I've read a lot of stories and blogs where people try to describe the pleasure they receive from riding. Usually they'll talk about the wind in their face, warm sunshine or the "man and machine" factor. Maybe they'll write about the feeling of being a free spirit in nature or how they can only "wind down" while riding. I don't know what the answer is but I think it's different for everyone. I enjoy every ride but not every ride leaves me with that euphoric feeling.
The following is something I wrote about a year ago I guess, right after one of those simple rides that somehow left me feeling pretty good.
It was a suck ass gloomy day most of Thursday. I braved the elements on the ride in to work and spent most of the day dreaming about the ride home. When I was ready to leave work the sun came out just for me. I accidentally sped past a cop but he didn't seem interested. The ride started on brand new smooth asphalt that still had that "new road smell". Gotta love it. I was in no hurry to get anywhere and enjoyed the idea that I could go where ever I chose just by aiming my front wheel in that direction. The bike ran strong and never missed a beat. It gave me the feeling of confidence that I could ride it anywhere worry-free.
Sometimes the cold ride to work in the morning has a payout on the evening ride home.
That was all I wrote about this ride. So what made it special? It had all the traditional elements of a great ride. Sun, freedom, man and machine. Was it the combination of these things? I don't think so.
I once told the story of a wet cold ride through the entire length of Illinois. I suffered on that ride and was so miserable that I sold that Aprilia Futura which had faithfully hauled my ass around for over 72k miles. Now I don't know how to explain this but as miserable of a ride as that was, it is one of my fondest motorcycle riding memories.
So it wasn't about sunshine because it was cloudy on that day in Illinois. It's not about a connection with the bike as I couldn't sell that bike fast enough. Freedom and oneness with nature? I don't think so because that was a 400 mile blast down the interstate in torrential rain and traffic at 80 mph. The conditions sucked but somehow everything was dialed in and felt right. Maybe it is about the connection with mother nature, but for me the weather doesn't have to be warm and sunny. Sometimes I can slip into a different dimension and just take it all in knowing everything is right, even when the weather isn't. I've tried to duplicate it but that doesn't work.
There is an X factor involved that I can't explain so my plan is to get as much seat time as possible in search of that special ride that lingers on in my memory.