Another crazy idea I can’t shake

Even though I’ve never actually owned a motorcycle, I’ve had a license to ride one since the mid 80’s. I wanted to buy a bike after having an absolute blast at the safety course I took to prepare. But, I couldn’t afford the new bikes, and the used ones I could find cheap required mechanical skills I didn’t have.

For the past 10 years, money hasn’t been an issue and my commute is almost ideally suited for a motorcycle. However, I like to ride my bicycle for that, and there’s no way I’d be in the condition I am in now if I started using motorized transport. I like cycling way too much to give that up.

Recently, I’ve been thinking more about how I could make it work. Monmouth is near many roads which are ideally suited for motorcycles. There is practically no traffic but there is great scenery, hills, and curves everywhere you look.

I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a motorcycle work for commuting (taking only back roads — I think heavily trafficked highways would be suicidal). Despite the fact I ride my bicycle in anything, regular long distance commuting on a motorcycle is not a good idea.

I still can’t get this bike out of my mind as it would be perfect for the roads that meander through rolling farmland. I frequently encounter motorcycle clubs when I ride my bicycles in these areas.

Shirley is not a fan of my idea. She believes my plan is pointless and more importantly, that I could manage to get myself maimed. That’s a serious issue because if that happened, that would mess up things for her as well as me.

My view is that the things we like the most often have no point. I love dogs and would get more if I could. But as a practical matter, owning them is a responsibility, they take lots of time and money, and they mess up your house. Likewise, the skiing/snowboarding that I like also brings no real benefit (since I’m already in shape) while increasing the possibility of significant injury.

There is risk in everything, and in the end, it’s all about understanding what you value, your limitations, and managing the risk. I regularly ski and snowboard in terrain that would have practically guaranteed serious injury a few years ago, but I still don’t go where I don’t belong. I ride my bicycles in situations which would be unwise for more than 99% of the population. However, it’s safe enough for me because I have the experience and skills to know what I should and should not do.

I know motorcycling is among the riskier activities, but I’m totally convinced it’s not crazy so long as you keep your head on your shoulders and maintain adequate respect for what you face. It’s not hard to find senior citizens that have been enjoying riding for decades. I just can’t get it out of my head that it would be a great match for me and that I could do it smart.

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