motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Why do I ride?


I was in the meal room at work the other day discussing the weekends adventures with some colleagues, you know the usual “So whatdjagetuptoonthweekend?” Monday morning banter.

There were 3 of us in there at the time, and, as it happened we all ride motorcycles. One is coming up to their first anniversary as a rider, while the other has been riding since late November 2012. Me, well I’ve been riding for over 20 years with the mandatory breaks due to family commitments strewn throughout. Both newbies ride mostly on the weekend, with the occasional run into work if the weather is fine. While I’m a daily rider; rain, hail or shine.
Anyway, we were discussing the finer points of our weekend adventures when another staff member, a ‘non-rider‘, came in. They listened for a while before joining the conversation, and shared their weekend adventures with us. 
The discussion continued for several minutes when the ‘‘non-rider‘ stated that “they would never ride a motorcycle because they are far too dangerous”. and “What’s the big attraction anyway?”
Well, if you’re reading this and you are a motorcyclist, you’ll know what kind of can of worms these statements can open. I won’t go into the final outcome of the chin-wag, but rest assured, no one died, and we are all still friends.
Later that day, the “What’s the big attraction anyway?” question was one that made me reflect on my reasons for riding.


Now let me state form the outset that my parents were dead against me having a motorcycle of any kind. In fact on the day I raised it with them, my father said, “If you get a motorbike, you can get a coffin to go with it, and then get out.” A bit harsh I thought, but as I was only 13, I wasn’t in a position be selective about my lodgings.
Fast forward 12 years, and now newly married. The recession we had to have, caused my wife and I to re-assess and downsize our lifestyle if we wanted to keep our newly constructed home.
The first thing to go was my Holden Monaro LS Coupe complete with a multitude of rare and hard to get parts I had collected for the restoration of said car.  This was replaced with a more sensible car for my wife, and a motorcycle for me.

‘My’ 1971 Holden Monaro LS *

We discussed me getting a bike at length, it was a tough decision, and one we didn’t go into lightly. Motorcycling is after all, an inherently dangerous activity. The decision was made easier because at the time, there were no buses or trains that would get me to work at Southport ,60km (40 miles) away. Besides I could sell the bike, and go back to a car once “The recession we had to have” was done and dusted.

Our fuel bill instantly dropped from $120 per week (over 1/3 of my wage at the time) to about $40 per week. 
Photo Courtesy of “Susan Collard” all rights reserved

At first, riding to and from work was a necessity, but in time I grew to love my new mode of transport. Fridays were a short day, and I would take the scenic route home, either over Mt.Tamborine, out through Beachmont or via Beaudesert. It was, and still is, the best way I can think of to un-wind after a week in front of the forge.

The feeling of freedom you get from riding a motorcycle is not something that can’t be described. You are one with the elements and with the road; If it’s sunny you get hot, if it rains you get wet.

Photo Courtesy of “Susan Collard” all rights reserved

Riding through a rain forest allows you to feel the dampness of the air, to take in the aromas made by the wild flowers and shrubs along the roadside. All of these sensations can take you back to somewhere in your past, somewhere that you enjoyed as a child.

Going past old farms always reminds me of my grandmothers place, the rundown buildings, the farmer in the field, the cows in the paddock it all brings back fond memories. Riding a mountain road in the early morning and feeling the temperature change when you crest a hill or dip into a valley, reminds me of Kangaroo Valley. While riding in fog reminds me of the road to Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
Photo Courtesy of “Susan Collard” all rights reserved

Even riding to and from work in the traffic can be fun. Although you really have to have your head screwed on in traffic because it seems every second driver is eating their breakfast, on the ( f$@king ) phone, or singing to their favourite song, and not paying attention to what they are doing.

Regardless, riding grows on you, and even my wife enjoys getting on the back with me on the weekends even if it’s just to get a coffee at the Pitstop on Mt.Mee or a pie at the Outpost at Canungra.
Photo Courtesy of “Susan Collard” all rights reserved

Will I ever stop riding?

Probably, but it I can’t see it happening anytime soon, maybe when the guvmint takes my licence away because I’m too old and decrepit to continue to hold one. In the mean time I will enjoy it for as long as I can.
So… Why do you ride?

* The Holden Monaro pictured above was originally powered with a Holden 253ci V8 engine and a Trimatic 3 speed automatic gearbox. It was purchased completely stock standard complete with a black vinyl roof in 1986.

The photo above was taken in 1989, after a series of modifications and improvements. It ws powered by a Holden 308ci V8 built to Brock specification (for road use) and had a 4 speed gear box. The HQ Monaro is now considered a collectors item and can be valued at in excess of AU $50,000.
I sold it in 1990 for AU $2,800

2 responses

  1. jon hadley

    you hit the nail on the head. it feels like freedom. I liken it to almost feeling like flying. Free like a bird. My mind empties of all of the stress. In just 10 minutes I’m a different person. The worst thing I ever did was sell my bike to buy a car. Biggest regret ever

    Liked by 1 person

    July 31, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    • I think we’ve all been there Jon. I sold a ’79 Z1R MKII because of family. I regret it to this day. Loved that bike.


      July 31, 2015 at 8:39 PM

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