What It Is

A practical arrangement (© Gustav Andersson)

A practical arrangement (© Gustav Andersson)

It is a damn big piece easier to describe what it isn’t. It isn’t about scantily clad babes crawling all over my bike. It isn’t about a loud exhaust that wakes up my grumpy neighbors when I start a ride Sunday morning at 5:0-dark. It isn’t only about attracting attention. If it weren’t a bit about that, too, I wouldn’t be writing this, now would I?
So what *is* it about?
It is the road rolling and twisting under your tires in reaction to a flick of the right wrist.
It is straight line accelaration that pushes you in the chest and at the same time makes the bike lighter to maneuver. The next curve you think yourself around more than that you consciously steer.
It is the growling V-twin motor soundtrack that you hear and feel through the seat and the controls. The voice of a potent beast that always seems to have power left.
It is more scares per liter of fuel than any other vehicle. Keeps you apprehensive, wide awake, on a hair trigger. Alive.
It is the smells of the road, the city, the countryside fed to you by motorcycle assisted ventilation. But don’t open your mouth! Bugs crash on your helmet and your jacket. They splat on exposed skin with a sharp sting and sometimes you wonder if it’s their blood you’re feeling or yours.
It is pointing your bike to where a momentary fancy takes you. You didn’t know you would be going here, you didn’t plan it, you’ve never been here before, but you’re still curious. You can switch on the damn GPS when it’s time to find your way home.
It is a 360° panorama of light, sound, smell, wind and g-forces that will never be adequately simulated.
It has a darker side that adds to it’s attraction/aversion potential. Not only do you take your life in your hand every time you ride, those housewifes on their cellphones and accountants fresh from a frustration at the office around you in their isolating boxes of steel do, too. And with them, you can’t assume the illusion of influence. They (and your stupidity, your limited reflexes) are your potential killers. The risk can’t be reduced to zero. You ride with death, and all the skulls on your bike, your clothing and with some, your skin in ink, are there to remind you of it. And you like or at least accept it. No, let’s be honest, you want it. The great Sigmund Freud accepted one other driving force except libido: death wish. You have it and parade it on every weekend ride. Orderly citizens shirk away from you exactly because of that.

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