Monday, September 25, 2006

Spectator or star?

I was reading an article in Motorcyclist Magazine written by Dan Walsh. He's a Brit who left a conventional job at a magazine and went on the road. He's still somewhere in Bueno Aires as I understand it. Here's an excerpt from that article. The article appears in the October 2006 issue. I just felt compelled to share it with you. It describes so well some of what I feel. Having given full credit to Dan and explaining that this is not of my origin, here it is:

"Motorcycle travel doesn't really make much sense. Expensive and exposed, often filthy and frustrating, there's no obvious reason to pick two wheels over four. More comfort, more room, more security, and no one ever fell off a jeep, right? Maybe on paper. But we don't ride on paper. We ride in Mexico. 'In a car, you're watching a movie--on a bike, you're starring in it', as some cowboy poet slurred. A starring role that's maybe produced by the rider's unique opportunity to be two things at once--sat still while swooping swift, heavily armored but almost naked, dagger-proof but always vulnerable, fully concentrated and miles away".

Granting that I'm not facing the same conditions as Dan, I can still totally identify as an urban warrior commuter. Why do we call ourselves "Road Warriors"? Facing the 180 miles that constitutes a round trip to my office feels like a struggle for survival at times. Rush hour freeway riding full of mentally unarmed but still deadly dangerous cagers. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. Haven't you come home and declared,

"Man, what a battle today!"?

So why do we do it? There's the beauty of it, isn't it?

I'll sign off with a contrast of my own. Nowhere else do I feel so vulnerable and close to facing physical disaster. Nowhere else do I feel so invincible and full of life!

Miles and smiles,

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