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Why do you ride?


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Just as there are many different bikes (and Whip has owned most of them), there are different reasons we ride.


Why do you ride?

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- I love being able to "feel" the road. Knowing a slight shift in my weight, a subtle turn of my head, a little pressure with my hands can change everything.

- I love being in the groove on a twisty road where i can "see" ahead and "think" my way around as part of the bike.

- I love the feeling of speed and G-forces even when i'm not going fast.

- I love the unobstructed panoramic views.

- I love the solitude

- I love putting on the helmet and sensing my focus change to one thing.

- I love ascending smoothly through the gears and rolling to a perfect stop.


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Joe Frickin' Friday

I can think of a few aspects that please me.


It's a Roller Coaster

Riding a motorcycle is pretty much the polar opposite of riding in an econobox; it engages your inner ear in a way that most cars can't, and in some ways that no car can. Cars don't lean, and they don't steer the same way that bikes do. A bike steers a lot more like a plane: you push on the bars to get it leaned over, and then it follows the curve. And a lot of the time that push almost feels subconscious: you don't even notice the handlebars moving, you just think and the bike leans.


Full Mind/Body Engagement

Every part of your body has a job, and your mind stays busy conducting this whole orchestra. Your eyes take in the scenery, watching for hazards and seeing where the road ahead of you is going; your mind decides where the bike should be and how to get it there; your body shifts to put its weight where it needs to be; your ears listen to what the engine is doing; your hands push on the bars and work the clutch and front brake; your feet shift and brake; and so on.



My first bike was the '99 R1100RT. In the nine months between first laying eyes on one and the day I bought my own, I obsessed over it - and a large part of my daydreams involved travel. With the cases full of clothes and a map, throwing a leg over and heading down the road in the morning feels far different than just a local afternoon cruise. Travel is adventure, whether by car, boat, plane or motorcycle. Even if you've got GPS on your bike and you've run the route a dozen times before. Many of my fondest memories of riding all come from interstate travel.



Want to see the countryside? Saw the top half of your car off so you can get an unobstructed view. Or just get a motorcycle; no matter which direction you turn your head, you've got an unobstructed view. Plus your eyeballs are a foot are two higher than they would be in a car, giving you a better vantage point. When I'm not bombing the twisties, my eyes wander to take in the scenery. This couples tightly with travel (as opposed to local day rides) because you can watch the scenery change over the course of a day of riding. When I ride from Michigan to Wisconsin, I see the difference in the countryside, even from the interstate. Michigan/Ohio/Kentucky/Tennessee? All different. The trees, the rocks, the business signs, the farm fields, the hills, the climate, all different. It's been five years since I rode out west, but the gradual change of scenery as I traveled from Michigan to Colorado (and points beyond) was a very fulfilling aspect of the whole trip for me.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

It usually is successful in taking me out of my world and putting me into MY world. Little capacity to worry about things when you are enjoying the sights and smells of the seasons.

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It's about 100 times less expensive than car road-racing and can allow similar levels of concentration, adrenaline, and finesse depending on the type of riding. Not to mention seeing some great places, especially off the beaten path.

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