemental, attraction. However, the motorcycle itself harbors an equally strong mystique.

I gave a ride on my Harley to a young woman from the company where I worked. She got off at the end of the ride, saying she could hardly walk. It was not, she implied, because of pain, stiffness, dizziness or any other ailment you might guess. Feeling only slightly embarrassed, she then made it clear it was because she had just climbed off a giant moving vibrator. I didn’t ask her out, but every woman I’ve told since then assures me I could have. Easily.

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