Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why?

I have been asked often about why I ride a motorcycle, and why do I want a motorcycle again?  It's hard to explain, it always has been.  The first time I truly rode a motorcycle was when my brother in law let me ride his.  He had a dual sport DR650.  Just the fact he trusted me to ride it, even if it was just on the lawn and around the block, was phenomenal.  I rode it and I haven't been the same since.  I took the necessary steps to get my MC endorsement as soon as possible.  After that there was no looking back.  But to put into words the feeling, the sense of freedom that comes along with a motorcycle, well.....I felt I've never done it justice.  Then, just today, I read something on a motorcycle website that was the best representation of what that feeling was.  So here it is.  People have credited different people with writing it.  To whomever wrote it:  Thank you.

There is cold, and there is cold on a motorcycle. Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold. The wind's big hands squeeze the heat out of my body and whisk it away; caught in a cold October rain, the drops don't even feel like water. They feel like shards of bone fallen from the skies of Hell to pock my face. I expect to arrive with my cheeks and forehead streaked with blood, but that's just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for highway speeds.


Despite this, it's hard to give up my motorcycle in the fall and I rush to get it on the road again in the spring; lapses of sanity like this are common among motorcyclists. When you let a motorcycle into your life you're changed forever. The letters "MC" are stamped on your driver's license right next to your sex and weight as if "motorcycle" was just another of your physical characteristics, or maybe a mental condition. But when warm weather finally does come around all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a summer is worth any price. A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time, entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

On a motorcycle I know I'm alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than Pana-Vision and than IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard. Sometimes I even hear music. It's like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind's roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock 'n roll, dark orchestras, women's voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed. At 30 miles per hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree- smells and flower-smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony.

Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it's as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it. A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane. Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It's a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It's light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it's a conduit of grace, it's a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy. I still think of myself as a motorcycle amateur, but by now I've had a handful of bikes over half a dozen years and slept under my share of bridges. I wouldn't trade one second of either the good times or the misery. Learning to ride one of the best things I've done. Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, "Sleep, sleep." Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Teasers!!!!

So now I'm getting teased with motorcycles for sale at really good prices!   Not good enough for me to afford, but good!



 


So these bikes aren't really near me, but I can buy a one way ticket for roughly $90 to either of these places and do a "fly and ride."  What better way to start off with a new bike than an adventure?  Alas, it isn't meant to be..........yet. 

Maybe I can find a little cash and take it to the casino in Blackhawk.  Just walk up to the nearest roulette table and put it all on black.......or red.  I have been toying with the idea of entering a poker tournament there.  I'm a fair to good poker player and tend to do fairly well in tournaments as long as I stay patient (which is easier said then done).  I also play online at Full Tilt Poker.  However I only play the free tourneys and win tickets to other tournaments.  I did really well at this in the past, and took out the money I made to buy fun stuff, perhaps I can do it again.  I don't have the same kind of free time I did back then, but it may be worth it.  At least I know I'll have fun trying!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trivia Wizards

My wife and I are fans of the show "Arrested Development."  We found out the pub trivia group Geeks Who Drink were hosting an Arrested Development trivia night and the grand prize would be $500.  Not a bad start to my motorcycle fund.  We found a guy who also wanted to play and was very well versed in the show (great playing with you Robbie!).  The place was packed (sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the actual event, my phone was dead) with 80 teams.  People had to be turned away due to the sheer number of people.  We figured we had our work cut out for us.  In these trivia sessions, clever team names are a must.  Everyone had a name with some reference to the show.  I was very proud of our name since it got a good chuckle from the crowd when it was announced and no other team had any kind of reference or variation of it (like many others did).  It was "And that's why we always leave a note."  You have to watch the show to understand, you get it, right?  Well, after a hotly contested battle, we ended up tied for 5th with 4 other teams.  Very respectable, but no moolah :(  Oh well, on to the next scheme!
http://www.geekswhodrink.com/index.cfm?event=client.page&pageid=139&contentid=673

p.s.  I am the handsome bald gentleman in the bottom left corner of the above picture.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The story.

I love motorcycles.  Always have, always will.  While living in California, I only had a motorcycle for transportaton.  It was a BMW R1200CLC.

 I bought it because it was a great deal on ebay.  I had it while I lived in Illinois, then we (my wife and I) moved to Cali.  She drove and I rode.  It wasn't a sightseeing trip, but a mad dash.  3 10 hour days of interstate.  And although I enjoyed the ride, I hope to never be in that kind of hurry again.  I sold that bike in order to buy a Jeep because we were moving again, to Denver, CO!  Not a place where a bike can be your only means of transport, or is it?  Looking at all the various types of bikes, and knowing the Colorado weather now, I could pull it off again.  But there are days where I would be miserable.  

So now I need to get a motorcycle, while keeping the Jeep.  Problem is, we're also in the midst of buying a house.  I don't want another vehicle payment because that can diminish the type/amount of loan we can get for our first place!  So the self imposed rule is no new motorcycle until either A) the jeep is paid off and the loan mortage payment isn't a killer or B) I come into some "extra" money where I can buy a motorcycle outright.  I could go the cheap, used route but I know myself and I wouldn't be happy.  So I need to win the lottery.....or something!

So you may ask, "Jason, if you did win the lottery, what bike would you get?"  My answer would be, "not bike, bikes!"  2 BMW's, the F800GS, and the new K1600 series.  So I would have a dual sport and a tourer.  I would also snag a KTM Superduke.  I rode one last summer when KTM came to town for some demo rides and I fell in love.  Great sport bike without the scrunched up riding position. (I'm a big guy, 6'3" and 250lbs).  Finally, I need a Ural Gear Up.  I love the style, uniqueness and toughness of these bikes.  And my dog, Buster,  can come with me on some rides.

So I probably won't win the lottery, so what to I do?  I bide my time and wait is what I do.  Not really waiting, but scheming rather.  Thinking of ways, besides the lottery, to come up with some cash.  If I had the money to buy 1 bike, I'm going with the Ural.  The other bikes can be added later.  Not sure what paint scheme I would get, but it has to be some type of camo!



So here ends my first post.  I hope to keep this going as an updated blog describing my quest toward motorcycle ownership.  Wish me luck, and if anyone wants to donate funds to help, it would be greatly appreciated :)

-Jason