What is the fascination?
I have numerous friends ask, "Don't you feel scared riding a motorcycle
in traffic?" or, "Why do you like riding a motorcycle?".
Curious questions indeed. I have a feeling for the answer but as
yet I can't verbalize, classify, and/or clarify the answers. Here
is a compilation of my experiences and my friends' experiences for why
a motorbike is a way of life. Will this bring about all the
answers? I don't know, but at least it's worth a try.
Remember, life = happiness. Please enjoy the reading.
Beauty and peace are where we perceive.
This morning I left my home with a temperature of 44 degree F (7 degree
C). That was with a thermometer standing still on my front porch. The
wind chill temperature when I was moving at 75 miles per hour (120
km/h) must be a lot lower.
I could feel the chill when I started moving. Incredibly, a good chill
going to my head thru my helmet's vents and all my body. Not an
uncomfortable cold but a "good cold", a cold that makes me feel I was
so much sharper and clearer in my mind. My body went with the flow,
felt every single ripples on the roads; I and my motorcycle became one.
I was the motorcycle and the motorcycle was me. Sneaking thru the
traffic like a hot knife thru butter and sailed under the early morning
sun that painted the world in a beautiful golden shade.
Splitting through the rush hour traffic. Going between 2 lanes of cars.
A big bus was blocking the carpool lane but moved away seeing my
approach. I waved to the driver after I passed. Thanking the driver who
extended a courtesy to a motorcycle rider. Another truck,
another car, they all moved out so slightly that I could tell they
said: "ok, this is the best I could do. Be careful". I passed again,
waved back with my left hand, again thanking them for their kindness.
Saw a yellow GTO, a new sport car in front. I said to myself, "oh oh,
is this go-fast driver going to let me thru or will he think I'm
challenging his authority?" To test his kindness and courtesy, I moved
over to the right, showing myself in his right hand side mirror,
following at a distance of a car's length.
He saw me. He moved over to the left and left me room to pass. I closed
the throttle for a split second, squeezed the clutch and clicked down 1
gear. I opened the throttle and zipped past him in a millisecond. I
passed. Again I waved back with my left hand and thanked him. Now my
left arm is getting sore. That's the only way I could express my
gratitude to the drivers I passed. This is good. Who said that people
in Los Angeles are mean and inconsiderate?
I passed an ambulance, again I waved. I passed a pickup truck. I waved.
I passed a Honda civic, I waved. Then I lost count...
Finally I got thru an empty stretch of freeway. I moved to my own lane.
Then from the corner of my eyes, I saw a flash of yellow color beside
me. I turned my head. It was the GTO. I pointed to his car, raised my
thumb to mean "hey, nice car!" He understood. Gave me a nod then
accelerate with a throaty exhaust note. I think, cool. I accelerated
too. Passed him. He accelerated. I accelerated. Then I reached my
destination at work. We waved to each other. Thumbs up to each other.
"What a great day!" We said to each other, silently...
Who says that you can't have fun everyday?
It gets dark early now. This is another cold night in California.
Stepping out of my office at 7pm, it was completely dark outside.
Outside temperature shown 48 degree F (9 degree C) so it's slightly
warmer than this morning when I left home. At highway speed, the "felt"
temperature will be a lot lower. Good, time to clear my head after a
full day's work. I can put computer, C++, controls, algorithms, codes,
tests, schedules etc... temporarily aside and concentrate on my ride. I
can't be distracted while riding or it'll be fatal. I control my
motorcycle and I control my fate. I take full responsibility of my
destiny and when I make an error, it's me and me alone.
Started the engine, pulled in the clutch and shifted the gear. Opened
up the throttle and the motorcycle glided forward smoothly like a magic
carpet. The exhaust was near silent. Even if it wasn't, I couldn't hear
it as I was wearing ear plugs to protect my hearing from the wind
noise. The high performance 4-stroke engine roared satisfyingly as
gears were shifted near redline, at 10600 rpm. First gear at redline
brought me to 70 mph. Zero to 60 in 2.7 seconds. Faster than all
production cars in the world. Faster than a Bell helicopter. Faster
than a Ferrari Enzo. Faster than a Mercedes McLaren. Leave them
all in the dirt. Shifted to second gear and the front wheel wanted to
leave the ground. Things were perfectly under control. Suspensions,
tires, chain, throttle, clutch, gear, brakes were working together and
enhancing each other like a well coordinated orchestra. Excellent!
I ducked down. Wind slid off the top of my helmet and off my tight
leather jacket and pants, like water off a whale. I glided smoothly and
effortlessly into the darkness, parting out only by my single
headlight. Again, I and my motorcycle became one...
I experience rider's high quite frequently. Some mornings when I'm
squirting through the traffic on my way to work I get that rush. Its
Beautiful! With the sun filling my mirrors, such a glorious
feeling. Most evenings on the way home once the traffic has
started to open up just past Irwindale I start getting the buzz. When I
get though Azusa and start climbing the hill toward Glendora and San
Dimas I crack that throttle and that beautiful 20 valve four cylinder
engine springs to life and powers down those last 7-8 miles to my exit
at light speeds, the the buzz is a full on high and I cannot help
hooting and hollering in my helmet! :-)
Gotta love it!
[December 2, 2006]
It is about 5:30pm on a Saturday. It is dark, and a little
cold. I'm sitting at a red light on Foothill Blvd in Azusa after
finishing a pleasant visit with my older brother. A sudden
"Honk!" from somewhere and I spot a driver and passenger of a car
giving me the all thumbs up. I gave them a wave and a thumbs up
as response for the compliment. I popped the bike into first gear
and gave a little throttle. The bike surges forward and happily
accelerates. I stop again at the next light and see yet another
person examining my spectacle. I wave hello and chuckle under my
helmet for being something so common but yet so uncommon. I ease
on the throttle once more, and off I go. As I pass Irwindale, the
road becomes rough, but there are no problems with terrain for this big
machine. I stand on my pegs and all goes calm. I weave
slightly right as the road bends and cross the bridge over the San
Gabriel river. Light after light. It does not matter
whether I stop or I drive through. Fast or slow, there is no need
for speed here and now. People waving hello or striking a
conversation at a
stop light where there is a short moment for social interaction.
The curiosity and the oddity that is me has people pleasantly
staring. That I am common or uncommon matters not to me.
that matters is that I'm on my machine. I make a final left
turn off of Huntington drive, America's famous historic Route 66, into
my neighborhood. I can't help but smile and laugh as I think of
all the pleasant people that I have met on my micro journey. Yes
indeed life is good and I am blessed. Let all those critics be
quieted for claiming Los Angeles is a city for the forsaken just
because of a mere hint here and there of self preservation. I
don't listen to critics as life
has shown me otherwise.
Written on: December 3, 2006
Last modified: December 3, 2006