Why do you ride? Seriously, have you given it a thought? Since you're reading this article right now, I'm sure you are into motorcycling and all that is associated with it. Please don't say, it's just because your motorcycle takes you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. True, in Thailand this is an important task for a motorcycle, but then why not take the car-pool, bus, local train, skytrain or the subway and reduce your carbon foot print in the process. Or even better, you could pedal and, in the process, burn some fat. So, why a motorcycle?
Thailand is pretty high on the list when it comes to buying or using motorcycles, but most of the time people treat this stunning piece of engineering as they would humble mules and it makes me cringe. There's utter chaos on the roads, no discipline and what hurts the most is that people take motorcycles for granted. Forget maintenance, it's hardly given the much-needed wash. The raining season sees innovative ways of making the motorcycle suffer.
Dozens of make-shift, not so qualified, shops fix motorcycles and body parts. Most people take their trusty motorcycle for granted and are hardly bothered as long as they reach their destination with their motorcycle still intact.
However, I am sure that you belong to a more evolved race of riders and you ride for the sheer thrill of it! I must confess that when I started riding in the early '80s, it was to get a first-hand experience of the supersonic tales I had been hearing from elders who had already mastered this fine art. For me the first decade of motorcycling was mostly about speed, cornering, or, better still, carrying speed through corners. After about 10 years I rolled into the second decade of motorcycling and also had an unpleasant experience, the gory details of which cannot be told on a website like Motorcycle Thailand. That experience changed my outlook on motorcycling. Thankfully, I still love motorcycles. After close to two decades of riding I have slightly different reasons for my adoration. The first that appeals to me is that it now does not feel like a set of mechanical parts stacked together on a metal frame that can take me to breakneck speeds. But now it's more like a fascination wild steed. The experience of the cold metal transforming into a living being with a soulful vrooom just by pushing a button is unparalleled. The steed and the rider merge into one as you use your arm, fingers, legs and toes to control and guide it. Nothing less than an ancient sacred dance, full of grace and creativity.
The deep down I feel riding is the perfect way to detox, de-stress and clear your mind. Just a word of caution, it's better to go for a walk when you are infuriated and feel like smashing something against the wall! Motorcycles have the ability to turn around and bite your head off. Trust me, I've discovered it the hard way. But this uncertain behavior is what makes them special in the first place. In an age where adventure sport is playing 'Dirt 3' on your Xbox in you insulated homes, motorcycles are the real thing. The element of risk, the adrenaline rush is like nothing else. Moreover, the responsibility lies in your hand as you control the throttle. Motorcycle help you break the shackles of passive lifestyle.
Finally, closest to my heart is the kind of freedom motorcycles offer. All right, I admit I was pulling your leg when I talked about taking the bus. Who likes to stand in a queue for unending minutes, even hours? Motorcycles are so darn convenient. It's almost spiritual and liberating. You don't have to depend on others. There is no feeling in the world better than being independent!