Why do we get on a 2-wheel machine with nothing between our pants and the cement but a 400-pound piece of metal? I have been crashing motorcycles as long as I could remember, some not so bad and some pretty rad. After a crash the same thing always comes to mind while I’m laying on my back, “I’m alive!”. I take a deep breath and lay for a moment taking in the scene. The smell of leaking gas, burnt rubber, and something else I have never been able to identify, start to mix together in the air. Pain and injury sucks but in a way it helps us remember we are still alive and breathing. Any day could be our last, why not live it up to the fullest?
Motorcycles are dangerous, there is no denying that. If they weren’t we wouldn’t be riding them. I was recently watching a Vimeo Clip of a motorcycle shop in Galicia (Spain), El Solitario MC. If you haven’t seen their video, it’s definitely worth checking out. The guy in the video has some pretty cool ideologies on why we ride; “We are defenseless. If just one element goes wrong it could spark a disaster. If it rains, you get wet, if a driver isn’t looking at his rear view window you crash…but it’s that vulnerability, that fragility, that attracts a man to get on his bike. Dribbling in between cars, rounding curves, or through trees, it’s precisely that vulnerability that guides us isn’t it? In our darkness the bike nourishes us, it keeps the brain rebellious and alert. It obliges you to stay flexible open and ready” (http://vimeo.com/112657233). Life can sometimes become ordinary or plain, and in my opinion riding a motorcycle adds color and, as he just said above, it keeps “the brain rebellious”. So as this cold weather finally starts to wind up I’m looking forward to riding my bike more and I am definitely looking forward to smelling that spring air again!
One big constant I can, without a doubt, say about riding motorcycles is to always wear a helmet. I wouldn’t be here typing this story if it wasn’t for a ¾ helmet with a bubble shield. I know my right hand tends to twist up more than it should at times and that’s why I have to wear a helmet. It’s sad stuff to see friends or family go down without one, it’s not worth it. The guy laid up next to me in the ICU wasn’t wearing his and his outcome was totally different than mine. Ride hard, ride smart, and… ride.
– The Rider