Psychology of the Ride


Have you ever wondered just why you find yourself looking longingly at that fast, flash motorcycle in the local showroom?

Initially, maybe, it's because all that shiny chrome got your attention. You've always been a bit of a Magpie at heart and yeah, on closer inspection, it does look real good don't it?

Or maybe, as far as you're concerned, it's because the designer has got it just right. Along with the streamline shape and the stylish paintwork, everything before you conjures up images of a speeding machine. A speeding machine with you at the helm.

And that, for the majority of us anyway, is what it's all about really isn't it? Speed and control and the sheer thrill it offers us all.

But have you ever asked yourself why you want to go fast or why you require that kind of control? Seems like a strange question to ask really doesn't it? It's exhilarating, fun, dangerous even and so who cares precisely why you need that buzz?

So what on earth is actually going on inside our heads when we throw a leg over our bikes and hurtle off down the road? And why the hell do we find it so satisfying and enjoyable?

The answer to this conundrum can be found in a single word. Balance. Consciously (or subconsciously even) we all strive for a little normality in our lives and, whether we know it or not, this equates to feeling, well, balanced.

With most of us spending the greater part of our time employed doing the bidding of others (or working as it's sometimes called) it comes as no surprise to find that we should actively seek out a means by which we can redress the balance.

Knowing that we can't possibly make up the average five lost working days we are left with no choice but to up the work energy for the two days that we do have control over.

And that's where the motorcycle comes in handy.

The motorcycle is quite literally one of the best ways of unleashing and experiencing huge amounts of energy in a short amount of time. For a large proportion of hard working young men out there determined to get the most out of their leisure time, the motorcycle quite simply offers the best way of getting something back from life.

But it's not just the speed that counts.

Unlike some other leisure activities, the motorcycle tests our ability to control our own immediate destiny to the very limit. And that is just what most of us need after being told what to do all week.

There is no doubt that the imminent threat of great physical pain should one fail to exercise the appropriate control is a fitting opposite to what many of us experience these days in our civilised societies, a comfortable and boring existence.

Indeed, it's somewhat ironic that the motorcycle, a vehicle that simply won't go anywhere unless it's balanced correctly, is used by so many to actually restore a little balance back into their lives.

It could even be argued that for the more dynamic amongst us, a more appropriate thing could not be envisaged.

While the young, fit and energetic usually end up with machines the like of which are ridden in the Moto GP's, the older rider, often more settled in life and with less to prove, usually finds the comfort of a big, soft bike, such as a Harley, more than adequate.

Motorcycling is an enjoyable hobby that epitomises the feeling of escapism in just about every way possible. There's the absolutely critical nature of the control required along with all that energy just a flick of the wrist away. The perfect antidote to being told what to do.

The experience it gives is a million-mile's away from that offered by that safe and cosy car that sits on your driveway. Strip away the protection offered by that four wheeled box and we find that the two wheeled alternative presents us with something altogether more stark and exciting. Its ability to deliver instant danger is unparalleled.

And when life becomes just that little bit too monotonous and boring, well, what could be better?

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