When asked "WHY DO YOU RIDE" Think Before You Answer.

By: chesshirecat

Sep 05 2009

Category: Why we ride, Women Riders

20 Comments


I’m sick of it. I keep reading these things…

“WHY WOMEN RIDE”…..

Oh let’s see… many will tell you they have never felt so “EMPOWERED”
What hell are you saying? Are you really going to tell me that you felt put down, worthless, or what ever else is associated with feeling “EMPOWERED”? Get off it ladies…a bike can’t empower you unless you use it as a crutch for what’s wrong in in your life. You don’t take the reins in your life…except when you get on your bike? Not likely….

Or how about the ever popular…I love the “FREEDOM” of it. Freedom? Can’t you express what your talking about better than to call it “freedom”? Will you please define for me what “Freedom” your talking about? What is freedom to you? Why not think about what freedom is and describe that rather than using the blanket expression?

Go deeper than the usual responses that you read about. Talk about what makes motorcycling special to YOU! Not the looks you receive…not the friendships you make….all that is something you can get without the bike. Talk about what the bike gives you…what the ride is to you. Talk about how you feel when you ride…not about how the MAKES you feel…cuz the bike can’t MAKE you feel anything. It’s how your affected by the ride…it’s how the sound of the bike awakens something inside you…it’s how the anticipation of the wind in your ears, the curves ahead of you, the passion awakened as you wheel past road kill…it’s the advantage of watching the eagle or hawk as he circles in the sky…it’s the pain of road rash…of bee stings, of direct hits by birds…it’s the scared feeling you have when you brush danger…of being exposed.

It’s the rain scrubbing your skin like a million needles injecting moisture into your face…it’s the love bugs you spit out of your mouth…the nasty taste of em…but still it’s alive…

It’s not the guy riding next to you…it’s not the next beer stop…it’s not the looks you get from people who don’t understand…it’s not any of this external crap…it’s the bike…it’s the road trip, it’s how your affected by the natural experience of being exposed….

It’s how you process this all…it’s how you translate the bike, the ride, the exposure… It’s all life on a bike. But it is not about empowerment, it’s not about freedom…it’s not about friends….that is just an embellishment of who and what you were in the first place…

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20 comments on “When asked "WHY DO YOU RIDE" Think Before You Answer.”

  1. Very thought provoking post Chessie. I love how you tell everyone how you really feel.

  2. Wow great post! it would seem that what we love has become a bit cliche sometimes.

  3. Another great post 🙂 I agree with Stephanie, very thought provoking!

  4. amen chessie, amen. "empowered" and "freedom" statements are like the bad-hollow MC advertising targeting women. there are all different kinds of us (men and women) on two wheels. to some, its just cheap transportation. to others, its a status symbol or even a means to be part of something. but to many or most of us, its life. it is as you describe… personally, i am overcoming roadrash after being cut off and going into a center divide at high speed a year ago. i didnt think it would be an enduring challenge, i keep thinking ive shaken it off, but shaky nerves continue to arise on occasion. but thats just my story, and each ride is still fantastic. everyone that rides has a story, or a dozen stories. personally i CANNOT imagine life without a bike. this is how i choose to live and enjoy mother nature. so i face all the fears and nerves that going down brings, because i must. and i wouldnt have it any other way. the wind calls…

  5. Not a women…but I ride cause I can. I just knew I always wanted to. 44 years now and lovin it.

  6. Well told.

  7. I ride because I'm a loaner. If I wasn't I'd probably have a bunch of nosey friends telling me "in my best interest" that I shouldn't. I ride because I've always wanted to, but didn't find the encouragement until 10 years ago. I continue riding because I feel competent doing so. I ride because I love nature and have found this to be a great means of enjoying it. My bike is a means of exloring other facits of my life. On my bike, I am a motorcyclist. And I define what that means to me and that is consistant with how I am off the bike. Let the advertisers spin their own tales. I ride my own ride.

  8. Like a tractor trailer pinching you to the rail on I-15 junction to 215 …A tad close…Pap

  9. Another great post. Wish my late wife were here to post a comment. She went through a period with her bike, wanting to ride and learning and then her first long solo trip the worlds longest yard sale in crosville Tenn. Anyway, girl, another great post. Keep it up.Johnhttp://bikin-ridin-nwa.blogspot.com

  10. Hi everyone..Steph, I'm hoping that we as riders will begin to understand there is too much hype when it comes to why we ride. For all of us, it's as personal as the sheets we choose for our beds.Juan Carlos…I'm really glad you pitched in with your voice…I admire your web site…and I'm glad to know you read some of what I write! Not to mention agree from time to time! Thanks!PartyGurl: I'm glad to get you thinking on the subject. It's not earth shattering, but I really hate when bikers are portrayed as mindless parrots with no deep thoughts. If it's a sound bite these writers are looking for…then perhaps they should enter into radio or TV rather than actually haveing to work for a living?mq01: admitting the pain of not only the road rash but also the realization of the dangers your mind won't let go of in certain situations is a very hard thing to do…glad to know you are working/riding through the difficulties and the fences…it's hard work, but it's the paradox of our love for the bike isn't it?Websters World: One don't have to be a woman to answer this question with honesty…it goes both ways don't it? Can't ask for a simpler answer than the one you give…can we?Fiddle Mike: I know you have several women in your life who ride…you know from where I speak….thanks for coming to speak up!She Rides a Beemer: I would expect nothing less of a thought provoking answer from you. The best reasons yet to ride…not just from the heart…but from the reasoning side of the brain. Excellent.Pappy: that incident I witnessed between you and the trucker is one of the gut wrenching scary parts of motorcycling that actually keeps me coming back…John: I wish she were one of the gals commenting as well…in a short time, I have come to admire your work…and I'll wager your late wife is a woman whose adventures and thoughts I would have come to admire as much as I do yours…

  11. I ride because now i know how my dog feels when he sticks his head out the truck window…lolI really don't know why i ride. I love the anticipation of the curves and the time I get to spend with my husband…finding aome small out of the way country stores that seem to have some of the best hotdogs..not knowing where I am going..just getting on and just go

  12. Very thought provoking. As I read your post Chessie, I realized how I often just scratch the surface of how I feel, giving the safe answer, such as "freedom." Your post caused me to think deeper on why I have chosen to ride. I think part of why I ride is that thin line between fear of all the bad things that can happen on the road, and the elation of knowing I faced up to that fear by being on the road. Thanks again for this post.

  13. I love to ride because of the sound my pipes make reverbrating off the underpass'walls. The butterfly feeling in the pit of my gut whenever I get on for a ride. The feeling of slight temperature changes on different sections of road. The adrenaline rush of passing. The smells that permeate the air that I don't notice in my truck. The bigger awareness of myself and whats going on around me and being in the middle of it. Feeling a part of the machine and the elements and the danger but mostly, it gives me personal satisfaction and peace in my mind from the rat race.

  14. Things just process differently when your on two.It's hard to explain to a non-rider, but stimulating the senses while getting from point A to B just seems like a great way to go.You've made me think a little bit. I'll remember this the next time someone asks me that question.

  15. Amen -;0)

  16. Excellent post M, I couldn't have said it better… I like the in-your-face reality check. The kind of attitude my friends would expect from me. Thanks.-B

  17. I ride because I can't imagine not riding. I have always been around bikes and I have always loved it. I love the feel of it and the thrill of it. I love it that I can look up at the sky and not have a roof or dirty glass between me and the beauty of nature. To me, riding is the norm. Maybe we should ask those who ask us that question why they DON'T ride! To those who say, get a convertable; a convertable just doesn't cut it.

  18. Great post. Why do I ride? This morning the only answer I can think of, cos its what I do. Its just who I am. Its as much a part of me as my arm or eyes. I don't even think about it or realize its there. After almost 30 years, it just is. Plus its alot of fun.

  19. well my dear, when I think about riding my bike, all I can say is my heart goes all a twitter. It actually flutters. When I am hitting those corners, I focus on how tight can I get it and the thrill coming out of it…throttle off, down shift, throttle up, shift up, working the curve, flying to the next curve in complete control. Getting into the momentum and rhythm. It’s me, the bike, the road. It’s work. It’s challenge. It’s my skills. All wrapped up in one little stretch of winding roadway. Thank you Mr. Enginner! Then there are the times I just like to putt thru ’em. And that’s just the curves!

    And, thank you for writing this!


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