" When asked to describe what they love about motorcycle travel,
riders toss around romantic vocabulary like "freedom" and "escape."
We think there has to be a more tangible component, a key sensation
perhaps, or a unique emotion that can only be roused by humming tires,
rushing wind and the promise of a long ride. But what is it--that
sensation that once tasted, leaves us so eternally hungry? Where's the
magic in a motorcycle journey? Perhaps it's in the posture. When you're
riding down the highway on your cruiser your arms are open and extended
as if you're expecting an embrace. In this position you're uniquely receptive
and vulnerable to the world as it rushes towards you . . . I know that when I
roll off a few miles and click into my riding posture, I suddenly feel at peace.
And when I know I can stay in that position for hours--or better yet, days--I
feel joy. The weight of my world rolls off my shoulders and gets lost somewhere
in my wake. The danger and subsequent concentration might also play a role in
the satisfaction. Have you ever taken a moment to realize how much stimulation
your mind and body calmly absorbs while you ride? The wind's noise, vibration,
buffeting and the cold or the heat would quickly reach intolerable levels if you
were standing still. The sound alone would be enough to separate you from your
skin. Realizing how subtly these things register while we're riding reminds us how
focused we are. It's fundamental meditation without the lavender and tea lights.
Perhaps another explanation can be found if we tear apart what makes a motorcycle
trip so different from other acutely pleasurable experiences in our lives. Think
of your favorite things for a moment . . . things that heighten the senses and
quicken the heart just to imagine doing them. Maybe it's eating perfectly tendered
abalone, stepping into a bubbling Jacuzzi or making passionate love. Even at their
best the thrill of these things simply doesn't last long enough. All too soon we're
sated and left to remember the joys of expectation. Motorcycling is different. Riding
is an ongoing, endless state of anticipation that requires no apex to bring satisfaction.
Unlike most other forms of travel, riding lets us feel the world we're moving through.
We get to taste every nuance, smell every subtlety, feel every pulse of the elements.
It puts us in touch with the essence of the planet and separates us from all that distorts
it. In order to travel any distance on a motorcycle we're also forced to pare down our
own clutter until we find what's vital. The process of strapping these fundamental items
onto the spine of such a simple machine is in itself an act of purification. In motorcycle
touring there is simplicity, and with simplicity comes fulfillment. The answer to what
makes motorcycle travel so magical may not be so complex. Perhaps it's just like a delicious
book you hate to put down. Each journey is a chapter and each corner a twist in the plot.
It's a story that lasts a lifetime, with a moral only its own characters can understand." author unknown