Ever looked really close at the legend warning print on a motorcycle/and some cars side view mirrors? some what lends to the motorcycle mystique.
Why do otherwise-sensible people ride motorcycles ?
It’s not as easy to answer as one might imagine. I’ve been riding since 1995 and love it perhaps more now than I did back then . It’s far
more than just the wind in one’s face–it’s the melding of man and machine
into a uniquely working partnership requiring the best of both.
All riders are better some days than on others. Even though the difference
may be slight, the competent rider is always aware of it. There are those
days when one’s timing seems just a wee bit off the mark–when the frequent,
multiple and simultaneous actions required to operate a motorcycle just
don’t seem to flow quite as smoothly as usual.
On the really good days, everything is silky smooth. Arms, legs, feet,
hands, fingers, eyes, and brain all perform in a silky smooth coordinated
It’s a sweet feeling.
Unlike a car, which typically involves only the operation of a
steering wheel and an accelerator, plus the occasional use of a single brake
pedal and a turn signal lever (which some drivers omit), a motorcycle is far
All of one’s limbs and senses are fully involved in riding a bike.
In brief, the left foot operates the gearshift, cycling between five or six
different gears. It is also the first foot put down upon stopping the
machine, and operates the kickstand. The right foot operates the rear brake,
which is operated in smooth conjunction with the front (and most important)
brake, which is operated by the right hand. The right hand also is
responsible for the throttle, the starter, and the kill switch. The left
hand operates the high-low beam light switch, the turn signals, the horn,
and, very importantly, the clutch.
At times, the rider is called upon to operate the front brake, the rear
brake, the turn signals, the dimmer switch, the gear shift, the clutch, and
the throttle all at the same time. It gets very busy.
It’s simply amazing that all of these functions can be accomplished
simultaneously, and usually smoothly, but it is a remarkable demonstration
of the coordination of which the human body is capable..
On one of those perfect days, when every move is just as slick as
grease–with every element of man and machine in perfect harmony–there’s
nothing quite like it.
Perhaps I find it especially sweet to still have that sort of smooth
coordination 20 years down the line.
Am I grateful? You bet your life.