nicholas hopkins

Why I Ride

People often ask me "Why do you ride a motorcycle?"  My responses range from the standard "If you have to ask you wouldn't understand" to "Because I can."  Actually, there are a number of reasons, but the most important one is because I absolutely love it. 

Now, as with all things, there are some downsides too.  Some of the more prominent issues are:

Love Bugs and Dragon Flies.  Pretty much self explanatory, no?

Crazy cage drivers.  Motorcyclists refer to cars as cages, and it's absolutely amazing how some people drive.  When riding a bike, you really do have to assume that you're invisible and every car you see is going to turn left in front of you.  It's a little nerve wracking at first, but you get used to it.

Wind and rain.  Though we live in the Sunshine State, we often get surprises from Mother Nature, and we can't always get off the road in time to beat the weather.  With a 20 MPH gust of wind, you can suddenly find yourself changing lanes involuntarily and rain is downright painful on a motorcycle. I hate when that happens.

However, even with the downside, there is absolutely nothing I've found that can compare with hopping on two motorized wheels and leaving my troubles in the dust behind me.  No matter how bad the day has been, none of my problems can keep up with my motorcycle.  Funny how that works.  Some of the other high points?

I meet the nicest dang people, just because I ride.  Motorcycles are eye-catching conversation starters.  At work, on the road, at a pub, it doesn't matter.  It usually starts with "Hey…nice bike!"  They smile, get a gleam in their eye and the conversation just takes off. 

One day a few weeks ago, I was leaving a local store, just throwing my leg over the seat when an older woman, cane in hand, prepared to get into her car next to me.   She stopped, got that gleam in her eye and commented that you never see motorcycles with side-cars anymore. Fifty-some years ago, she used to ride motorcycles with her friends all of the time and many of them had side cars on their bikes.  They'd go to Las Vegas and have all kinds of fun. "I'm over 90 these days, and can't go to Las Vegas anymore…it's just too hot and windy!" she told me. 

The best part about having a motorcycle though, is of course, the ride.  One cool clear night last winter, I found myself out and about quite late.  Taking the long way home, by the Indian River, traffic was light, the road was mine.  As the mercury continued to drop, wisps of fog began to appear on the road.  Cruising through the slow lazy curves, the river was like glass, reflecting the dock lights back into the clear night sky. The fingers of mist leant a dreamlike quality to the late night ride.  The sound of the motor blended with the wind. So this is how a bird feels, flying through the curves, floating over the road. 

Pulling into the driveway, I stopped, turned off the motor and looked up at the stars.  What a beautiful night.  What a beautiful ride

And that is why I ride a motorcycle.

Copyright © 2018, Nicholas Hopkins. All Rights Reserved.