The truth is that as a biker you enjoy the company of other riders more than just about anyone else. It doesn’t really matter what they ride, only that they understand the freedom and independence that comes with the act. There is something to be said for being around people who understand your frustrations when the engine doesn’t purr the way it should, or if your paint job gets a scratch. There is something about pulling out onto the highway, a member of a long line of other bikers that gives you a sense of belonging that few other things can match. Once you’ve become a part of this group, once you’ve become a true biker, it can be difficult to be anything else.
Riding a motorcycle is so much different from driving around in a car. Today’s cars allow so many conveniences and insulate the driver from the world around them. It’s almost like watching a live television show while you drive around your neighborhood. In a car, you are a passive observer to all that surrounds you, a protective framework of rubber, wire, plastic and steel surrounding you. You have a GPS navigation system to tell you where you need to go, a blinking light to remind you when to put your seat belt on, and even a bell to let you know when your door hasn’t been shut. There are windows and windshields to shield you from the outside environment, and fans, heaters and air conditioning to keep you nice and comfortable on your daily commute. There is also a way to easily play your favorite music and sing along without thinking. It’s a created environment where sometimes the connection to the world around you is lost.
It’s different on a motorcycle. That protective, and some say restrictive frame is gone. You are more physically and mentally in contact with the world around you. The environment is no longer sitting outside your window of shatterproof glass or beneath the steel at your feet. The air is whipping around your helmet, you can feel the heat of the day on your right arm, smell the exhaust from the other vehicles. You can feel the sensations and sounds of the life around you. In a very real sense riding a motorcycle allows you to become awash in the sensations of the world and the life around you. You feel the rain and snow. You know that the sun is glaring down on your back, and your body feels the rise and sigh of every bump in the road. Unlike a car, there is no feeling of passive separation. There is only a feeling of active engagement.