Why do you ride?

It is a question I have heard many, many times since I first threw my leg over a motorcycle at the age of 14. Over the years, I have given many answers: Adventure…freedom…to be different. The list goes on and on.

The truth is, however that it is really hard to explain to a non-rider just why it is that I do ride. Further, I am not sure I completely understand it myself.

As my friend Warren Broussard likes to say, “Asking us why we ride is like asking a dog why he sticks his head out the window of a car.” The dog can’t tell you but it sure looks like he is enjoying it. Experts say a dog sticks his head out the window because he is sensing his surroundings, taking in the tastes and smells of the world as they pass by. I guess that applies to us too.

In reality, the dog does it because it feels good. I guess he just likes it. Guess what? That is really why I ride. I like it. Jumping on my bike and heading out on the open road is just plain fun, no matter where I am going or what I am riding.

I can be headed to the store on my Honda, racking up mountain miles on my BMW or just cruising on my Harley. They are all interchangeable and they are all a hoot. Truth is, I ride because it makes getting from one place to another a very pleasant experience.

Sure there is adventure and freedom and sure I am not just another car on the freeway. But it is really a whole lot more than that. Driving a car is driving a car. Riding a motorcycle is, well, it is an experience.

When I am on a motorcycle I feel like I am a part of my surroundings. I can smell the freshly cut grass or the sweet smell of fresh bread at the bakery as I pass. I can feel the differences in temperatures as I travel from sunlight to shade or ride alongside a river or stream.

Sure, sometimes it is too hot or too cold and you get rained on occasionally. But sometimes a summer shower is just the thing to cool you off on a hot day. Oh yes, the smells are not always the best either — like the beat up, oil burning sedan ahead of you in a no passing zone, or the occasional road kill baking in the sun. But this ability to sense your surroundings and be a part of them is an experience that makes riding a motorcycle so much more than traveling by car.

I also find that I am inclined to stop more and worry less about deadlines when I travel by motorcycle. It is just much easier to take that road you have never traveled before or to pull off and check out the little antique store or roadside museum you always pass in the car.

Adventure, freedom, exploration, to me it all adds up to fun. When I ride, I think of my parents. They used the family car to get to work and church and to drop us off at school. They used it to go see grandma and to shop. But on Sunday’s after church, the family car was used for adventure and exploration. Sometimes we just drove around and looked at things, with no particular place to go.

I ride my motorcycle like that sometimes.

American Novelist and Poet Don Williams, Jr. wrote: “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

Riding a motorcycle is much like that. The journey often becomes more important than the destination. In other words, it is not where you are going that makes it all worthwhile, just how you are getting there.

That is why I ride.

See you on the road.

Bob Courtney




~ by larider on August 29, 2011.

3 Responses to “Why do you ride?”

  1. u need to check out Bikes Blues and Bar-b-que in Ark. it is the last week-end in Sep. I have been going now for 6 years and i love it . first two years by myself now there is 8 -12 of us that leave that Friday before so we can get a lot of ride time up there come ride with us u will enjoy

  2. That is a great suggestion! We will add it to our 2012 schedule of rides.

    Bob Courtney

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: