Why do we Ride?

It is a question that may never have a definitive answer. Why do we ride motorcycles?

The converse is often easier to answer. Too loud. Dangerous. Messes up your hair. Bugs. Fear.

The same reasons have been given FOR riding motorcycles. All of them. And then some. The mystique of the bad boy. The allure of the cowboy. The iron horse. Ride like the wind. Leader of the pack. A whole genre of Rock N Roll. Rockabilly.

Those who do not ride simply cannot understand the attraction. Like so many things in life, the explanation means little unattached to the experience.

I found a forum post that seems to explain it best. I was by a fellow who rode a postie bike from Sydney, Australia to the Ace Cafe in London which seemed to sum it up best. Dorothy is his name for his bike.

(edited slightly to be a bit more family friendly . . .)

“Then something quite wonderful happened. I had a revelation. A turning point. Until that time I thought Dorothy was the trip and that unless I arrived in Dover grinning from her back then our challenge would have failed. It’s what’s been making me so nervous recently. This feeling that if for some reason she doesn’t make it then all of this will have been for nothing. There will be no triumph, just despair; a ‘nearly’ man once again.

And then I thought; ‘wait a minute, Dorothy’s not a motorbike. She’s not even the person I’ve made her out to be. No, she’s a spirit, a mantra, a way of life. I lay there for a minute and then it hit me; we all have a Dorothy.

Dorothy is that adventurous side in all of us, the one that says ‘the heck with this – I’m off’. She’s the one who has us dream and soar and think of all the wonderous things we should be doing. Sadly she’s also the one we suppress, dump on and say ‘no Dorothy, we need be more sensible than that.’ And so she sits there, in the corner of our minds being forgotten, never ridden.

All I’ve done with this trip is spend some time with Dorothy. I’ve ignored all that holds us back and ridden like the raging winds. And so if this CT110, number plate 535DP were to drop dead in the gutter this afternoon I shall mourn the loss of a great motorcycle. One that deserves a place with a plaque noting its triumph. What I shall not mourn is Dorothy, for she will always live on, be it in the other motorcylce, bicylce or footwear that I carry on in. Because she is a spirit, my spirit, and no mechanical failure can kill that.

Nathan the Postman on ADV Rider”

That, my friends, is why we ride.


It all started late one night . . .

It all started late one dark winter night.

Like all bad ideas, some sort of nameless, faceless Meade was involved, and quite possibly the main driver. The endless flickering of the screen kept flashing pictures of old broken down motorcycles in various states of disrepair, often from places far removed from the viewer.

With eyelids approaching half-mast, and the libation approaching a filmy residue, one last click of the electronic rodent brought a vision to the reddened eyes of our protaganist.

An ancient, dare I say extinct, Yamaha enduro. The same model, year and color formerly owned by our leading man. Priced for quick sale. Promised to be in fine running order. Less than two hours hence. Who could say “NO” when faced by such a predicament, and armed with a sufficient credit limit? The answer, of course, would not be answered that dark night, as another near silent click of the plastic mouse clinched the deal. The motorcycle would soon be in his quavering Hans, awaiting resurrection to it’s former glory.