Thursday, July 27, 2006

It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down...

...I had the radio on, I was drivin'

On a recent day when the weather was gorgeous I was passed on the freeway by a couple motorcycles. The thought that immediately ran through my head was: "I should learn to ride a motorcycle, that looks like a lot of fun on a day like today."

I'm not talking some anemic Vespa or I'm-overcompensating-for-something chopper. Elphie is all about agility and would be in the market for something sleeker, say a Ducati. I've got over a dozen friends who ride motorcycles, so the social support network is already in place. There are many winding country roads that are bike friendly. And hey, it's another excuse to buy leather clothes.

But it only took about 10 seconds of seriously thinking about taking lessons before I remembered why I don't already know how to ride a motorcycle.

I'm afraid of speed.

Perhaps more accurately, I'm a control freak and in most cases speed feels out of control to me. No, the cruising speed of an airplane or driving 90 mph on a stretch of deserted desert highway doesn't faze me at all. But you'll never find me on a roller coaster, skydiving, or riding a motorcycle. At least, not without a significant amount of valium in my system. Think horse tranquilizer quantities.

So I should just get a convertible and put the top down on beautiful sunny days. If you'd like to contribute to the convertible fund (or just flat out get me one) you'll always get shotgun... (Let's just ignore the fact that there aren't any passenger seats in a coupe other than shotgun so you can just feel special about getting to sit next to me while we fly down the highway or cruise through the city on a sunny day.)


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only do motorcycles give you control but you have more control then you do in a car. Remember you only go fast if you WANT to go fast :)

4:19 PM  
Blogger Elphaba said...

More control than in a car? What kind of car do you have? Autotopia in Tomorrowland doesn't count you know.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous 0v3rk177 said...

Sooo . . . you’re not afraid of speed – you’re afraid of being out of control.

On a bike at first you may feel like you’re out of control but the more you ride the more you realize you are absolutely in control of all that speed – I don’t think you’d be scared *driving* a bike – but you (like me) would be a scared passenger on a bike. Big difference.

As for a convertible – get something big – Miata’s always made me feel unsafe – they are too small compared to the average American car / truck / SUV / van and on the highway especially – it just feels wrong. Get a bigger convertible like a sedan – there are plenty to choose from. Volkswagon has the Ios coming out – it’s a 4 seat convertible hard top for $30k. Also Chevy (ugh) has a convertible hard top G6 for like $28k. Bigger, safer, less scary – but less fun. If you want a two seat roadster I’d recommend a used Porsche Boxster or Mercedes SLK. :-)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

A motorcycle is a raw machine, placing you closer to the road, closer to the elements, closer to the machine. It requires all your senses, all your attention and your entire body to interact with and control the machine. It is the closest thing you will ever experience to becoming part of a machine. You will feel the road beneath your tires, the wind in your face, the world will surround you and fill you in ways you've never experienced. But just as you are more in control and more in touch with the world around you, you are also more vulnerable and mistakes are rarely forgiven. I live for my time on a bike, but you must go into it knowing the risks and the rewards.

9:55 PM  

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