WHY Would I Ride A Motorcycle?

Yes, Why?

It’s for the FREEDOM that we ride!

Unless you are one of us, you probably don’t get what all the fuss is about!

Our self-image is at a high level.
And there’s the sex appeal.

Do Men Look Sexy On A Motorcycle?

men look sexy on a motorcycle
Men DO look sexy on a motorcycle.

I think so!
There’s that brotherhood language, with a dangerously carefree attitude. A bad boy!

Riders do have to be strong. Our motorcycle weighs 740 lbs!
With me on the back that’s 130 lbs more!
(Yes, for real).
With packing and gear, it is about 930 lbs the driver has to manoeuvre… There are no training wheels on these machines.

Recently I heard that women also look sexy on a motorcycle.
That wouldn’t be my main objective… But it wouldn’t hurt my feelings either!

What Would Make Me Want To Ride A Motorcycle? 

gasoline attendant
Ride a motorcycle for fuel economy!

It’s small and easy to park.
But that’s offset by not having much space for packing. 

On the plus side, there is the aspect of fuel economy.
But that’s offset by not being sheltered from the weather.

I would ride a motorcycle to a grocery store if I lived alone in a motel room.
Oh, and all my possessions would have to fit in the saddle bags.
That paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it? 

But what if you did have these fewer possessions and you did live this way? 

WHERE would you go if you COULD go?.. First, we have to get ready!

Buying My First “Leather”.

my first leather
My first leather was navy-blue!

In the late 1960s, a nice girl on a motorcycle did not wear black leather. 
I bought a navy blue leather jacket.
Try to find navy blue leather for sale anywhere today! Ha!

Fast forward to the 2012s – yes I was still in this, and more so than ever before. 
I owned not one, but two BLACK “leathers”, along with scarves, gloves, pants and helmets. 

I was given a heated vest in July for my birthday, one year!
There’s winter riding and summer riding and you need to be prepared. 

More recently I have these super special boots with laces in front, which you tie only once. There’s a zipper on the inside of the ankles.

These are so cool when you are in a hurry, which seems to be always.
They zip off and on so easily!

Girl in chaps
ALL Chaps are sexy!

You Need Chaps.

always look the part
Look the part!

Did I say there was a sexy side to motorcycle riding?.. It’s the chaps. 


Sunglasses should fit nicely with your helmet. Don’t get them too dark!

Since I wear a face shield (yes, I am a princess)
I try sunglasses on with the helmet before I buy them.

GORT SAYS: DON’T BE AFRAID TO LOOK THE PART

What’s Your Etiquette?

You need to plan your stops, even if it is raining.

When you stop somewhere, get off the road as far as possible.
Because if you are attending to your own business, there is always a vehicle out there where the driver will not notice you.
 
The sign of a motorcyclist in distress is to place his DOT helmet on the ground, a few feet behind the motorcycle… But watch out for that driver who doesn’t see you…
He’ll drive over your helmet! 

You need a lookout; someone to shout and gesture, wildly, at that approaching van holding six kids…until it turns away… So that you live for today!

How Big Is This Vehicle?

Ok, so back to the issue of space.

If you’re riding alone, take what you want and need.
So be it.

BUT if you are riding two up, what you take and how much is a joint decision.
Think carefully.

For toiletries, take those sample packages and no, don’t ever pack a hairdryer.

We like a change of clothes for three or four days.
One t-shirt is rolled with underwear and one pair of socks… Make four bundles like this. 

Pack a lightweight jacket and a long sleeve t-shirt or two.

I’ll pack one pair of sandals so that if we stop somewhere I can take off these horrible,
hot boots I have on! 

Yes, they’re the same ones I talked about earlier.
They have their great protection with easy access side, and they have their horrible, hot side. 

Speaking Of Princess!

two girls on bike in shorts
Never ride a motorcycle in shorts!

Just one more thing, cupcake, before you set off into the wild blue.
Don’t think for one minute that you are going to ride in shorts and sandals… You are not!

If your bike goes down at any speed, you will leave a strip on the road… you will never show your skin again.


Wear the proper gear, even if it’s heavy, hot and unattractive… You’ll thank me later. 

Rally Round!

Motorcycle envoy
It makes me so proud!

Motorcycling is great fun.

When you go on a charity rally and as they get ready for takeoff, and all the bikes start up at once – sometimes 1 or 2 thousand – and that sound takes OVER and you are part of that group and you have a lump in your throat as you try to smile at the people around you and you just want to cry!..  
It makes me so proud!

There is great camaraderie and bikers are like-minded people.
We have the same interests, like caravaners or bird watchers.
We all exchange adventure stories, ogle each other’s “ride” and make friends easily.

If you like to drive and travel, the fuel economy is great, it’s easy to park and you’ll always be planning another adventure.

How Wet Was It?

There is a weather issue to consider. If you are the type of girl who cannot stand to have your hair mussed, this is not for you… You will be caught in the rain – often! 
You will live with helmet-hair.

Remember I asked, “where would you go if you could go”?

We went on a ten-day ride to Thunder Bay Ontario with another couple.
That’s 788 miles!

There were three motorcycles: the other couple each had their own and I was a passenger.
We did not have a touring bike back then… I thought this would be the end of me!

I was shaken so hard, my bones rattled!
Since we had the original seat, we had to stop every 90 minutes, so I could get circulation back into my legs.
Not to mention my poor derriere!.. Oy! 

And it rained!
When the first drops started to fall, we stopped in a town, on the side street, away from traffic.
We were only two hours from home! Why didn’t we just turn back?

Because we were loving every minute of it!!

Grab Your Rain Suits, Everyone!

We dug out our rain gear so we could suit up and continue the ride! (Lucky us).
I did not have my super-duper boots back then – getting the right gear was still a work in progress. 

The rain pants would not fit over my old boots and since everyone else was ready to go, I stuffed the pants back into the saddlebag.

I had the rain jacket on at least; how bad could it be?.. I would be fine.

Later on, as we drove through that biting rain, I asked myself, “what am I doing here?”
It had been pouring, hard, for an hour.

I was drenched, and the seat ran with water… This is how bad it could be.
We decided to pull into a rest stop.

Do you remember: “you need to plan your stops, even in the rain”?

any shelter in a storm
Any shelter in a storm will work for us!


It rained down so hard that we took a wrong turn,
and ran into a deadend barricade in the parking lot.

When we tried to turn around, a transport truck coming in behind us blocked our exit.

And as we waited for that huge rig to chug into a parking space, we sat… In the rain…
For an HOUR!

Ok, it was about ten minutes, but you understand. We had to suck it up… we could not move from where we were. There was no getting around this guy.

We were stuck! And the rain poured down!
It felt like an eternity. 

bikers are compassionate
Of course, we cleaned up after ourselves!

Later, when we went inside the building, the employees looked up in shock!
They had that “Oh, no! Go away!” look on their faces.

We weren’t going anywhere… We were here to drip and dry off.

We did clean up after ourselves as any good people would.
When we look back on this trip, we especially remember this event.

It’s only funny when you look back!

We parked ourselves in a corner, next to the bathroom.
Standing in puddles we used paper towels to soak up this morass!


After their initial shock, the staff at this outpost were amazing! They told us not to worry too much as they would mop up the area later.

THEN, they gave us dry towels to wipe our rides; the rain had abated for a while.
We said our goodbyes and squished and slid back to our bikes.

The boots would dry in time. 

Really? Was It That Bad?

Our tempers flared a little bit: “why didn’t he just wait until we got out of there before he drove in?”

My reasoning:
Well, it was raining for him too. He was sitting up so high, maybe he didn’t see that we were stuck at a dead end. I think he felt bad about it but this was a big truck and it was raining hard...

Yes, but he was DRY! 
(Read the whole story here, about this momentous trip!)

What Is So Special About The Timing?

Motorcycling made him more alert!

Fast forward, to 2020. We have a touring bike which is miles ahead of how I started this adventure.

The saddle is as comfortable as an easy chair and there is more space for packing.

We have invested in touring luggage that is mounted behind my seat. 


My husband is the best motorcycle rider I know. He is also the oldest, and that experience shows.
When you are good at motorcycle riding, you are good at all kinds of driving.

You are alert and more responsive, and far more aware as a bike rider.
That is because you have to think for yourself at an intersection, and you have to
think for the other drivers facing you, too.

You have to anticipate their actions; remember, they have not noticed you yet! 

I am not a fan of starting to ride when you retire.

Your senses have to be heightened to ride, and when you retire and ride, you can’t be laid back.

Trike Motorcycle
Start with a three-wheeler!

If you want to ride later on, start now. Get into a good class of riders. By that I mean that they use and understand the road signals.
They are not grandstanding… they are sensibly cautious.
Ride with this group for a year or two.

Whenever you can, have your passenger with you.
Two on the bike means that two people drive the bike.
It’s a joint effort.

Also, you could start with a three-wheeler.

Anonymous: “Motorcycles are not in themselves dangerous. But… They are extremely unforgiving of inattention, laidback incompetence or stupidity”.

If you are any of these things while riding, you are the one who will pay, not anyone else.

Is There Any Good News About This?

Just because people are the way they are, typically young riders are more reckless than older drivers.

Reckless, but he does not suffer as many injuries, nor are they as severe as those of a senior rider.

We’re older, so let’s deal with it just as we deal with everything else in life:

  1. Stay smart – remain educated and learn all the laws of the road
    Take a course and be road-savvy
  2. only wear DOT-approved helmets
  3. wear chest protection – this is typically where seniors suffer greater damage
  4. wear all the correct gear and you can look like Gort up there!

Is This Good For My Mental Health?

A big boy
As married couples, there is no need for counselling!

There is such joy after a ride. Just being in the weather with wind surging around you is a great elixir.
You get an adrenaline rush and you just feel so good! 

You have cleared your head. It’s an emotional release, like yoga and exercise.

Among married couples, a common conclusion is that there is no need for marriage counselling.

Go on a ride together for a weekend and feel the stress leave you before you exit the driveway. 

What About That Lazy Passenger?

I mentioned that I am the passenger and as such, there’s an onus on us.
 
You need to know all the road signals that the driver executes.
Right turn, left turn, slow down, single file and “road kill” so no one rides through it! 

I know it would be funny if someone did drive through the roadkill.
There’s a practical issue here: it’s dangerous!

If you are unaware you could lose control and be in an accident… slippery when wet!

At the very least you could suffer major damage to your motorcycle.
Now, how WILL you get home?

Your job is to make your motorcycle and the two of you, as visible as possible.

For a look in detail at that ride, click here

What’s That? 

And you thought you would just take a little nap?

No, you won’t, Princess.

You will be too busy enjoying the ride!

Regards, Corinne

8 thoughts on “WHY Would I Ride A Motorcycle?”

  1. hi Cook – this was a very informative motorcycle Blog ; I now have a new appreciation.
    For instance, I had no idea that in the late 1960s, a nice girl on a motorcycle did not wear black leather.
    I did know about slippery when wet .
    And if she wants to be a cupcake, I say – let her.
    Talk more on the weekend.
    T

    Reply
    • Hi Terry and glad you enjoyed this post on motorcycle riding! I like your comment about being a cupcake.
      That’s all good as long as we each do our job.
      My underlying point about nice girls in the 1960s is that she wouldn’t be on a motorcycle at all if she was a proper little lady. Times have changed!
      See you and June on Sunday…looking forward to it!
      Corinne

      Reply
  2. Hi Cook,
    I enjoyed the read and I must admit I am envious. I have had many opportunities to join that fraternity over the years but I guess seeing the many “mishaps” and tragedies in my former line of work dissuaded me. I still remember the beautiful Gold Wing and gear I was offered at a ridiculous price that I had to turn down for several reasons and I regret it to this day. Do I love riding? Yes I do and if I had it to do over again I’m certain I would also “Ride to live and live to ride”.

    Reply
    • Hi Wayne, You have the attitude of a true biker and I know that you could be a very good one.
      Still not too late!
      Glad you enjoyed the post. I am following up with another motorcycle blog.
      Watch this space!
      Cook

      Reply
  3. Thank you very much for this detailed post about motorcycles. In fact, I always use the motorcycle to travel. Because it is very easy to travel. If the weather is really good, I often go there. It’s really fun like you said. Keep posting like this. I definitely share this.

    Reply
    • Thank you Pasindu – it’s good to hear from you again!

      It is great that you have a motorcycle to get around. Do you live in a high-traffic area?

      Definitely, a motorcycle saves on fuel and space. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Regards, Corinne

      Reply

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