For those of you who never saw the movie “Wild Hogs”, you should if you want a good start to understanding why men ride motorcycles.
I can remember being a child and what my first impressions of motorcycling were. The thing I most remember is my moms cousins and their “motorcycle garage” behind their house. Back in the sixties cut up choppers were the thing to have and at any given time you would see a large variety of them at their garage.
As a child, you can not help to feel awe at the sight of tattooed men with all that iron and noise around them.Â Even at this age I still find myself in awe, at times, when I am surrounded by motorcycles. It’s like being in the wild west without the guns.
But even though I have always had a love of motorcycles, it wasn’t until I reached forty or so that I truly appreciated what it does to enhance my life.
Having a motorcycle in itself doesn’t necessarily bring excitement and adventure. It is with whom and what you do with it, that makes motorcycling a great thing. Nothing else exemplifies this more than owning and riding a Harley Davidson. It is like belonging to a club with out walls and rules. It’s a fraternity with out the hazing.
The absolute best reason for riding is the people you meet and become friends with. Someone tagged it “male bonding” but I think that’s a load of commercial crap. Yeah we all get along, but I always think of bonding like a bunch of men sitting around singing Kum Ba Yah. That just isn’t happening. What happens is that the motorcycle becomes the common denominator that brings together men of all backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, chefs, Realtors, electricians and so on, just wanting to do one thing. Experience life through simple transportation and being able to share that with someone else who can understand it.
A lot of people always ask me why we get together to take a trip and ride for hundreds of miles a day.Â They think its boring because you have no one to talk to, like you would in a car. They can’t understand what reason we would have to go to Ohio, for instance. What could possibly be a reason to ride there. This is the one thing people don’t really understand about motorcycling unless they ride one. The trips aren’t about the ride itself but the friendships that come from them. The best part of the ride is always at night when you pull into a new town, and go out for a steak, some drinks, and laugh your ass off about the events that took place that day. There aren’t any phone calls from work, no bills to pay today, no kids to drive to soccer, nothing but you and that bike and your friends.
I just spent the better part of four days on a ride that rolled up 1200 miles. On that trip I got to spend time with my uncle, that I probably would never have done with out our motorcycles. We were all drenched in rain that was so heavy, we had to dry our boots on the heaters in the hotel rooms. I smelled the aroma of at least 12 different things that I would have missed if I were in a car. I got to act like a college kid again, when we all did shots of Vodka in a small cafe in State College Pa. I experienced roller coaster excitement on rte 322, where roads were cut out of the sides of mountains that were so steep that trucks had to ride their brakes just not to crash.
There’s a saying bikers have, “Ride to Live, Live to Ride.” which just about sums it all up. At no point in my life have I ever felt as alive or as free as I do when I ride.
So here’s to my friends “The Mild Hogs” and to another safe and successful trip…
The Regular Guy