Why I Ride

by Steve on January 26, 2014


It is everywhere you turn. Whether you are looking at facebook, twitter, linkedin, or any other social media site you see post after post about the documentary ¬†“Why We Ride”. Director Bryan H. Carroll and his team traveled the US speaking with motorcycle riders to get answers to why we ride. Each person has a very personal reason to ride but there are many reasons we ride that are almost a cliche’. I unfortunately missed my opportunity to see this movie while it was in Indiana so now I will have to pay the going rate on Amazon, $24.95, to see the movie. There are many big names who participated such as greats Kenny Roberts and Mert Lawwill as well as many faces of riders the crew talked to on the street. All of the reviews that I have read are showing thumbs up so I am excited to see the film.

I thought that I would take the time to put my thoughts down on why I ride, so here goes. I have many reasons that I ride. As I look back, in my thirty one years of riding I can see shifts in how I would answer why. I would imagine that in my early days I shared a reason with many other riders who were just starting out and that was because it was cool and a way to impress the girls. Shoot, I found my first wife when I was in the Marine Corps because of a motorcycle. I did not have a two wheeler at the time and I met her at a cookout. We got to talking because she rolled up on her Honda Rebel 250. So, I guess you could say that¬†you don’t have to be the one riding to be cool and meet girls.

As the years passed looking cool remained as one of the reasons that I participated in the sport. I hate to admit it but it lasted up until about five years ago. During that time I mostly rode a 1999 Harley Davidson Softail Custom, and that motorcycle remains in my garage today although it does not see much road time anymore. About ten years ago I added another reason to ride and that was as a daily commuter when weather allowed. Rain does not bother me so from about March through November I am a daily rider. My problems are with the snow and ice that cover us during the winter. I use my motorcycle to go everywhere I need to go during the warmer months. Motorcycles are more maneuverable and use less gas than cars so that is a big draw.

Another reason I ride is that my secondary job requires me to. I am a motorcycle safety instructor for ABATE of Indiana and we are required to ride to class when we are teaching. Why would I take a handgun shooting class from someone who does not shoot? Same deal with getting instruction on riding a motorcycle.

My final reasons I ride are closely associated with the reasons most motorcyclists ride. I ride to experience the sights, sounds, and smells that define the freedom of riding. There is something to say for stepping outside of the car and enjoying the beauty of this great world without looking at it through the rectangular frame of your automobile windshield. Being in the open air allows you to hear and smell the world around you, although when I pass one of the many Indiana pig farms I wish I was not experiencing the smells! Being on the seat of the motorcycle brings an entirely new appreciation for what we have and I am thankful for the opportunity and ability to be able to see it from the seat of my bike.

Why do you ride? Since the director failed to come and ask you that question, I am giving you the opportunity to run with it. Leave your reasons in the comments below. When you are done, if you roads are not covered with ice, take the opportunity to get out and live what you just wrote. You will not regret it!