Those who know me, know that I am an obsessive cyclist… and have ridden a bike for most of my life: commuting, off-roading, bike touring, racing, and a handful triathlons on my Cervelo. Even in remote or quick journeys, I somehow manage to find a bike and use it as a means of getting around.
So, it may surprise some of you to know that I’ve never been on a motorbike. This will come as even more of a shock to those who know me from the 80s and 90s… and all my friends were into long hair, motorcycles, and thrash metal.
The reason I give people is: I don’t ride a motorcycle because it doesn’t make me fit, it doesn’t kill stress, and it doesn’t burn down my speed-of-light personality. Plus, I figure I’d rather be sitting inside a Jeep 4×4 when some redneck jackass in a pickup truck hits me… and not on the back of a motorcycle.
But, this is not entirely true.
The real reason I don’t ride a motorbike is that I’m afraid of what I might do once unleashed. Anyone who has ever cycled… or scuba dived… or swam… or climbed… or raced with me knows that I’m crazy. I will constantly push the limits of what can be done until I’m stopped… usually by some sort of wipeout, equipment failure, friends, or my own physical limitations.
A wipeout on a bicycle can be bad… but whatever I’ve done to myself in sports is nothing compared to what a person can do to themselves on a motorcycle. And, my own physical limitations won’t get in the way of me going really really really fast. I want to keep my speed limited to what I can do with the power of my legs.
However, I’ve recently been told that I’m going on a motorcycle tour next summer and need to get my Canadian Class 6 license before then. The reasoning is fair. I always choose and plan the travel… now it’s time for someone else to orchestrate… and the orchestration includes motorbikes.
And, so begins the long and drawn out motorcycle journeys. The good news is clothes that I bought (and spent a lot of money on) in the 80s/90s were actually made for motorcycling (and not metal concerts… go figure) and still fit. The bad news is I’ve been told that not one person will ride with me if I wear a “f**king 80s rocker jacket” even though the said jacket is 1.5mm thick leather with enforced elbows, shoulders, and zippers… and can withstand a crash better than Cordura.