Friday, November 11, 2011

Too many questions; not nearly enough answers

We have owned many cars, and driven even more. Some were just OK. Some were just plain terrible. Some were money pits at a time in our lives when money was hard to come by. Some were very useful. Some were pretty impractical. Some we were glad to be rid of. Some we still can't bear to part with.

And yet, after all those hundreds of thousands of miles, not one of those countless cars ever came close to giving me the pleasure I get from riding my Vespa.

What the heck is it? I'm still just going from A to B. It's just that on my Vespa it's much more like going from "Eh!" to "be". It's existential. And after more than 9,000 miles (closer to 9,300 miles) the ride still satisfies me to the core.

This morning was quite chilly. And yet the ride was still pure joy. Skiing is like that too. And riding a bike. Canoeing too.

So is it the skill required to travel this way that makes it so special?

Is it the freedom that riders often write and talk about? And just what is that freedom? How are you more free on two wheels than on four or more?

Is it the risk, and taking chances? Then why wear all the gear all the time?

Could it be the challenge and facing that challenge square on? Is it really that challenging?

Why are there so many motorcycle and scooter blogs? Maybe I'm seeing trees because I'm in the forest. Are car blogs similar to PTW blogs? I don't know. I do know that in all my years of owning cars I wasn't tempted even once to join a car discussion forum, or write a blog.

So many questions, so few answers.

All I know is that it's getting really cold. On the ride home I'm positive that there were occasional snow flakes streaking white arcs through my field of vision.

And yet I'm still in the saddle, occasionally grinning like a mad man, yet inscrutable behind my visor.

What the heck is it?

I'll just have to keep riding until I figure it out.

7 comments:

  1. I think you are on to something, we'll just have to keep riding until we find the answer.

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  2. David

    Your post makes me think about the 'why' and I think it is that you feel more engaged with the environment. The car to me in some respects is passive as compared to riding. Its not a question of risk taking for me - eventhough it riskier to ride than drive a car. When I am in my car riding through an area that is twisty I feel car sick, but not on the bike. I wonder if it is about conquering the elements? I also wonder if we have become complacent about our cars? as well it seems everyone can drive, but not everyone can ride a scooter or motorcycle. Hmmmm.

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  3. I agree with Dar. When I am driving my Manual transmission auto I feel more engaged with the process of driving. When I lived in Pennsylvania I loved to go driving on the back roads because of the constant shifting. In Florida, I'm in 5th gear quickly and stay there. I miss the physicality of shifting. When I drive the girl friends automatic it's not the same, I find it boring. So yea, I think it's the fact that your fully engaged...body and mind...in the act of driving. :)

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  4. Hey David, Keith has a point, let's keep riding until we find out.

    It might be something very primal such as being more in touch with nature, more in touch with the environment (although being motorized and all). And despite greatly misused in certain commercials for American iron... un-caged.

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  5. Hi dave ...keep enjoying the scootering mate , i agree with all the comments, it connects you with the world in a way that other transportation just simply can't....freedom....nature....connection with the environment.....or just plain old fashioned FUN....it's a drug and i'm addicted.!
    lenscootering adventures

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  6. Too true. Riding in a unique experience. It is engaging and mind expanding. You feel close to flying.

    But shifting... I still don't get the appeal. : P

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  7. Thanks for the comments folks. It nuts-o crazy time for me at the office, so the blog is getting short shrift.

    This topic, trying to understand and then express, the joy of riding is a challenge. We all really love it, but it's hard to put into words.

    Thanks for your thoughts. It's something that I'll keep thinking about as I continue to ride.

    Stay warm y'all!

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