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.

[November 30, 2006]

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?


[November 30, 2006]

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...


[November 30, 2006]

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.  All 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.

--Cheelleebutt (ATGATT)

Written on: December 3, 2006
Last modified: December 3, 2006