As I was pumping my usual $12 worth of gas into my Heritage, a older gentleman walked over to me and floored me with the question “is it practical?”. He was driving the required older gentleman’s car, a Buick, which I have owned a few myself. I know the fuel economy of that wonderful engine, and it is nothing to dismiss. Usually when I get asked a question from a stanger at a gas station, it’s “where are you headed” or “how many miles to the gallon do you get”. But never “is it practical”.
So I thought about it and answered with “only if you ride it”. He continued about his love for motorcycles and how he wished he was still riding. I could see it in his eyes and he was very sincere in his words. We had a great talk and he was on his way as I was mine.
The ride home I couldn’t help but think of this exchange. The truth is there a cars that get as good of mileage as my motorcycle and yes, that would make them more practical. Enough to carry more than two people, cup holders, radio, storage, heat and conditioned air. Why didn’t I think of that? But I ride because I want to, not that I have to. I ride all year long as long as it’s not dangerous and saving gas is just a benefit. Most of my friends ride as recreation and wouldn’t think of riding the way I do, and that’s OK. They have their passions and I have mine. To me a boat doesn’t make sense but I don’t have any interest in that particular form of recreation. And that too is OK. But if you want to ride a motorcycle to save gas you have to ride it. A fair weather rider I’m not and I have the miles on my bike to show for it. Sixty degrees and a twenty percent chance of rain, will you ride? Probably. Forty degrees and a twenty percent chance of rain? I will. Most folks will look outside and say it’s just easier to take my coffee cup and jump in the car. It’s not convenient to ride for a lot of people, with dress clothes and laptops. I don’t have much hair, so helmet head isn’t an issue for me.
There are a lot of forms of transportation that are not practical. The distance to our destination comes into play as well as what we need to take with us. My saddle bags are full for any of you who have followed me, so apparently I have a lot of stuff I need to carry as well! I’m fortunate to be able to ride almost daily all year long. Some winters are worse than others but you know what I mean. If there is one point I want to make here is this. Be passionate about what you want in life. Bicycling, running, sports cars or boats. Enjoy your hobby as I enjoy mine! If you haven’t experienced riding a motorcycle or are curious about it, ask someone who does. Then someday it might be me that walks up to you and asks “is it practical?’
3 Replies to “Practical”
There are many practical reasons for riding but I don’t feel personal comfort and fuel economy are two of them. I don’t ride for any real practical reason, I do it because, er, er, er. Well I don’t really know but I guess I don’t have to explain to you either.
Practical reasons : Not held up by the traffic, easy and free parking, the ‘brotherhood of bikers’ of which we are all part. Basically though, these things are irrelevant.Nothing else comes close.
You and me both understand the real reason for riding. The lack of words to descibe it is just part of that feeling!
I couldn’t put it better myself.