The story of how I got into riding is perhaps rather ironic, the more I think about it, and I wonder how many of us can find similar connections to our steel horses.
Back then, I’d recently moved to a new place where my then-girlfriend had family nearby, and I was going to need a way to get to work. I was young and earning a ration-like amount, so a car was never going to be the solution.
I honestly can’t remember how the idea of a motorbike came about, but I do know that I went for a curry to celebrate when I passed my CBT. I think they were simpler days!
Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for this tool for commuting to realise itself as something greater, and this is where the magick began. It became the way to escape the ever-increasing neuroticism of my ex, the way to meet awesome new people, and literally the method to escape all that I didn’t like.
It makes sense to me, then, that ‘freedom’ is an oft used justification for why we ride, but I think it is more complex than that.
Is it, for example, the freedom of movement that bikes enjoy, or is it something more? Is it a freedom ‘from’ something looming over us, where, as we twist our throttles, gives us the adrenalin to never stop?
In my own experience, the latter is a resounding yes, and as I was thinking on this recently, it dawned on me that motorcycles really can free us from the expectations of others, and by extension, some of the obligations of life.
So, many years after getting on my first bike, I am still being asked why I didn’t learn to drive and get a car (yes, bike-license-only madman here).
Yet, here’s the point; why would I?
I’d only be obliged to sit in traffic every morning, and for my rebel soul, that’s untenable.