This a question I get a lot and I think other motorcyclists too! It is not that easy to answer! Most of the time I just say just because I like to. I could go into the thrill of it or the sense of speed, the view you get from a bike, etc.
It happened on the beginning of this tour around the Balkan when we asked ourselves this question with my friend Gyuri! The thing is I could not answer it well enough! Because if you think about it motorcycling is possibly the most impractical and unsafe mode of travelling. To start you can die in an instance, just a moment of not concentrating on the road and you are done! Then there is a whole loads of things: you can’t bring too much luggage and the few you bring is just a pain in the ass. When it is raining you get wet, I mean really wet up till your hole. When it’s cold you freeze your bones, when it’s hot you sweat like hell especially if you are dressed up properly. You always have to wear a helmet which is not only uncomfortable but makes your hair look like you have been sleeping all day long. I could go on for days but I think everybody got the idea! I did too! The most disturbing was in all this that I couldn’t give a good enough answer why I ride against these reasons! We went on with the tour and I spent the next few days thinking about this.
One night after a long ride when I couldn’t sleep I think I figured out the answer! It might not be the answer for everybody but it is it for me at least!
When I ride it gives me the experience of being all outside of my life! It is the perfect Zen moment when I am released from my everyday problems and I can completely switch off my conscious and relax. Riding a motorcycle means your brain is overwhelmed by inputs. First of all there is the view. Because there is no chassis around you to block your vision you have a full field of view. Then you feel the wind on your skin, the changes of the temperature. You hear the wind too and all the little noises from the machine. You have to balance yourself and the bike constantly. Command the throttle and brakes by your hands and feet. Measure every upcoming corner and calculate the speed you will enter it. Also keep an eye on all the other participants of the traffic and try to estimate there movement. All this demands so much calculating capacity of your brain that there is non left to worry about the usual stuff: the bills, your girlfriend, the work, etc…
Motorcycling gives me this five minutes of not worrying! And this is a good enough reason for anything!
Riding is my method of meditation!