Why do I ride? I can reel off all of the politically correct and oft-parroted phrases—loving the feeling of freedom, the open road, getting away from it all, the thrills—as well as anyone. There’s nothing wrong with those phrases. They are all acceptable answers, but none of them truly covers it completely.
To me, riding encompasses not only the certainties and the doubts of riding motorcycles specifically, but also of life in general. Each time I get that edgy urge to push it and tempt fate seems to be some sort of personal test—am I who I think I am? Suddenly, I’m getting in my own face and it’s the only face around. You’ve got to confront the truth of yourself because, really, you are pretty naked once you let the clutch out and go.
Then, there’s the aspect of a definite separation from regular life, like getting the ultimate hall pass. “Taking yourself for a ride” can be a real spiritual treat.
I’ve only been a rider for seven years (and not at all for the past two and a half) but for me, it’s a combination of the freedom, the spirituality, the power and the danger of riding that literally soothes my soul.