A "real ride"?


  • Gizmo
    started a blog post A "real ride"?

    A "real ride"?

    I usually cover 60,000+ miles per year on the road when all of my vehicles' miles are totaled. Only about 15,000 miles come from motorcycles. The percentages are disappointing, but necessary.

    Of my 15k/year on bikes, less than half are truly for fun with the rest being necessary trips for farm supplies, church, groceries, doctors, dentists and meetings. Some of those trips have been hundreds, even thousands, of miles from home but I have never considered them to be "real rides". To me, a "real ride" is one where the primary purpose is the ride, the enjoyment, not some other utilitarian or necessary reason.

    The need for a useful machine goes way back to my childhood when I was able to convince my parents of how effective and economical a motorcycle would be around the farm; a point I would have to prove repeatedly through my formative years. Of course, the hidden desire of their son to hobnob with his motorcycle buddies was never mentioned. When my parents saw and approved of how their Suzuki-mounted son could do the work of several cowboys when gathering the cow herd, the hook was set. Yes!!! Just as important, my motorcycle did not require the hay, pasture or veterinary attention of several horses.

    Percentage wise, it is true that my motorcycles have always been more utilitarian vehicles than strictly fun machines but I have chosen to ride whenever possible because I enjoyed it. Given the choice, I'll ride a motorcycle every time and that has made even the short, mundane and routine journeys at least a little more enjoyable.

    My parents taught me an appreciation for enjoying life as it is. The truth is that we spend most of our time and energy at our jobs and a person can either view that work as drudgery and duty or you can make the best of it. Motorcycles, and my logical parents, have enabled me to turn work into fun for the last 57 years. How lucky I am!

    As I approach retirement age, I hope one of the big changes is that my percentage of "real rides" goes up considerably. I have waited a long time!

    • kwthom
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting perspective.

      For a decade, my motorcycle was my transportation - which in my 20's was simply getting my butt back and forth to work. I didn't do a lot of pleasure riding - simply because that motorcycle was my only means (for a few years...) to get to work. Eventually, I was able to buy an old beater truck, but that bike was #1 for the work commute. Thus, I did consider those miles "real ride" miles, 'cause I really did it. :-D

      When returning to motorcycling twelve years ago, the bike no longer "had" to be my commuting vehicle, because I really wanted the miles to be "real ride" miles.

      Due to some serious construction along the Interstate in 2004, my wife and I began to carpool. Even though my overall commute was a bit longer, we maintained this arrangement most days, until I retired in 2017.

      It now makes those "real ride" miles that much more enjoyable.
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