A short ride on a cycle can be so much more than a trip to the market or post office. It can a soulful jaunt of epic proportions. The trick is to just let your mind grasp the reality that you’re on your motorcycle and let the world disappear. Release the burden you carry when you get on you bike and become one with the experience. It’s like extreme meditation for two wheeled junkies.
Have you ever been unhappy on a motorcycle? You could kick me square in the giblets and I would still be happy while on my bike. I never really understood the whole “Road Rage” thing but it seems unimaginable while I am riding. Someone cuts me off, I don’t get mad, I just drive to a safe place. I have no time for negative vibes while on two wheels.
We ride for so many reasons. When I first started to ride, it was for the adrenaline rush and for the adventure. To this day my adrenaline still flows on every ride and each journey I take on two wheels is still an adventure. My passion of riding has become more than a physical reaction to speed and new scenery. It has become a real mental escape for my soul. Our bikes take ourselves away from the world and we have the opportunity to ponder thoughts and dreams which may be out of reach without the help of our motorcycle explorations. It does not happen much but every so often when riding, I will think of a worldly issue such as bills, personal problems and work. During such interruptions, I will quickly squash the thought. There is no room in my head for such negatively while riding on my motorcycle. When I first started riding, I would always contemplate my life’s concerns while riding which took away from the experience. It took me years of training my mind to reserve the use of my brain to focus on road safety while riding instead of thinking of everyday problems which were vexing me. This focus on road awareness eventually lead to a change of what I observed while riding on my motorcycle. The external environment I viewed while riding became more vibrant and real. The color of the trees and flowers I passed jumped out at me, the smells of the road were more pronounced and the sounds I heard became clearer. I also found that putting my worries aside while riding opened up my imagination to original thoughts and perspectives which I would have never experienced when caught up in life’s mundane apprehensions. I am so grateful for riding b/c it’s the only place where I can truly take myself away from reality and dwell on items of philosophical importance to me.
It is truly ironic because my mental focus on road safety eventually lead me to have more free form contemplations then I have ever had previously. There is an issue with daydreaming to deeply; sometimes my mind begins to focus more on my free thoughts then keeping safe on the road. So for me it’s a delicate balance of keeping safe and being able to day dream of thoughts that I can rarely ponder anywhere else. Many people would state that we must only dwell on looking for escape routes, dangerous situations, and other perils while riding. That is a priority but if done safely, day dreaming is a priority as well.
Can an individual focus on safety while riding a motorcycle as well as ponder life’s mysteries? I believe this is possible and would argue that the riders focus on self-preservation actually opens one’s mind to deeper emotional thought. When off of my motorcycle my mind seems to dwell mostly on items of immediate importance such as work, keeping up with my daily schedule and thinking of immediate needs like what’s for dinner. When on the motorcycle my brain just goes to a deeper place. It transcends the now and motors off to a different universe where I am free to dream and not be burdened by life’s problems. Maybe this is due to the fact that if I hit an oil slick and slide of the road, none of those every day concerns will be of any consequence. My mind is still hyper-focused on the dangers of the road but it’s also more open to thoughts and ideas that are not normally a priority in my everyday life. This is what I love most about riding; it gives me the ability to escape my own head.
Lane Splitting is Legal in California
Today I was stuck in traffic on a southern California highway. When traffic slows, that’s where my jealously rises. The 4 lane highway slowed into a parking lot and I found myself trapped in my 4-wheel cage. Then in the rear view mirror I saw one single headlight weaving through the traffic. Like a jaguar darting through trees, the motorcycle snaked its way between the ensnared autos. As the cycle split the lanes of the slow moving traffic, I wished that I could have the opportunity to ride that traffic gauntlet of death. From conversations I have had with locals in California, splitting lanes is not as dangerous as it appears. If done in a safe manner, the action can protect the motorcyclist from being in harm’s way. Think of it as being a proactive defensive rider who is guarding against being rear ended by a distracted 4 wheel texter. When you are between the cars, constantly moving forward, then you are sheltered from the rear by the cars surrounding you. So in actuality one can look at it as an action that reduces risk by taking risk.
In California, splitting lanes is a normal part of doing business in terms of riding motorcycles. In Colorado, splitting lanes means a reckless driving ticket. I figure the smaller the cycle, the better it could be used to weave in between cars in traffic. With that said, I did witness a big old Harley Road King doing a good job of it the other day near Oceanside, CA. I don’t like the feeling of being jealous but I really wish I had my motorcycle here so I could attempt this majestic endeavor. The weather has been foul here over the last few weeks, so I have not had the opportunity to rent a cycle, plus my work schedule keeps me busy till dark. I think would be a bad idea to attempt my first time lane splitting at night during a rain shower. That scenario would lead to certain ugliness.
Only in California Can A Motorcyclist Lane Split
Winter has arrived in glorious fashion. The rays of the sun, no longer share their warmth embrace and the evening spreads an ill faded scourge of darkness over the land. There is just something bad about waking up and going to work in the dark. Its worst when I depart work on the same day and the sun is setting. Missing daylight just ruins my whole day. The bleak situation is compounded by the fact that black ice is keeping me from getting on my cycle to ride.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays but the lack of sunshine and the inability to ride just makes me cranky. I refuse to give into the negative vibes this may cause. Just a few days ago, I was in line with this cranky dude. His whole demeanor was just sour. If this guy had a magical ferry fly out of his butt and grant him 3 wishes he would complain that he did not have enough wishes. This guy was giving off such negative energy, I actually moved back a few spaces in line to rid myself of his adverse stench. I definitely believe that having a foul attitude is contagious and I do whatever possible to stay away from people absorbed in it. I wanted to be like, “dude if you’re so miserable then do whatever it takes to be happy”. Why live such a miserable existence?
It got me thinking of a new book idea. Call it the Motorcyclist Survivors Guide to the Cycle Armageddon. It would be an instructional manual for bikers to live a fruitful life if they find themselves away from their motorcycle for an extended period of time. Someone else will need to write this b/c the thought of it is too depressing to ponder.
We live in the microcosms of our own lives, and we rarely self reflect on the ills of our fellow man. Every day we should think about those less fortunate than ourselves and hopefully take action to assist others in need. On November 11th we celebrate the service of our Veterans. It is my belief that Veterans should be honored on a daily basis not just once a year.
Veterans Day gets its history from the end of World War I. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Germans signed an Armistice to end the war, which was supposed to end all wars.
Legislation was passed in 1938 to make Armistice Day a National Holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and gave tribute to World War I Veterans as well. In 1954, the United States officially made Armistice Day into Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is a special time to remember deceased veterans as well as thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military. Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country.
My FJR is no more. I just had to much back pain and butt woes to keep my sports tour. There was nothing wrong with that Yamaha, the fault lies with my ever growing belly. The good news is that I traded in my old bike for a brand new Honda Interstate. It has a 1300 CC engine with an upright laid back sitting position which I love. It’s like riding on a pain free cloud and love the lines on my new Honda. Here are a few photos of my recent ride in Colorado.
Why do you love to ride? This question has been answered by millions of writers, enthusiast and bloggers throughout the last one hundred years. Songs have been inspired by the subject as well as movies made; all based upon our shared love of motorcycles. For me, the thought of the question never loses its luster. There is no wrong answer to why you love our two wheeled sport. As long as your personal reason is heartfelt, then no one can ever judge your response. The best part of this question is the desire amongst some of us to express it with such conviction and enthusiasm. The percentage of us who actually ride motorcycles is relatively few but our passion manifest its self throughout society. Yes it’s cool to be a motorcyclist but those of us who are really connected to riding care little of such trifle things. I am just another over weight middle aged balding dude who happens to ride a motorcycle but once I get on that cycle, life changes. When that engine starts my brain transcends reality. I no longer think about work deadlines, spreadsheets, mean people or silly little worries that hinder the soul. The sound of the engine drowns out all that negativity and life begins a new as the RPMs sky rocket down the road.
As we live our lives, we often get stuck in the quagmire of foolish discontent. For example, today I found a leak in my garage. There is a water leak around my chimney and I need to get it fixed. This was a real downer for me. The worry of the cost to stop the leak and to fix the interior damage stresses me and takes me down a notch. This worry is a legitimate concern and I have a responsibility to fix this issue for the welfare of my family. The problem becomes more of an issue because I will hyperfocus on this leak in my garage and if not careful will let this burden lead down a path of discontent. The cure is a ride on my cycle. Being on two wheels has the inherent ability to level set my consciousness and bounces me to a better place. When I am riding, I am no longer worried about bills and problems at home/work. All my attention is focused on listening to the sounds of the road. This is a two way conversation between your soul and environment around you. Our minds are so much attuned to the outside world because we are astutely aware of how much were exposed to the dangers of the world while on a cycle. It’s this feeling of exposure which is the reason for my love of motorcycling. There is something about putting oneself out there that make you feel the passion of life. Have you noticed that your sense of smell and hearing and sight are much more vibrant while riding? Once I get in that saddle, my awareness level peaks. It’s not exactly the same but I had a similar feeling while being deployed in combat scenarios in the Army. Ones senses just goes into overdrive and you feel that rush. That feeling is what drives me crazy about motorcycling but its more than that. When I am riding, I feel some sort of connection to the pathway set before me. So the road is not just a predestined route, it becomes integral part of the journey and is an extension of you and your motorcycle. Chasing adrenaline is part of my motorcycling experience but only a small part. Its more about that spiritual Zen like state that becomes you while riding.
Why do you love to Ride?