Why Ride a Motorcycle?

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I’ve mentioned this before in a previous blog, but I remember when taking the MSF riding course many years ago the instructor asked the class this very question. Several tentative hands shot up and gave answers like fuel economy, parking advantages and other practical reasons. The instructor nodded his head, “Yes, yes, those are all good reasons,” he said. “But what about for fun?”

While some people may arguably start out riding a motorcycle because of the benefits it provides economically, practically and environmentally, those people I feel are few and far between. Most people have a desire to ride a motorcycle for more esoteric reasons. After all, using a motorcycle for transportation isn’t a necessity it is a passion in most cases.

Riding (as opposed to driving) requires absolute concentration and awareness. It is demanding both physically and mentally and challenging as well. You must become super aware of your surroundings, of other vehicles on the road. You must pay attention to weather and road conditions. You must know your motorcycle intimately; its power, maneuverability and limitations as well as your own. On a motorcycle, you must practice “present moment living”.

The most acute sensation while riding a motorcycle is that of being in the scene. In a car, you are completely closed in and have many available distractions to pass the time: radio, cell phones, GPS devices, mini televisions, air conditioning, etc. You are in effect in an environment that mimics that of your home or office with all the comforts those provide. You are looking at the outside world from a closed off point of view, surrounded by thousands of pounds of metal, glass and rubber. Driving a car is, for the most part, unengaging.

While car drivers generally see other drivers as competitors, motorcycle riders see other riders as companions. There is a great camaraderie amongst motorcycle riders, a feeling of being part of a giant family or community. Rarely is there hostility between riders like you see with drivers. We’ve all seen the one or two fingered low wave that bikers give one another as opposed to the middle finger salute that drivers frequently share between themselves!

Motorcycle riding involves passion and a sense of freedom through intense oneness with the machine and one’s surroundings. Unlike cars, motorcycles provide riders with the thrill of risk-taking, adventure, escapism and individuality. On a motorcycle all of your senses become heightened. You smell everything from pine or eucalyptus trees to blooming jasmine and orange blossoms; burned fuel and oil; rain, sea or lake water and even skunks and roadkill. You can more acutely detect temperature drops or increases and can feel the wind rushing around you as the road flashes beneath you only inches from your feet.

In my novel and the upcoming sequel, I often use a motorcycle ride as a form of therapy for several of my characters. Because you must be fully engaged in what you and others are doing as well as your surroundings, motorcycle riding can help clear your head of the chatter that drives most of us crazy every day. If you do it right, you can achieve that Zen state of being in the Now.

Orange County is Preferable to Los Angeles

L.A. traffic

These days, staying behind what is sometimes affectionately referred to as the “Orange Curtain” isn’t such a bad thing. With Los Angeles ranking in as America’s second largest city (behind New York), it’s no wonder that traveling beyond the Orange County line is looking less and less desirable every year.

The traffic is Los Angeles County is notorious for gridlock, accidents, ill-timed roadwork and more. To get anywhere, commuters need to plan their “escape” well, taking in time of day (which seems to matter less and less), roadwork and conditions, weather and ultimate destination. Leaving early doesn’t help, nor does heading out on an “off day”. Most people just get into their cars or hop on their motorcycles and hope for the best while relying on radio reports, GPS, tips and traffic apps like WAZE.

We here in Orange County have it comparatively better. Of course there is still plenty of traffic, but it’s not nearly as mind-numbing as it is in our dear sister county to the north. Locals know that weekday mornings on the 405 are slow, but that’s because people are going to work. Likewise, the 55S will be backed up during the summer with beach-goers.
Usually, there is a specific reason for the traffic here in OC and because of that, it is easier to deal with. Well, somewhat. No one likes to sit in traffic, but it just seems less hopeless and downright depressing here.

If you’re on a motorcycle, splitting lanes is an option here in California. Doing so in congested Los Angeles County is much more dangerous, especially with desperate drivers recklessly changing lanes or illegally crossing over in to the carpool lane without warning.

Besides, there’s plenty to see and do here in our smaller, less congested county. Renting a motorcycle from OC Motorcycle and heading out onto the highways and roads here in Orange County is easier and more pleasurable than dealing with the ins and outs of Los Angeles and her environs.

With fall approaching, it’s a great time to reserve a bike from OC Motorcycle and explore our laid back and beautiful county!