Saturday, August 6, 2022

Anniversary

Hard as it is to believe, today is exactly 25 years since I first got on a motorcycle. Naturally this causes some reflection.

I ride motorcycles because I like to ride motorcycles. They offer real, intrinsic pleasures. Like the joy of dancing with nature's forces, getting thrills from fierce acceleration, and savoring the excitement of leaning deeply into curves. In short, motorcycles are fun.

I never cared or worried about their social status. I don't cosplay as a tattooed biker or resemble a teenage squid. I'm simply a guy who enjoys riding.

In the 1950s and '60s, motorcycles became cool. They acquired social cachet from Hollywood movies and national magazines that glamorized them as the pinnacle of social deviance. They were seen as forbidden toys for dangerous bad boys. That image caused many young people to try riding. 

The symbolism dwindled, however, and later disappeared. Today you might see a motorcycle in a brief cameo during an action-movie but they aren't the stars anymore; films aren't centered around motorcycles the way they used to be. This change diminished the interest of some young people in riding -- which is sad, because speeding through space on two wheels has real-world appeal.

As the motorcycling community gets older and smaller, I refuse to abandon an activity that makes me happy. I didn't get into motorcycles because of "society" (which is just other people's views); I won't get out of it for the same reason. As long as I can continue to swing my leg over a piece of hot metal, I'll do so.

"When the path reveals itself, follow it." 

(C. Strayed, "Brave Enough," p. 79)

"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba." 

(H. Thompson, "Kingdom of Fear," p. 173)


17 comments:

  1. Congratulations on twenty five years motorcycling Ally. Hopefully you'll have many more years of happiness motorcycling, enjoy.

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  2. I have been riding since I was 14. That is 60 years. The thrill never goes away. There is nothing like it. I will continue until I cannot. '09 Harley VROD (best bike I have ever owned or ridden.

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  3. Well said! Congratulations on 25 years of riding. Great picture too.

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  4. Congrats on 25 years of riding! It's nice you are able to mark the anniversary and that you still find fun and enjoy the community :)

    Hope you are having a good weekend :)

    Away From The Blue

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  5. Happy anniversary! Motorcycles is the cheapest form of therapy, at least for me!

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  6. What a wonderful tribute to 25 years of motorcycling, Ally! xxx

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  7. That's a great pic of you, Ally, in your leathers! Congrats on 25 years of riding - it's a gift you have given yourself. Ride on, my friend, ride on.

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  8. Congrats on your anniversary and you look very cool in your leather jacket.

    Motorcycles have always had a forbidden lure. My mom was in a bad accident while driving my uncle's motorcycle. So despite my dream of a vespa moped, I've stayed off a bike.

    Plus I live in one of more dangerous cities for driving - we made a top 40 list this past year. I daily watch drivers run stop signs, red lights and speed, weaving in an out. I always say a little internal prayer for any bikers I see on the road. Yes most of them are older, but some young and hot headed.

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    1. I understand; where I live (and ride) is terrible too. Hyper-aggressive drivers alongside totally distracted ones. I'm statistically more likely to bite it on the road than asleep in my bed decades from now. :)

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  9. Happy anniversary! That's a very special milestone indeed. And I know you don't ride to look bad-ass but you do look very much so in that jacket and pose. :D Here's to many more years of motorcycling!

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