this is what im thinking
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  1. #1

    this is what im thinking

    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 weight 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 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 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 that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than Pana-Vision and 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 per 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. 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 half a 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 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

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  3. #2
    Bad Hair Day Array gforce69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pitt Meadows
    03 Triumph Speed Four
    "You smile because I'm different, I laugh cause you're all the same"

  4. #3
    Registered User Array jeffy74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Maple Ridge
    2007 Suzuki GSX-R 750
    Wow. Good writing!

  5. #4
    Excellent read

    Is it spring yet?

    .....How 'bout now?

  6. #5
    Save water, ride oil cool Array PeteDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Surrey what
    wow, you should be a poet-well done
    if some is good, more is better, then too much is just enough.

    I'm not Fast...your just Slow

  7. #6
    The Comedy is in the Back Array Saturnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    bro, do you even ride in a straight line? #1 asshole
    on a motorcycle i know i'm cold .....i dont like being cold.....cold makes me thing of SYberia and the little people.....
    Throttle Trauma 3 - Stunt riding documentary - digital download - visit
    The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.

  8. #7
    Disaster Monkey
    It's all true ... well said.

    Wait a minute, it's not raining, WTF am I doing on the computer???

  9. #8
    I'm hungry... Array tackle_me_2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    BMW F800ST
    I'm with ya...

    Life is no longer the same with a bike in your life...

  10. #9
    No bike for now... Array Betamax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Honda Civic
    buy a heated vest and you'll be toasty warm, even in winter.

  11. #10
    Devil's Advocate Array RoadBlur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    The slums of new west
    Suzuki XV 2182
    Fuck that I froze my nutz this morninig, there ain't nothin' poetic about that
    -=Graduate: Dragon Driving School=-

    Raise your pitch forks in the air, shake 'em like ya just don't care!

  12. #11
    good read

  13. #12
    Yeah my balls were cold too...and so where my hands ....but the two layers of thermal underwear help!

  14. #13
    the only thing that will stop me from getting on the bike is snow. Put on some long underwear and have at er' !!

    nice post.

  15. #14
    Moderator Array Mighty Kentor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Mission, BC
    2004 R1, 2005 DL1000 V-Strom
    I've had that posted on my office wall for a few years now. It's a good read for sure. Who ever the author is knows me well.
    Reformatted to fit your screen.

  16. #15
    Registered User Array Miteorite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Richmond, BC
    /me nods.

    Buy a winter suit.
    Buy a heated vest.
    Buy a set of winter gloves.
    ...and you're set.

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