To some people, throwing a leg over a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous and senseless things you can do. To others, the mere sound of a bike leaves them as giddy and excited as a child on Christmas morning.
As a motorcyclist myself, I’m regularly asked: “why do you ride a motorbike?”, especially at this time of year when the days are so cold, windy and wet. There is no one reason, but these are the 7 answers you’re likely to hear most often.
1. It’s fun
You don’t need to be traveling at breakneck speeds to have fun on a motorbike. Hitting the back roads and being taken by the smell of the nature that surrounds you is enough to brighten anyone’s day.
Pretty much every trip is fun on a motorbike, even your daily commute. When’s the last time you heard anyone describe their commute as ‘fun’?.
Riding a bike makes going to the places you don’t really want to go to a lot easier, by making the trip enjoyable, whether its work, a meeting or dinner with the in-laws. The whole journey isn’t spent thinking about how much you don’t want to be making it, it’s spent focusing on the road, your body and lane position, your speed, and of course enjoying the ride.
Not every motorcyclist takes their enjoyment from the same place, there’s a number of things to enjoy while out for a spin: the heightened sense of speed and exhilarating acceleration, the connection you feel with nature when doors and window are removed, and the feeling of oneness with a machine – knowing that every minute rider input you make will affect your course.
2. I hate traffic
Some people can deal with traffic quite well, it gives them a chance to let their mind wander and daydream, for others traffic exacerbates their road rage and before you know it someone’s pulling a golf club out of the boot.
Although traffic density will affect how quickly you get from place to place on a motorbike, you can get around much more quickly than other modes of transport. In fact, in some built up urban areas, commuting on a motorcycle is almost 3 times quicker than other forms of transport. So, you can spend more time doing the things you really want to do.
3. It relaxes me
As mentioned already, you need to be fully engaged when riding a bike. There’s no time for your mind to wander to past or future worries, you must be totally present. For this reason, many motorcyclists describe going into a meditative state when riding. This is hugely beneficial on ‘big days’ when you have important meetings or things to do.
After you get off the bike you’re in a relaxed state, which often accompanies you for the rest of the day and affects how you deal with every situation thereafter.
Going for a spin is one of the best stress reduction tools there is and a wonderful way to clear your mind.
4. The freedom it gives
There’s a sense of freedom that comes with riding a bike that’s just unparalleled.
Feeling the sun on your skin or chill on your neck, the wind hitting you with more and more force as you twist the throttle and taking in the smell of everything around you, it all contributes to an undeniably freeing experience; It’s no wonder motorcyclists often choose to take the long way home.
5. It’s a rush
Ok, for many people, this is the obvious one. There’s a huge sense of excitement and rush when you ride a motorcycle. Whether it’s just going that bit over the speed limit, stringing together a beautiful set of corners or popping a wheelie from time to time, riding a bike can provide plenty of excitement and adrenaline.
There is a common misconception that all motorcyclists are out to go as fast as possible and push the limit almost all the time. While this may be the case for some riders, it’s certainly not the general rule.
It’s safe to say we like living and we’d like to continue living, so our plan isn’t to push the bike as far as we can before something horrible happens. With that said, sometimes, when the mood takes you, it’s nice to push on just that bit more.
6. It’s rewarding
Riding a motorcycle is a rewarding experience, where even the tiniest of actions can have huge reactions. The more effort you put in when riding the more you’ll get out of the bike.
Adjusting your speed and road position, lining up your body and dropping into a corner is like executing the perfect plan.
Like a golfer chasing the perfect game, some motorcyclists chase the perfect ride. Looking to up their skill level every time they go for a spin and implement new information they’ve learned.
7. I just couldn’t imagine living another way
For some motorcyclists it’s like having an infection and getting out on the bike is the only medicine. A life without bikes is just unfathomable and unfulfilled.
This answer is really an accumulation of all the answers above because sometimes, giving just one reason feels like you’re doing an injustice to motorcycling and all the ways that riding a bike benefits your life.
So, the next time you’re about to brand someone a ‘lunatic’ for riding a motorcycle remember that there is a whole host of reasons they may have for riding, other than to push the limit or because they’re ‘adrenaline junkies’; For some people biking may even be their way of relaxing and destressing.