The world is full of complexity, choices, and decisions that need to be made. This creates stress, anxiety and occasionally some poor decisions. With the different chapters of our lives, be they home, work, family and hobbies all fighting for a piece of this stress-and-anxiety pie I have found that sometimes we crave the simple things in life, a simplified space where we can let go of the world and just “be”.
Perhaps this is why some of us ride motorcycles. The solitude, the time with just ourselves and the environment we chose to ride in, the peace we find in riding is a major drawcard, or at least it is for me. But now I have stress regarding this topic as well! Having recently been side-lined from riding after a car decided to occupy the same piece of road as me and the hospital suggesting some new metal bits to add strength and stability to this fragile body, it is now time to get back on the road and to find this happy place again.
But what motorcycle do I chose?! I have begun the process of looking around to see what type of motorcycle tickles my fancy the most. Do I go for an adventure bike or a cruiser, do I go Italian, German or Japanese? I would like to state for the record that I am of the firm opinion you cannot buy a bad product anymore, all the motorcycles are high quality, and they all have their own brand presence, history, character and statement to make.
An additional layer of stress to this, and totally self-induced, is the fear of riding on the road again. I have been back on the track and it has been fantastic! But those Sunday morning breakfast runs, the tours around the country to visit far-flung destinations, fill me with a sense of trepidation. I am mentally preparing myself, both for the ride and for the justification to those who judge me for riding again (crazy seems to be the common label), but the brain finds itself in a confused space. What should the first ride be?! Again, more choices to make!
Therefore, the type of bike I chose is even more important. Do I follow the passion and the heart, or do I follow logic and sensibleness? I’m picturing in my mind many riding scenes. The meeting of friends for coffee in Parktown on a BMW R nineT or a Ducati Scrambler. The adventure through the Karoo on a GS Adventure or a KTM. The Sunday morning blast on a Panigale or an RR. The cruise on a Harley or an Indian to a rally. Even the commute to work, beating the traffic, is part of the mystique playing out in my mind.
Additionally, we live in an age of huge information, big data and accessibility to facts, opinions, and reviews, all of which serves to reinforce my love affair with motorcycles. At this point, logic must kick in, narrow down criteria such as budget, finance options, usage parameters, etc. Picturing a see-saw, with one side being rational and the other emotional, where is the balancing point? And I can tell you this point changes by the minute, depending on the most recent review, commentary or discussion with friends.
How confusing. How exciting. How supportive the biking community has been.
There is so much to process, digest and chose from. In summary, my question is: Do I follow the romance of imagination or the sensibility of logic? Or perhaps, more eloquently, to just “be” do I chose the crazy or slightly less crazy?