Why Ride at All?

I’ve been thinking a lot about riding a motorcycle–obviously. And you know what? I can’t explain why I want this so badly. I know it can be dangerous. I see completely crappy drivers here in Southern California every day. I almost had a guy whack my truck on the way home today, making a lane change while yacking away on a cell phone. Nurses, as a commenter pointed out, call motorcycles “donorcycles.” As in “Organ Donor”.

And I still can’t wait to get back on a bike–my very own Harley!–and roar off down the road. I can’t explain it. All I know is that it’s a weird hunger that I can’t ignore. It’s something I have to do.

I dream about riding every night. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning. I already have rides planned. It’s a desire that overcomes the knowledge–the certain knowledge–that I will dump my bike at some point.

If I had no experience on a bike, or if I had never dumped one (two actually), then maybe I could explain it by just saying that I think motorcycle riding will be all fuzzy kittens and fluffy bunnies. But I know it won’t be.

And, when looked at rationally, riding itself, for the most part, shouldn’t be all that fun. In the summer, leathers are too hot. You sweat like a pig in your helmet. Here in the desert, if you take any of that stuff off, you get seriously dehydrated and wind-burned. If it rains just the slightest bit, the roads get all slick and scary. If it’s foggy, you get damp and cold. You can’t enjoy a delicious beverage on the road, or slip another CD into the stereo.

It’s just you, the road, the wind, little comfort, and even less protection.

And I can’t wait to do it.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.