3 June 2012

Motorcycle Honeymoon Phase Over? Where to now?

Remember how exciting it was when you started riding a motorcycle and then bought your first bike?  You felt on top of the world with your newly discovered passion! You’d get butterflies in your stomach and your heart would beat a little faster at the thought of sharing time with your "sweet" motorcycle. The two of you attached in adventure, performance and safety- the "honeymoon phase".
In the honeymoon phase all is fresh and new. Inescapably you will hit an eventual pleasure plateau. Motorcycling, perhaps comparable to life- your career, personal relationships all level off.  When the honeymoons' over you’ll feel as though you’ve “been there done that”; as you ready to ride you'll find yourself saying “where to now?”

When I started riding, it was the same- you couldn’t remove from the seat of my bike. I’d find any excuse to be on my motorcycle. During the week I’d hurry home after work, skip dinner just to get a few hours of riding in before nightfall. It didn’t matter where I went as long as I was riding- the quality of the ride or it's distance was not relevant. But then it changed. I started to weigh out the trouble of getting the gear on and the motorcycle out to the quality, time and distance of the ride. The rides became predictable. So I started to explore other areas of motorcycling. I became an instructor, took mechanics courses and even left the country and moved to a tropical Caribbean Island just so I could ride all year long! Motorcycling has given me now twenty nine years of intimate sporting adventure and taken my kicks to so many different plateaus!

Using my example, you've likely figured out the solution to keeping that riding flame of passion going -work on the intimacy of the relationship.  Get closer to motorcycling! It's up to you as to which extent you'll do that but here are a few suggestions to get you going! (Random order)
  • Trade in your motorcycle for a larger size (cc) engine; the next size up.
  • Change the style of riding i.e. cruiser to sport-bike or sport-bike to sport touring.
  • Take a motorcycle mechanics course.
  • Practise doing your own general maintenance–start with an oil change or understand your braking system by doing your own brake fluid refresh.
  • Take an off road course.
  • Enroll in a track day-learn circuit riding!
  • Start racing or some form of motorcycle competition.
  • Take part in a rally (KYMCO Mad B Scooter Rally).
  • Try to beat a record i.e. Iron Butt contests.
  • Start a motorcycle club or charity ride.
  • Travel to a challenging destination i.e. Panama.
  • Ride with new friends – join a new club.
  • Become a motorcycle instructor.
  • Take a month off and go for a four week tour.
  • Take an all inclusive European motorcycle tour (Edelweiss tours).
  • Modify/customize your motorcycle.
  • Get a custom paint job for your motorcycle.
  • Move to a climate where you can ride all year.
  • Diversify your style of riding. Add an off road motorcycle or a scooter to your collection.
Once you move through these plateau’s and keep motorcycling interesting- ever increasing skills and knowledge, you'll result in an expanded intimacy for the activity! 

At this point in my life, the phase I fear most which inevitably accompanies ageing- the physical inability to ride! Though I've still many years ahead (counting my blessings!) it is unlikely I'll surrender gracefully, if at all, to this reality. But perhaps it will then be time to outfit myself with a motorcycle and side-car!  The romance may never last, but the intimacy never ends!


Monica Rides Moto said...

Great article! I can relate and I'm only on my 3rd year of motorcycling. I go through phases where I ride a lot and then a dry spell where I'll barely ride at all and have no interest, but deep down, I won't ever stop riding! :)

Kathy H said...

I'm hoping to keep riding into my eighties - even longer - by keeping fit. Don't think I'll ever stop working out since I've done it for 20+ years and I feel bad if I don't move some body part around every day. So far so good, almost 70 this year and feeling better than when I was 30 and smoking:-)